Men need Respect to Thrive
You've seen it. On TV shows men are mocked, portrayed as dumb, brutes, even less than people. They are intellectually dumb, or play roles where others laugh at them.
In the real world, men are also laughed at, sometimes even thought of as a little better than animals. There are wives who treat their husbands poorly, nagging them and talking down to them. Perhaps they do this in love, but you can tell it's killing the guy.
The sad part is, these wives are then seen as strong and praised by others. And if a man is divorced, or gets in a fight with his wife/girlfriend, people automatically ask "What did you do?" as if he was the only one who could have done something wrong.
Men are being disrespected, and it's universally accepted.
In the post "Your husband doesn’t have to earn your respect," the author states some reasons that this is happening, as well as what can be done about it. And I agreed with the author that one of the biggest issues with this mentality is how young women are seeing how men are treated, and then continuing to treat them poorly, because "everyone does it."
It's really bothersome for me to see. Because as the quote says:
If you treat a man as he is, he will remain as he is
But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We may say that "respect has to be earned." And in some cases it does. However, it's also true that if men are treated poorly, they will act poorly. If they treated well, then they can act well. (That's not always the case, as I will show, as men still can choose. But it doesn't help that people disrespect them.)
The worse part of this is that men feed off of respect. Take that away, and you will cause then to hunger for it. Even to die inside because they don't have it. Because of this I have made some changes in the way I interact with people and see myself, so I can live and be happy in this world where people disrespect men.
Of course there are many ways for guys to Thrive in a world that may not respect them. Here's my post about how to be happy even when you're disrespected.
Why Respect them?
I'm not going to go much into this, as I think it's obvious. Simply think of yourself. You probably like being respected. When people don't respect you, it hurts. It can hurt your motivation and desire to improve or be better. Men have feelings too (surprise! surprise!).
That being said, here's a way for the women to see how critical respect is to a guy. If you're a woman, think of how your life would be without friendships or relationships. To be totally alone. Women live on their friendships and connections with other people. And that's great! But imagine what your life would be if you couldn't talk to anyone. If everyone you talked to refused to talk back to you. To converse with you and share their feelings with you. Even friends, and family.
Wouldn't that ruin your life? Or at least make it very, very hard? Well, that's the same as it is for a guy who is not respected.
Let me say that I respect women. That's why this is so hard. I respect women, and then the disrespect me. That being said, here's a bad experience I once had. At a table of five women who I was friends with, they started talking about how women are really talented, which I totally agreed with. I have seen my sisters do wonderful things. Yes, women are capable of doing amazing things.
But then I was told by these same women how incapable and unable I was to be successful and good, just because I was a man. That I was limited. Even though during this time I taught swing dance, put on dances attracting over 300 people, sang in a high-level choir, programmed, volunteered, organized group activities, read classical literature, and ran a photography business. Yet because I was a "man" they said I had "limited" ability to do worthwhile and great things.
That really hurt. And no, I didn't say anything to counter it because honestly they were so sure of themselves that I saw little use in doing so. They'd probably would have just gone off on me about how great they were, and how I was ... just a guy.
On the positive side, the best example I know of one showing respect is Jesus Christ. He always looked for the good in others, and respected them. He didn't belittle them, nag them, or otherwise smash them down (to build them up?). He could have. Instead, He loved and respected them, and they saw it, felt it, and worked to be closer to Him.
How Important is it?
You may just want to say to guys "Hey, suck it up! Take it like a man!". But that's the issue. Men aren't indestructible.
Men have hearts. We have dreams. We want to help and support, and be a reliable pillar of strength in the lives of others, especially those whom we care about. We want to rise to the occasion. But we need respect, as much as we need food. Perhaps more.
And just like food, we need respect before we do things. Not after. Respect is a building block. A form of basic "food." Not a reward for "good behavior. Save respect for dessert and you may be feeding it to a skeleton.
We need you to believe in us, that we are capable, able, strong, and good. We need you to appeal to our better natures. To believe that there is already something good in us. That we can actually choose to be better without you bribing us.
We need to develop the capacity to see men not as they presently are, but as they may become. – Thomas S. Monson
A man who is not respected has lost a main reason for striving to be better. And yet all it takes is a few words, and we're emotionally on the ground.
Here are some ways to respect a man.
Believe in us, have faith in us. This is HUGE! If you know that someone has no belief in you, it really hits hard. But when they do, it can change night to day. This is at the top of the list because it's very important. And if you are someone important to that man, and you don't believe in him, or give up on him, all the energy in the world may not be able to move him. But if you believe in him, and say and show you do, he can scale Mt Everest like it was a small hill and walk on the moon. It's that motivating of a force.
And if you're a woman, well us men know that women will believe things even when there is just a faint ray of hope. Women have a tremendous amount of faith. So if a woman who knows the guy, who is important to the guy, doesn't believe in him and/or looses faith in him, why should he even try? It must be truly bleak. Hopeless. What chance do does have? You have more power than you realize.
Get to know us. This may seem basic, but you'd be surprised how many times it's not followed. Such as advice from people who don't know me, or people assuming they know what I'm thinking or my motivations because I'm a "guy." Better luck next time Sherlock. Try just asking.
Treat us as you want to be treated. You can't expect a guy to be better when you treat him as trash. Treat him well, and he will rise to it. Just like the picture above.
