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Respect Starts With You

One of the big parts of our guild meeting the other day revolved around respect and knowing your audience.

We have a lot of new people. And with all of those people come a lot of different personalities. So it was inevitable that some head butting was going to happen.
But there’s one thing that really upsets me. Showing lack of respect.

Oh I’ve heard it before! Respect is earned! When they respect me, I’ll respect them! They haven’t done anything to earn my respect! Oh, that’s just the way I am and they need to learn to respect that!

Respect Is Earned!

Yes. Respect is earned. I will not debate that. But a certain level of respect should be earned just by being a living, breathing human being.

You’re a human being. I hope. As such, you deserve a certain amount of base respect. Until you prove to me that you deserve less or more that will not change. But how much respect I show you is entirely up to me!

This is the part where I get upset at people. Just because someone’s a complete ass, doesn’t mean that we should treat them that way. For example, there’s a guy at my work that I have absolutely no respect for. He’s a terrible manager. He’s horrible at his job. I have only found one person that works for him that actually likes working for him. Everyone else has done everything they can to get out of his department. I’ve personally had to work with him several times in the past couple of years and every project he’s touched is plagued with issues that I can trace directly back to him! But the worst part is in how he treats others. He shows no respect and is horrible to most people.

Do I show him disrespect? Hell no! Why? Well I’d get fired for one, sure. But ultimately it boils down to the fact that he’s still a person and given that someone gave him his position he still deserves to be treated with the respect that position requires. He’s the boss. I do what he says when working with him. I may not always agree. I may think he’s a complete idiot. I may know he’s making my life a living hell because I’ll be the one correcting the mistakes when I buy out the job next year. He may not deserve respect, but my not showing any respect will only make matters worse in the long run.

Point: Having respect and showing respect are not the same thing.

When They Respect Me, I’ll Respect Them!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this in game and in real life. Seriously? You really believe this? This is a philosophy you follow? OK then, who starts?

What if they have the same philosophy and both of you treat each other with little to no respect?

Point: You have to start somewhere. Want to make it easier on you? You be the one to start.

They Haven’t Done Anything To Earn My Respect!

Have you given them a chance? Do they know what they’re supposed to do to earn your respect? Are your standards much higher than the average person?

Point: Why isn’t it enough that someone just being a fellow human being earns a bit of respect? Let them show their true colors before they lose it.

Oh, that’s just the way I am and they need to learn to respect that!

This statement never ceases to amaze me at how arrogant some people really are. Why do they need to learn to respect you for who you are and you don’t have to respect them for who they are? The vanity of some people is downright mind-boggling!

Point: Give what you expect! Respect is a two-way street!

Know The Street You Are On

It’s a two-way street! What a cliché! Respect is earned. It can take years to build and seconds to destroy.

Important thing is as a street it’s important to know what street you are on. Knowing the street is knowing your audience.

BoO is full of jokers. Different people have different styles to their jokes. The predominant tendency tends to lie in the extreme range of silly to the extreme perverted. Although somehow I’ve gained the title The Perverted along with my Old Man nickname, you may or may not be surprised to know that I’m not the most perverted in the guild. That title probably belongs to one of our bloggers, and trust me you might be surprised as it isn’t Amber or Frost! :P

My humor tends to be slightly sarcastic, and mostly one-liners. Apparently during my little hiatus away from all things chat, several people commented on missing my one-liners. But I have to take care because I still don’t know everyone and a one-liner could be taken the wrong way, even on Vent.

For example, Amber’s a disc priest (God only knows why!) and I like to give her a lot of shit about it. So I’m often heard saying that “Real priests Holy!” and it nearly always gets a laugh from others and a “F@#$ YOU, KY!” from Amber. Now to someone who doesn’t know me and the relationship I have with Amber my comment might be seen as demeaning and her comment to me might be taken as amorous. ;)

Now take a new disc priest that joins our guild. He’s nervous about performing well and showing that he has what it takes to raid with us. While on Vent I make the joke “Real priests Holy!” Being nervous enough already and worried about how much he’s under the spotlight, our new disc priest could take offense wondering why we would invite him to the guild if we felt that holy priests were superior to disc?

