By Kizzy Kittrell Dogan

Always say what you mean and mean what you say… When your actions are not in-line with your words, people tend to dismiss you. They will not take you seriously and they will disregard your point of view and cross every boundary line. You deserve to be treated with respect and at the same time, you must conduct yourself in a respectable manner always.

Excerpt from (My) Book, “Thirteen: Lessons for Every Teen Girl’s Journey to Womanhood”

You should be treated with respect, period! Don’t invest too much energy into wondering whether or not a person likes or dislikes you but focus more on how they treat you. The goal is to be held in high regard and treated with dignity and RESPECT.

My elementary school principal Mr. Moore was considered too mean, and no one liked him. However, we all respected him. He made sure of that. He was stern and didn’t allow his students to misbehave. He never concerned himself with whether or not his students liked him because it wasn’t a popularity contest for him. Mr. Moore had a job to do, and he prided himself on doing it well. Hence that is why I still remember his name today instead of the names of some of my college professors. Not because I didn’t like my professors, but because I didn’t hold them in the same regard as Mr. Moore. In retrospect, he left the impact on my life that I remember most. I now understand and respect his position and actions as an adult and parent.

According to Miriam Webster, R-E-S-P-E-C-T is defined as:

  1. A feeling of admiring someone or something good, valuable, important, etc.
  2. A feeling or understanding that someone or something is important
  3. A particular way of thinking about or looking at something

First and foremost, respect should start with you. When you respect yourself, your body, feelings, thoughts, and beliefs unapologetically, you teach others how to respect you. When someone’s actions do not align with your respect barometer, you have a choice to correct them and allow them to make concessions, or you can choose not to deal with that person moving forward. My motto is to find out how people are and deal with them accordingly. When picking your battles wisely, it’s in your best interest to learn how to articulate your true feelings without fear of conflict or to feel unheard when you feel disrespected. Although you should never barter with your respect, some people and some situations do not deserve an ounce of your energy.

When declaring what respect means to you, always give the respect you wish to receive, and keep in mind, R-E-S-P-E-C-T will take you a lot further than likes. Try remembering the ABCs of Respect. R is for Regard, E is for Esteem, S is for Service, P is for Politeness, E is for Energy, C is for Courtesy, and T is for Treasure.


Kizzy Kittrell Dogan, is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of T&G Commercial Cleaning, LLC, Founder of Love Circle Inc, Author of Thirteen: Lessons for Every Teen Girl’s Journey to Womanhood, Contributor to, Workshop Facilitator, and Keynote Speaker. As The Teen Girl Mentor, Kizzy transforms and empowers teen girls to discover their purpose, passion, and superpowers.