You Already Know the Lessons That the Elderly Teach
Kids, often unwillingly, are forced to say hello to the scary elderly man sitting on his rocking chair when they visit for dinner. They become shy; a little scared, and hesitate to embrace those who’ve lived life for a long time.
As these kids grow older, they’ll no longer be timid to say hello to the frail old man, but they’ll do it quickly and run along. They’ll have better things to do than to tell an elderly family friend about their time at school. They’ll have nothing in common with him, as the elderly don’t play their games and don’t understand their lingo.
A young adult ready to dive head first into life’s tribulations grows to appreciate the wisdom the elderly possess. They’ll realize how nonchalantly elderly people perceive things which seem to be a big deal to the inexperienced.
The elderly have paid their mortgages and bills. They’ve witnessed the many combinations of events that life presents without asking for our opinions first. The elderly around the young adult will be good examples of what to do and how to act amidst the various circumstances of life.
You’ve likely learned the lessons that the elderly can teach by now. An underappreciated aspect of dealing with the elderly however, is taking advantage of the respect these people have garnered over time.
This article aims to illuminate the dynamics at play as you leverage your relationships with the elderly to command respect from those around them.
The Elderly Hold Assured Authority in Their Circles
Though you may respect your elders, you probably don’t go out of your way to make them like you. There are often others who warrant our undivided attention more than the widowed woman living by herself. It may not seem worth investing your time into finding things to talk about with the frail and old.
They won’t be able to serve as an important part of your network to propagate your career. They won’t know how to advise you on the specific issues you have with your business, as they’d likely be behind the technology and practices of today.
What the elderly provide however, is the already attained respect from those who know them. The elderly have started and cultivated families which have spread their roots. They’ve formed deep friendships, and have managed relationships into realms that only time allows for.
The elderly are thereby hot spots for garnering the respect of the group of people who respects them. By making an elderly person like and respect you, you increase your social standing amidst all those who respect the elderly person at hand.
As the elderly you observe built up their circle of family and friends over time, they’ve garnered a respect from those individuals which is difficult to replicate. For the people who respect the elderly they call close, it’s difficult to reject and go against the preferences of those elderly folks. If the senior citizen around them grows to respect a certain individual, the younger often find themselves obligated to act respectfully toward that same person.
The Backdoor Toward Respect
Ensuring you spend time and energy making the elderly like you is thereby an exercise of commanding those around the elderly to respect you. As they wouldn’t want to go against the interests of the elderly they surround themselves with, they’d feel obligated to at least act as if they respect you for garnering the respect of their close elders.
The elderly you meet in life are thereby powerful influencers of those who respect them. By leveraging their power as you make them like you, you’ll serve to center on the most efficient and impactful method of commanding respect from a group of people lower in the pecking order.
Think of the elderly as senior executives in the community that they’ve fostered. Compare them to powerful people in your company, organization, or place of work. In making them like you, you serve to gain a perceived authority in relation to the others who look on.
How to Make the Elderly Like You
Naturally, the next steps of this thought exercise are determining what ways are best in making the elderly like you. In an effort to keep things simple, focus on two main points when dealing with the elderly you want to befriend.
Comfort / Accessibility
Looking out for the comfort of the elderly is effective at making them like you because comfort is a principal barrier in the lives of many elderly folks. By eradicating the barrier of accessibility / comfort, you serve to communicate that you are tuned into solving the problems in their lives. They’ll grow to respect you for living a comfortable youthful existence while still anticipating the discomforts of their day to day lives.
Getting out of cars will be difficult for them, so be sensitive in giving them a hand out. Walking up the stairs will be a pain, so be there to lend your arm for them to hoist on to. Getting into their chair at the dinner table will be more of a hassle than it already is for you, so ensure to stand behind them and manipulate the chair to fit their needs.
Being on the constant lookout for the comfort of the senior citizens you want to befriend entails being detail oriented too. Ensure the music isn’t too loud at the gathering people wanted their grandpa at. Ask them if they need to use the bathroom as the wedding ceremony drags on for a while, and ensure they have enough cold water when spending time outside in the sun.
Anticipate and solve their problems of comfort and accessibility. They’ll grow to thank and respect your acts of decent hospitality, and will value such acts at intensity far higher than if you were to act the same toward a younger being.
The elderly enjoy being respected for their age. They have, in fact, been through the thick and thin of life’s happenings. They’ve witnessed tragedies, accidents, and their fair share of misdemeanors. They’ve seen random acts of kindness, as well as been a part of planned philanthropic efforts. They’ve spoken more words than you have, and heard even more than they’ve spoken. They’ve seen people panic, overreact, and lose their cool.
The elderly understand just how much the concept of time matters in terms of garnering respect because they’re the only ones who experience the effects of age first hand. The fact is that we’ll never be able to witness what it feels like to accrue a lifetime’s worth of memories and experience without becoming old and frail first.
Being obedient toward the elderly due to solely their age works well to make them like you because you exhibit an understanding that experience matters in making good decisions. If nothing else, using their age as a metric for just how intently you should listen to them will do well to get you in their good books. Curbing your desire to argue with their decisions and backing them up on their analyses of certain situations will communicate that you value their experience.
Even if they make mistakes in their attempted direction of your efforts, be forgiving and still continue on to be obedient toward them. Respect their word and the experience that drives it. Be compliant with their requests with the understanding that you’re operating to develop a good relationship rather than pull this elderly individual toward a sort of proven truth.