The Definition of Respect ~ Do Disrespectful People deserve to be Respected?



psychological abuse
poster by Judy Baxter ~ quote by Darlene Ouimet

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. find out what it means to YOU………

A lot of my emotional healing grew out of realizing the truth about some of the concepts that I had been taught wrong. The people who were in a position of power in my life taught me a lot of false definitions of words like love, respect, relationship, trust, forgiveness and a few others. Growing up from so young with the false definitions I had been taught caused me to automatically accept them as the truth.

Yesterday on my previous post “how to recognize when your best interest are not being considered” when referring to her mother a commenter wrote “I am sure she thinks she deserves to be respected…” and it got me thinking about how much learning the truth about definitions of certain key words and concepts helped me in my process of overcoming depression, trauma and low self-esteem.

When I refer to a person in a position of power I am not just referring to our teachers, the police, or judges or government. I am also referring to “our elders” and our families. My parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles were all in a positions of power in my life. My in-laws were in a position of power in my marriage and in our lives.  All these people were in that power position because they were “the adults” and I was a child. In my childhood that meant that they were right and I was wrong. In my adulthood, this belief didn’t change because they never let it. In both cases (as a child and as an adult) this is called a dysfunctional relationship because the elders decide and communicate that not everyone in the relationship has equal value.

It was a huge part of my survival mode to go along with these false teachings and when I became an adult I still believed the false truth that they were right and I was wrong because I had never known anything different and I didn’t know what the real definition of respect was.

People are quick to tell us that we ‘should respect’ our parents. Our parents tell us that they should be respected. One time when I was in my thirties my mother referenced the bible to me saying “what happened to that bible verse that says ‘honour thy mother and thy father’?” This was her way of dictating to me that if I went against anything she wanted or whatever she said, that I was being disrespectful. But is that the truth? Is not doing what someone else wants or not agreeing with what they say the same as being disrespectful? Is standing up for yourself and your human rights a display of disrespect?

I get a lot of comments in this website about respect that communicate that most of us have accepted a false definition of the word respect when it comes to whoever we believe is in a position of authority or power oin our lives.

So what is respect?

Based on the following definition of respect, do you think that abusive controlling or manipulative parents should be automatically respected?

Do you think that parents who neglect their children or do not protect them from danger, or teach/communicate to them that whatever they are upset about or any wrong done to them, is something they brought on themselves?

  1. 1.    re·spect/ri?spekt/


A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.



Admire (someone or something) deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

Have you ever used or do you use the above definition of respect as a guideline to understanding what you are being accused of when you were being called “disrespectful”?

I did a search on respect your parents and what I ran across made me angry. Here is one of the top search results for my query;

“One of the “golden rules” that is usually taught in society is to respect your parents (as well as your elders). Although you may not like them, or what they do, you should always have respect for them. Think about it: they have to put up with you too on a daily basis! Everyone knows that sometimes they are hard to be around, but your parents love you and just want to raise you to be the best that you can be. The least you can do for them is to show them respect, which means listening when they are talking, not talking down to them, and not raising you voice to them, among many other things.”  

This is the kind of teaching I run into all the time. What the heck does this even mean? There are no “unless they are abusing you” parts to this teaching. This teaching assumes that the parents have the best interests of the child in mind. But what about when they DON’T. In this website we are usually talking about when they don’t have the adult child or the young child’s best interests in mind at all.

And another thing to consider; by this definition of respect in the above quote, what about when parents don’t listen to their children? What about when parents talk down to their children? What about when parents raise their voices to their children? Parents always seem to be exempt from these directives!

Children learn what is modeled to them by the adults in their lives. They learn from the people who have power in their lives. Children learn by example and the only way to teach respect is to BE respectful.

In the case of most of the people who read Emerging from Broken, the people who have been in power and authority in our lives, have misused their power. Do they still deserve respect?

Unless they acknowledge their disrespect and stop misusing their power, I don’t think so. I think that people who ARE respectful deserve to be respected. Respect is not an automatic or a ‘given’. Respect is earned by actions based in the true definition of love.

Please share your thoughts! I made huge leaps forward when I saw these word definitions through the grid of the truth about them verses the false ways that I had been taught about them. As always you privacy is important. Please feel free to use any name you wish in the comment form. Only the name you use will be seen by others so if you don’t want your real name or your last name published, don’t use it. Your email address will always be private.

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing


 For related posts please see the Mother Daughter Category, Father Daughter Category and the Family Category.

138 response to "The Definition of Respect ~ Do Disrespectful People deserve to be Respected?"

