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Respect | ohdaddymmm's Blog


I've always thought respect was a very simple concept. I was taught that it was a basic necessity for being a positive and successful person. There was basic respect that everyone was due, respect you gave someone because of their office, position, or role in a certain situation, respect you gave someone because you cared for them and wanted them to feel loved, and so on.  I was also taught that it was important to expect the proper respect in return, based on much the same criteria. In other words, to me, the concept of "real man" and "real woman" has nothing to do with age, money, or status, but more to do with the respect they showed and how they demonstrated that they expected and deserved that respect in return.

Before I go on, I guess I should define what I mean by the term "respect" to begin with. I saw a movie called "The Duelists" where a woman asked her man to define honor. He basically said that he could not really define the entire concept in exact and complete detail, but it is easy to recognize when that quality was - or was not - in a person. If you think about it, there are many terms that fit that description.  Love, for instance. We use that term so much, but think about what you really mean when you say it. Is it just saying "I really like"? Seems kinda weak, though it may be appropriate for some uses. I asked students in my Junior Church class what it meant and they seemed completely befuddled. I knew they would be, so I guess it was just a bit of an experiment. Anyway, respect tends to fall into that category too, but I'll give you my impression of what it means. It is acknowledging that someone has the right to say or do something, even if that something is directly against whatever I think or feel. If they have the right to expect something and I'm going to respect them, I'm going to give it to them, even if I feel I don't want to or know that it may work against me. For instance, a man comes up to me and says "Give me your wallet" will probably get a response akin to "Fuck off".  A cop pulls me over on the road and says "Give me your license and registration" is probably going to get it because I'm going to respect his authority in that situation to make that demand, regardless of my feeling of if I was speeding or not or what I think may be genuinely motivating him. So that's my working definition: acknowledging someone's rights - however it is that they got those rights - and responding accordingly.  That proper and respectful response may just be to keep your mouth shut and walk away. I've done that because I didn't want to make the situation worse by saying something disrespectful.

I guess that's why I'm so amazed at so many instances in my life that have developed over the years where people seem to have no concept at all of giving respect. They will actively bitch and moan if they don't get it, but will have a very cavalier attitude concerning if they give it.

Part of the reason my marriage failed was that I felt my wife did not respect my thoughts or feelings. If she said or did something, I was expected to remember it and act on it. If I did not, I heard about it. At the beginning, I was fine with that because I felt that ignoring (or seeming to ignore due to forgetfulness) a request from someone you claim to love, a request you had every ability to fulfill, was simply disrespectful. And how can you really claim to love someone you don't show respect for? So, I took the arguments and aggravation and tried to be better. Over the years, I noticed that she had no concept of returning the same behavior towards me.  Good advice that I would give on items that I was the acknowledged "expert" in (at least the expert between the two of us) seemed to go out the window, unheeded in any way.  Not saying that every utterance out of my mouth demands instant response and obedience...but NEVER? (By the way, I can be a very literal person when I talk, so believe me that I don't use terms like NEVER and ALWAYS loosely. But I'm using it here.) I genuinely cannot remember a time that I felt really respected by that woman.  When things were falling apart between us and I was trying to tell her what I genuinely needed to hold it all together, I told her how I needed to be and feel respected.  Her response was about how she "feels" so much respect for me. Personally, I think that's garbage. Your feelings make you take action. No one can say they love someone and treat that person horribly - unless that is the treatment the beloved wants and makes clear they are willing to accept and desire. But commonly, that's not the case.  You don't respect someone in your heart, and show no respect in your actions. That makes no sense to me.

At work, I am a computer technology instructor. That's a bit of a vague term because I teach on a variety of topics. The point is, however, that I'm a damn good instructor. The students know it, my coworkers and fellow trainers know it, and my boss knows it. Each of those groups have brought me issues that need to be addressed because they know I'm patient and capable of handling issues and complications when it comes to training. I've been told on formal and informal reviews that I'm a great teacher. I'm not stupid enough to think that I'm perfect -  my arrogance has limits - but I'm pretty damn good. So, why do I have people come into my classroom with the express purpose of learning how to instruct who then want to argue with me about my instruction? If I respected a mechanic's skill, I'm not going to argue with him on how he chose to fix my car. If I felt that way, I'd just go to another mechanic.  You don't like how I teach? Get out of my classroom. Get me put out of the classroom,  if I'm not delivering. Do some research and find out about my success rate. But don't start fighting with me about how I do what I do if you can't see that it works exceptionally well or can prove that it doesn't. In other words, show me some respect when I'm in a situation where I need to be the acknowledged leader and stop trying to undermine me.  I don't mind healthy and lively debate on valid topics. I mind distractions and diversions on topics we have established are baseless and go against what we expressly teach. You want to know why I do what I do or why I teach what I teach, just ask. But don't debate it IN FRONT OF THE CLASS. There's a time and place to have your leadership position challenged. A good leader knows when that time is and is open to hearing how he/she can be a better leader. However, when the leader is actively leading, such discussion encourages insubordination and confusion. I'm not allowing that in my class. I don't take that mess from my students and I'm not allowing it to enter from the outside. That's part of the reason my class works and people want and ask to be in my class. Respect it or get put out.

And - big finish, then I got to go to work - I'm a Dom (look up BDSM, if you don't know what that is). Respect is a significant portion of my relationship with my gf/sub.  When I got into the lifestyle and started to make friends, one of the first lessons I learned was the importance of respecting ownership, relationships, choices, etc. If she uses the safeword (a sub's version of saying "no" or "stop" without having to use those terms or seem disrespectful), then you stop IMMEDIATELY.  She is focused on making her Dom happy partly because she hopes that if she ever needs him to do - or not do - something to make her happy, he will respond. Respect it and accept it. It's part of the lifestyle.  When I've talked with a sub and found out she had a Dom, I respected the relationship. That means that I didn't do or attempt to do anything sexual or would draw her out of line of her Dom's desires and rules because she has chosen to follow them and him. What kind of friend would I be to her if I tried to make her violate those key parts of a lifestyle that we all claim to respect and enjoy.  She's collared? HANDS OFF! Talk with the Dom and get his permission to even talk to her. Some aren't that strict and that's cool. Some are super-strict and will insist on interviewing you and whatnot. That's cool too. If I really want to talk to her, then I'll go through it and respect the situation.  Will someone tell me why I've had to defend my relationship with my sub from other so-called "Doms" who think it's ok to try to actively undermine my authority with her?  She's made her choice in me. If she wants me to do or be something different, she and I will discuss it. But it's our choice and our discussion. If you are not Daddy or kitten, you don't get a say in the matter. Respect it and back off. If a rule or limitation is put on her or your relationship with her, honor it. If only because you respect her, her presence in the lifestyle you espouse too, and want her to succeed and be happy in it, respect it. I don't understand why such a simple notion is a battle I've fought with on a regular basis. I learned it early and quickly. It's part of what makes the members of the BDSM lifestyle have the ability to gel together as a community. But, for some reason, it doesn't seem to apply to me? I don't fucking get it.

I guess the combination of these things coming together at this exact time in my life is making me very sensitive to the topic as a whole. Respect isn't hard. It's knowing when you have the right to refuse a request and when you should just follow. Sometimes you'll like it, sometimes you won't. It's not always pleasant, but it's what we do to work and live and play together. When you start causing strife because you don't like the rules of the game and you want things to go your way right now, you're acting like a child. Grow up because games end. Couples get divorced, people can be fired, and friendships can be terminated. If people would just learn to show some simple respect, there would be a lot less of these things. I just don't know why people don't do it automatically.

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Respect, posted January 23rd, 2013

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