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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    May 2009
    6w5 sp/sx

    Default Respect - for INFJs/ENFJs especially

    There have been "respect" threads before, but I thought I'd start another. Of course any input is welcome from anyone, but I'm especially interested in the perspective of ENFJs and other INFJs.

    How do you define respect?

    How does someone gain your respect?

    How do they lose it?

    If they've lost it, can they ever hope to get it back? How?

    "Respect" is a rather nebulous term that gets tossed around a lot. I think that for me it has to do with a person's integrity and unselfishness; it's unlikely that I will find a lot to respect if those aren't present. If someone tries to do their best, admits it when they makes mistakes and tries to fix them, that will help them to earn my respect. It is VERY important that they take responsibility and not try to pass the buck onto other people and situations for the problems that they have. While acknowledging that outside factors and people can cause a lot of problems, and that some people have had a rougher deal in life than others, you are unlikely to have my respect if you constantly shift blame to others, act like a victim, make yourself sound constantly hard done by and don't show gratitude for the good people and things in your life. You will lose my respect as well if you consistently act inconsistently - saying one thing and doing another. Lack of self-knowledge (or at least an attempt at it) is also likely to make you lose my respect.

    By these standards, I have to admit that there are probably not a great many people who I really, really respect. Some, for sure. Not a lot.

    I also have the problem that I tend to think I respect someone when it may actually be the case that they have abilities I admire (and perhaps lack myself), or I'm attracted to them in some way. These don't guarantee worthiness of respect - what it really means is that I WANT to respect them - but I may end up giving it to them prematurely if that's the case. This has resulted in me getting seriously hurt on occasion. And my loss of respect is then extreme and probably accompanied by dislike of the person. Somewhat my bad.

    If you really lose my respect, you are unlikely to ever get it back. This does make me think that possibly I need to be more forgiving, and that I would need to be very careful about embarking on a serious relationship because I could end up married to someone who I then lost my respect for, or something...and that would be horrible. Not sure about the forgiveness aspect though. I think there have been times when it was the right thing to forgive someone and ultimately I was able to do it, but they didn't really get my respect back.

    I am pretty sure that xNFJs value the concept of respect a great deal and usually take it under consideration in their human relationships. I don't think most INFJs or ENFJs are likely to spend a lot of time with someone they don't respect just because that person is entertaining or whatever...
    Enneagram 6w5 sp/sx


  2. #2
    Member Inverness's Avatar
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    Jul 2011


    I define respect in much the way you have described it, if I can look into someone an see a lot of personal integrity (i.e. good morals, not just ethical) I tend to look highly upon them. Given that, I tend to have a very high standard for 'ultimate respect'.

    Someone gains my respect when I catch glimpse of them when they are 'alone'....meaning, who they are when no one is around or watching. Not that I'm stalking people to find these instances, but I can usually gauge it pretty well just by speaking with them (and later confirming such).

    To lose my respect is to exhibit behaviour which I consider beyond reprehensible. I'm always wanting to give people second chances, so I'll give them a chance to re-gain my respect...but it will always be tarnished.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    ... I don't think most INFJs or ENFJs are likely to spend a lot of time with someone they don't respect just because that person is entertaining or whatever...
    I would most certainly have to echo that remark, I like to spend the most time around those I hold in high regard...and move away from others.
    INFJ; 9w1 so/sp/sx; EII; RCOAI; Neutral Good

  3. #3


    I see "respect" as how I treat others and how people treat others... if people act like an asshole just because they can, I lose a lot of respect for them. For me, I don't really think of people in terms of ethics and morals because I don't like to be the judge of things like that. I think of people more in terms of genuineness vs. fakeness. People with many "masks" turn me off more than people with iffy "values". Don't make up shit just to make one's self look good and put in a guise that it's for "others"....gah! They win my respect back when they realize relationships are a two-way street and they seem "real" to me.