  1. By: Amber Posted: 16th July

    You too, Gee! Reading your post #100, I see some similarities with ” rules” in our childhood homes. I’m glad you kept your spirits up and didn’t let them break you. Keep going! 🙂

  2. By: Gee Posted: 16th July

    Good for you;) Stay strong!!

  3. By: Amber Posted: 16th July

    Hi Gee! I would consider myself a kind hearted and loving person, and as I said in my previous message, and have groveled for approval from people both as a child and adult. I am finally realizing asI go through this process that I can maintain being kindhearted and loving and also start setting boundaries. My thing always was that I would have to completely surrender myself and my needs in order to be liked by someone. This was the way I was trained by my mother, to mold myself exactly as she wanted me to be ( compliant, subservient, undemanding including not bothering her for my needs, quiet, agreeable etc.)she would only approve of me if I acted this way, reject me nastily if I didn’t, and I transferred this to the outside world as well. I found that I was giving myself up in exchange for having relationships with people. The was always that fear that if Zi didn’t give people all their wants and wishes that they would discard me. In the end, many used me and discarded me anyway. There was no respect. There was no love. And that is why, I will no longer grovel for love or approval.

  4. By: Gee Posted: 16th July

    I think this is a common way that kind-hearted, loving people deal
    with disrepect. It says alot about you AND them.

  5. By: Amber Posted: 16th July

    I have been thinking a lot about respect and disrespect. I realized a pattern that has existed from my childhood. If someone disrespected me, I would feel desperate for their approval. I would end up GROVELING for their approval and respect. This involved giving up a lot of ME and trying to be what I thought the other person wanted me to be, all in the name of getting their approval and love. Sometimes the person would relent and give me what appeared to be scraps of approval, but when I look back at it, they gave me just enough to get me on the hook and usually would end up using me and taking advantage of me. And I accepted it!! I accepted their small doggie bones feeling it was better than outright rejection! There was no respect coming from the other people in these scenarios. All I got was what appeared to be less disapproval ( but really wasn’t) and it certainly didn’t gain me any respect. I am currently focusing on the aspect of respect and this is a layer I peeled away in the process today. I will not grovel for anyone’s approval anymore. It doesn’t work, and furthermore, these people don’t deserve my respect to begin with. Just wondering if others on here coped with people and disrespect in this way.

  6. By: Gee Posted: 13th July

    I remember when I was around 16 yo, my dad and his wife made copies of Ann Landers “rules”
    and left it on our beds. They had highlighted parts and were SO PROUD of themselves. Like AHA!, got you sorry, disrespectful kids. The thing is, none of us were. We were too afraid to be. We were good kids. I never snuck out, hung with a bad crowd, or did drugs or alcohol. I went to work and school and made good grades. We all did. But we were never good enough to them. They both acted like we OWED them our very breath. Sure, we wouldn’t exist without them, but the way they feel is the exact opposite of how I feel about my child. None of us ASKED to be here. Why were some of us expected to be grateful to our makers? I love being alive, and I would probably be thankful to them if I wasn’t actually expected to be.
    #7 on that list really, really burned me then and it burns me now. “Your parents were interesting people until YOU came along”. How awful a sentence!! It’s their own dang fault if they became boring. My child ENRICHES my life!! I get to relive childhood because of him. I catch insects and lizards for him. We play games. We go to the parks. I go down waterslides again and rollercoasters and he’s only 3 FEET TALL! The future is bright!
    Another set of “rules” that upset me as a child was “children learn what they live”
    Reading this really hit me hard as a child, but I was determined not to let it define me. I had to hide my spirit and much of it was broken, but I kept enough of it to say NO to letting my abusers ruin me. I wouldn’t believe I wasn’t worthy of love and that I was a bad child. I always believed that they were unworthy and I could not WAIT to grow up and get out. I hope my son has the same power. He won’t ever need to use it against me, but life can be cruel even WITH a mother’s love.

