Back To CourseCounseling 101: Help and Review
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Karin has taught middle and high school Health and has a master's degree in social work.
The definition of disrespect is, often, a lack of respect. So what is respect? Respect is defined by most dictionaries as a deep admiration for someone, but the concept of respect encompasses so much more that admiration. The essence of respect entails honoring a person's feelings and needs; it also involves taking into consideration and assigning importance to a person's desires, goals, thoughts, and behaviors. So disrespect would be the exact opposite of this.
Signs of disrespect can sometimes be evident on the first date but many times don't occur until later on in the relationship. We will look at seven signs of disrespect using fictional characters and scenarios.
1.) The first sign is often a lack of regard for the other's freedom and space. After a year of dating in college, Emmy would get angry with Tom when he would spend time with his guy friends or if he was too busy to spend time with her because of school work.
2.) Another sign is a lack of respect for the other's time. Antonio consistently made his wife, Maya, late for important events, like weddings or graduation ceremonies, where it was very important to be on time. Even though Maya discussed with Antonio her desire and need to be on time, he continuously displayed a lack of regard for his wife's need.
3.) A third sign is a lack of attentiveness to the other's need for safety. Bill took Victoria for a ride on his new motorcycle on their second date. He started popping wheelies while driving at a dangerously fast speed around corners which made Victoria very uncomfortable. She continuously pleaded for Bill to stop and slow down, but he kept on.
4.) Fourth is a lack of consideration of boundaries. After three years into the relationship with Dustin, Beth looked through his phone and bedside table drawer almost on a daily basis. When Dustin looked like he was in deep thought, Beth insisted he tell her what he was thinking. Beth did not respect Dustin's right to privacy, to have his own things, even the right to not always have to share his thoughts.
5.) A need to always be right is another sign of disrespect. Harold had a large ego due to deep-seated insecurities and low self-esteem. When Harold and Martha were dating, he would not allow her to win an argument. Even if he was wrong, he would never admit he was wrong and apologize.
6.) Disrespect can also be exhibited through defensiveness. Cliff and Amy had developed a close and intimate relationship while dating, but when Cliff would attempt to give Amy constructive criticism, she would always look at it as an insult and get defensive and angry.
7.) Lastly is disrespecting need for financial security. Gerald and Lauren worked paycheck to paycheck and had established a strict budget to make sure that they were financially secure. Gerald had a shopping problem and would always buy superfluous items at the wholesale grocery. He also gambled their money playing cards with his friends, and this made Lauren very nervous.
Let's look at nine behaviors that can be considered disrespectful in relationships and marriage:
1.) First is manipulation. Susie would often fake cry to get her way with her boyfriend, Jim. Her crying was a tactic of manipulation and was a deceitful tactic that constantly made Jim feel terrible because he felt like he had upset her.
2.) Another disrepectful behavior involves minimizing feelings. Emily would tell her boyfriend Gunther about struggles with her mother, but he would say that she was overreacting and would minimize her feelings.
3.) A third behavior involves nagging and criticism. Kristine liked her home a certain way and had a stay-at-home mom routine that she swore by, so when her husband Chris diverted from her standards, she was constantly nagging him. Kristine was not respecting Chris' way of doing things. When nagging turns into criticism of the other's character and personality (instead of just focusing on the behavior), this is considered disrespectful behavior as well.
4.) Stonewalling is another disrespectful behavior. When Ryan and Angela started arguing, Ryan would leave the home or lock himself in their bedroom, leaving Angela devastated and unable to try and resolve the problem with him. Ryan would continue ignoring Angela for hours, sometimes even days.
5.) A fifth behavior demonstrating disrespect is lying. Natalie lost her job and was supposed to be applying for jobs during the day. When her husband returned home from work, she would lie and say she had been looking for jobs when she was really watching television all day, even though they were struggling financially.
6.) Next we'll look at put downs. When Jason and Amanda were around mutual friends, Jason would frequently put down Amanda, saying that she was a terrible cook and housekeeper because he thought he was being funny. This left Amanda feeling completely embarrassed and ashamed.
7.) Pressuring the other person in the relationship is another sign of disrespect. Sasha made it clear that she genuinely disliked seafood, but Sebastian kept pushing it on her in front of friends and family. He would always pressure her to try things in front of friends, making Sasha very uncomfortable.
8.) Disrespect is also evident where there are threats to end the relationship or marriage. William absolutely loved his girlfriend, Kim, but whenever they fought, she would threaten to leave him, making him very insecure in the relationship.
9.) Lastly, disloyalty demonstrates a lack of respect. Diana was going through postpartum depression and wanted to keep her emotional struggles and battles between her and her husband Matt. Matt divulged Diana's troubles and secrets to their mutual friends without her consent.
The following disrespectful behaviors could be considered deal breakers in relationships because they can be so devastating and harmful that they can cause a relationship or marriage to crumble and fail. Often they occur when there is evident contempt of one partner or between both partners in a relationship, such as hate or feeling the other is unworthy or beneath themselves. These deal breakers include:
Disrespect is a lack of admiration for someone that results in lack of consideration of that person's feelings, needs, desires, independence, and goals in life. Some signs of disrespect are a lack of regard for the other's freedom and space, lack of respect for the other's time, lack of regard for the other's need for safety and security, lack of consideration of boundaries, a need to always be right, defensiveness, disrespecting a need for financial security, manipulation, and minimizing.
Some behaviors of disrespect in relationships include nagging, criticism, stonewalling, lying, put downs, pressuring the other, disloyalty, and threats to end the relationship or marriage. Some deal breakers and more severe disrespectful behaviors include physical and emotional and verbal abuse, infidelity, and forcing physical intimacy or sex.
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Back To CourseCounseling 101: Help and Review
12 chapters | 113 lessons