• Kelley Webb

On Power & Respect

Is there a difference or do they go hand in hand?

I find myself in a precious situation. I can be seen as feeling entitled when all I really want to be is be heard. I can be seen as weak or sensitive when all I really want to be is understood. I find myself thinking about how power and respect are conflated. I know that you don't have to be respected to have power; however, is power seen as respect? My daughter and I have been binge watching MasterChef lately. The judges discuss having respect for the food that are served to them. The judges have the power in this situation and they want the contestants to respect them enough to not produce trash (said in my daughter's voice in my head:)). Or a supervisor who has power wants a modicum of respect because of there position. Or being a guest at someone's home, you respect their position of power by taking your shoes off at the door or whatever other rules of their house are.


And the more that I think about power and respect, I wonder how they play out in friendships and relationships? Does one person have a sense of power or respect, power and respect over the other? Are things ever truly 50:50?


The definitions of power and respect are very interesting to me: respect = esteem or consideration, power=possession of control. Is respect earned? We all know that power being earned is debatable, but I want to sit with respect being earned. Is respect being earned because you own the business, home, car or whatever possession. Does disrespect mean discourtesy? or are those different levels? I have a lot of questions centered around these two words because they hold so much weight with people.


I've often heard the question: would you rather be loved or respected? In most of those polls, I have seen men saying respected and women saying loved. Of course, there are some exceptions, but I find it interesting. The women who I know that have said respected have what some would say masculine characteristics, not physically, but mentality in how they operate. Yes, this is an assumption/opinion, but I have definitely learned some things about masculine and feminine characteristics in men and women. Very interesting stuff. So, I'm rambling now, but these are some of the thoughts that run through my head on a daily basis.



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