"Respect" as the Criminal Demands It versus Respect in the Responsible World

Respect is not to be demanded, but earned.

Posted Mar 04, 2012

We hear an offender explain, after the fact, that he assaulted someone because that individual "disrespected" him.  Let's look at what this means. 

For an individual with a criminal personality, just thinking something makes it so. He believes that he is a powerful, controlling person with whom others must reckon.  He perceives himself as the center of the universe around which all else rotates.  He demands that others agree.  "Respect" means that others give him what he thinks he deserves.  If his lofty and unrealistic expectations are not met, he takes it  personally -- put down, diminished as a human being.  He then becomes irate, blaming others for "disrespecting" him.

In the responsible world, respect is not based on having others prop up your image because you demand that they do so. We respect people whom we esteem or admire for their achievements, noble deeds, or for their strength of character. Respect is not demanded; it is earned.