From a very young age I was taught by my parents to respect authority figures. I have always had awe and admiration for my bosses and professors. However with this awe and admiration, I tend to put certain people on a pedestal, which leads me to think of them as somewhat super human.
This gets to be a problem if I don't agree with the way an authority figure is handling a problem or situation. Because I have them on such a high pedestal, I have trouble voicing or explaining my side of things. I just turn into a person I don't want to be...and get all nervous while interacting with them. Did I also mention that my passion for my work tends to get in the way too? Then I get frustrated after the fact because I am totally a different person around certain authority figures.
One of my professors recently told my class that as Doctoral students we are now his equal and we can question anyone's research. This was of course hard for me to hear, especially since this particular professor is so knowledgeable and I am in total awe about how much he knows about so many different academic disciplines.
My professor's statement is making me really rethink about the way in which I respect authority figures. I am learning how to stand up for my beliefs while still respecting authority. It isn't easy...I'm trying first with my professor and then we'll see how it goes...
Has this happened to you? How do you respect authority while still standing up for what you believe in?