7 little-known ways to instantly gain people’s respect, according to psychology

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One of the best validations of our self-worth is when we receive the respect we deserve from those around us.

But, not everyone is aware of the subtle ways used to establish oneself as a respected individual.

If you’re feeling like you’re not getting the respect you deserve, or you could use some pointers on how to keep others appreciating you, take a look at these 7 strategies you should adopt:

1) Keep your promises

Trust is the foundation for any healthy relationship, be it with your partner, colleagues, or family members.

When trust is broken, respect is lost.

You know, when you break a promise, whether it’s because you forgot or had other things going on, it can really sting.

It’s like saying, “Your feelings and expectations don’t matter.”.

So, if you want to keep that respect vibe strong in your circle, it’s key for others to see you as someone reliable.

And a big part of that? Keeping your word.

You know how life can be full of surprises sometimes?

Like, you promise to finish those sales reports before the weekend, but then you get blindsided by a nasty bug.

Or you can’t make it to your friend’s baby shower because your mom needs a lift to the airport. 

Stuff happens, right?

That’s when offering a sincere apology can really help mend things and keep your promise game strong, earning you even more respect in the process.

2) Take responsibility for your actions

Just as owning up to breaking a promise because of factors beyond your control earns you more respect, being upfront about the mistakes you make can have the same positive effect.

It shows humility and accountability, qualities that people really admire.

So, don’t be afraid to own your slip-ups and learn from them—it’ll only boost your credibility and earn you even more respect in the long run.

Reflecting on my decade-long journey in the corporate world, I’ve been a part of numerous teams and worked with various managers.

But there’s one boss who stands out among the rest.

Despite being in top management, she never felt the need to hide one error of judgment she had once.

On the contrary, she asked the whole team to gather, and she apologized to everyone in person.

That kind of leadership left a lasting impact on me.

It’s a testament to leading by example, and I continue to draw inspiration from it.

This boss has earned my respect not just as a leader but as a person.

3) Don’t give in to emotions

How someone handles tough situations really shows their true colors when it comes to being respectful. 

The more aware you are of what sets you off, the better you can manage those intense emotions.

Respectful individuals keep their cool, no matter how much they’re pushed.

Think about that boss who flips out at their team for a mistake or the partner who loses it in traffic and snaps at their significant other because of it.

How much respect do we have for people like that?

None.

Being self-aware means understanding the impact of your emotions.

It means not letting them take over and risking damage to the trust and understanding between you and the person in front of you.

4) Do the right thing 

People really dig those who stick to their moral compass, even when nobody’s peeking over their shoulder.

If you’re gunning for respect from your crew, keeping things ethical is key. 

Whether it’s something small like sticking to your lunch break hours, resisting the urge to swipe office supplies for personal use, or even just steering clear of gossip about your mutual buddies.

But hey, doing the right thing isn’t just about avoiding the bad stuff.

It’s also about standing up for yourself or others when they get a raw deal, even if the whole squad doesn’t see eye to eye with you.

For example, you spot a popular bully at work? You call him out.

Even if it means making you less liked by the compliant peeps. 

And you know what? The big shots throughout history?

They all had one thing in common: a solid moral code.

5) Stir away from gossip

You know how it is—gossip can be pretty tempting, whether you’re catching up around the water cooler at work or having coffee with friends. 

But here’s the thing: entertaining gossip can really mess with your relationships and your reputation.

Just remember, if you want respect, you have to give it, even to folks you don’t know well.

This means avoiding talking about those you know and those you don’t behind their back.

If you’re always the first one to know about everything, others might hesitate to confide in you with their own news and secrets.

You could end up labeled as a gossip.

And if they lose trust in you, their respect for you will likely diminish over time.

6) Say what you mean and mean what you say

A common mistake many people make is confusing respect with being liked.

Those who prioritize being liked might go to great lengths to win people over, even if it means being overly complimentary or painting a rosier picture than reality.

But those aiming for genuine respect in their relationships, whether with peers or in their social circle, don’t fall into that trap, even if it means they’re not everyone’s favorite.

Honesty and speaking your mind earn more respect than sugarcoating to please others.

Now, that’s not a license to be rude, but being honest and direct in a respectful manner goes a long way in earning genuine respect from others.

7) Be kind

You know what’s underrated? The power of kindness when it comes to earning respect.

It’s those little acts of empathy that really hit home, like giving a warm welcome to a new colleague, flashing a smile to strangers or neighbors, or catching up with an old friend over lunch to reconnect.

Because, let’s be real, kindness is what makes us human, right?

When you show kindness, you’re not just earning respect—you’re showing that kindness doesn’t care about labels like age, gender, or anything else.

People who never give up in life and keep pushing forward usually display these 8 behaviors

Classy people who always leave a lasting impression usually display these 10 behaviors