Understanding Respect!

An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates
                                                    Volume 17, Number 4

We don’t hear too much about respect these days. Rather, we hear just the opposite. People attacking and vilifying others because of political, racial, gender, financial, religious, and ethnic differences to name a few. Whatever happened to treating others like you would want to be treated?

This month’s letter is about understanding respect and its value to society, in general, and people, in particular.

Our society is built upon people trusting others and assisting those in need. We seem to have lost this focus according to news reports.

Attacks on others and institutions are a part of everyday life. Unfairness and fear of being taken advantage of have created anxiety and distrust.

Who are society’s role models today and can we really believe what they say? The existence of our society as we know it may very well depend upon it.

Dr. Kimmel’s blog is about Media News Reporting and can be found here.

We hope you find the enclosed information helpful and interesting. We also thank you for reading our e-Letters and for the positive and compassionate comments we have received.


                                               (Photo by ekaterina bolovtsova)

Understanding the concept of respect is really understanding how we relate to ourselves and how we relate to others.

              is a code of ethical principles by which we live
              is the regard and admiration we have for ourselves and others
              is a measure of self-esteem and an appreciation of our own values
              it determines our decisions and often our feelings about our behaviors

We develop respect for ourselves by what we are taught and by learning from experience. We model the behaviors of those we look up to and want to be like. We look to leaders and positive influences that guide us in our development and decision making.

Early in life, we are guided by our parents and their values. As we age, these influences include teachers, clergy, and friends. If we have positive role models, there is an extremely good chance that we will develop positive values.

Respect is also learned by watching others and by listening to the language people use to communicate with others.

Disrespect is learned by watching society reward those who slowly erode language, institutions, people, and other social values.

Can we respect others if we do not respect ourselves? Respecting others is just as important as respecting ourselves.

We disrespect others:
              If we are selfish and do not share
              If we are unconcerned about the welfare of others
              If we have to be correct whatever the issue
              If we use others to get ahead or get our way
              If we feel a sense of entitlement
              If we are only concerned in what we want without considering the consequences of our actions

For a society to flourish, there needs to be a recognized code of conduct where people treat others with goodwill and expect to be treated likewise. Values need to be honored, institutions respected and changed gradually by agreement, conflicts resolved through discussion and compromise, and respect for each other is paramount.

To be respectful is simple. Just practice the Golden Rule.
      Stick to your own values despite their being eroded by others.
      Respect yourself by using good manners, positive words, and compromise.
      Acknowledge the opinions and beliefs of others even though you may not agree with them.
      Be assertive and speak with confidence, strength, and have pride in yourself.

We offer the following information:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you and treat others as you would like to be treated…Golden Rule


  • Respect is a positive feeling of esteem and appreciation for a person or thing
  • Respecting another means valuing them for who they are and what they do
  • Respect is the foundation for a society to grow and flourish
  • A respectful society promotes caring, charitable behaviors, and treats people with goodwill; it does not abuse or attack others
  • A society survives upon respect for itself and others …even if it doesn’t agree with them
  • Successful relationships are built upon mutual trust and respect
  • When there is respect between people, there is cooperation and less conflict
  • People are not directly taught to respect; they learn it through watching how role models treat each other and how people communicate
  • Conversely, people learn disrespect by watching a society that rewards others who slowly erode language, institutions, people, and other social values
  • Studies have shown that people respect others differently based on how they look, talk, act, dress, their wealth, their titles and their social influence
  • How you treat yourself is important; if you show self-respect, others will treat you with respect
  • Disrespect is fostered through jealousy, hatred, derogation, and resentment
  • When we disrespect ourselves, often by imitating what society’s leaders/role models say and do, we discard our own identities and self-esteem
  • If you treat yourself poorly by not caring how you act, look, or relate to others, people will treat you in the same way
  • To show self-respect, hold yourself to high standards, accept responsibility for your actions, live by a code of ethics, and treat others with dignity


  • Maintain your own values and do not become a follower just to fit in with others
  • Be courteous, use good manners, use positive words, and be able to compromise; all of these show respect to others
  • Be assertive and speak with confidence, strength, and pride in yourself
  • Associate with those who respect you and have your best interests in mind
  • Stand up to others who treat you disrespectfully
  • Seek professional help if you consistently feel that you are disrespected or victimized

Call us at 954 755-2885 or email us at [email protected]
        Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates
        5551 N University Drive, Suite 202
        Coral Springs FL 33067

As always, we are interested in your thoughts. If you would like to respond to this e-Letter, email your comments to [email protected] and we will publish them next month.

Till May 2023…

The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.

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Copyright © 2023 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates.