R E S P E C T !
Written By: Mark Smith
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"Truly powerful people don't explain why they want respect. They simply don't engage someone who doesn't give it to them." Sherry Argov
"If your spouse shows you a great deal of disrespect, then the problem lays much more with you then it does with them." Mark Smith, LCSW
"I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect." Edward Gibbon
Everybody wants a little respect. The respect that you get is the respect that you have earned, no more, no less. So much of my work with couples has to do with respect and disrespect. Wives haul their naughty husbands down to the chief respect policeman to get his attitude adjusted. Ironically, when such a couple arrives at my office it is actually the wife's righteous indignation that takes a trip to the woodshed. In marriage we always get what we sign on for. It is always fair. There are no victims in marriage. It is all good. Your spouse's disrespectful and hurtful behavior IS your therapy. They are Mother Nature's representative in provoking you to work on your unresolved issues from your childhood.
Anyone who disrespects you is a gift! They are your teacher. You have an opportunity to get healthier and better through your interactions with that person or you have an opportunity to become bitter and victimy. The most powerful tools in dealing with arrogant, disrespectful, intrusive, narrow minded, controlling, think they are always right, critical people is your two feet. Walk away. Walk away not matter what the costs. Your dignity isn't worth whatever financial provision your disrespectful, mocking spouse affords you with. You are wasting your time trying to argue with someone like that. Please don't drag them into therapy for me to argue with them either. I'm a pretty darn good influencer of people, but these guys take way too much energy and most of the time even when they get my very best screaming fastball just under their chins they don't learn a darn thing. Notice that I didn't say divorce them. I said walk away. Protect your space and your sanity. Arrogant disrespectful people need to first be humbled and broken before it is safe or wise to interact with them. We are a big believer in Separation. It is the biggest tool in the toolbox when it comes to offering powerful boundaries that just might wake your unteachable or addicted or out of control spouse up enough to smell the coffee.
If you have enough fire in your belly and you are tired of being ridiculously disrespected by your partner then you must read 'Should I Stay or Should I Go - How a Controlled Separation Can SAVE Your Marriage." It will teach you how to vote powerfully with your feet in a controlled manner that is designed to be an intervention for your unworkable spouse. It is a great book and we have seen the principles it promotes save many marriage that otherwise would not have been saved. If you don't have enough fire in your belly then you need to get to work on your Recovery Process by getting to both individual and group therapy for being too insecure, too dependent, too other centered and too passive. You can remake your whole life if you can tap into the fire in your belly and you learn how to pleasantly set boundaries with anyone who makes the bad mistake of disrespecting you.
I don't get a whole lot of respect on the basketball court these days.
I'm almost 52 and I play ball with a bunch of late 20's early 30's guys. And I've had some injuries including a recent broken rib. So when myself and my even older and slower buddy Lenny squared off on Wednesday with about 1.50 good players on our team matching up against 4 of the most athletic and talented young players in the gym the unofficial Las Vegas odds had us losing 25 to about 7 in about 8 minutes. But something strange happened. When the young studs saw the old geezers hit the court they throttled down their intensity. I hit three out of four three pointers, we played tenacious defense and we whipped their disrespectful little butts right off the court. That was fun! Respect is earned. You can't just show up and expect to have it just handed to you. David took Goliath down because Goliath disrespected his opponent.
On a website about Emotional Intelligence Disrespect was described as occurring when... eqi.org
We are forced
We are ignored
We are threatened
We feel imposed upon
We feel intruded upon
We feel judged or rejected
We are not listened to
We are lied to
We are lied about
We are not given reasonable explanations
We are not asked for our opinions
We are invalidated
We are interrupted
We are laughed at
We are not cared about
We are mocked
We are stereotyped
We are underestimated
We are not taken seriously
Our feelings are not taken seriously
Our preferences are not taken seriously
Our dreams are not taken seriously
Our ideas are not taken seriously
Our needs are not acknowledged
Our questions are not taken seriously
Our questions are not answered
We are told that we wouldn't be able to to understand
We are not asked for our ideas
Others make decisions about us without our input
Others do not try to understand us
Others make assumptions about us
We are not asked what we think we need
Others tell us what they think we need.
We are not asked how we feel
Others believe they know what is best for us
Others believe they know us better than we know ourselves
Our way of doing things is not accepted
Our privacy is invaded or denied
We feel betrayed
We feel controlled.
Wow! I got pissed off just reading that list! You don't have to settle for being treated that way. You are in control of your life. You can re-make your whole world. It just takes having enough respect for yourself that you refuse to allow yourself to be treated in any of the ways described above. You are not a victim. You picked people to treat you poorly in order to re-enact the wounding of your childhood. Life can be so much better for you. A woman who started therapy four years ago had an alcoholic husband, undisciplined kids, an intrusive mother, a nightmare, an old not so nice house and a gun safe as big as a refrigerator parked right next to her bed. After several years of getting her belly filled with the fires of healthy entitlement, high self-esteem, assertiveness, insight into people, the ability to set and maintain boundaries this woman very pleasantly transformed her life into one in which her husband got treatment for his alcoholism and he hasn't had a drop of alcohol since, her kids received attitude adjustments and healthy boundaries with consequences, her mother got confronted, her boss got replaced, the gun safe was hauled out, the whole house was remodeled and was on the market the last I heard to be exchanged for a nicer place that better met the needs of the family. This woman rocked! But she learned in all in therapy as she thought more highly of herself and demanded that everyone in her life give her the respect that she rightly afforded herself! Don't let anyone mess with you. You can be-build your world if you love and respect yourself enough!
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