How to command respect: 24 things you can do

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Everybody wants to be liked and respected.

But while it’s impossible to be liked by everyone, it is possible to command respect from everyone.

This is because respect is about being steadfast in your convictions.

You’ll never please everyone, but you will be respected if you stick to your principles and remain true to yourself.

In this article, I will go through the quickest and easiest ways to command respect from others.

1. Respect other people

Let’s call this the “chicken-and-egg relationship”. If you respect other people, then they’ll be more likely to respect you.

It doesn’t matter who you’re dealing with, whether you consider them “lower” or “higher” than you, it’s imperative that you give them the respect every human deserves.

If you talk down to someone or suck up to others, you’re losing the sense of your dignity.

And as soon as that happens, respect is lost.

2. Always keep your promises

How do you feel when someone says they’ll do something and they never get around to doing it?

I don’t know about you, but they lose respect in my eyes.

If you want to be respected by others, always keep your promises. It’s as simple as that.

3. Let your actions speak louder than your words

Walking around boasting about how great you are is a surefire way to lose respect from others.

Nobody respects someone overly arrogant, especially if they never back it up with action.

If you want to be respected by others, realize that your ego and words mean nothing.

What really matters is your actions.

4. Help others

Don’t think just about yourself. No one respects a selfish person who only acts when it benefits them.

If someone asks you for help or you see an opportunity to help others, then make sure you step up to the plate and do what you can.

Helping others is one of the easiest things you can do to gain respect from others.

And generally, when you help others, you’re more likely to receive help when you need it yourself.

5. Ask for help when you need it

It’s tough to ask for help. Some of us see it as a sign of weakness.

But surprisingly, showing vulnerability is an excellent way to gain respect from others.

It means you’re willing to open up who you are and let other people help you.

Most people are very happy to help others. It makes them feel good.

And when you develop a bond with someone else because of a shared experience, you’re more likely to gain some respect.

6. Be honest

Being honest and straightforward is a really important part of respect. It’s hard to trust someone who has hidden intentions or is vague.

Make sure you’re sharp with your words. Get to the heart of the matter, and don’t hide what you honestly think.

Clear thinkers can express precisely what they mean in a short number of words.

And those kinds of people are people others respect.

Even if other people disagree with you, staying true to your words and standing up for your beliefs will gain respect from others.

7. Strive to be a better person

So many of us just scrape by without ever really improving.

But if you want to gain respect from others, then you must constantly improve yourself.

This means learning from your mistakes and failures, listening and learning from others, and having the self-awareness to recognize when you could have done better.

8. Take responsibility for your mistakes

It’s hard to respect someone who never admits they’re wrong. It’s emotionally immature and doesn’t lead to improvement.

So if you want to gain respect from others, take responsibility for your actions even when you’ve made mistakes.

Don’t make excuses or blame outside people or circumstances.

Take ownership of your mistakes and learn from them.

It’s the only way to grow; if you’re always trying your best and striving to get better, other people will respect you.

9. Be kind to others

Nobody respects an asshole. If you want to be respected by others, then you need to live by the golden rule: treat people the way that you want to be treated.

Not only does that mean respecting them, but it also means being kind and compassionate towards them.

Say good morning to people, ask them questions, and listen to what they have to say.

The kinder you are to others, the more likely they’ll be kind to you.

10. Be open to hearing other people’s perspectives

You can’t always be correct.

There are always good reasons why people believe what they believe.

Respect their thinking process and be open to listening to their perspective. Listening is probably the biggest sign of respect you can show someone.

And who knows, you might learn a thing or two as well!

11. Be optimistic about others

It’s hard to respect someone who is always complaining.

Try to find the silver lining in difficult situations. And try to look for the good qualities in difficult people.

The more positive you are, the easier it will be for people to like you and respect you.

12. Give credit where credit is due

Taking credit for other people’s actions is a surefire way to lose respect from others.

Don’t get lost in your ego and take credit for something you didn’t do.

Recognize others for the work that they do. You’ll be more likely to gain some respect in the process.

13. Have strong principles

Do you have strong principles?

Someone who has no solid convictions or principles is difficult to respect.

Make sure you stand for something in your life. It could be kindness to others, always sticking to your word, or treating other people the way you want to be treated.

Whatever it is, make sure you have three strong beliefs you never compromise on.

People will respect you for holding your ground and standing up for something.

14. Be proactive

Take control of your life. Don’t wait for direction from others. Back yourself and do what you know needs to be done.

It’s hard to respect someone who never takes action and waits to receive instructions.

Get into the habit of figuring things out for yourself, and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.

People gain respect from pushing through challenging situations.

15. Stop apologizing

You might think you’re being nice when you apologize, but apologizing too much can look weak.

Sometimes you might make genuine mistakes, and you should apologize for them.

But you don’t need to apologize for asking a question to someone.

When you apologize in every situation, you put yourself down and lose respect from others.

16. Don’t waste other people’s time

Being constantly late to meetings or catch-ups shows that you don’t really respect other people’s time.

And that means that you don’t respect them.

Make sure you’re always on time.

This also means being straightforward and getting to your point fast.

Be succinct and respect people’s time. They’ll be more likely to respect yours.

17. Don’t gossip about other people

Nobody respects someone who talks about people behind their back. You can’t trust someone like that.

This all comes down to the golden rule. If you don’t want people to talk about you behind your back, don’t do it about other people.

18. Practice humility

You don’t know everything. You’re not always going to be right. And you’re certainly not better than everyone else.

People don’t respect someone who is always looking down on people.

There is always something to learn from everybody.

19. Stop being too nice

Kindness is good. But doing everything for everyone with the sole intention of gaining respect will just make you a doormat to other people.

Nobody respects a pushover. You’ll come across as inauthentic if you’re too nice to everyone.

20. Learn to say no

Don’t feel guilty for saying no. You can’t do everything. And if you always say yes, you’ll inevitably let people down because you won’t be able to stick to your word.

You also don’t need to agree with everyone, especially your superiors.

Have some backbone and stand up for what you believe in and are capable of.

If that means saying no, then so be it.

21. Respect yourself

This goes without saying, but if you want others to respect you, you need to respect yourself. Don’t put yourself down. It doesn’t help to be pessimistic about yourself.

Remember your strengths and learn from your mistakes. You’ll gain confidence when you remind yourself of what you’re good at.

22. Speak up when you’re being mistreated

Don’t let other people run all over you and take advantage of you.

It’s hard to respect someone who never stands up for themselves.

You don’t have to get angry, but make sure you stand up for yourself when you need to.

Do it diplomatically and sensibly.

It’s not easy to do, but people will respect you when you stand up for yourself and what you believe in.

23. Stand up for other people

In the same way, if you ever see injustice or something that goes against your moral principles, don’t be afraid to call it out and stand up for the person being mistreated.

It doesn’t mean you need to start an argument or a fight. But it does mean that you need to be comfortable with confrontation once in a while. Just make sure to be calm and diplomatic.

24. Control your emotions

It’s hard to respect someone who hasn’t got a hold of their emotions.

So, take a step back and curb your instant reactions and emotions.

It’s good to be yourself and shows enthusiasm. But make sure you’re always in control instead of letting your emotions get the better of you.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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