  7. By: christa Posted: 22nd April

    This is eveything my frusterated mind and heart has wanted to say but never could find the words. So right. God bless you and your writing gifts

  8. By: Dean Rockford Posted: 28th January

    I am soo glad that i read this. It’s like taking a load out of my mind. It’s indeed inspiring and admirable. Thank you soo much for sharing your experience. I, would too like to share some of mine, no offense intended. This is just a small portion of my experience through out my child-teenage years. When i was young, i had a ROUGH childhood. My father, very strict and abusive(both physically and verbally) yet a highly respectable man; hot-headed and single-sided judgement(according to my experience) are the worst traits of his. He is very punctual and disciplined, yes a great quality for boy-scouts and eye-witness but a sucky quality for a dad. I,however, still love him deeply yet fear him terribly at the same time. He taught me RESPECT(more like he bought mine, never truly earned it). My mom, on the other hand, is the most wonderful woman i’ve ever known, very kind and a sweetheart. She helped me soo much through my rough years, always been there on my side, my best inspiration. My love and RESPECT for her is pure and sincere. My loyalty towards her sees no boundaries. OKAY! Enough of those mushy stuffs(LOL!). The thing was that i was abused both verbally and physically by my father to the point, i was terrorized with those sicken memories. It ruined a decade of my life and not to mention that my mother suffered the same fate but she somehow survived through it. My memories, especially the negative ones hurted me mentally, affected my daily life. Still does. Whenever, i tried to reason with my dad about something i didn’t do or didn’t understand or even too late to realize; he would shut me down or beat me black’n’blue. One word, PERFECTIONIST, Confirming his superiority and dominance to the point i was too terrified to even stand up for myself and my human rights as YOU mentioned before. It went for a decade, too scarred to even share it with someone,To the point i developed O.C.D with anxiety neurosis which sometimes relates to panic attacks according to my doctor. Until i can’t justify the negative action which was beheld upon me, i can’t forgive and forget; the point it that i can’t MOVE ON. Though i am very kind to my youngers but deep inside It still felt like empty(because of those memories) it made me a colder person… even though i desire soo much of social interaction without fear. I was stuck in the rules of society, pressurised critically and still had to compete all along with my disorders. Freedom felt like a distant memory back then. Living felt like a curse, Dying felt like being cleansed from those terrible memories and nightmares. I guess i was slowly loosing my mind, to be able to be reasoned with and the love of my mother; only kept me sane… barely. Sometimes I felt like there was a burst of outrageuos ANGER building inside of me, felt like i could just EXPLODE any moment but somehow held back each time… which in all honesty, SCARED ME too. Now as an Adult, People say that i am very smart and mysterious(few of them says they find it attractive by which i have no clue off {LOL!} ) and mostly keep to myself. My ex’es says to say that i am very intelligent and level-headed to the point i can even convince them that the sky is red(just an example), not that i take any pleasure in those traits. People judge me as a wonderful person, they say that i have soo much love to give because my kindness and generousity because my behaviour towards both my elders and youngers. I could achieve almost anything. But that is just a face i wear because sometimes i wonder those empty feelings someday could turn out to be be real. I desire it wholeheartedly. Now, nothing satisfies me, i am mostly depressed and would rather be alone( although i crave human interaction soo much). Because of those hurtful memories which still torments me to this very day. My mom doesn’t understand what O.C.D is like and i don’t try that hard to make her understand, because she suffured enough. I DID tried to enplain it to other people indirectly, but they simple say it was just ‘BAD LUCK’. Ignorant Idiots but it’s not their fault because they haven’t been through it and yes i am rationalizing myself and i do forgive them though. I love kids, it’s feels like i can be myself when i am with them. Now, It got worse lately, i even can’t speak normally to a person without having clonazapam in my system; which makes me feel so ashamed and depressed altogether…. and ANGRY. (sigh) I have a dream, a dream, to be FREE for REAL from all this terrible nightmares and memories, to have a LIFE. A REAL ONE. To be finally be able to MOVE ON. I sincerely, await for your reply and deeply apologize if i said anything offending. With best wishes and regards, Dean Rockford.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th January

      Hi Dean
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
      I understand and you will find understanding here from others as well. I hope you will read some of the other posts, (there are over 400 articles all with discussions ~ you can use the category buttons to navigate the topics you are most interested in.) there is so much information here and clarity comes with a little time. There is hope! I have written in this site almost everything about what happened to me and how I overcame it.
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: EM Posted: 30th October

    Thank-you for doing this site – emerging from broken, Darlene. A friend just sent me your link and I have gone through a bit of it… It brought back a lot of my own memories.

    I don’t know if this might be too long, but I thought I would share some of my experience…

    While I was growing up, I was wrongly used in a lot of ways… When I was in my 40’s I was blessed to go through a Christian Battered Women’s Shelter – and when I was asked what kind of abuse I had experienced: Physical, emotional,mental, spiritual, sexual… I said I remembered experiencing all of them… The women volunteers and counselors there helped me a lot.