  4. #4
    Lungs & Lips Locked Unkindloving's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    ENFj None


    Something I've realized over the past year is that I separate my feelings toward people close to me into either Love or Respect. I love all of my friends, truly. I respect very few of them, however. This does sound bad, but it coincides with my definition of respect.

    I may respect a certain ability or passion they have, a trait they have honed, etc of a person. I wouldn't go so far as to say I respect them overall though. The people who I do respect are flawless in a way. They tend to know what they want out of life, who they are, and their own way of functioning. This doesn't mean they have all of the answers, or are doing it all right. It means they have the confidence in their actions, even if it is fucking up- even if it is admitting they may fuck up. It means that they don't tread on other people to get to where they are trying to go. It also means that I feel no deep-seated urge to help and advise them, because they may be capable, or they just don't need any degree of "saving". Furthermore, they are able to teach me. I don't care about learned facts and this and that. I care about the application in relation to life, living, self, and interaction. If someone can teach me something valuable that I haven't already deduced in some way, then they are so liable to have my respect.

    I honestly respect about 2-3 people.
    How they gain it has already been defined for the most-part. How they lose it depends on if they start walking all over people, losing who they are and their belief in themselves, and turn anything improper negative on me for unjust reasons.
    I don't mean any negativity though. An example would be of my INTJ, who is the main person in my life that I have absolute respect for. He can tell it to me straight, and I may not listen most of the time, but his information is relevant and always has at least some (if not all) truth to it. I respect him more for being dead-on in his advice and assessments of me. It's just so much different than something unwarranted and false, which can almost instantly deplete the respect-meter.

    Regaining it would come from a lot of communication. Understanding of why it was lost, and a degree of vulnerability. I'm a forgiving person, and I tend to want most people to rise to their potential. If they can put forth the effort and regain my respect, then I will be liable to respect them more than I did initially. It's hard though. Even more so because people can find it difficult to understand, to communicate, and to be vulnerable.
    Hang on traveling woman - Don't sacrifice your plan
    Cause it will come back to you - Before you lose it on the man

    .:: DWTWD ::.

    There is this thing keeping everyone's lungs and lips locked - It is called fear and it's seeing a great renaissance

  5. #5


    I don't really respect anybody

  6. #6


    I didn't read any previous posts past the questions in the OP so as to not skew results. I want to see if my thoughts align with anyone else's.

    Respect is a feeling of warm admiration, sometimes mingled with feelings of appreciation and approval.

    The people I respect are those whom I refer to as battlers, quiet achievers, individualists and overcomers. Though more than that, those people have to be compassionate as well. The world needs all sorts, but I really respect someone who can be magnanimous and kind. And gracious. It's becoming a lost art.

    I'm pulling from real life in describing those for whom I've lost respect.

    - People who perpetually take their bad mood or ugly anger out on others, as though entitled to do that. I've noticed this occurs when people think more of themselves than anyone else around them. It's almost irrevocable if they are in the habit of compounding that by not ever apologizing or owning it. Life is the best and saddest revenge though, those people find themselves eventually disregarded by anyone who might have cared.

    - People who are cruel to others for sport or to shame people socially to make themselves look better. You don't look better. You look like someone who needs everyone else to look at you because you can't give that sense of worth to yourself.

    - I also don't respect the holy martyr type of person who has all the compassion in the world for themselves but none for anyone else. Gah! Being around people like that makes me feel as though I'm going to short-circuit due to the blatant inconsistencies.

    - Self-aggrandizers. I'm not really drawn to prideful types, it's an act, it's not real. It's like being stuck watching endless trailers and never getting to see the feature film.

    I can still like someone I don't respect when the trespasses aren't too great. It's just that their opinions are weighted much less heavily until they are at the level of a strand of cotton candy.

    And a little real humility is the antidote. I respect people who own their foibles and make mistakes and can be wrong (and let others be wrong!) without it meaning the world comes crumbling down.

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