How to Build Respectful Relationships?

What is respect?

Respect is about valuing people, including people who are different and those who are like you. There are a many ways to look at respect, like:

  • Respecting others. Treating other people how we would like to be treated and knowing that we are all as important as each other
  • Respecting ourselves. Not letting other people talk us into doing things that make us feel bad and being able to stick up for ourselves
  • Respectful relationships. When you hang around with other people and you are doing both, respect them and yourself.

In their lives, people have lots of relationships. These might be with:

  • their family
  • their teachers at school
  • their friends
  • even the person at the music shop!

What are types of relationships?

  • Some relationships are close. You might enjoy being with a person and spend lots of time with them. Or even if you might not see the person very often, when you do see them you love being with them (a grandma or grandpa who lives far away).
  • Some relationships are not so close. You might not see the person very often or maybe you see the person a lot but just very briefly (the person at the music shop) or maybe you don’t particularly like them (not everyone in your class will be someone you want to be friends with).
  • Some relationships can be somewhere in between close and not close. This might be other kids you go to clubs like Scouts with or play sport with, you aren’t really good friends with them but you might like them. You can still have a respectful relationship by treating the other person, as you would like to be treated, whether a relationship is close, somewhere in the middle or not so close.

Your relationships are respectful when:

  • Around that person you feel safe
  • When you are around that person, you feel good about yourself. Disrespectful relationships can leave you feeling scared, worried, angry or sad
  • You feel that you can trust them with your secrets and you like spending time with that person. You might feel pressured and don’t like to spend time with the other person in a disrespectful relationship
  • The take and give in respectful relationship is equal. There is an unfair balance in a disrespectful relationship – it seems that things always go the way the other person wants

What can you do to be respected?

Pretty much the only way to get respect is to show respect to others, even through there are no guarantees. If you act in a respectful way and treat other people, as you would like you to be treated, usually they will respect you too. However, if you try to show someone respect, and they hurt you or your feelings or bully you, it’s important to stick up for and respect yourself!

Tell an adult if you think you are being bullied. Part of respect is respecting yourself and not letting other people make you do things you don’t want to do.


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