    My mind was fragmented and it has taken a lot of work and a lot of healing to bring me to the place I am now (and I don’t know that I am completely finished, but I have come a really long way)but sharing a few highlights of my experience might be a blessing… 😉

    I wanted to be a Christian from the time I was very young, and I believe I was, as far as I understood. When I got to be a young teenager, I never seemed to be able to live up to the standard I knew to be right… And although I chose over and over to do what I knew was right, I didn’t have any security inside that I could be accepted by God for any length of time… I got very discouraged because I saw my faults very clearly – I had my mother’s faults and my father’s faults – and a few of my own, too. If my parents hadn’t overcome their faults, as old as they were and as much longer as they had been Christians, how could I ever hope to overcome my faults?

    I remember how upset I was when I was yelled at as a teenager and threatened that if I didn’t treat my dad with proper respect, he would disown me… He had yelled at me and called me names and falsely accused me of things for years, but that threat scared me. My dad already treated me as though I wasn’t valuable enough for him to love – even though he said he loved me. I thought that a person had to earn respect, and he didn’t treat me with respect, so how could I treat him with respect? I got married soon after that.

    When I was in my 20’s, after being divorced from my first husband, I knew that the Spirit was working with my heart… the only emotion I could label that I experienced was anger… besides the peace and love that I felt in the presence of God when I surrendered my life to Him and spent my quiet times with Him first thing in the morning. I felt bereft when I lost His presence, because I think it was the only time I ever really ‘felt loved.’

    I went through a Battered Women’s Shelter in my late 20’s after leaving an abusive husband, and started working on some of the sexual abuse issues from my childhood, and some of the physical abuse issues from the marriage I had to leave and find a safe place for me and my son. I was a single parent for years after that…

    When I was in my 30’s, I was in my quiet time with our Heavenly Father and He was bringing my heart to the 5th commandment – ‘Honor your father…’ I realized that I was violating it, so I asked our Heavenly Father how to do that. He gave me to understand in my spirit that I was to live in such a way that ‘good people’ (who knew God’s ways) would see the way I lived my life and assume that I was ‘raised right.’ In other words, honoring my Heavenly Father by obeying His commandment to honor my earthly father was a whole lot bigger than whether or not I believed my earthly dad deserved my respect.

    During that time in my life, I was still trying to get my dad to acknowledge that he had treated me wrongly as a child. When I was a teenager, I had told someone about the abuse I experienced, and when they confronted him, he said that he didn’t understand why I would lie about him that way. My dad didn’t acknowledge what he did to me, and that he had lied about me to the one who confronted him until I was in my late 30’s. So my whole family thought I lied about him and I had no trust or credibility with them for years… I felt like an orphan, and I guess I was emotionally. For whatever reason, I thought that if I could get him to acknowledge his sin, everything would be ok.

    My dad finally acknowledged that he did it, and then said it was because I wasn’t loving him the way a daughter ought to love her father! However, when he finally said he shouldn’t have done it, he blamed others for giving him the idea, and he blamed me for telling people who then thought less of him for it. However, if he would have simply acknowledged his sin and asked for forgiveness without blaming it on something or someone else, things would have gone easier for him…

    When I was in my 30’s, I was challenged to put away all my preconceived ideas and everything I had ever been taught, and read the Bible from cover to cover, asking God to teach me. I was afraid to do this because my security was in the people in my church and what they taught about the Scriptures, but I prayed and asked God to teach me. His presence was with me, as it was in my quiet times when I was in my 20’s. While reading in the first 5 books of the Bible, I realized that God did not condone what was done to me in His name – by people in positions of authority – in fact, it was forbidden and the death penalty was attached to it if someone was actually found doing it! These men with ‘positions in the church’ that abused me would not have continued to abuse others… This made it a lot easier for me to trust His love… He didn’t want me to go through that! More healing came with that experience – although I was in a very dysfunctional marriage at the time…

    When I was in my 40’s, almost two years before I went to a BWS mentioned above, I spent time with my dad’s extended family again at a funeral. It had been years since I had been with anyone on my dad’s side of the family for any length of time. One of my uncles complained about being treated like a child by others in the family (he was the youngest brother – but clearly an adult in his 50’s). Women weren’t valued very much in that family, or treated much better than children. A light went on for me at the time, because children in that family weren’t treated with respect as though they were valuable. To me, the realization was that children shouldn’t be treated the way our family treated children. And I grieved, because although I had changed some things in the way I had treated my son, I am sure that he felt the same sorts of things I did growing up in a dysfunctional family that had to pretend everything was ok when we might be hurting, and even lie about what was going on with them. I fully related to the idea of trying to figure out what someone might want to hear because what I thought or felt wasn’t safe to recognize or acknowledge – even to myself!

