3 of Spades – Respect – Giving and Receiving in Relationships

So what has the 3 of Spades got to do with respect? An understandable question to ask! I certainly would ask it if I did not already know the answer!

However, in reality what is more important is the word 'respect' and how it plays its part in the way we are with all that is around us, including people! Self-respect is another matter (8 of Spades)!

I'm going to focus attention on respect between people.

My experience with one recent client who valued respect, was that they wanted people to respect them, yet did not show so much respect for others. They wanted the rights, but not the responsibilities!

Respect what?

Quite often people say they want respect for a specific aspect of themselves: for example,

· One client thought a colleague of hers should show respect for her because she was older than her colleague.

· Some managers want respect for their authority and / or position – like parents want their children to respect them as their parents; and

· Some experts want to be respected for their specialist knowledge and experience.

In reality, I suspect we really want to be respected as individuals, whatever age, position and / or expertise we have.

Respect does not require liking (that's a relief eh ?!), admiration (that could be difficult sometimes, yes ?!), earning it (phew!) Or agreement. It does require you giving respect. This is the cornerstone to you gaining and keeping respect.

What does giving respect look like?

Respect is not about big gestures. In fact, it's mainly everyday sorts of behaviours: arriving on time to meetings, doing what you said you would do, being courteous, good manners, listening to what someone is saying, not multi-tasking when having a conversation, by noticing a person and acknowledging their existence – by recognising and accepting their rights to be different from you.

Why do most of us find it difficult to do?

When I started writing this article I reflected on my own behaviours. I recognised that even with people that I do respect, I do not consistently show it. My husband, for instance, has to cope with me sometimes not listening to him, even butting in before he has finished!

I'm treating him like 'I know better'! I might think I know better. Quite often this is based on misunderstanding, mis-hearing, or my lack of knowledge! And maybe I am right, but not listening – or not giving him time to explain his point of view – does not improve the situation!

Other 'reasons' for not showing respect? I'm better than you (this includes aspects over which you have no control – eg race, colour, nationality). I'm more important in the hierarchy / community / [fit what you will] than you. I earn more than you. They go on and on and on.

What can we do to increase respect, even when we do not like the person?

Bottom line – if you want to be given respect, then start showing it! You may find it helps you to keep in mind that an person is worthy of your respect because they are alive and doing the best they can to make it through – no more no less (based on what Michael Neill said when considering respect in one of his newsletters).

Respect is an example of give-and-take, reciprocity, within relationships! The more respectful you are the more respect you experience – and the less you show respect, the less you receive.

To heighten your awareness of respect, you may like to try the following:

  • as you meet both friends and strangers, silently repeat to yourself "you are worthy of my respect" – you want to add a phrase that makes it easier for you to find a reason for that respect eg "for doing the best they can to make it through "
  • having said this, what do you notice? About yourself and / or about others?

And the 3 of spades? It's in a set of VALUE cards – the value 'respect' is found on the 3 of Spades! And 'self-respect' is found on the 8 of Spades.