Today’s topic is respect. I mentioned little research on humour to just draw parallel between the way the humour is decoded.
Few months back while doing research for my Toastmasters project I learnt humour is nothing but ‘Benign Violation’. Several researches over several decades have proven that humour is something which is a violation at first place but violation that is harmless. At least to you. For example, if a person walking on the street and stepped over a banana peel and slipped, it is a violation because it is not the way it is expected to happen but at the same time it is benign because it did not happen to you in first place and secondly we do not expect it to cause any life threatening situation. He may get hurt but should be easily recoverable. Now this is something humorous but if the person who slipped is your child or parent or loved one then you may get angry, upset and go running to help the person or if you are very kind at heart and can not see anybody getting into any trouble, you may not find it humorous.
What is respect?
In my view respect is ‘Intellectual likability’. You like a person you respect but you bow-down to the intellectual richness the person possesses. Some people may argue on the ‘Likability’ part hence I would like to explain that a bit more.
Likability of a person helps us to listen to that person in right context. If you do not like a person, you are impaired to listen what the person says, hence your ability to decode the intellectuality is significantly reduced. Hence either it requires external forces to special circumstance, which we may call coincidence, to help decode the intellectual ability of that person. But in absence of external force or coincidence, it becomes highly unlikely that you respect the person.
But if you like the person due to his/her personality then you are highly likely to interpret every visible action of the person. But now the word ‘Intellectual’ is significant. If you do not find the person intellectually rich enough, then you may continue to like the person but may not respect him/her.
Here there is an important word that is invisible. That is ‘Visible action’. You interpret the intellect of the person from the visible actions. If there are several visible actions, and the ones that is interpreted as intellectual are lesser, compared to rest, then the chances of the person interpreted as intellectual (hence being respected) is low.
Here I recall my favourite model that helps us in our social presence. That is JoHari window. If you go through this model, you will understand your ‘Arena’ and ‘Blind Spot’ together is the source for people to interpret you intellectuality.
Arena is something that you know and you tell others and most people believe you in that space. But the area of ‘Blind Spot’ is what people think of you without your knowledge. That area significantly influences people to interpret your intellectuality. This does not mean the person is intellectual or not, it means whether people perceive the person in context as intellectual or not. So, if a person is truly intellectual but is not perceived as so, then the possibility is high that the persons intellect is hidden in ‘Facade’ area.
How to gain respect?
If you are expecting I will extend this essay to define what you must do to gain respect then I find myself incapable of doing so. It differs so much for each individual that it is impossible to put it in a formulae. But it is essential to understand the above to draw your own strategy and conclusion.
I would love to hear from you your perspective.