Respect and the Teenage Girl

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I learn so much from teenagers.  I feed off their energy.  I’m slightly nostalgic for the idealistic ways they view life.  I have a lot of young girls following me on twitter and I love reading about what is up with them.  The dilemmas they face, the boys they date, the fun they are experiencing.

You know what amuses me?  How they EXPECT people to respect them.  Recent tweet from follower:

“Adults need to respect teenagers.  We do a lot of stuff.”

Cute, huh?  I’m sure that this person is very busy and does a lot of “stuff.”  I’m sure that if we met I would adore her.  I’d also have to tell her something very important about respect.  Something a lot of people are missing today.  Respect is something that is earned.  Over time.  In every area of life:

  • Work/Career
  • Friendships
  • School
  • How you treat others you do not know
  • Family
  • Health
  • Money

And that’s off the top of my head.

When you meet someone whom you respect, why do you respect them?  Or do you really?  Here is an example from one of my coaching clients, Amy.   Amy desperately wanted to work at a certain theatre near her home.  She wanted to join one of the theatre groups that perform their regularly.  Here is a recent conversation:

Amy:  I really want to join xyz Theatre!

Me:  Awesome.  What actions have you taken regarding that?

Amy:  Well, I go to the shows and talk to the people in the shows after.

Me:  Okay.  What else?

Amy:  Uhm…

Me:  “Uhm” doesn’t sound very pro-active.

Amy:  (slightly embarrassed)  No…

Me:  Why do you want to work at this particular theatre with these particular people?

Amy:  I respect their work.  They put such beautiful productions together.

I asked Amy if she had asked to be involved in projects there.  She hadn’t.  To make a long story short, Amy was scared.  She was intimidated by the talent she saw at the theatre.  She was scared she wasn’t as good.  Because she was scared, she didn’t take action to help out the theatre.  So the theatre didn’t take her seriously as an actress.  I told her to start helping them on projects.  To get involved.  Do little things and work up to bigger tasks at the theatre.

And Amy did.  As she got involved people started noticing her talents.  They noticed how hard she worked and how enthusiastic she was.  They thought she would be a good director so they gave her an Assistant Directing opportunity.  She wound up loving directing more than acting!  She now directs 2 plays a year there and is so happy she realized her fears were holding her back.  She also realized that when you are passionate and work hard, people start to respect and appreciate you.  Opportunities and doors were opened that she never thought she would be able to do:  ie  directing an entire play.

It’s like anything.  Would you want a respected brain surgeon operating on you or ME?  LOL…

Which brings me back to my “you need to respect me because I do stuff” gal.  Fantastic.  I would love to respect you.   I can’t respect someone unless they treat me with respect.  I will always try to be polite.  Don’t demand of me.  You aren’t my Mom, Dad or Boss.  Show me.  I’ll show it back.  With a huge warm and a sassy wink … Love, Goddess

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