This is part of my series on How To Be A Good Person.
Here are the rules for respecting others that I wish someone had handed me as a teen. I framed them following the Golden Rule, e.g., “I will treat people how I want to be treated.” and “I will not treat people how I don’t want to be treated.”
Enough preamble—on with the rules for respect.
1. Respect in relationships
a. Actions – I will be mindful of how my actions make others feel just as I want others to be conscious of how their actions affect me.
b. Unsolicited advice — I will think twice before offering unsolicited advice. I will choose to believe that others can solve their problems and manage their lives just as I want them to believe that I can manage mine.
Related: Boundaries Made Simple
c. Negging — I will not undermine another person’s self-confidence (so they want/need my approval) just as I don’t want others to undermine my self-confidence.
2. Respect in conversations
a. Interrupting — I will not interrupt other people just as I don’t want to be interrupted.
b. Negative comments — I will not make snide remarks about another’s appearance or how they run their life, just as I don’t want comments made about me.
c. Demeaning nicknames — I will not belittle people with degrading nicknames—which suggest that they’re deficient and unworthy of respect—just as I don’t want this done to me.
3. Respect for personal space
a. Touching — I will not touch others (without their permission) just as I don’t want them to touch me.
b. Breathing Room — I will not invade another’s space just as I don’t want others to invade mine.
4. Respect in negotiation
a. Pouting — I will not pout (i.e., try to make another feel bad and concede) just as I don’t want others to pout.
b. Badgering — I will not endlessly try to persuade someone just as I don’t want people to badger me.
c. Threats — I will not threaten to harm others (or myself) if folks don’t comply, just as I don’t want others to make threats.
d. Blackmail — I will not threaten to expose a vulnerability just as I don’t want to be blackmailed.
5. Respect food choices
a. Comments — I will not remark on what others eat (or don’t eat), just as I don’t want people making comments about my choices.
b. Diets — I will not remind folks of their eating plans or dietary restrictions, just as I don’t want others to comment on my food choices.
c. Ordering — I will not order food for others (without their permission) just as I don’t want food ordered for me.
6. Respect on the Internet
a. Trolling — I will not post inflammatory things online that upset folks, just as I don’t want people to troll me.
b. Doxing — I will not post others’ private or personally identifying info, just as I don’t want to be doxed.
c. Harassment — I will not intimidate or attack other people online just as I don’t want to be harassed.
d. Photos/Videos — I will not post photos or videos of others online without their express consent. Furthermore, I will remove photos and videos if asked, just as I want folks to do the same for me.
7. Respect for others’ time
a. Punctuality — I will strive to arrive on time just as I want others to be punctual.
b. Micromanaging — I will not tell people how to spend their time just as I don’t want folks telling me how to spend my time.
8. Respect in public spaces
a. Loud talking — I will be mindful of how my voice carries in public areas (e.g., buses, restrooms, waiting rooms) so that others may have conversations just as I want others to grant me the same courtesy.
b. Sprawling — I will be mindful of how much space I take up and make room for others just as I want others to make room for me.
c. Blocking — I will not block others’ entrance or exit just as I don’t want my path obstructed.