My co-tenants think I’m disrespectful

Dear Auntie Betty, I am in junior high school Form One. My family and I live in a compound house.

The other tenants in the house think I do not respect. What should I do to let them stop thinking that way?


Madina, Accra.


Dear Seyram, There is a Ghanaian proverb that says: “The one who beats a path does not know it is crooked.” This means that as a human being, no matter how hard you try, sometimes you may not be able to give a good assessment of yourself.

You need a neutral person or other people to give you an objective assessment of your behaviour. You need the guidance and correction of others to enable you to stay on the right path.

In our Ghanaian tradition, even chiefs have elders who advise them. The President too has the Council of State to advise him. The President and chiefs are people of good repute, but they need other people to ‘check’ them to ensure that they do the right thing.

As young as you are, it is possible you may be doing something ‘wrong’ which you are not aware of. If all the co-tenants are saying you are disrespectful, then you need to give it a thought and not brush it aside.

Therefore, I suggest you identify one of the tenants you can talk to and ask him or her to tell you what exactly has given rise to that impression. Let him or her know that you are not happy to be labelled ‘disrespectful’ and would want to change that perception.

Since I do not know why they say you are disrespectful, it will be difficult to advise you on what to do. However, I suggest you listen carefully to what that tenant has to say and take steps to turn over a new leaf.

Sometimes people tag others as disrespectful if they do not have their way with them, so consider that angle too. You do not have to give in to the advances of males/females, for instance, just because if you don’t they will say you are disrespectful.

You show respect by being polite, courteous, obeying rules and apologising when you are wrong.
All the best.


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