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10 Reasons to Respect Our Elders

10 Reasons to Respect Our Elders

There are many ways which different cultures interact generationally. In traditional China, Confucian law encourages an utmost respect for the family unit, and innate value for its older members. And although times are changing, so too do Japan and Korea celebrate the ages of the old. Latin cultures have a similar respect traditionally with their elders, as do many native tribes. Western culture however, contemporary as it prides itself to be, holds a far more youth-centric outlook. This is a concern, as statistics are showing levels of depression and anxiety have skyrocketed due to a decrease in value once we reach a certain age.

Here are a few things we could take note of in order to perhaps incorporate a few positive ideas about our older peers.

They have lived longer than us

Well this we know, obviously. But when we truly stop to think about it and walk just a little way in their shoes, it commands respect. Life is hard! Have patience and consideration for the time they have spent on this earth.

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They might know more than you think

If you haven’t already found things to talk to your grandparents, or your neighbour about, ask them questions. Respect the worlds they lived through, the parts of history they survived. They have a lifetime of knowledge.

They have experience different things to us

The world was a different place ‘back in the day’. Evolution is happening fast, and we all know that different kinds of experience means different kinds of wisdom. Compare your differences, consult them, consider them. You might learn something you never could have learned from your own world.

They see the world in a different way

Through the experiences of their own lives and through the time they have spent on this earth, they will see the world from their own perspective. They might assign themselves differently to the way they walk and talk and dress. Take note. It might just broaden your horizons.

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They have walked a mile in your shoes

The advantage anybody older than yourself has, is that they have lived at the age that you have before. Although every situation is different, they do know what it is like to be where you are, or at least, at the age you are at. Unfortunately you cannot say the same about them, so have respect and listen to what they have to say.

They are more travel weary

Who knows what countries they have trailed though, what mountains they have climbed to get where they are! They might be tired – offer them a seat!

They have experience we can only dream of

The world is a different place now. The world they lived in will also never exist again as it once did. We will never know what it was like then, before things changed and became now. We can only dream of what it was like to dance in the disco era, or experience war. They lived it. Show respect for the history they have survived.

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They will have stories that can benefit us

Everybody has a story to tell. Everyone. These are the stories of our lives, the tales of us. Don’t just roll your eyes when your grandma or grandpa tells you ‘again’ about the good old days … relish in a story that might influence your own.

They are still learning from us too

As we are alive, we are all still learning. They might be older, but they are learning too. Have patience.

They are our family

Your grandparents choices in life resulted in YOU! Be grateful. Look after each other. Love is the answer.

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“R.E.S.PE.C.T” – Aretha Franklin, mother and grandmother. x

Featured photo credit: Flickr via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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