December 18, 2017
Life is too short to waste your time on people who don’t respect, appreciate, and value you
While most of us accept the truth of these words, few people manage to apply this philosophy in their daily lives. Too often, our judgment becomes clouded by the odd and painful power of unrequited love. We see what we want to see. It isn’t until years after leaving a relationship that we are able to realize how toxic it truly was.
DON’T LOSE YOURSELF TO A PARTNER WHO DOESN’T RESPECT YOU.
Here are four red flags to be on the lookout for in your relationship:
YOUR PARTNER KNOWINGLY HURTS YOUR FEELINGS.
This is most often done in the name of honesty or constructive criticism. However, no matter what positive spin your partner puts on their words, they can’t hide the true nature of their intentions. Words that knowingly hurt your feelings, true or not, are an exercise in cruelty. A partner who respects you will deliver these blows only when they are absolutely necessary – and they will do so privately, with the utmost kindness and sensitivity. They will feel pained when this happens – not gratified.
THEY AVOID OR IGNORE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU.
Your partner does not have to love your friends or family members. They do, however, have to treat them with respect. A partner who is unkind or demeaning to your loved ones – either to their faces or behind their backs – is showing you disrespect. A respectful partner will value your support network. No matter how your partner feels about them, they will treat your loved ones with courtesy and civility. They may even strive to form relationships of their own with your inner circle.
YOUR PARTNER MOCKS YOUR SPIRITUAL OR POLITICAL VIEWS.
Once again, your partner does not have to share your feelings. They do, however, have to support you in your most deeply treasured beliefs. A partner who scoffs at your enthusiasm for libertarian rhetoric is telling you that they do not value your thoughts or opinions. They don’t respect the very elements of your psyche that make you who you are. A partner who is willing to demean your most personal beliefs is not one who will treat you with respect.
THEY DON’T LISTEN TO YOU.
This can happen on many different levels. Maybe you need to remind them repeatedly to complete a small chore. Maybe they take little to no interest when you try to share a story about your work life. Maybe they don’t take your input into consideration when it comes to big decisions – such as which house to buy or whether to adopt a dog from the Humane Society. However it manifests, a failure to listen sends one consistent message: You are not important. A partner who respects you may not always like what you have to say – but they will listen.
“We are sun and moon, dear friend; we are sea and land. It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other’s opposite and complement.” Hermann Hesse brilliantly described the concept of respect and coexistence. We do not need to agree with one another in order to live in harmony. We do not even have to understand each other. We do, however, need to treat our partner with kindness, autonomy, and, above all, respect.