Find out what it means to me!
Here’s a bit of Aretha to get us in the mood:
Respecting yourself and the people around you is so important if you want to get along well with others and move along in life. But what exactly is respect? Respect is about understanding and appreciation. It’s about valuing all of the aspects that make up you, as well as each unique individual in the community. It’s also about understanding a person’s wants, desires and needs and their rights to make decisions and choices based on this.
Respect is also about accepting people’s differences and not taking part is any bullying type behaviour. If you respect someone it means that you think of them highly – they may be a really good friend for example. If someone respects you it means that they appreciate you as a person and they recognise your wants and needs as well as your rights. You can also respect places (like universities and churches), things (like other people’s property), and people’s opinions, choices and rights to say yes AND no.
The most important person to respect is YOU. If you have respect for yourself you will find that you can take ownership of all your experiences. This awesome article by Scarleteen has some helpful tips about respecting yourself!
You can teach others how you would like to be treated and you will find that you will be able to say no to things that you are not comfortable with. It is important to acknowledge that there are people out there who may not always respect you and your rights, and if you ever have a negative experience as a result of this it is important that you don’t blame yourself – it is not your fault. If you need to talk with someone, you can call 1800 MYLINE (1800 695 463) or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800. For relationship violence Call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). If you’re in W.A you can contact the 24 hour emergency line for SARC (Sexual Assault Resource Centre) on (08) 9340 1828 or 1800 199 888.
You can still be respectful towards people you don’t like or don’t get along with, and this includes ex-partners too! There’s a whole website dedicated to helping you draw ‘the line’ about what is respectful and not respectful behaviour towards people in relationships (and post-relationships). There are videos you can watch about being respectful in different situations (where you get to influence the outcome!) and people have shared their personal stories on the site too. Check the site out and learn more about what it means to respect people and their boundaries, privacy and choices, even if it may conflict with your own desires or wants.
It is also important to respect other people, particularly in terms of their rights and the choices they make. Every human being on Earth has rights – rights to be treated equally, to have freedom of thought and religion, to have freedom of opinion and expression, to work and to have time off, to live in adequate housing etc. Check out the full list – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Did you know you have sexual rights too? People also have specific sexual rights which include the right to choose their partner (regardless of their sexual orientation), the right to choose to be sexually active or not, the right to access sexual health services, and the right to have pleasurable and great sex. It’s important to respect these rights among your friends as well as your partner. Mutual respect, together with mutual friendship, attraction, trust and stability, forms the foundations of a healthy relationship.
We’d like to focus for a moment on the right to confidentiality. If someone tells you something and asks you not to tell anyone else, it is important that you respect this. The only exceptions to this are if you believe that they have committed a legal offence or if you think that their life is in danger – in which case it is important to speak to an adult, ideally a professional, who can help you work out what the best thing to do is. Sometimes even if you’ve haven’t been told not to tell anyone, it’s important that you let them be the one that does the telling – for example if a friend has told you that they had sex with their partner for the first time on the weekend, it is not okay to jump on Facebook and update everyone! It’s the same with sexy pics on your phone, if you get an image sent to you from someone else, it’s not respectful to the people involved to forward that on. Wanna know more about sexting and what to do in these situations?, then check out this awesome blog on sexting.
As this rap says, remember to treat people the way that you’d like to be treated! Respect y’all!
Check out all the stories in this Safety, Pleasure, Respect relationship series
Also check the related topics:Boy/girlfriend relationship Sex Sex and consent