There are, I believe, two types of respect. One type of respect is how you feel about someone, and the other is how you act towards someone. Of course, the two overlap rather frequently. However, I believe also that respect can be faked, and that this happens very often in our modern society. In fact, not only does it happen frequently, but it is celebrated on Facebook and other websites, as well as in real life. This is detrimental to society and to our relationships with others, and yet we have it so deeply ingrained in our heads that oftentimes we act upon it even without realizing it. I believe that we ought to root out this fake respect and pay special attention to how we treat people."Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be."
The type of respect that you feel for someone is based off of how you feel about them. (*Gasp!*) You've seen something in them that you admire, or you trust them, or you look up to them, or whatever the cause may be, and you feel respect for them. The respect from your actions is, in a sense, based on this type of respect. When you feel respect towards someone, you act a certain way towards them. Not to say that you become perfect when you're around them; you can still make mistakes or offend them accidentally. But you try not to. You want them to like you. You want to make things easier for them. The way that you feel respect for them may change the specifics of how you behave, but in any case, it will show through your actions. Maybe you'll call them sir. Maybe you'll offer them your seat. Maybe you'll greet them with a firm handshake and a warm smile. But whatever it is, it will show.
Visual respect doesn't require someone to feel respect, however. There is a certain type of respect that is owed to a person simply because they are a human being created by God in His image. In this sense, you can show respect for someone without feeling anything different towards them. Unfortunately, there is also fake respect. Terms that are (sometimes) meant to sound respectful, but really aren't. On a lower level, examples of this might be saying "good for you" when someone has made a point or statement. What this really means is, "I don't like what you said, and I don't even care enough about you to respond properly, so shut up and go away." However, in masking it as something respectful, it actually turns out to be even more disrespectful than the latter statement, because you're not even willing to speak to them openly.
There are all sorts of situations where fake respect can real its ugly head. It may involve speaking to someone in a very sweet manner and using words like "honey" or "dear," but still speaking down to them. It may involve a dismissal of some kind (e.g., "good for you," as mentioned earlier, or "bye bye," often with emphasis on the second "bye"). Once it gets to a higher level, it may be much more subtle, such as simply refusing to directly address what someone has said and instead bringing up nearby topics that may be almost relevant. But in each case, regardless of how in depth it is, it is disguised as respect in one way or another.
Fake respect is often celebrated in our culture- people can become very passive aggressive, and there are even pictures online labeled as "passive aggressive wins." Each time, you don't like what someone is doing, or you simply don't like the person, so, whether consciously or not, you attempt to "get back at them" in a way that's socially acceptable, so that people won't call you out on it. It becomes habitual, and it becomes celebrated, and a passive aggressive nature replaces the basic respect that we ought to have for our fellow human beings. In order to change the habits that we've formed, we must pay special attention to how we're treating people, and recognize that they are valuable, whether we like them or not.
"Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike."
-Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling)