What is respect?

Respect implies accepting andunderstanding ways of thinking which are different from one's own. It is notenough to tolerate, it supposes assuming that a position as valid even if it isnot shared, it supposes a recognition of the value and dignity of another,despite the difference.



It is becoming increasingly necessary to talk about ethics and values in the world in which we live, a world marked by scientific advances and globalisation.

Social values have been changing because today's society is increasingly diverse and heterogeneous. It seems that progress is being made towards claiming of individual rights and towards a certain loss of collective rights.

One of the values that has undergone an important transformation is that of respect, which is one of the basic constituents of any interpersonal relationship. It is the element that allows the link between two parts, either between people or groups. It creates the space where freedom of expression allows for the exchange of ideas, debate and reflection. Through this acceptance of another's point of view, it makes possible new learning, and therefore, growth and permanent evolution.

However, it seems that respectful behaviour has fallen into disuse, that it is "no longer fashionable", that the individual good is valued more than the common good. It is easy to frequently observe annoying behaviours, such as interrupting a person when speaking, raising your voice to impose yourself on a conversation, disqualifying someone for having a different opinion, mistreating public goods, throwing garbage into the natural environment, and so on.

Some of these disrespectful behaviours may seem unimportant, such as not offering a greeting when entering a place, not being punctual, or not listening to someone who is speaking. In isolation, they seem to be insignificant behaviours, but their accumulation generates an attitude that is more and more individualistic and less sensitive to others.

When they are frequent and occur in multiple social contexts, these behaviours end up engendering habits that they favour and end up being considered "normal". Currently, they can be observed among neighbours, in schools, in the work environment, in the media, in politics...

Ethical values are taught and learned, but they are also transmitted by observation and passing them on. If you live in an environment where disrespectful behaviours abound and where people do not feel respected, it is difficult to learn how to be respectful.

Learning how to live together is becoming increasingly necessary right from childhood, based on a social ethical framework that fixes our personal gaze on others, and to a respect for their needs and rights. This practice needs to be carried out in a social context which is respectful of diversity and plurality, in which coordination and consensus skills are enhanced.


1. Comply with and respect common rules and laws.

2. Take care of common spaces and the environment.

3. Respect the spaces and belongings of others.

4. Show understanding, listening and empathy with others.

5. Take an interest in others, their day-to-day life and how they feel.

6. Keep then confidences entrusted to you by others.

7. Assume that everyone's ideas and opinions are equally valid, that no one has the absolute truth.

8. Recognise misunderstandings and your own errors.

9. Behave in an inclusive way towards others, never in an excluding way.

10. Show recognition and appreciation for what you receive.


1. Practice "active listening" skills.

Cultivate an empathic attitude.

Explicitly display respectful behaviour that serves as a role model for others.

Establish and comply with obligations and standards.

Combat/Eliminate prejudices.

Do not encourage stereotypes.

Develop assertiveness.

Properly use body language or non-verbal language.

Use a positive language mode.

Treat others as you want to be treated.

Treat others as you want to be treated.