    I remember one time during that visit when my dad decided to tell me all of the things that were wrong with me. He began recounting everything I had done in my whole lifetime that had caused him problems. This was the first time I had seen him in 5 years! – I told my dad that I cared about what he had to say, but I couldn’t listen to him talk to me that way. When he was ready to speak to me respectfully, I would be ready to listen to him… And I walked away!

    In the last 10 years, after my dad had seen me go through several abusive marriages, he finally apologized for the way that he raised me. After my mom died a little more than 5 years ago, he softened quite a bit more. He has asked me to forgive him for not talking to me about my good points when I was younger – he said that they (his generation) were taught that it would spoil a child to tell them that! (I had overheard him bragging on me when I was a teenager, and thought he must be so ashamed of me that he made up stories to tell others about my positive points – because I had never heard him tell me about them. I didn’t believe I had any – and the one that I could manage – making pretty good grades – was never good enough if it wasn’t 100% at the top of the paper!)

    My relationship with my dad now is primarily very loving and respectful. On rare occasions my dad might go into one of those unseemly communications, and he has mellowed enough that I could say to him, ‘Daddy, where do you think I might have learned to treat you with proper love and respect? I didn’t see you and mom treating each other that way.’ And he would acknowledge this was true. Then he might go on about my mom, and I would ask him, ‘Where do you think she would have learned to treat someone with proper love and respect? She saw her dad beat her mom bloody and they divorced when she was young…’ And he would acknowledge that was true. If he continues negative, I might put my arm up on his shoulder and tell him that I’d like us to start thinking about how much better time we will have treating each other with love and respect in the future, and bring the focus to something positive – like the way he provided so many good books for me to read while I was growing up.

    I remember the first time I tried to reason with my dad on his complaints about me almost 5 years ago when I had worked things through in my heart, forgiven him as far as I understood how, and didn’t take his issues personally any more. I pointed out to him that if he expected me to treat him in a way I didn’t see modeled in our house, where could I have learned it? He said that I was an analytical thinker and he had never thought of that before and thanked me for pointing it out – and then he apologized that he didn’t treat me with the kind of love that children need… And he didn’t excuse himself for it or blame anyone else!

    Now I am in my 50’s and live near my dad instead of across the country. On occasion he goes back into his unreasonable communication to try to put me on guilt trips for things I cannot change and be true to what our Heavenly Father has put in my heart to do. And every once in a while when I try to reason with him, he isn’t being reasonable… My husband [our Heavenly Father has brought me a precious husband now who treats me with Scriptural honor and love] might put his hand gently on my leg and let me know that my dad can’t hear me right now, so just wait until he is reasonable again… 😉 There are times when I need a bit of space and I talk with our Heavenly Father about the situation… By His grace, I have been talking to my dad respectfully and telling him the truth in love now for many years, and it seems that he has been talking to me much more respectfully on a more consistent basis.

    I have come to the conclusion that the type of respect that the people who are so damaged demand is not the type of honor the Scriptures teach us to have toward them. What God gives me in my spirit – telling the truth in love – doesn’t fit the twisted type of respect my dad demanded while I was growing up… and there are times he slips back into the old definition in his mind… But much more often my dad treats me like I am special and valuable. Sometimes it seems that he looks for things to appreciate me for! Part of this may be because my dad sees the tender consideration with which my husband treats me, and everyone else – including him, and so now my dad has a living example of love in his own family… which he never saw growing up.

    From my experience, when I have taken all my unseemly feelings toward my father and other abusers to our Heavenly Father and ask Him to help me see them through His eyes, He fills my heart with forgiveness and compassion for them and gives me wisdom and grace to know how to handle the situation. If I have to lovingly say, ‘You know, I would really prefer not to be spoken to this way,’ and vacate the premises, then I have the strength to do that.

    It took me a long time more than a decade ago to ‘get’ that I was not doing my abusive ‘Christian’ husband any favors by letting him think that the Scriptures teach it is acceptable behavior for a husband to abuse his wife. I began to realize that if I do not rebuke it as sin, then he will have a wrong impression of our Heavenly Father’s loving ways that a husband. So I did – and when he didn’t change his way of relating, I went step by step until he realized that what he did was wrong and actually took responsibility for it and asked for forgiveness – and never laid a hand on me again. Unfortunately, he didn’t have a change of heart, so there were other types of abuse he manifested before we finally split up…

    My mind was fragmented from the types of abuse I experienced while growing up, and I have experienced a lot of healing and the realization that we do what we can do. I do not excuse the sinful behavior in fragmented people, but I do recognize and have compassion that these people reap what they sow. I imagine that the minds of those who have abused me were also fragmented… Yes, adults should be held responsible to a higher standard than children. I think many adults do unconsciously what they saw modeled until they are awakened and realize how wrong they are. And then, many despise themselves because they don’t seem to have to tools to change their habitual thought and feeling patterns and the way they react when triggered. I pray for that awakening – for people to realize that they are really loved and so can love others instead of treat them the way they were treated.