This may not be the best example because who really would take a statement like that with laughing in the background seriously? But then again, someone might. So it is important for me to think about what I’m about to say or do before I say or do it.

Here’s a generic illustration of the way I saw several events that happened recently:

Guildie #1 says something innocent.
Guildie #2 takes offense and assumes a defensive posture.
Guildie #2 says something back that although correct or just an opinion does so in enough of a defensive way as to offend Guildie #1.
Guildie #1 gets his/her panties in a twist and begins to fight back thinking they’re doing it respectfully, but fails either literally or…
Guildie #2 fails to perceive said respect.
Guildie #3 jumps in on the side of Guildie #(take your pick) and problem escalates.
Officer #1 is in vent talking to Officer #2 completely oblivious to Guild Chat. (OK, this part was me.)
Officer #2 notices something near the end and starts frantically scrolling back up to find out what happened.
Officer #1 grabs Guildie #1 and asks wtf is going on?
Guildie #1 tells his side of the story.
Officer #1 plays Devil’s Advocate and tries to get Guildie #1 to see what could possibly be Guildie #2′s side of the story. Main objective is to just get others to think before they react.
Guildie #1 says you know me, that’s just how I am, and I didn’t mean anything by it.
Officer #1 smacks head against keyboard, begins attempts at smoothing things over, but secretly wonders if everyone in this guild ate paint chips as a child?

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a billion times…there are always as many sides to a story as there are people plus one. There’s my side, there’s your side, and there’s the truth.

So remember that just because you’re looking at a situation differently than someone else, doesn’t necessarily make them wrong or less deserving of your respect.

9 Responses

  1. So if we mess up a little in guild we can use the “I ate paint chips as a child” defense? Not that I have, though I do like potato chips. :P

  2. I ate dog treats, not paint chips.

  3. “I’m not the most perverted in the guild. That title probably belongs to one of our bloggers” >_> :D?

    Anyway, this is a very well said post. I agree that respect is incredibly important, no matter who the person is. People need to realize that you probably don’t REALLY know the person on the other side of the screen, unless you’ve really been talking for a while – you don’t know what might upset them. Even teasing can go a little too far and get a little too hurtful sometimes.

    Being needlessly abrasive because that’s “who you are”? That’s gonna rub people the wrong way over time.

  4. Yes Ori…it is you :)

    Kyr said: “There’s my side, there’s your side, and there’s the truth.”

    That is so wrong. It should read: There’s my side, there’s your side, and you’re wrong”

    There :)

  5. I sort of wish that I could get the powers that be in my guild read this – but there isn’t a real way I can. Well, not without raising tensions.

    Such a lot seems to be “drama? what drama” – there is a lot of misunderstanding between what the guild is – that it is friendly or that it is hardcore, that it is casual, but that it is professional, that it is not hardcore because we have loo breaks and tactics breaks, and only three (25man) raid nights per week.

    So much room for raised hopes and misunderstandings.

  6. I ate dog, not dog treats.

  7. Thank you.

  8. I know that there are situations where people are treated poorly and legitimately get upset, but isn’t about time that people stopped getting offended so damn easily? It seems as if you can’t say anything at all that someone isn’t offended by.

    The officers in our guild are struggling with whether to correct people making mistakes in raids because people get offended, angry, upset and tend to argue.

    For heaven’s sake people, grow some thicker skin!!

  9. This is an excellent, clear explanation of the social mechanics of respect…especially having vs. showing respect.

    You could also break it down into “respect” and “courtesy” — where respect is the over-and-above element, with courtesy being the basic entitlement of pretty much everyone — you have respect, and you show courtesy, if you want. That may be confusing the issue, though, heh.

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