I often wrote about the fact that how we present ourselves our surrounding will answer. Lately, I had a discussion with my youngest son about receiving respect and being taken serious by others. As teenagers, there is a lot to cope with, like the changes that happen to your body and at the same time to your developing confused mind. Then there is the growing pressure of school and the decisions what to do after (school, apprenticeship,…) which goes along with the challenge of getting a place. A lot of pressure that life brings naturally.
And then there is the homemade pressure like the competition under each other: who is the coolest, who is the smartest? This again results in offending each other. At one point, it was one offense too much and the one who is not able to bear it anymore freaks out or is deeply hurt. On the outside, they appear cool and sublime but in fact, it is very painful for and still, they try to stand tall and keep trying to top their counterpart… until that last straw breaks the camel’s back. Crazy how we torture ourselves!
This is definitely not a particular teenager problem. Don’t we all want to be respected for who we are? Don’t we all want to be taken serious without fighting for it? Often it seems impossible when we have to deal with people in our family or at work who don’t care about that need but only enjoy being on top of everyone and making others feel smaller just because they can! I even dare to say that they mostly don’t do it on purpose. It happens naturally because the others try to get more respect in joining the game of the dominant persons which provokes them to keep up their behavior.
If we want respect we need to play our own game. Every action causes a reaction. If we are not happy with the reaction of our counterpart we need to change our own actions and reactions. I said to my son, if you want to stop your brother in telling you how dumb you are, then stop telling him how dumb he is or he will keep up proving that you are dumber! And unfortunately, rhetoric and finding arguments are his strength. So you won’t win that battle. Instead, make him a compliment and see what happens next. There is nothing he will say against it AND why should he say something mean to you since you said something honestly nice to him? That way you take the wind out of his sails.
If you want to be respected, then respect others. If you want to be taken serious, then take others serious. When everyone is used to those “games” for a long time already and they happen reflexively, it might take a little. But it has an effect from the first moment on. When we keep up our changed attitude and react differently or don’t react at all a change will happen. The funny thing is that the other one might not even notice that the wind blows fchange.
If we notice people bothering us over and over again, it doesn’t make sense to act like they do and at the same time hope that they will stop their behavior. Either we tell them (as I said, often they don’t mean it because they didn’t notice that their behavior is offending) and/or we work the switches in sending out different signals. In the end, who is the winner? The one who adjusts the sails or the one who blows into them?
In Love and Light