    I have concluded that I need to ask the Father for His peace and wisdom in my quiet place inside when I am feeling upset or off balance. Especially when I am feeling upset with my dad – because I believe that the only place I can get a true picture of ‘honor your father’ is from the One who gave the commandment.

    I came across a book at the library called “Love Without Hurt – Turn Your Resentful, Angry, or Emotionally Abusive Relationship into a Compassionate, Loving One” by Steven Stosny, Ph.D. He has a website called It might be worth checking out – I have found it to be very encouraging so far…

    Again, thank-you Darlene for your work on this site and sharing your struggles and giving a lot of space for others to share theirs… I feel with you, and it brings back memories that are now much more healed than they were ten years ago… 😉 em

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 31st October

      Hi Em
      Welcome to EFB ~ thank you for sharing your story.
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Cori Rice Posted: 30th September

    I am so sick of parents thinking that respect is something that’s just handed to them. Even though times are changing and more and more people are educated and realizing that children are people too, there are still many people who are brainwashed by the false, one-sided belief system that parents have a free pass and respect means to sit there and take any kind of abuse they think they are entitled to do. And if we refuse to be a doormat or stand up for our rights we are the disrespectful ones, and that is just B.S. We don’t owe our parents anything and respect only applies to parents who are loving and supportive and treat like a human being that you are.

  11. By: Sara Posted: 17th September

    I greatly appreciate having found this post. I was called into my bosses office yesterday because she perceived a tone of disrespect my voice when I was trying to explain something to her. I realized after doing some intense soul-searching that I really don’t admire this woman. Instead of being a good leader and being concerned about the department and the well-being of the employees, she has been using us for her own personal gain and has been very demanding without giving any praise for anything. In the incident when I spoke to her with the tone she perceived I had become frustrated because she was demanding that I do her work first instead of finishing the work that I had been given by someone else. What frustrated me is that she would not accept my explanation for why her work would have to wait for a few days for me to get to it. It was her behavior as if she was the only person in the situation who mattered that really put me off and ended up making me angry. The funny thing is that I didn’t actually say anything rude but according to her there was a tone. I’ve been thinking about a lot, I compare it to how I felt about my parents my dad in particular. There are People who demand respect but don’t act like they really deserve respect Because they don’t consider other people as being important they just consider themselves as being important. I’m really struggling with how to deal with this issue with my boss because I know there will be another time the future when I happen to disagree with her on something and I find it hard to respect someone who is a self-centered she is. I define respect as a deserved thing you give it you get it. She defines respect as being in a position of authority that everyone must speak to her in a kind tone and so far it seems that she thinks that everyone that needs to agree with what she says. I feel really trapped.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 18th September

      Hi Sara
      Welcome to EFB ~ the boss employee thing is a tricky one! I totally understand feeling trapped! For me everything began (all my answers came) when I started looking at where my belief system started and how or why I seemed to attract being treated like “less than”. It was through that part of my recovery that all my relationships changed and people started to respond to me differently.
      Hope you will keep reading other posts and share your thoughts.
      hugs, Darlene

  12. By: Nara Posted: 29th August

    DXS, WOW thats horrible. I am glad she at least admited she didnt care… she lost her face hasnt she?

    I wish my mom actually admited she didnt care about my feelings. because i know she didnt. I have heard exactly teh same words [STUPIDEST, DUMBEST, CRAZIEST, MOST IDIOTIC) every time she was angry. but WHY, WHY is it ok to say it only because she is angry?! Can I call someone those words and then say whats your problem i was a bit angry thats all. it drives me crazy

  13. By: DXS Posted: 28th August

    Nara, whenever I told my mom MY feelings, I got: “That’s the [STUPIDEST, DUMBEST, CRAZIEST, MOST IDIOTIC, pick one] thing I ever heard.”

    Trouble is….. lots of things I have felt or said have been proven true in “general public” later. I was a bit of a precocious child. I think my mom couldn’t handle “precocious” and put me down for it. I remember one time I told her the sun was a star (it is, it’s a yellow dwarf). That’s when I got “stupid, dumb, crazy, idiotic.” Hey, the encyclopedia said it was so! When my mom replied that way when I told her that, that’s when I knew. She liked me to get good grades in school. She just didn’t want me to actually LEARN anything.

