Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fear or Respect

Prior to my mother passing away, I stayed with her and visited my father during the summer time (like most children whose parents aren't together). A few years after she passed, I went to live with my father. Just to put it out there, this was his first time ever having to raise a teenager. We had a wonderful relationship (and still do, for the most part) before I started living with him. I used to always get in trouble in school for speaking out of turn and he'd tell me, "some people just talk a lot, you have a lot to say". I was a daddy's girl... possibly by default due to the absence of my mother, but a daddy's girl nonetheless. However, upon living with him, he had ways of making me feel like my opinion was not important. If you know my father, than you know he's nothing short of archaic. He's the type to say "Hush child/woman!", and mean it sincerely. I think he was a cave man in his before life. He constantly told me I was child, and I did not have an opinion. He didn't mean it in a harsh way, but that was/is seriously his outlook on any situation where kids are involved.

Whatever the case, upon going home this winter break, I realized we were bumping heads a lot more. Unlike highschool, in college- I set my own rules, run on my own time, and only answer to myself (for the most part). I wasn't sure how the adjustment of being back home would go, but I knew it wouldn't be peachy keen. All in all, the transition was smooth. Yet, my dad still had issues in displaying his authority. When I was younger, I wouldn't press the envelope so much, but I'm more prone to speak my opininon now and that leads to him feeling disrespected. I used to bite my tongue because I was scared of the consequences, not because I thought too highly of him to voice my opinion. With that being said, I have come to the realization that he put more of a fear of him in me than a sense of respect. When I verbalized this to him, he verified it by agreeing with me, He said, and I quote, "That's right, I'd rather you fear me than respect me." I haven't quite decided how I feel about it, but I do know that I would rather be respected. Others may not agree, and to each his own.

Think about it though, if the only thing keeping someone "in their place" is their fear of you, what happens when their fear of you declines or disappears? If someone stays "in their place" out of respect for you, than there's a certain sense of humbleness that comes with their position, and they're more likely to follow suit versus going against the grain. Why would you want to instill fear of yourself in a person anyway? And if you truly feel it's necessary, why would fear be more of a priority than respect? That seems ridiculous to me. As I said, my opinion on this isn't set in stone. Just thinking it out aloud. Tell me your thoughts.

Contentment is Key,


  1. In more cases than not, people equate fear and respect. So the initial problems lies there. There's a big difference between intimidating someone to the point where they won't challenge you and radiating so much strength and wisdom that they choose not to challenge but emulate you.

    For the most part, I feel that if you have to instill fear in someone, it's to obscure your lack of control over a situation or person. If they fear you, you have an artificial control. But if they respect you, you admit that your control is limited. However, it's much more potent. Respect is a beautiful thing.

    Fear is to be conquered. Respect is to be conjured.

    And that's my spill.

    And good luck to you, girl. You're growing into your own. So branching off from the parents is half the battle.

    -Chucked Deuce-

  2. hmm...I know exactly what you're talking about. My relationship with both my parents' (prior to me going to college) was sort of the same way. My mother didn't really put much regard into my opinions, and my father ALWAYS expected me to conform to what he said (no matter whether he was right or wrong). But as I grew older, they both slowly grew to respect my opinion as an equal rather than a subordinate. You're going through the same's bound to come with the natural maturation of a father/daughter relationship. Your father still sees you as his little girl, even though you're quickly turning into a grown woman. Try your best not to worry too much about this, he'll see you as the woman you are sooner or later.