9 behaviors to drop if you want to be respected by others in life, according to psychology

Respect — it’s a word we all value, but it’s not always something we’re sure how to earn.

It’s about more than just acting with dignity or being polite in your interactions.

According to psychology, earning genuine respect from others involves shedding certain behaviors that might be hindering your progress.

But how do you know which behaviors are the culprits?

Well, fear not. As someone who has spent a significant amount of time studying and understanding human psychology, I’m here to help.

In this article, I’m going to reveal the 9 behaviors you need to drop if you truly want to be respected by others in life.

Prepare to deep dive into the world of psychology and discover the keys to unlocking genuine respect.

1) You’re always playing the victim

When it comes to earning respect, playing the victim is a definite no-no.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of blaming others for our misfortunes. It’s even easier to bemoan our circumstances and paint ourselves as the innocent party.

But let me tell you this: psychologists agree that this behavior is a respect killer.

People who constantly play the victim often come across as needy, dependent, and emotionally immature. This doesn’t inspire respect from others. In fact, it can do quite the opposite.

Respected individuals take ownership of their actions and their circumstances. They don’t waste time pointing fingers or wallowing in self-pity.

Instead, they focus on what they can change and how they can grow from their experiences.

If you find yourself always playing the victim, it’s time to drop this behavior. Remember, respect is earned through accountability, not through sympathy or pity.

2) You’re quick to judge others

Here’s a psychology 101 lesson: the Fundamental Attribution Error.

Sounds complex, right? But it’s surprisingly simple.

The Fundamental Attribution Error is our tendency to blame other people’s behavior on their personality, while attributing our own behavior to external circumstances.

For instance, if someone cuts you off in traffic, you might think, “What a rude person!” But if you cut someone off, you might think, “I didn’t have any other choice. The traffic was terrible!”

Recognize this thought pattern? It’s more common than you might think.

And here’s the kicker: constantly judging others based on their actions while excusing our own can seriously damage the respect others have for us.

Why? Because it shows a lack of empathy and understanding. It paints us as self-centered and unappreciative of the complexities of human behavior.

The solution? Practice empathy and remember that everyone is dealing with their own struggles and circumstances.

Instead of rushing to judgment, try to understand where they’re coming from. It’s a small change that can make a big difference in the way others perceive – and respect – you.

3) You’re overly defensive

While it’s important to not rush to judgment about others, it’s equally crucial to be open to feedback about ourselves.

Now, this might seem counter-intuitive. After all, shouldn’t we stand up for ourselves?

Absolutely. But there’s a fine line between defending your viewpoint and being overly defensive.

When someone offers us constructive criticism, our first instinct might be to defend ourselves, to explain our actions, or even to counter-attack.

But psychology tells us that this defensiveness can be perceived as an inability to accept our flaws and grow from them. And that doesn’t command respect.

On the contrary, people who are open to feedback – who can accept criticism with grace and use it as a stepping stone for self-improvement – are the ones who earn high respect from those around them.

4) You lack consistency

Have you ever promised something and then failed to deliver?

We all have, at some point in our lives. However, it’s important to realize that being inconsistent can drastically affect how others perceive and respect us.

Consistency is a key factor in building trust and respect. It’s about doing what you say you will do, time and again. It’s about showing up, meeting your commitments, and being reliable.

Inconsistency can be seen as a sign of unreliability or even dishonesty. It can make people question whether they can depend on you in the future.

Psychology tells us that consistency is a fundamental aspect of our identity. When we act in ways that are consistent with our beliefs and values, we feel good about ourselves.

But when we don’t, it creates a sense of unease and can decrease our self-respect.

And if we don’t respect ourselves, how can we expect others to?

So, strive for consistency in your actions. Fulfill your promises.

Show up when you say you will. Be the person others can depend on.

5) You’re constantly seeking validation

Let’s get real here. If you’re always seeking validation from others, you’re likely to come off as insecure and lacking in self-confidence.

And while it’s normal to want recognition for our efforts and achievements, an overreliance on external validation can hinder the respect others have for us.

