Social Question

Jude's avatar

How do you react to authority figures (we're not talking about your parents here, more like professionals)

Asked by Jude (31993 points ) February 28th, 2012

In general, do you respect them?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

19 Answers

tom_g's avatar

I am not much for “authority”, but I try to respect everyone until they give me a reason not to.

Jude's avatar

I’m with you, @tom_g.

zenvelo's avatar

It depends on what basis they are an authority. If it is something I recognize, I listen and ask questions. I don’t stand in awe of them, but I will hold my tongue if they can fire me or arrest me. I am polite and respect their knowledge.

If it is a self-declared expert, I will listen skeptically, and decide if there arguments or statements are consistent with what I know or have learned. And I will not be shy about politely challenging them if they are in error.

john65pennington's avatar

tom q, good answer and i totally agree.

Its like a bad cop that has not been caught, yet.

jca's avatar

I am respectful and I will watch people and if I hear something that I don’t quite trust, I’ll verify it myself before getting upset over it.

janbb's avatar

It really depends on my mood. Usually, I am respectful but if I am in a bad mood and an authority figure is being a jerk, I can get a little shirty.

Bent's avatar

I respect them until they start messing me about and putting red tape in my way.

Coloma's avatar

I have respect for true authority figures but zero tolerance for self proclaimed, arrogant and narcissistic blowhards that self insert themselves into positions of “authority.” You know the types, they read one book, watch one film, and are instant authorities on the subject. The ones that walk into a new job and decide that they are there to change the entire company on their first day. Gah! Hide the cheese slicer before I slit their throats. haha

Judi's avatar

I taught my kids to question authority. Made for great adults, but a miserable adolescence for all of us.
My daughters have decided to teach their children to question, BUT RESPECT authority. The oldest grand children are in kindergarten now. I’ll let you know in 10 years how it works out for them.

CaptainHarley's avatar

With polite firmness. Most of these people have a very difficult job, but sometimes they cross the line and abuse our civil rights and our right to freedom of action. The best option is to be polite and considerate, but to refuse to allow yourself to be oppressed or bullied.

Sometimes the best option is to simply say, “No, I cannot consent to your request.”

downtide's avatar

With respect. Sometimes I find myself getting a bit intimidated by them though, and I don’t really know how best to deal with that.

Blackberry's avatar

I assume I’m supposed to be more serious around them.

Facade's avatar

My immediate reaction is to treat them like I do anyone else (with the respect they deserve). This doesn’t always work out, but I’m not one to kiss anyone’s ass; it doesn’t matter who they are or what their title is.

Joker94's avatar

I treat them, like most people, with full respect so long as they treat me the same way.

King_Pariah's avatar

I have a natural, immediate dislike towards any figure of authority, but if they’re good, I grow to respect them at the least.

Sunny2's avatar

I react as I do to anyone I don’t know: with curiosity and respect. I may be less brash with authority figures than I am with other people.

TexasDude's avatar

I regard them with suspicion.

jonsblond's avatar

I’m not going to kiss their ass but I do respect them and treat them kindly. I’m respectful to anyone I meet, so it’s not that hard for me to do. Cross the line with me though and the gloves come off!

Aethelflaed's avatar

Actual respect? No. Being an authority figure makes me instantly suspicious of you, especially when authority is not just a side-effect of your job. For example, cops and judges pretty much go into that business to have the authority, while many music teachers want to teach kids to play the trombone and have to also be an authority figure in the classroom. But, I normally show respect (at least initially), because I’ve learned that you have to strategically pick the times in which it is actually advantageous to point out to an authority figure that you don’t respect them.

There’s also a really big differentiation in my head between “authority” and “expert”. Doctors aren’t authorities in almost all cases (me telling them my specific plans to commit suicide/murder being one rare exception), but rather experts to be worked with. I trust (to a certain degree) their knowledge, but not necessarily their judgment until the later has been earned. Professors are experts when talking about subject material, but authorities when it comes to grading and classroom expectations.

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