    And Nara, one time a few years ago, my mom actually admitted she “didn’t care one iota about my feelings.” Later she back pedaled and claimed it was “frustration.” Um……. people tend to speak the truth when they are backed into a corner…….

  14. By: Nara Posted: 28th August

    I dont understand it, the most i got when complaining “my mother told me I hate you” (for example) is convincing me not to believe it and explaining that she didnt mean it. But it wasnt really my point, i wasnt upset because I thought my mom hated me I was compianing about teh fact that it was normal to SAY it

  15. By: Nara Posted: 28th August

    I feel like (and whenever i forget about it others remind me) that any sh*t my mother used to say is OK because she loved me and didnt mean it.
    Or because whenever she said it she was angry. it feels unfair but i cant disprove it

  16. By: Nara Posted: 28th August

    well my mother told me alot worse hings than “wish birds will take ypur eyes…” when she was angry with me she told me
    -i can’t stand you
    – wish your daughter is same as you
    -threaghtened with cuting my fingers off if i dont stop biting my neils
    – idiot, donckey, stupid and alot worse names

    it was all on regular bases.

    but whnever i tell someone (pastor, grandma, father) no one tell sme “what an awful thing to say of her” instead everyone comes up with the same excuse for her “she didnt mean it she just saiid it out of frustration”

    Is frustration an excuse for the words she used to say??? Id no-WHY?!
    she also told me she loved me more than anything, so how can i argue with people saying “she didnt mean it”? Can’t loving mother tell her child that sort of stuff when she is angry as long as she doesnt mean it?

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th August

      I am sorry that I didn’t see your comment when you first posted it. Welcome to EFB!
      hugs, Darlene

      Hi Nara
      Welcome to EFB ~ I totally hear you. Saying that stuff is wrong and never justified. The hurt doesn’t go away that easy.
      Thanks for sharing,
      hugs, Darlene

  17. By: Sandrine Posted: 1st August

    I LOVE IT and i completelly agree with you!
    Thank you,
    You deserve my respect!

  18. By: Nzinga Posted: 15th July

    I appreciate what you wrote, because I am a parent and I have been guilty of using the word “Respect” in the wrong way, or shall I say using it for my benefit, but not recipicating the action towards my children. I whole heartedly believe the scripture that states, “honor your parents” because it is from the Holy Bible. However, many of us parents do not follow the following scripture that states, (with emphasis)” do not exsaperate your children”. Ther is also a scripture that states, (with emphasis), “treat others the way you want to be treated”. Parents are not always conscious of their actions because we tend to forget that teaching respect and imitating it goes hand and hand. I am a working progress! Thank God for his grace

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th July

      Hi Nzinga
      Thank you for sharing from the side of the parent. I believe that if more parents looked at this whole issue from the standpoint of ‘equal value for all people’ that this issue would not be so prevalent in the world.
      Hugs and welcome to EFB

  19. By: Tracie Hunter Posted: 15th July

    Thank you. I came to this realization a while ago. I have really just started to internalize what it really means and how it plays out in real life.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th July

      That is how I emerged from the damage done to me due to this dysfunctional relationship style. :). thanks for sharing,
      hugs, Darlene

  20. By: DXS Posted: 12th July

    Wow, I missed this post. Thank you. I may print it off and send it to my mom. Once *I* become an adult, I deserve my parents respect. One time, my Mom called a certain chair in my home the “Queen Bee” chair and she proceeded to sit in it. This was a “tell” in my opinion.

  21. By: Cori Rice Posted: 12th July

    I hate it when people twist scriptures from the Bible and use them for their own purposes. God may want us to honor our parents but remember we also have free will, God is not forcing us to do this. And if you feel like your parents don’t deserve respect then don’t respect them. Don’t let others criticize you for that and move on with your life and be happy without them.

  22. By: Shadije Posted: 27th May

    Hi Darlene,

    Thank you very much for this post.
    I read it while I was trying to find a topic about my thesis and your reflections treat the same thing I was looking into. The concept of respect was not so drastic in my ‘original’ family but when I got married I was shocked with how I was/am supposed to ‘respect’ my father in law!!! Respect means conformity, obedience, dependence and everything that connotes refrain from free will, not say even a constructive (and polite) personal idea about something because at some point the ‘conversation’ gets heated up and I come out to be the disrespectful one!!!
    Can you imagine (the most banal case), I shall ask my father in law even when I want to go out with my husband because he feels we are disrespectful because we don’t sit and say ‘can we go out’?!!! And to avoid conflict once we did so and then he ironically says ‘why do you ask me, go’ and looks away.
    I see that respect in my case means that me and my husband should just shut the f… up!And the biggest deal is that our culture ‘does not permit’ to leave and get another apartment because then again we are not respecting them!
    There is no ‘I respect your idea but I think that…”. There is no ‘BUT’ if you wish to respect his idea! Awful:(

