Girl looking at a lake

Over the years, I have allowed you disrespect, to ruin my relationships. Why? Because I didn’t respect myself. I allowed others to push me around, mistreat me, and continue to do so. Sadly, this happened with people close to me and those who I called friends. 

I didn’t respect myself because I’ve been insecure with who I am as a woman. Since I wasn’t secure in who I was, I allowed others the liberty to mistreat me by being disrespectful. What’s more, I highly dislike others being mistreated, but I allowed others to do it to me. I took the disrespect because I didn’t feel worthy enough to gain and receive respect. 

Now, disrespect, I’m weary. I have gotten older, and there are some who treat me like the little girl they watched grow up. Those who didn’t see me grow up, I have allowed them to talk to me sarcastically, walk away when I’m talking, and use vocabulary that often sends the message that I’m a little girl. 

Disrespect, I no longer want you in my space. I want to be a woman who respects herself and who is respected by others. I must see that I communicate to people how I want to be treated. I’ve communicated to people that it’s okay to disrespect me. 

Today, disrespect, you no longer have my permission to communicate to others how I should be treated. Today, I realize that I will respect myself, first. 

Here’s My Plan Disrespect, Because You Don’t Have Access to My Life Any Longer:

  • If an individual begins to be disrespectful, such as talk while I’m speaking, roll their eyes, make sarcastic remarks, or walk away while I’m talking, then I will respectfully end the conversation. I will speak up and not allow the disrespect to continue. Mutual respect must be present, for a conversation to be held. 
  • I will not interrupt others when they’re talking, because when that happens to me, I feel that I’m being disrespected and that my words are not important. 
  • If an individual cannot be respectful when communicating with me, then they don’t belong in my space. That means I need to evaluate that friendship and decide if that friendship is healthy to keep. 

Respect Looks Different in My Relationships:

A group of girls

  • Elders- When it comes to those older than me, I will always be respectful. However, being respectful does not mean that I have to accept disrespect. This means that I will not permit them to yell at me, and accept any form of sarcasm when they attempt to correct me or speak to me. 
  • Peers- With my peers, mutual respect is imperative. This means respecting each other’s opinions when talking. Also, not interrupting when one is talking. 
  • Those younger than me- With younger people, their tone of voice, their body language, and how they convey their words, should all be respectful. This means not raising their voice, not crossing their arms, or using any form of sarcasm, are not acceptable when having a conversation with those younger than me. 

I must remember that respect first begins within me. This means that I first obey and live out these scriptures: 

  • 1 Peter 2:17 ( NLT), “Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.”
  • Romans 12:10 (NLT), “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
  • Titus 2:7 (NLT), “And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.”
  • I will not disrespect others while they are talking. Why? Because I feel disrespected when another person interrupts me. This means I will respect others the way I want to be respected. 

Disrespect, thank you for teaching me that you’re not worth keeping around. I’m realizing that I have control of how I let people talk to me. I will longer be afraid to let go of friendships that aren’t consistent with mutual respect. Respect is a must in my friendships moving forward!!! 

To your old friend, 

Christina Leeane 

P.S. Thank you for being a life lesson for me.