6 habits of women who naturally command attention and respect, according to psychology

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When I think of a woman who commands respect, a woman who’s so classy you can’t help but take her seriously, I think of my Philosophy teacher back in high school.

She was one of those women teenage girls aspire to become one day, and for a good reason: she knew how to inspire us to stand up for what we believed in, command the attention of the whole class, and teach with incredible authority.

 As luck would have it, the older I get, the more I find myself in tune with what my teacher represented back when I was younger.

Psst. Want to know all the trade secrets?

Lean in closer. I’m about to tell you everything you need to know.

Here are the 6 habits of women who naturally command attention and respect.

1) They seem to have their sh*t together

Two women walk into the library.

(This sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. I promise you it’s not.)

Sarah looks like she’s just run a marathon – her cheeks are all red, she is breathing heavily, and she brings in a rush of anxious energy.

Not to mention she constantly plays with her hair. She takes her notes out of her bag.

They’re a complete mess.  

Mandy, on the other hand, strides in with a poise so self-assured that it is obvious this is exactly how she planned her day to go.

She doesn’t rush anywhere because she doesn’t feel she has to. When she begins to pull her notes out, you can see they’re neatly organized into folders.

Which one seems to have her life in order?

The answer’s obvious.

A bulletproof way to demand respect is to be a master at time management and organization.

If you look like you have your sh*t together, people aren’t going to question you.

And all you need is 1) a bit of preparation and 2) a healthy dose of confidence.

According to psychologist Hendrie Weisinger Ph.D., “Confidence by those who study the subject is ‘the degree to which you think and ‘feel’ your actions will achieve positive results.’”

And that’s precisely what’s going on here.

Confidence demands respect, and as long as you prepare, organize, and stay on top of things, your confidence naturally grows because you feel more certain you’ll get the results you want.

Boom. That’s the aura of a girl boss right there.

2) They aren’t easily scared off or manipulated

I recently went out with a group of old friends. We were drinking and sharing fun stories when one of the men asked us what we wanted to drink next.

“No more for me,” I said. “I’ll just have some water for now.”

“So tequila it is,” he replied.

“Water,” I insisted. “I said water.”

When he returned with our drinks, he brought me a glass of water as well as a shot of tequila.

“He always pushes people like that,” one of his close friends said. “People say no, but they eventually fall for it, anyway.”

Challenge accepted.

As the evening drew on and I refused to drink the shot, he eventually ended up drinking it himself.

And I could tell something between us shifted – a sense of understanding that I would not play his games.

Interestingly, this gave rise to respect. From then on, he knew my boundaries were non-negotiable, and he no longer pushed me.

A woman who naturally demands respect communicates her boundaries, yes, but she also goes one step further.

She reinforces them when someone tries to test just how far they stretch.

Psychologist Robert N. Kraft, Ph.D., classifies maintaining our boundaries as one of the best ways to resist manipulation.

And when you resist manipulation, you’re establishing new rules and asserting your power.

3) They display excellent emotional self-regulation

Let’s be real – if I started shouting at my old friend how dare he push my boundaries when I said I only wanted water, I’d probably make a fool of myself.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t feel angry or frustrated in such situations.

Your feelings are entirely up to you, and oftentimes, you can’t fully control them.

But the best way to command respect isn’t to be the loudest person in the room. It’s to subtly navigate social situations in such a way that you always keep your cool.

If someone throws a stone at you, it just rolls off. No harm done.

Because you are ultimately the one who decides whether to accept other people’s behavior and take it personally.

What’s more, you are the one who gets to choose how to react to your feelings.

And that’s what emotional self-regulation is all about.

One of the five key elements of emotional intelligence, self-regulation is the ability to recognize your feelings, lovingly accept them for what they are, and find a healthy way to cope with them.

That is, instead of screaming my head off, I maintained my boundaries and went on a run the next day.

4) They see the world through a multicolored lens

If there is one thing that most people admire and respect, it’s intelligence.

A woman who’s knowledgeable, witty, and wise most of all, is someone you don’t want to mess with.

If you propose an argument, she’ll have three counterarguments that leave yours in the dust.

If you make clever jokes, she’ll keep up with ease.

And if you try to poke a hole in one of her opinions by pointing out something from the other side of the spectrum, she might completely surprise you by agreeing with you.

“I see where you’re coming from,” she might say. “This is an important factor to consider, too.”

Flabbergasted, you’re suddenly at a loss for words.

Because this woman can very obviously see nuance.

She contextualizes each and every problem, understands that nothing is ever black-and-white, and accepts that there may be parts of the story she doesn’t know.

And this ability to hear out both sides, see the world through a multicolored lens, and think critically is what makes her even more respectable.

5) They are kind to others – but not at the expense of their own well-being

“Not always being a ‘nice girl’ can make a woman stronger,” says therapist Beverly Engel L.M.F.T.

And what exactly does it mean to be a “nice girl”?

According to Engel, “A Nice Girl is more concerned about what others think of her than she is about what she thinks of herself. She is more concerned about other people’s feelings than she is about her own. And she is more concerned about giving people the benefit of the doubt than she is about trusting her own perceptions.”

And this is why women who are naturally respected by others don’t play the nice game.

No, that doesn’t mean they’re cold and selfish. It means they’re genuinely kind – both to others and to themselves.

If someone they care about needs help, they offer it, but only if they have the capacity to do so.

If they are drowning in life admin and work tasks, they tactfully decline other people’s invitations to social events or requests for small favors.

They show up for their close ones in the best way they know how, but at the same time, they don’t ignore their own needs for the sake of those of other people.

And this determination to look after themselves is what strengthens their character, gives them the energy to be truly there for others when it matters, and helps them command respect.

Because others will only respect you when you genuinely respect yourself.

6) They practice the art of detachment

A woman who clings to specific outcomes, people, things, and situations is a woman who engulfs herself in anxiety, fear, and impatience.

A woman who learns to let go and let everything naturally unfold, on the other hand…

That’s a woman who has an aura of self-respect, inner confidence, and self-love. That’s a woman others automatically gravitate toward.

Enter… the law of detachment!

In a nutshell, psychologists describe detachment as the process of letting go and releasing our past experiences as well as our future expectations.

Detachment makes it so that we view things more objectively, accept that some things are simply outside of our control, and make peace with – sometimes harsh – reality.

Someone who has mastered the art of detachment has essentially unlocked a new level of confidence because they no longer feel like they have something to prove.

And that’s where their power resides. At the very core of their self-love, optimism, and self-assuredness.

I don’t know how about you, but the way I see it, a woman who has reached these heights does not only command attention and respect but also admiration.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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