I’m increasingly coming across preachy people. Whether it be the food I eat, what type of exercise I do, what religion I am, the fact that I drive rather than use public transportation, etc, someone has something to say about it.
I decided a post about tolerance and diversity was needed.
Here are nine things to ask yourself if you’re not sure if you are respecting other people:
1. Are you about to name call? Lazy, murderer, evil/heathen, immoral, crazy, etc, are all about hurting a person who is different than you.
2. Do you believe your perception to be someone else’s reality? Are you about to force your belief on someone else?
3. Do you think yourself to be the only person who researches before making life changes?
4. Are you are attempting to convert your “friend”? If so, you care more about the cause than accepting your loved ones for who they are.
5. Do you celebrate their diversity or want them to be more like you?
6. Do you think it is it possible that every human being has different needs from your own?
7. Is this cause the major thing that defines you as a person?
8. Are you about to attack someone’s integrity or self-esteem? Attacking someone else’s work ethic, intelligence, morals, etc is harmful to them and you.
9. Could your behaviour be considered harassment? Assault? Abuse?
What can you do if you have trouble respecting others?
1. Refrain from name calling altogether. It’s never good.
2. Talk to someone else about how they see something. Learning another side is the difference between a 2 dimensional drawing and the 3 dimensional object. Keep collecting perspectives and before you know it, you can’t just see all the sides, but you know the how it feels, smells, tastes, sounds and how much it weighs.
3. The Internet is at nearly everyone’s fingertips. We all have life experiences. If you were the only one who knew things, there wouldn’t be so many books and articles on every subject. Read more, especially views that are contradictory to your own. Don’t read them to prove them wrong, but to truly understand how others feel.
4. You may want to consider getting new friends and letting some friendships die. If you can’t accept your friends for who they are, you’ll just cause them pain.
5. It’s okay to want your friends to have something in common with you. It’s not okay to try to change them or for you to try and become them. Learning about healthy boundaries is important.
6. Food sensitivities/allergies, medical conditions, finances, legal issues, sexuality, etc. Every choice we make relates to our needs. Each person is at a different place on Maslow’s Hierarchy. For some, Wi-Fi is necessary. Others struggle to have adequate did, clothing, and shelter. Perhaps volunteer work will help you see how some others live and dispel myths.
7. People who have only one passion in life are living with blinders on. It’s good to be focused, but many of the most successful people have a wide variety of interests and good prioritization skills. Stephen King isn’t a good writer simply because he gets his butt in the chair. That’s certainly important. And while he’s there he avoids all distractions. The thing is that living a full life expands our toolset. King has done a wide variety of things. He brings it all to his writing. So take classes, learn an instrument, take up art, learn to knit. It really doesn’t matter what. Keep trying new things as being well rounded improves the ability to relate to and respect others.
8. Read Nathaniel Branden’s Six Pillars of Self-Esteem.
9. Are you following someone on the Internet or in real life after they cut contact with you? This is stalking. Are you causing them physical or emotional harm? Seek counseling.
I hope these were helpful. Please let me know in the comments or if you have items to add to this list.