Inconsideration and disrespect

I hope that you don’t have to deal with these things on a daily basis, but it has come to my attention that not everyone’s definition of disrespect and inconsideration are the same.

As far as I understand it, to be inconsiderate is to fail to consider the impact of something on someone else or their feelings. To be inconsiderate is to be somewhat self-absorbed and unaware of your effect on others. People who are inconsiderate don’t think about others very much because they are focusing on themselves, or select other people, but it is not their goal to hurt people, it just happens by mistake. There is no intended conflict.

I think that to be disrespectful is to know that your affect on others will be hurtful, but to do whatever it is anyway, or worse, do something with a sole aim of undermining someone. Disrespect is premeditated, vicious and spiteful. It can form part of a defense or attack mechanism. To show disrespect is to engage in conflict.

So, how can people get confused? I guess it all comes down to intent. If someone is upset because I call them a shit-eating jumbo gorilla, then that is disrespectful. If I upset them because I went to the shop and didn’t ask if they wanted anything, then that would be inconsiderate.

Its difficult to argue which side of the line someone is on though. You offend me, I give you the benefit of the doubt and assume it was unintentional. I ask you not to go or say that again because it upset me, and yet you do it again out of choice? That’s disrespectful.

Uhuh. Ok well I just answered one of my own questions. Dammit. I’m a repeat offender with getting home later than I say I’ll be (cos no sense of time, brain, watch) but I fully INTEND to get home early every day but something more interesting or urgent ALWAYS gets in my way! This is perceived as disrespect when it is actually inconsideration. When those somethings pop up at hometime I should say nope, I need to go home. But I don’t. I need to work on that. But hang on. In that example the thing causing the upset IS being inconsiderate. Can one be intentionally and viciously inconsiderate? I’m not sure, to be vicious requires consideration, no?


“So don’t give me respect
Don’t give me a piece of your preciousness”

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3 thoughts on “Inconsideration and disrespect

  1. Jennifer says:

    At some point, malice has to factor into the formula too. If disrespect is a knowing disregard for a person’s well-being, then malice is an overt attempt to injure. Cagey people blur the lines and use these neat categories to their advantage though, the classic example being passive aggressiveness. Passive aggressiveness can appear as benign as inconsideration or even kindness, but it’s truly motivated by disrespect and even malice. And it injures very effectively by convincing the victim, in the process of the attack, that they were the aggressor or that they somehow deserved it.

  2. I quite agree Jen, that malicious behavour is one step further down the scale. I do think that sometimes passive aggression can be a defensive (albeit dysfunctional) learnt response though rather than an intended malice.

    • Jennifer says:

      It could be and likely is, but I’ve seen too many overtly P-A people to believe it’s very common. There really are that many straight up assholes in the world, unfortunately.

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