By Hala Bader al-Humaidhi
As Aristotle said, ‘Man is a social animal’. He can’t survive in isolation. Therefore, human beings interact with each other on a daily basis, having a deep impact on each other’s life. Though all men have the freedom of speech and the freedom of having an opinion, yet they still have some limitations, legal as well as social. For example, Parents think they have the right to intervene in their children’s lives. They can inspect rooms, phones and other personal belongings of their children without even asking. But this is not right. Similarly, in a marriage, both partners expect from each other the right to know all secrets, to share every good and bad, and co-operate all the time. This may sound good but it is extremely inhuman. Both have their own space which must be respected.
Privacy is a basic right and a necessity of every person, in where respecting someone’s privacy is highly important. You cannot enter someone’s room without knocking. You cannot use someone’s belonging without asking. You cannot force someone to tell their secrets if they don’t want to. You cannot judge someone or comment on them. You cannot push the relationship boundaries if someone doesn’t allow you to, not only it’s unethical, its also immoral.
We, as a society often forget the boundary line of someone’s private life due to several reasons. We may have been born in a different society having some deviating norms. We may sometimes, without even realising cross boundaries to protect or control someone. We may set our own expected boundary lines. Or sometimes, we assume that others are thinking the same way, we think, but many times, it happens unintentionally, specifically if we don’t listen to others carefully. We as a society don’t notice such things because they have been embedded in the very root of society.
Cutting the story short, respecting someone’s privacy can be easily defined by one’s own boundary line of respect. If you consider yourself capable enough to handle your issues by yourself, let others handle their issues. Every person has his own self boundary of respect, make sure to understand it and take account of it.
Many people like to spend some alone time, like reading a book by their own or enjoying a cup of coffee by themselves. Just respect their choices and privacy. If someone is saying No to your invitation, accept that and don’t insist or argue. If someone wants to move on, let them go and respect their decision.
There are some basic principles to respect others privacy:
1. Listen to the other person with your full attention. Give them the space to talk and try to understand what they say.
2. Try to focus on the verbal cues anyone gives you during a talk. Such as ‘Knock the door before entering’.
3. Consider and remember that everyone has his own goals, plans, feelings, in sum – his whole life. So respect their space and accept it.
4. One of the most important principles, pay attention to the body language of the other person. Gestures speak louder than words. For example, if someone’s stepping back a little, it means you are standing too close.
5. Never ever touch someone’s mobile phone, laptop, documents or other such belongings without permission.
‘Respect is how to treat everyone’, as Richard Branson said. Think about your life now and think about the people around you, show them the respect they deserve, especially in their private lives.
The author is a consultant in Public Relations and Personality Types. Instagram: @Tipsbyhalahill
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