- My son never reads them
- No one my son knows reads them
This is lucky because I am going to use him and a friend as an example today – and no, not in a mean mommy kind of way.
I guess some things I have said over the years actually took root in him as was demonstrated recently.
When he was growing up I rarely used the phrase, “Because I said so.” Good or bad I have always been a pretty transparent person. Ask me why and I will give you a reason.
A good example would be when he was younger and wanted to attend some event during a school night. He would ask me “Why can’t I go?”
To which I was honest and told him, “Because you have school tomorrow, you aren’t a morning person anyway and I don’t want to deal with you getting even less sleep and being an even bigger butthead in the morning.”
Neither my son or I are morning people. Ever. Period. This is something he could immediately understand, identify with and acknowledge as true. I wasn’t being mean; I was explaining it to him in a way that he understood.
Of course I would pull out the “Because I am your mother and I said so” card. It never went well. He is a born arguer (I don’t know where he gets it) and the result of that discussion would normally end with me saying something to the effect of, “You don’t have to like it, you don’t have to like me or even respect me; however, as long as you are in my home you will respect the fact that I am your mother, my house, my rules and believe it or not what I allow and not allow are all centered on what I feel is best for you as your mother.”
I think I might have thrown in a “suck it up” or “get over it” in there now and then, I can’t quite remember, but I am pretty sure I did.
Needless to say, during his young years he did not respect me and I’m pretty such not like me much of the time. But he did respect that I was his mom. He understood that sometimes you must respect a person’s position, even if you do not like the person.
I also taught him that he has to earn respect just like everyone else in the world. If he were going to respect me as an individual then it will be because I earned it in his eyes.
He does respect me now; even during the times that we are gasoline and fire.
The point of all this is the matter of respect – it is not a given, and you don’t get it because you demand it.
I know he learned this lesson because of what he told me the other day.
He was seeing a young lady (is that an old fashion term? Whatever, I’m from “back in the day” as he would say) and they seemed to be getting along nicely. Here is the thing about my son; if he is interested in someone he treats them well. Respectful, communicative, polite and like a gentleman.
They had been communicating regularly (meaning texting all the dang time, spending time together) and one night she text him late in the evening/early morning telling him her phone had died that is why she hadn’t text back. He replied something like Ok, no problem. So a few hours later she text him again and told him that it wasn’t going to work because he wasn’t texting her back.
Oh, the joys of young dating. I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with that crap at my age!
He simply replied, again, Ok.
That was that.
You see, when she behaved in a manner of respect for herself and knowing she deserved respect he was happy to oblige. However, the moment she moved over to the demanding side of respect, well, he was done.
Now, while I use my 20 year old as an example, the funny thing is I see this all too often in the business world.
“You must respect me because I demand it.”
Yeah, not so much.
I find those that demand respect actually have very little for themselves, or anyone else. They also tend to be insecure about who they are, what they can do and what they want and why. It is easy to spot and easier still to lose respect for them.
People respect you because you respect yourself and you behave in a respectful manner to yourself and others. Very simple formula.
You respect yourself because you deserve it. You know who you are, what is important to you, you like yourself and you give to others in a non-expectant way.
Holding this mind frame brings you confidence and not in a cocky sort of way. It draws people to you, allows opportunities to arise for you and brings you happiness, joy and satisfaction.
It is the same attitude that you should adopt when interviewing for a job.
Not once have I ever interviewed a person and given them an opportunity because they demanded it of me. The ones that do get the opportunities are the ones that want it, can demonstrate their ability and are looking for the opportunity to prove themselves.
Walk in with the attitude that you are the best thing since sliced bread and they owe it to you to give you the job and you can forget about being offered the position.
However, walk in with the confidence that you are right for the job, are willing to prove yourself and earn their respect and it will open the doors to that opportunity.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW