Respect – Or I Walk Away

Listening, Really Listening

I have immense respect for great conversationalists.

Deep discussions with earnest listening feed my soul. The interactions and thought provocation are stimulating.

What I have observed in recent times is the infrequency of such a thing. It is rare to find those folks who engage with the intent of understanding.

With this in mind, it would appear that some folks listen merely for the purpose of responding. As such, oftentimes they start to reply before you have even finished your sentence.

The folks whose aim is to understand you, or your viewpoint, are my kind of people.

In saying that, I will happily and respectfully listen to anyone who wishes to have a chat with me. On the whole this is never a loss, for there is always something to gain from doing so.


Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

Where I Draw the Line

When a person speaks heavy-weighted opinionated rhetoric it is likely that I will gently steer the conversation to a different topic to aim for better engagement for both parties. If the other person turns it back into their tunnel-view freight train rant, I will disengage in a respectful manner.

Hence, if someone is spouting judgement on others, or myself, about “doing the right thing” particularly when options or choices are part of the equation, I will end the conversation. These judgemental folk are so cemented in their opinion of what the “right thing” is, they fail to see it is not always suitable for the masses. There will be anomalies.

I find it saddening for these folks to have such closed minds. Everyone has a story, everyone has reasons, and not everyone will do exactly the same thing. Could you imagine such a society?

Another thing I have noticed is that these folks speak as though they are unequivocally the over-arching power of the Universe that is the only one who truly knows. In their mind, they are right. Anyone who questions their viewpoint is wrong, stupid, or ridiculous.

Assumptions Are Not Helpful

Interestingly, these folks also tend to assume. To this end, they are so focused on delivering their belief, they don’t really hear you. Therefore, they assume things about you instead of truly listening. They want to be fully heard, and for you to agree with them.

This to me, is most disrespectful. They have not been listening to understand your thoughts and views, or why you do what you do.

For example, recently folks have chosen to advise me what I want, need, or am thinking. This has been beyond irritating and deeply disappointing – especially when the folks are meant to be special people in my life. It does not serve a positive purpose.

Relationships need two-way engagement approached with respect for one another’s thoughts, feelings, ideas and beliefs.

It is Simple

Listen carefully to my words, with an open mind, and you will get to know me, from my core. From this, you can understand why I am me.

Listen intently to understand my thoughts and beliefs, and we can have great conversations.

Make assumptions, spew opinionated garble, or speak over me, and I will disengage.

Respect – or I walk away.

Further Reading:


One comment

  1. Well written and stated, Sue! Now, how do you get that message out into the universe to help society learn again how to respect one’s individuality? Plant a seed and watch it grow is an essential message of the Lord, praying that your message is shared widely to be seen by many.

    Shirl Smith

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