I'm pretty sure everyone is like this. We all want to be respected. We all want to be a little superior. We all want to be seen as at least an equal, someone worth your attention. We care so much about how much people respect us. It would be nice to be powerful, to have everyone looking up to you, to be an actual influence on people. The respect of others makes you feel special.
So when you don't feel respected, you feel very down. For example, in band this morning. Previously, for the last two years, I've never even tried. Band was too early. I was always arriving late, never able to warm up. So as a result, I'm not respected as a player. I'm probably that girl that never plays, or that girl that just follows along. I can tell the conductor doesn't respect me, and it bothers me. I know I'm better than some others in my band who are respected. My teacher told me himself. But even though I know I'm okay, her disrespect bothers me. Why is that? Why is she so important? This one conductor is barely a part of my life, yet I still care.
And sometimes people judge you by your reputation, how good you are at something, your friends, how shy you are, the weird things you say when you speak, how loud and embarrassing you can be. And many people won't respect you. You're not good at something, therefore they disrespect you in that regard. You're friends with people they don't like, therefore they automatically dislike you. You say something weird, therefore they will forever judge you as 'that weird girl'. You don't ever speak to them, therefore they think you're unsociable. And that's how it works. People that don't really know you will judge you and disrespect you just like that.
So you'll never be fully respected. You can't be good at everything. You can't never be shy. So what do their opinions matter? Why do you see the need to be respected by them? Sure, there's always certain people that are looked up to more than others and feel more special, that get elected for school captain or win the most awards. But why should you spend your time worrying about being respected by all these people who don't even know you?
What matters is that you're respected by the people that do know you, that you talk to regularly. What matters is having that kind of support. As long as you have a lovely group of people who know you and respect you, all those other people don't matter. I know people who don't seem to care about what others think. They're never afraid to be judged for doing anything. In fact, they're more respected for that. People who don't care what others think tend to be so much happier.
Augustus Waters always wanted to be special, someone great. But Hazel was content with just being respected and loved by him, and he admired that.