Respect isn’t given randomly.
It comes about when you present yourself as a person who will accept nothing less and holds yourself and others to a high standard.
Having a high standard means many things, especially the ability to say no.
If you want more respect in life, learn to say no about these subjects.
1) Requests you don’t have time for or don’t want to do
When you learn to say no to things you don’t have time for and don’t want to do, you assert your place in the world.
Not doing this leaves you wide open to becoming a doormat.
It also places you in danger of getting into a codependent relationship where you don’t have independence and well-being except around your partner.
2) Being asked to please everyone and expected to put yourself last
We can’t please everyone, and saying no is sometimes absolutely necessary.
If you find that you’re putting yourself last (or even second) sometimes no is the right answer.
Don’t be afraid of a firm no. It will gain you the respect of others and of yourself.
3) Subjects you don’t want to talk about
If a subject comes up and you don’t want to talk about it just say “no thanks,” shake your head or stay quiet.
You don’t need to open up about everything or always respond.
If you don’t want to talk about something then respectfully bow out. We all have limits of what we’re comfortable discussing.
Be willing to enforce yours.
4) Pressure to go down a negative rabbithole
This relates to the previous point in that you need to be willing to control what you want to discuss and what you don’t.
If things start going in a very negative direction and you’re finding it a downer, you don’t have to join the downward trend.
You can laugh it off or refuse to get involved.
5) Conspiracy discussions that you find infantile or bizarre
When folks start talking about conspiracy theories you may find ludicrous or hard to believe, you don’t have to discuss them or seem cool with it.
You can just say “no” when asked if you believe them.
The same goes for official narratives that you may be asked to believe. You don’t need to even justify or explain what you don’t want to when asked.
Just mention you don’t buy into them and leave it at that.
6) Demands to comply with ideological or political beliefs
When you’re pressured to agree to any ideological, political, spiritual or religious beliefs, don’t forget that it’s still your choice:
You can say no.
Nobody is going to respect somebody who only ever says yes and goes along with the latest fad or whatever ideology happens to be popular.
Fads come and go, but the consistent man or woman gains long-term respect.
7) Gurus and counselors implying you are to blame for your pain
Far too many New Age gurus and psychologists like to say that negativity is the cause of negative consequences in life.
They imply that negative thoughts generate negative outcomes or that “low vibrations” cause failure.
Real life isn’t quite so neat a morality tale as that, and “negative” emotions are actually quite useful and necessary to channel and use in some circumstances.
Learn to say no the next time somebody blames or shames you for going through a hard time, or implies that you are “wrong” for being upset.
8) Racially prejudiced or hateful jokes and conversations
When conversations take a turn for the worse and you’re expected to take part, you can say no.
When jokes get told that you find offensive or disgusting, the equivalent is don’t laugh.
You don’t have to laugh. You don’t have to nod along to ignorant people. Wait until you can leave and say no when you’re asked if you agree.
9) Speculating about what’s going on in other people’s personal lives
When asked to speculate about what’s going on in the personal lives of others, you can just refuse.
This will gain you respect.
When you know how to keep a secret, you gain the respect of the person who told you while also showing others that you are a person who can be trusted with their confidence as well.
10) Trying to get everything done all at once
When there are too many demands on your time and energy, you have a right to say “slow down.”
This will gain you respect from bosses, colleagues, friends and loved ones.
They will see that you respect your own limits and respect your own maximum capacity.
Sometimes there’s only so much a person can handle at once.
11) Not respecting your physical boundaries
When you’re pushed, jostled, bumped into and otherwise treated roughly, it’s the time to stand up for yourself.
Say no and make it clear you won’t be treated that way.
When someone cuts in front of you in a line let them know you were there first and politely step back to where you were.
Your choice whether to let someone go first is up to you, not them.
12) Not respecting your psychological boundaries
It’s up to you to say no when people cross your psychological boundaries.
This could be bringing up past trauma or trying to get you to do activities or substances you don’t want to do.
Let them know that you won’t tolerate this.
Respect yourself and your boundaries. Mental health matters.
13) Pressure to cross your sexual boundaries
Your sexual boundaries should never be violated by anyone.
It’s crucial to say no firmly and clearly to anybody who tries to push them, even with insinuations, messages or jokes.
When you establish what you will and won’t tolerate with no ambiguity, it’s up to everyone else to stick to those limits.
14) Scams, fraud and dodgy business proposals
Many of us have been hoodwinked by fraudsters or bad deals a time or too.
But once you learn to recognise them and say no, you gain in respect.
People around you notice that you’re not a person to be trifled with and you become more comfortable saying no the next time you’re pressure into a bad deal.
15) Exploitative work opportunities and superiors
When you get pushed around at work or get taken advantage of in terms of salary or expectations, you can say no.
When you’re asked to do extra hours without pay? “No.”
When you’re told to do work that’s not in your job description? “No.”
16) Unfair demands for financial and personal assistance
Your decision to help loved ones or anybody is just that: your decision.
You need to be able to say no when demands become excessive or unfair or cross your boundaries.
If you can’t afford to lend somebody money, say no. If you have helped a friend the most you can and now you need to focus on yourself, say no to further requests.
Respect comes when you establish your boundaries and stay within them.
17) Expectations to be a constant shoulder to cry on for everyone
Being empathetic to others and being there for loved ones is a beautiful thing.
But it’s not something that should be done out of obligation, but rather out of voluntary desire.
If you want to be respected, you need to be able to say no to those who take you for granted as a shoulder to cry on.
18) Expectations that you will always be comfortable being a friend after breaking up or being rejected
You don’t owe friendship to anyone.
If your ex wants to be friends, that’s your choice as well, not just theirs. You can say no and still be a decent person.
If you get friendzoned by somebody you’re attracted to, you also have every right to respectfully bow out of that offer of friendship.
Doing so (respectfully) will lead to much more actual respect than if you agree to a friendship you don’t truly want.