Let us know how grateful you are for us and how much you appreciate us. With no strings attached. No expectations. Why is your father/husband/brother/boss/co-worker/etc important to you. Yes, I understand that it's hard to put yourself out there. And no, you don't have to make it awkward and weird. It could be something simple. Don't wait. Make it happen.
Your words will shape us. Use them to build. Words can build or tear down. Use your influence to build him. We have more than enough people trying to tear us down. And women, if you are close to a man, your words can make or break him. And if it's to break him, he won't even show it. Remember, us guys are trained to not show negative emotion.
Realize that we are going to mess up. We are human, and we will forget some things.We may not do everything you want. We will do things you don't like. Just don't make fun of us for this. Sure, let us know, but teasing us is salt to the wound. We know you don't mean it, but eventually we might start to wonder if that's how you really think of us.
Appeal to our better natures. Believe that we are good enough and able enough to make good choices of our own free will. Don't play the reward game with us. If you can give us something, you can just as quickly take it away. We're smart, we understand games. Sure, if we help paint your house, give us some lemonade. And for wives, the old "sleep on the couch" trick and "out to the dog house" bits are immature. If your husband needs that sort of prodding, you both probably need a heart to heart.
We want to live up to our potential. Us men tend to go for the "noble" and better things in life. To rise above. We love the feeling of being strong, dependable, and of making a difference in the lives of others. Don't nag us, but rather show us, help us, encourage us, and be a support. Help us make our dreams a reality.
Don't guess. Ask. And then Listen. One of the most annoying things people (especially girls, sorry) do to me is telling me "I know you feel/think _____". Wow, they can read my mind... I don't think so! What hurts is that when this happens I think my feelings are being ignored, or washed over, or maybe they don't really care about me enough to want to know my real feelings. That's degrading. Everyone wants to be understood, men too.
Be patient with us. Maybe we don't do all the things you want. Maybe we don't talk, plan, or do things as fast as you want. Maybe we have a different way of doing things. This isn't about who's better. And I assure you that we have a lot of depth and knowledge that you will find awesome. We have just as strong as feelings and desires as you do. Give us that chance.
Treat us as Equals. Look us in the eye. We can have great input. We can help plan and design great things. We have thoughts and feelings to share. We aren't going to shout up to a tower. We need to be on equal ground. And if you are always telling us exactly how to do this and that, without feedback or input, then you aren't interested in our opinions nor our ideas, and we will notice that as we go back to the "man cave."
Never act superior. If you act like your are better than a guy, he's likely to resent it. That's human nature. Or worse he may actually start acting the way you are "telling" him to act. Wives who joke that their husband is a child may find that him acting as one. Oh, the power of suggestion.
And most of all, treat us like the man you want us to become, while accepting us for who we are. I cannot describe it, but I have seen men change for just that reason alone. Someone picks them out of life's "gutter", treats them like they are better than they think they are, and they rise to the occasion. Yes, there's no guarantee. No, this is not a new method to change your man into someone else. But if you provide us with a good way out of the maze we are in, taking into account where we are, and who we really want to become, we may just take it.
What manner of men ought ye to be? Even as I am. - Jesus Christ
He set the example. Allow men to follow it and be better too.
And don't rush. Don't expect him to congratulate you or tell you 'thanks.' He may be so surprised by it he may not know what to say. Or he may suspect you want something from him. Because that's what most people want when they do something nice for us.
Be patient with yourself and with him. If you have been disrespecting a man for a long time, it may take a lot longer to earn his trust back. We won't admit it, but we're sensitive too. And no way are we going to trust our feelings on someone who's been hurting us. Not until we are sure we can trust them, even if we want to. It takes time.
Sometimes we expect too much from a person, and wear them out. If a man is not doing everything you want, or being all you want him to be, the issue may be with your expectations. You may just be wanting him to be Superman, and all he can pull out is Captain America. He's doing some great things, but you won't see it if you have that 'laser vision' and nothing else will do.
Wives, girlfriends, and women in general, you should especially analyze your expectations. Many of you watch Soap Operas or Disney and want those stories and behaviors to happen with your man. That he has to be the perfect guy. Yes, it is reasonable to expect him to treat you well, provide, and be kind. It may not be reasonable for him to read you mind, buy you everything you want, and be your servant under your foot while remaining a strong man. Those just don't go together.
Of course, if there is physical, emotional, or other abuse, that's different. He needs to respect you back too.
Read the story of Christ's life, and how he treated others. When the man came asking for his son to be healed, the man said, "Help thou my unbelief." The man did not fully believe that his son could be healed. Did Christ go off on the man, telling him such things like "You have no faith, what's wrong with you?" or "I guess it's hopeless. Just go to h*ll"? Nope. He didn't say that. He healed the son. The man wanted to believe. Christ invited him to be better. The man probably had more faith than he realized, and Christ treated the man like he had that faith.
You can do the same.
Remember, everyone is fighting a battle. Many are fighting dragons. The figurative "dragons" of life are huge, powerful, mean, and show no mercy. They are vicious, and will kill if they can. These men need their sword, shield, and armor. They need to know that they are loved and respected by those close to them. That love and respect is a big part of that sword, shield, and armor. Take that away, and you have a very vulnerable knight... a dead man walking.
Without that sword, shield, and armor, it's going to be a much harder time for him to "stay alive."
So the next time you see a guy and are tempted to poke some fun, don't help the "dragons." Remember to respect him instead.