Here’s why:

  • It suggests that you value others’ opinions more than your own.
  • It can come across as needy or attention-seeking.
  • It implies that your self-worth is dependent on what others think of you.

The truth is, self-validation is the most important kind. When we can validate ourselves, we become less dependent on others for approval.

And guess what? This self-confidence and independence are highly respected qualities.

So, instead of seeking validation from others, focus on building your self-esteem and self-worth. You’ll be surprised at the respect it garners.

6) You’re a people-pleaser

I’ll be the first to admit, we’ve all been guilty of people-pleasing to some degree.

It’s human nature to want to be liked and accepted. But when pleasing others comes at the expense of our own needs and values, it’s a problem.

You see, being a people-pleaser often means you’re not being true to yourself. And this can lead others to question your authenticity.

Let’s face it, respect is earned by those who are true to themselves and stand up for what they believe in, even when it’s not popular or easy.

When we compromise our own needs and values for the sake of pleasing others, we send the message that we value others’ opinions over our own. And that’s not a recipe for respect.

So, let’s start prioritizing ourselves. It’s okay to say no sometimes. It’s okay to put your needs first.

7) You’re not being true to your word

Imagine this: A friend promises to help you move next weekend. The day comes and they’re nowhere to be found. How would you feel? Would you be likely to trust their word in the future?

Being true to your word is one of the most important behaviors when it comes to earning respect. When we fail to follow through on our promises, it can seriously damage the trust others have in us.

You see, each time we break a promise, even if it seems minor to us, we chip away at the respect others have for us. It sends the message that our words can’t be trusted.

Now, ask yourself this: Have there been times when you’ve not been true to your word? How might this have impacted how others perceive and respect you?

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the good news is that it’s never too late to change.

By committing to being true to your word and following through on your promises, you can rebuild trust and earn back the respect of those around you.

8) You’re disrespectful to others

Here’s something that I learned the hard way.

During my early years in college, I had a roommate who was constantly late for everything. It drove me nuts. One day, in a fit of frustration, I ended up making a disrespectful comment about her time management skills in front of our friends.

She was hurt, understandably so, and our relationship took a hit. It was a wake-up call for me.

Respect begets respect.

If we want others to respect us, we need to show them respect first.

Disrespecting others, whether through our words or actions, only reflects poorly on us. It shows a lack of empathy and understanding, qualities that are highly respected.

9) You lack self-respect

And here’s the final, and perhaps the most important point.

If you don’t respect yourself, how can you expect others to respect you?

Self-respect is the cornerstone of all respect. It’s about valuing yourself, your time, your needs and your boundaries.

It’s about treating yourself with the same kindness and consideration you extend to others.

Without self-respect, all the other points we’ve discussed will have limited impact. Because at the end of the day, respect starts from within.

So, take care of yourself. Value your own worth. Stand up for yourself when needed.

When you start respecting yourself, you’ll find that others naturally start respecting you too.

Are you ready to earn respect?

Now that you’re aware of the behaviors to drop to gain respect, it’s time to take action.

Here are some quick strategies to get started:

  • Practice self-reflection: Take some time each day to reflect on your actions and how they align with your values.
  • Seek feedback: Don’t shy away from constructive criticism. Use it as a learning opportunity.
  • Set boundaries: Learn to say no when something doesn’t align with your values or needs.

Remember, earning respect is a journey, not a destination.

It’s about constantly growing and improving as a person. It requires self-awareness, courage, and resilience.

But the rewards? They’re well worth the effort.

So ask yourself: Are you ready to drop these behaviors and earn the respect you deserve? The choice is yours.

Ethan Sterling

Ethan Sterling has a background in entrepreneurship, having started and managed several small businesses. His journey through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship provides him with practical insights into personal resilience, strategic thinking, and the value of persistence. Ethan’s articles offer real-world advice for those looking to grow personally and professionally.

9 phrases emotionally immature men love to use, according to psychology

7 signs you’re not a bad person, you’re just in the wrong relationship