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th May

      Hi Shadije
      Welcome to EFB ~ I like how you put it ~ “and everything that connotes refrain from free will”
      THAT is exactly what the false definition is!
      Thanks for posting!
      Hugs, Darlene

  23. By: SM Posted: 6th May

    Is it right for someone to confine one to the position that they are just prideful because they respect from others?

    How about when a mother-in-law to acts carelessly by speaking rudely? Especially if the person was already offended by something SHE did, and she gets upset at the person as if she is incapable of hurting a single soul? And that person always has to apologize even when that person was not at fault? Is it wrong to expect respect in these lines?

    I grew up being disrespected because I was small, unimportant, and not beneficial to their lives-parents, siblings, schoolmates, etc. Wouldn’t it make sense to desire balanced respect as an adult?

    What about when people really do say or do things to you that are disrespectful, and your significant other does not defend you, so you have to defend yourself. Then you go on to explain how you were treated disrespectfully, how is that pride?

    I don’t think it is. Maybe you can help me better understand how to relate to someone who feels you’re being prideful by desiring respect, especially if you are already a person who is well-mannered, soft spoken, and gentle.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 7th May

      Hi SM
      Welcome to EFB
      It isn’t right at all. No one has ‘the right’ to treat another with such disregard or disrespect. That isn’t love. It was when I realized that I didn’t “have to’ accept the way these kind of people treated me, that I began to change and my life got so much better. I don’t want to relate to those kinds of people. Understanding them doesn’t lead to any kind of solution. This whole site is about stuff like this. 🙂
      Thanks for sharing, Hugs, Darlene

  24. By: Sheila Posted: 30th April

    I am so sad to see the many people who feel they have been disrespected by their parents. My brother forwarded this email to me because we argue regularly about his disrespect towards our mother and his belief that she doesn’t deserve respect because she disrespects him. We argue about this because I totally disagree and I hope that none of you are in the same position as he, but I do appreciate that everyone has their own beliefs. I just take it personally when it comes to my parents. My brother is a 48 year old divorcee. His wife left him 8 years ago and he moved back into my parents house 7 years ago. He can’t afford to live on his own and I understand that. What I don’t respect is that he won’t get another job because he doesn’t want his ex-wife to get more money for the child support of their two sons. As I mentioned earlier, he lives with our parents. On his visitation days with his children, they stay there as well. Even though my mother allows him to stay there and allows his children to spend the night there on my brother’s days off from work, he is very angry and disrespectful towards our her because he thinks that she disrespects him by asking him not to track mud through the house or she calls him before he gets off work and asks him to stop by the grocery store to pick up a few items on his way home. He doesn’t believe me when I say that she is not being disrespectful by asking these things. I hope that everyone finds it in their hearts to say a little prayer for my brother. I know that many of you have dysfunctional relationships with your parents which makes it difficult for you to show respect to them, but I find it very hard to believe that you can find disrespect from my parents in this story that I’ve shared. My brother wasn’t always this way. This attitude just surfaced in the last four or five years.

    • By: Jack Posted: 5th February

      In my twenties, may father pointed a gun at me..right on my forehead. I really don’t remember the circumstances but it was about some big argument between him and my mother. My father is a very complicated man. He provided us with and more. But he also makes us feel the we owe him for all that he’s given. He separated with my mother who is clinically blind and who now lives with me and my family. He doesn’t give her support for anything. Anyway, that’s another story to tell.

      He did it again today, I’m on my forties now and he threatened to shoot me again. He was about to take our his gun but he didn’t. We argued over a small issue again. He just wants to be right all the time even when he is not. He cannot lose an argument as what he says all the time especially to us his children. Anyway, I don’t know how to deal with him anymore. He just wants to overpower us all the time..if that’s the right way to describe it. I just don’t think that it’s right. Do we really owe him for all that he has provided us? I really know that we don’t but where do we draw the line?

      • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 5th February

        Hi Jack
        Welcome to EFB ~ what your father is doing is illegal and very dangerous ~ how can you know that he won’t pull the trigger? I would advise you to seek assistance with this. You don’t own anyone anything. There is no obligation in love. I hope you will keep reading my website for insight.
        Hugs, Darlene

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