I think there’s a fine line between disrespect and honesty. Where that line falls, is largely cultural, and of course, individual. Some of us draw very clear lines about this, and some of us don’t get too upset until someone right out insults us.
When is being honest disrespectful? And how easily honesty can be read as disrespect, and disrespect touted as honesty?
With this being the case, how does that translate when our kids are learning about these concepts? “He’s fat” is honest, with no disrespect intended by the kids. Yet, one can easily see how this would offend.
“You’re wrong mommy.” How about that? Disrespectful or honest?
“I don’t like your hair like that.” “You can’t have my toy!”
The list goes on and on.
How do kids learn about the difference between the two? Both in school, and out of it? And how does that translate into adulthood?
I know, that a lot of my decision making on who my friends are is determined by how closely their view of disrespect vs. honesty resembles mine. I am the most comfortable around people who are honest while at the same time being respectful. I have a hard time with people who are so honest that nothing’s sacred, or so respectful that they never say anything from the heart or make mistakes. But if I had to choose between those two extremes, I would choose the respectful. Tactful. Empathetic.
What about our kids? Do they all have individual comfort zones? And what if one child in a family has a comfort zone that doesn’t jibe with the comfort zone of another family member? Especially in teen years.
What do you al think?