Courage Integrity Assertiveness Confidence Restraint

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Do YOU respect YOU?

So, lately I have been getting a lot of mail from teen girls complaining about the lack of respect they get from their boyfriends or simply boys in general.

I always assume that for every teen brave enough to step out of their comfort zone and contact me, there are probably 50 that don't have the nerve to ask.

I thought it would be a good subject to cover considering I spend alot... and I mean A LOT... of time talking to girls about this, it makes me sad that so many accept behavior from others that steals their self-respect. Sad for everyone involved.
This isn't a post to point a finger or insult anyone. Quite honestly if you are disrespecting someone you are hurting just as much as the person you are trying to hurt. The people who do the disrespecting make it quite obvious that they are struggling with something. When someone has a regular impulse to humiliate or bully someone else, there is pain there.

Learning more about RESPECT will help both sides of this problem.

I recently reached out to a girl on facebook who had something posted by a boy on her wall that just about made my eyes water. Now, I am not in a bubble. Yes, I am a mom but being involved in the lives of today's teens means I have walked around the block with more than a few of them. I know the lingo, I know the way peers goof around with each other.

But what this boy wrote was inappropriate. I was offended.The first thing I did was look at how long ago it had been posted  - over an hour
Then I looked at how many comments had been left - many, many
Finally I searched to see what her response was - "lol"
·      Why did I look at WHEN it was posted? When someone posts something on your facebook that is obviously offensive, leaving it there is a REFLECTION of the RESPECT you demand. By not erasing that post, that poor girl was being viewed as a doormat, open to anyone's dirt and grime.
·     Why did I see how many comments had been left? I was curious how many people had seen the post before me and how many were willing to stand up for a friend.
·      Why did I look to see her response? I was hoping I would find that she had let the derogatory comment up so she could respond appropriately and show the world (so to speak) WHAT her WORTH was!

I was so sad for her that her only response was "lol." I wanted to see her leave a response something like this:

"Look, if you feel the need to be inappropriate, don't do it here. If you need to degrade a girl to make yourself feel better, that is sad but I am asking you to NEVER comment on my wall again."

When I messaged her we chatted for a while and within the first couple seconds of our conversation, I felt blessed to have met her. She was such a beautiful, gentle soul. She simply explained that this boy was a very good friend, he was just kidding, "he always talks like that" and it was meant in jest.

Teenagers live, sleep and breathe the desire to TEST THE WATERS. This boy is testing WHO he can go just a little bit farther with. He wants to see how much his friends will take. He's not a bad guy. He's not an evil person. He is just testing the waters. He wants to know what his boundaries are.

This is a dangerous situation for both the people he disrespects and himself. The lines need to be clear.

For Him: He needs to know what respect feels like - because giving respect actually FEELS GOOD! But if no one around him demands it, he will never know that beauty. He will never be a true blessing to himself and others. He is missing out on an amazing part of his own life.

For Her: She needs to know what respect feels like - because being respected actually FEELS GOOD! But if you let someone treat you with less than the utmost respect verbally, you are opening the door to being mistreated physically. If a boy knows he can say those things to you with no reaction, what happens when you are all at a party and he wants something you are not willing to give. Do you think he will respect your decision? If you set the boundaries IMMEDIATELY, there will be no question that "NO" means "NO!"

DEMAND RESPECT! You are worth it!
GIVE RESPECT! They are worth it!
RESPECT YOURSELF! Feel worth it!

I would love to hear your conversations on this subject.

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