Want to be respected? Of course you do! Respect feels good and makes relationships stronger.
But, while there are ways to earn respect, there are also easy ways to lose it. Some mistakes might even slip under our radar!
So, if you don’t want to accidentally push people away, stick around.
I’m going to break down 10 things you should definitely avoid if you want to keep the respect coming your way.
Let’s dive in.
1. Gossiping and Spreading Rumors
It’s tempting, isn’t it? Sharing that juicy piece of information you just heard about someone else.
But here’s the kicker: if you’re seen as a gossip, not only does it damage the respect others have for you, but it also shows you might not be trustworthy.
Think about it. If you’re talking about someone else behind their back, who’s to say you won’t do the same when the roles are reversed?
Being known as a gossip can quickly tarnish your reputation.
Instead, if you want to be respected, strive to be the person who keeps confidences and steers clear of the rumor mill.
Remember, if you don’t have something nice to say, it’s often best to say nothing at all.
2. Being Consistently Late
We all run behind schedule once in a while.
Life happens. I remember one time, I got caught in an unexpected rainstorm, and my umbrella simply refused to open.
I was soaked from head to toe and embarrassingly late for a meeting!
But here’s the thing: if you’re always the last one to show up, it sends a message that you don’t value other people’s time.
It can feel like a slap in the face to those who’ve been waiting, thinking their time isn’t as valuable as yours.
To earn respect, make punctuality a priority. Plan ahead, set reminders, and always aim to be a bit early.
It shows you care, respect others, and are committed to what you do.
Plus, no one likes that flustered feeling of always rushing in at the last moment!
3. Not Keeping Your Word
Honesty is the bedrock of respect. It’s one of those basic lessons many of us were taught as kids, maybe by our parents or through a childhood story.
I remember when I was young, my grandpa told me about a time he lent his prized bicycle to a friend, only for the friend to break a promise and damage it.
Grandpa’s lesson was clear: your word is your bond.
When you promise something, be it a big commitment or a small favor, and then don’t follow through, it undermines trust.
People begin to question if they can rely on you. Always strive to be someone others can count on.
If you think there’s a chance you can’t deliver on a promise, it’s better to be upfront than to let someone down.
After all, respect is built on trust, and trust is built on honesty.
4. Always Saying “Yes”
Here’s a twist you might not expect: being a constant ‘yes-man’ or ‘yes-woman’.
While it might seem like always agreeing and accommodating others would make you liked and respected, it can actually have the opposite effect.
Remember that friend who never chose the movie or always let you decide where to eat, even if they didn’t like the cuisine? It felt a bit… off, right?
The thing is, people respect those who have opinions, boundaries, and a sense of self-worth.
Continuously bending over backward or suppressing your feelings and needs for others can make you seem insincere or, worse, like a pushover.
It’s great to be helpful and considerate, but it’s also essential to strike a balance.
Knowing when to stand your ground, voice your opinion, or say ‘no’ can earn you more respect than being perpetually agreeable.
After all, respect isn’t just about how you treat others, but also how you let yourself be treated.
5. Taking Credit for Others’ Work
Imagine you’ve spent hours, maybe even days, working on a project or idea, only to have someone else swoop in and take all the credit.
One of the fastest ways to lose respect is by not acknowledging the contributions of others.
It’s not just about fairness; it’s about recognizing that success is often a collective effort.
When you shine a light on someone else’s hard work, it showcases your integrity and humility.
On the other hand, hogging the limelight or brushing aside others’ contributions can make you seem arrogant and untrustworthy.
So, the next time you’re praised for a team effort, ensure you mention who helped along the way.
Sharing success not only fosters respect but also builds stronger, more collaborative relationships.
Remember, the spotlight is brightest when it’s shared.
6. Hiding Your Mistakes
You might think that to be respected, you need to appear flawless, always on top of your game.
However, here’s the paradox: Trying to seem perfect can actually diminish respect.
Have you ever met someone who seemingly never made a mistake, or if they did, they’d hide it or blame it on someone else? It’s hard to connect with that, right? It feels inauthentic.
The reality is, everyone, and I mean everyone, messes up from time to time.
I once sent an important email to a colleague, only to realize I’d sent it to the wrong person.
Instead of making excuses, I owned up, apologized, and corrected it. It felt vulnerable, but it was authentic.
Being upfront about your errors doesn’t make you weak; it shows you’re human, relatable, and have the courage to own up to your actions.
It builds trust and shows that you value growth over ego.
So, counterintuitively, if you want to be respected, don’t hide your mistakes; learn from them and move forward.
7. Ignoring Feedback
Back in school, I had a friend who would often doodle beautiful sketches.
One day, a teacher suggested some improvements, but instead of considering them, my friend brushed it off, saying she knew best about her art.
Over time, though, as others progressed with constructive feedback, her growth plateaued.
Feedback, whether it’s praise or constructive criticism, is a gift.
Ignoring or becoming defensive about it can signal arrogance or a lack of self-awareness.
It’s natural to feel protective of our work or actions, but shutting out feedback means you’re shutting out opportunities for growth.
Being open to feedback and showing gratitude for it, even if you don’t always agree, demonstrates maturity and a commitment to personal and professional development.
It also shows that you value the perspectives of others.
So, the next time someone offers feedback, take a moment, listen actively, and thank them. It’s a simple act that can boost respect in the eyes of others.
8. Talking More Than Listening
Ever been in a conversation where you felt like a mere audience member rather than a participant?
It’s a one-sided affair when someone dominates the conversation, leaving little room for others to share their thoughts.
Listening is an art, and in many cultures, it’s a highly esteemed one.
While sharing experiences and opinions is essential, constantly overshadowing others by talking nonstop can come across as self-centered or inconsiderate.
True respect is cultivated when you give space for others to express themselves, ask open-ended questions, and genuinely listen to what they have to say.
It’s in these moments of attentive silence that we build deeper connections, show empathy, and prove that we value others’ perspectives.
So, the next time you’re in a conversation, make a conscious effort to listen more than you speak.
You’ll be surprised at the respect and trust you’ll earn in return.
9. Not Valuing Differences
Growing up, I lived in several cities and met people from all walks of life.
One lesson that stood out was how much I learned from those who saw the world differently than I did.
My neighbor, Maria, for instance, taught me about her family’s cultural traditions, introducing me to a world of flavors, dances, and stories I had never known.
It’s easy to gravitate towards people who think like us, act like us, or even look like us.
However, dismissing or belittling someone because of their different beliefs, backgrounds, or experiences is a surefire way to lose respect.
Instead of shutting down diverse viewpoints, embrace them. Be curious. Ask questions.
You’ll find that by understanding and appreciating differences, not only do you earn respect, but you also enrich your perspective on the world.
After all, it’s the tapestry of varied experiences and backgrounds that makes our world so fascinating.
10. Being Ungrateful
There’s an old saying, “Gratitude is the shortest path to happiness.”
But it’s not just about feeling good; it’s about building and maintaining respect.
Taking the kindness of others for granted, overlooking the efforts made on your behalf, or failing to acknowledge when someone goes out of their way for you can come off as entitled or self-absorbed.
It’s as if their actions or words had no value to you.
On the flip side, a simple ‘thank you’ can work wonders.
Recognizing and appreciating the good in others fosters mutual respect and deepens bonds.
It signals that you don’t see yourself as the center of the universe and that you genuinely value the people around you.
In a world where everyone is busy and everyone has their struggles, being grateful and expressing that gratitude can set you apart.
It’s a small gesture with a significant impact on how others perceive and respect you.
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