Getting the Respect You Want
We all want respect but not all of us know how to get it. As a result, those who are seeking respect often end up getting into heated arguments that lead to deep frustration and resentment toward the people we care the most about. This can be exhausting for everyone involved, so it’s no wonder that the majority of teens I work with want the fighting to stop. Arguments between you and your parents or you and faculty may be draining at the moment, but there are a lot of ways you can get the respect you want that don’t require raising your voice or stomping the ground.
One of the most important ways to gain respect as a teen is to keep your voice steady and calm when talking about things that are emotional for you. Too often we get wound up in our emotions and the injustice of the situation. Our voice starts to get louder and the specific point that we wanted to make gets buried somewhere behind our aggressive tone, multiple profanities and our high pitched screams.
Recognize that the power lies within you. Seriously. You have the power.
It is up to you to communicate effectively and calmly, and if you do, you’ll see that you can diffuse any argument. It can, of course, be really hard to express yourself when your emotions are high. The more distraught we are, the harder it is to listen to someone else’s point of view and the more challenging it can be to communicate our thoughts. This is why it is so important to recognize your anger before it takes hold of your voice. I mean, let’s be honest. You don’t want to start chewing your mom’s head off at the grocery store in front of a bunch of people, right?
The work you do before the argument is probably the most important. Spend some time alone with a journal or notebook and write down specific moments in time when you felt frustrated or angry with your parents or someone in authority. What did it feel like? Where in your body do you remember feeling it the most? What happened just before the argument started? What did they say during the argument that got you even more frustrated? Taking the time to think back to that moment and recognize how you were feeling will serve you in the future.
The next time you feel an argument coming on, focus on your breath and count to ten. Sometimes it’s even helpful to tell the person that you have to go to the bathroom so that you can walk away and collect your thoughts before it is too late.
Once you have control of your emotions, remember to keep your voice steady, low and calm. People are more likely to listen if you are not yelling or screaming your head off and you’ll show your mom or dad that you’re making a serious effort to communicate respectfully. Explain your feelings and ask questions that will help clarify the situation. The more you understand the other person’s perspective, the more they will be willing to listen to yours.
Taking the time to recognize what sets you off and learning how to keep your voice calm will help you communicate your thoughts more clearly and respectfully. While I can’t promise that the conversation will always end in your favor, I can assure you that you will gain a greater self-awareness and highly effective communication skills that will serve you throughout your life.
Copyright © 2015 by Maggie Steele
As a Life Coach and Mindfulness Coach for teens and young adults, Maggie specializes in supporting young adults cope with stress and increase self-esteem while accomplishing their goals. Maggie is also the author of How I Got My S!*t Together: An Introspective Workbook to Help You Find Your Passion and Purpose in Life. You can learn more about coaching by visiting her site: www.thelifecoachforteens.com!