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All about respect

Respect is the glue that holds your relationships together. Learn ways to be respectful and know what to do when somebody isn’t respectful toward you.

Diverse variety of kids holding up signs that say RESPECT

Why is respect important?

Receiving respect from others is important because it helps us to feel safe and to express ourselves.

Being respected by important people in our lives growing up teaches us how to be respectful toward others.

Respect means that you accept somebody for who they are, even when they’re different from you or you don’t agree with them.

Respect in your relationships builds feelings of trust, safety, and wellbeing.

Respect doesn’t have to come naturally – it is something you learn.

"When I was at school, I felt like I didn't really fit in... I felt like I was judged for it which made me feel a little bit embarrassed."

We've partnered with PROJECT ROCKIT to help you do you.

What does respect look like?

Think about all the different situations in life where you have to get along with others – how do you know if there’s respect in your relationship?

You feel safe being around each other
You know it’s ok for both of you to express who you are
When you disagree you listen to each other and be patient
You don’t yell or talk over the top of each other
Neither of you are controlling the other person’s choices
You both talk openly about your needs and wants
You both allow the other person space if they need it
You can both admit when you’ve made a mistake

Getting your relationships back on track

Sometimes we find ourselves not feeling respected by other people, including our family or friends.

While it’s not always possible to change somebody and make them respect you, there are some things you can try:

Show people what respect looks like by being respectful yourself

Spend time with people who are respectful and make you feel safe

Tell the person what they are doing isn’t ok and be specific

Talk to somebody you trust like a parent, teacher, or counsellor

Try to understand their point of view

Give that person a chance to change their behaviour toward you

It’s ok to end friendships with people if they can’t be respectful and you don’t feel safe around them

Don’t forget to have respect for yourself too!

Being respectful toward others is one part of the puzzle. It’s also important to have respect for yourself.

Remember that you are valued and you matter.

What you think and feel is just as important as what somebody else thinks and feels.

Ending a relationship that isn’t respectful is a way of respecting yourself.

"You can call out disrespect or discrimination by saying 'we don't do that here'. Anyone can be a disrespect upstander."

Kids Helpline is here to listen, support you, and share tips and ideas about how to have respectful relationships.

You're not alone

We're always here to listen and help

If you want to talk about respect or anything else, give us a call, start a WebChat or send us an email.

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This content was last reviewed 17/10/2017
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