b. Speak with kind words . There is almost always a kind way to say something. This can be the difference between hurting someone’s feelings and making an insightful observation. If you tend to be hurtful or angry in your words, especially during disagreements, get into the practice of using kind words instead. For example, instead of saying, “You never pay at restaurants when we eat together,” say, “I got the last meal, would you like to get this one?” Using “I” instead of “you” statements when you talk to other people is more respectful and helps to communicate your perspective without making people defensive. Avoid putting someone down, speaking down to them, insulting them, and calling them names. If your discussion is at this point, it’s unlikely you’re treating them with respect. Take a break. c. Apologize when you make mistakes . If you mess up, own it. It’s normal to make mistakes, but it’s important to acknowledge your mistakes and how they impact others. When you make an apology, show that you are remorseful and know that you made a mistake. If possible, make amends. Try saying something
like, “I am sorry I raised my voice at you. That was rude and disrespectful. In the future, I will do my best to speak calmly to you.” 10. Acting Respectfully . a. Respect a person’s boundaries . Pressuring someone to do something is not respectful. If someone sets a boundary, don’t try to see how far you can push it or if you can get them to break it. Respect their boundaries and leave it at that. For example, if someone is a vegan, don’t offer them meat. If someone practices a different spiritual path than you, don’t poke fun of them or tell them that they are following something untrue or wrong. b. Be trustworthy . When someone puts their trust in you, show them that you are worthy to be trusted. For example, if someone asks you to keep a secret, be true to your word. Don’t betray their trust by telling someone else, especially if the people know each other. Keep your word when you do or say something. People will know you are someone they can trust. c. Avoid discussing gossip or hearsay . Talking about someone behind their back or in gossip is unkind and not respectful. The person has no opportunity to defend themselves or make their case, yet others are free to judge them. When talking about other people, be sure not to gossip or spread harmful information. For example, if someone else is talking about gossip, say, “I’d rather not talk about Lexi when she’s not here. That doesn’t seem fair to her.” d. Treat all people with respect . Whether someone comes from a different race, religion, gender, country of origin, or part of town from you, treat each person in life fairly and equally. If you notice yourself treating someone who is different from you unfairly, make an effort to be fair in your interactions. If the person feels foreign to you, make an extra effort to get to know them and relate to them on some level. For example, find something you relate on such as sports, reading, television, painting, having children, growing up in a big family, etc. 11. Concl .
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- Fall '09
- Laurence Stone