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How to be a better man: Respect is earned not just given.

Another post in my “better man” series. For those of you new to the blog I post articles from time to time to help heterosexual men. The advice of course can be used by anyone but I speak to what I know and I simply can’t speak in depth to the nuances of other sexualities/identities. So with that out of the way, what are we getting at with this post?

You see society has changed, men are no longer the pinnacle of the social hierarchy. Single, middle aged white male? In western culture you’re near the bottom now. As a man, for the most part you have very little social resources to pull from. 1-800 numbers? Go ahead name me 3 dedicated to men’s issues. Cops are called? They will assume you are the problem. Issue with your kids at school? They will ask if the husband is abusive. Never mind the court system and have you watched a commercial or TV show in the last 10 years? Men are portrayed as stupid, useless and buffoons.

So here we are in 2022, how then with that backdrop does a man treat a woman with respect? You don’t until she earns it. One of the beauties of the world I outlined above is, expectations on men are at an all-time low. It is now women who are held to a higher standard, well higher than before. You’ll find via observation that the most ardent and harsh critics of females are mostly other females but I digress.

So what do I mean “until she earns it”. Why should you adhere to antiquated social norms if your desired counterpart isn’t doing the same. Did she hold the door open for you? No? so why are you holding it for her? Are you being talked at or talked to (you know what I mean). Are you being emasculated? Is she “mansplaining” things to you? The point is you have to be very honest here about your relationships with females, and yes that includes sisters, mothers, and wives. 

Respect is earned.

Now to be clear, I’m not talking about normal everyday interactions. Being “polite” is different than giving respect. It’s always sage to be nice to people, there is no reason to be discourteous but respect is earned. When you respect someone it is far more reasonable to take their subtle bull shit (for lack of a better term). As an example you have a GF who is great, is respectful of you, your likes needs etc. and then one weekend she is unreasonable, hostile, demanding etc.

In this scenario you extend respect and monitor the situation. People have bad days and no one is perfect. Giving grace to others when they treat you wrong is the pinnacle of respect. When it becomes repeated behavior that’s a larger issue. Now imagine a woman you know talking down to you, embarrassing you in front of other people, emasculating you. Do you still treat them with respect because they are a woman? HELL NO.

Level the playing field here. Giving respect to women should no longer be your default setting. Be kind and polite to them but going out of your way to accommodate complete strangers is not the right play anymore. I’m going to leave you with an example that happened to me 2 months ago.

I am in line at the grocery store, the express check out. A woman is behind me, attractive and I can tell she is in a hurry. She asks if she can go ahead of me, I tell her no. She says “you’re not a gentleman are you?” Now before I get to my response let me clarify something. Years ago, I would have let her go because I was willing to extend respect to ALL females regardless. I was brought up that way, girls are made with “sugar and spice and everything nice” let me tell you something after 52 years on the planet, that’s not always true, lol.

My response to her was “Not anymore no, I’ve been exposed to many women like you”. She told me to “f off” and she went to another line. Honestly I didn’t have a good feeling I wasn’t proud of how I played that but when she asked there was no please, there was no smile there was no warmth it was just “my needs are paramount, get out of my way”.

No, respect is no longer just given, it is earned.

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