Learning how to show respect in a relationship is crucial to its long term success. In fact, respect is the lynchpin that holds any form of partnership together.
Even among political rivals, mutual respect allows them to set aside their differences and work towards a common goal. Without respect, there can be no harmony among people. [Read: Things you need to eventually talk to your partner about to be happy]
How to show respect in a relationship
This idea can’t get any truer than in a romantic relationship. There are moments when people get caught up with the fanciful flourishes of romance and forget the most basic relationship needs. In those moments, take a step back and learn how to show respect in a relationship.
#1 Observe proper listening when your partner talks. Proper listening is the simplest way people show their respect in a relationship. It is also the most overlooked gesture in relationships. Our familiarity sometimes causes us to become inattentive when our partner communicates something resulting in misunderstandings, forgetfulness, and conflict. Listening properly only takes a moment of silence, eye contact, and attention while the other talks.
It may not seem like much, but when your partner sees that you place importance on what they communicate, they feel your respect and you gain theirs in return. [Read: How to be a better listener in your relationship]
#2 Take care not to dismiss their feelings or ideas. If a person makes you feel that your thoughts and emotions are not valid, you get defensive, resentful, and eventually cease interacting with them.
No matter how trivial, every person’s thoughts and feelings deserve to be heard without being dismissive or sarcastic. This is especially important if they are your significant other from whom they expect emotional support. [Read: 12 signs you’re being selfish in your relationship]
#3 Put value on your partner’s needs. Relationships work under the premise of a balanced give-and-take relationship. We give effort for our partner’s well-being and expect the same effort in return.
If this balance is disturbed by the selfishness of one, the other easily feels unvalued and unimportant in the relationship. Selfishness is a major form of disrespect. It jeopardizes a relationship and why people must equally consider each other’s needs.
#4 Consider their input or opinion when making decisions that affect them. Even outside a relationship, no person in the world would want others to make decisions that affected their life without asking their input or opinion first. To do so is disrespectful. You disregard whatever implications the decision would have on their life.
Therefore, it is important that every decision in a relationship be discussed by both partners first in order to come up with an agreement amenable for both. By asking for your partner’s input, you respect their situation as well as their opinion on the matter at hand. [Read: 25 signs of disrespect in a relationship that shouldn’t be tolerated]
#5 Keep your criticisms in check. Criticism can hurt especially if it comes from a significant other. It will hurt more if said without considering the facts and the partner’s circumstances. A relationship should be a source of encouragement and emotional support. Partners shouldn’t be so liberal with criticizing their partner.
When you disagree, discuss it with your partner and allow them to explain their position. This way, there will be no jumping to conclusions and the other will feel respected by having their point of view heard. [Read: 18 critical signs your relationship is starting to go bad]
#6 Honor and understand their need for space. All people require space every now and then. It may be to get their thoughts and feelings in line or to give time for activities. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean that we won’t need space anymore.
On the contrary, allowing personal space adds value to the relationship. People should be sensitive when their partners request personal space. They should not begrudge them the need for alone time nor intrude when their partner asks to be left alone.
#7 Address your concerns directly to your partner instead of other people. Discussing issues or problems with the person directly involved is not only a sign of respect, it is also the adult way of dealing with conflict. Some people may find this difficult. Confrontations cause anxiety and apprehension.
But the alternative of ranting your relationship problems to others is outright disrespectful. Putting it into perspective, such behavior is equal to gossiping or slander. So, if you really respect your partner, address any concerns you have directly to them. [Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for successful love]
#8 Be on time. Being on time is a universal gesture of respect. It gets easily thrown out of the window by people in relationships. This sometimes happens due to the false belief that partners should just forgive and forget tardiness because they are in a relationship in the first place. They shouldn’t be too strict on time. But being late is a great sign of disrespect towards your partner.
When you’re late, it’s like saying that you don’t care about the effort your partner gave to be on time. If you wouldn’t be late for work or an interview, you shouldn’t be late for a date with your significant other.
#9 Do your best to honor promises and agreements. We tend to respect a person who keeps their word and promises. Even amongst enemies, the ability to honor your word is indeed an admirable trait and earns you the respect of others.
In contrast, a person who breaks their promises and makes last minute changes to pre-arranged agreements when things don’t go their way cannot be trusted or respected.
#10 Support your partner’s interests and hobbies even if you don’t like them. We all value our hobbies as a means to exercise our creativity aside from being a source of fun and entertainment. And despite being in a relationship, people still cling to their own hobbies and interests. Their partner may or may not share the same passion in those hobbies.
It may be difficult and inconvenient at times, but people can show their love and respect if they continue to support their partner’s hobbies and interests even if they find it uninteresting or is in conflict with their own hobbies and passion.
#11 Observe discretion when given intimate information. When your partner shares any sensitive information with you, it is an act of trust and deep confidence. If you want to know how to show respect in a relationship, don’t break it by letting other people know that information. It is a clear act of betrayal.
Sensitive and intimate information such as sexual activities, family problems, or your partner’s personal issues should not be discussed with other people at any given situation or for any reason. [Read: The surprising secrets we keep from our partners]
#12 Learn to accept that no means no. Accepting “no” for an answer is the ultimate form of respect. It shows your partner that you respect their boundaries and recognize their consent and control over their own affairs.
Accepting your partner’s “no” not only requires you to stop pressing the matter, it also means you shouldn’t take issue with their disapproval.
[Read: How to get the power back in a relationship and earn your respect]
Respect is so easy to give and holds so much importance in a relationship. It is also something most people easily forget, but you can learn how to show respect in a relationship with these tips.
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