Respect

I had an experience the other night that reminded me of how I wanted to write about the importance of how we speak to each other. I am trying to collect my thoughts enough so as to actually make sense, as opposed to sounding like a rambling crazy person (which I know can happen easily with me).

I suppose I should start with what brought this to mind. I was conversing with a friend whose views differ greatly from mine. I have known for a couple of years that she wants to go to school for acupuncture and have therefor avoided volunteering my views (which are that it is not a thing). She asked me straight out what I thought the other night, so I answered. I was then laughed at for not believing in acupuncture or in qi energy. I have no problems with people I know believing things that differ from my beliefs. I hope to not be so derisive as to laugh at someone, no matter how ridiculous I consider the particular opinion. I think treating people with respect is important.

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Now, to explore why….

Hmmm….Obviously treating people poorly will drive them away. Most folks do not enjoy being laughed at/condescended to/yelled at or any of the other disrespectful ways we treat people when we argue and debate. Driving away people that do not agree with you on a wide variety of topics would severely limit one’s social life. Pick the deal breakers. Though I would argue that even then being respectful is more productive.

Another big reason for me is that I am perfectly agreeable to the possibility of changing my mind. I almost always do research and check things out on my own after a conversation where someone disagrees with my information and I love it when that leads to my mind being changed, or at least to learning something new. Once someone is mean about it though, I stop listening. I want information! Pease do not give me an off topic reason to not be receptive to said information.

I guess these two are the biggest immediate thoughts in regards to personal discussions. Am I missing a big obvious thing? Or even, do you think positive results can come of negative conversations?

I have all sorts of other opinions about public discussions and debates, but I will save that for another time. At this time I am simply reminding myself to be kind in my personal connections.

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5 thoughts on “Respect

  1. I wish more people would have an open mind about discussing differing opinions and respectfully allow others to talk about things they didn’t agree with…it’s becoming a rare thing to find.

  2. I think people laugh or become condescending when they feel you are threatening their beliefs. Of course, to me the idea of holding a belief that can be threatened by questions or logic means the belief is probably one that needs to be rethought, if not abandoned.

    Next time that happens, trump their condescension by reaching out and patting them on the head and saying, “Oh you poor thing, didn’t anyone tell you, magic isn’t real.” Then back away from the face-slap. =)

    • If only I was that quick in the moment! I never am. I also think defending one’s beliefs in the way the world works is a very human way of being, and one has to work at being willing to rethink. That being said, I do wish more people would work at it.

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