December 9, 2011

Friday Frustration: with all due respect

I wanted to call today's post Friday Pet Peeve, but I'm a bit obsessed with alliteration. I considered Friday Flame, but figured that may conjure the wrong image. I intend to make this a regular feature on this blog in an attempt to jumpstart some creativity. So without further ado, today's pet peeve. 

Prefacing a statement of disagreement using the phrase with all due respect is one of my biggest pet peeves (Believe me, I have plenty! So many that I hope to fill a year of Fridays).  The need to use such a phrase underscores a prior lack of respect. It's as if the speaker is qualifying the fact that they don't normally exercise respect when speaking. I liken it to when someone has to tell me they are smart or classy or talented. I hope such traits are obvious enough to not require announcement.

When I carry on a conversation with another person, I treat them with respect. As tempting as it may be to say "it's a two way street", respect is a one way street and I choose to lead the way. If someone were going the wrong way on a one way street, I wouldn't careen forward to prove I was going the right way. I would move to the side.

In keeping with that tone, when someone I am talking to shows a lack of respect, I do not follow suit. I continue to speak with respect. If the conversation escalates, I simply remove myself from it. But whenever I hear the phrase with all due respect I bristle. It's like an asterisk that the rest of the conversation didn't take place from a place of respect.

Are there any words or phrases that rub you the wrong way?


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