8 signs you’re more respected by other people than you realize, according to psychology

Most of us live with a tad of imposter syndrome.

It’s the niggling feeling of not being good enough.

That nobody likes you.

That everyone’s just pretending to enjoy your company when they really can’t wait for you to leave.

But these feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness are often just that. Feelings.

And whilst feeling this way is valid and not to be dismissed, the truth of the matter is that you’re likely letting your head deceive you.

People do like you. They respect you and value your presence. You just don’t realize it enough.

Plus, respect isn’t always about grand gestures or public speech. It often manifests in subtle ways, in tiny cues that might go unnoticed if you’re not tuned in.

So, let’s tune you in so that you can wave imposter syndrome goodbye and start appreciating yourself in the way that others appreciate you! 

1) People critique you

Okay, maybe not a fullblown attack on your character. Constant criticism and belittling tends not to signify respect.

Why expend valuable time and energy helping someone else be better when you have enough on your own plate?

Well, the answer is that people don’t just offer constructive criticism to anyone. They analyze and critique those who they believe worthy, but also capable of improvement.

Imagine a wizened dojo master who tends never to say a single word but chooses to mutter that you need to work on your footwork. He isn’t breaking his silence because he thinks you’re a waste of time. He’s breaking his silence because he thinks the world is at your feet (if you work on your technique.)

Research suggests that we’re more likely to invest time and effort in those we believe have the potential for growth and success.  

So, the next time someone offers you unsolicited advice, try to see it through this lens. It might not always be delivered with tact, but it’s often a sign of respect and a belief in your potential.

2) A warm welcome

If you’re the sort to enter a room and be greeted with warmth, with pleasantries, and with smiling faces, take note!

These are all subtle cues that your presence is valued and appreciated. 

Much in the same way that people don’t need to offer you feedback, greeting others with warmth is not wholly necessary (unless you’re looking at it from a politeness aspect).

So if you’re aware that your presence might not sit at the center of attention all the time, but there are a few faces amongst the crowd who light up when you show up, take that as a sign of your presence being both welcomed and wanted.

3) “Let me introduce you!”

If at parties or social events, you find yourself being frequently introduced to others with an air of pride and enthusiasm, it’s not just networking.

People collect other people like shiny jewels and treasures. When we find a good one, we can’t help but want to show it off to the world and let others marvel in its glory.

These introductions are a subtle way of showcasing their association with you, a sign that they value your presence and want to share it with others. 

Research suggests that we tend to associate ourselves with those we admire and respect, a phenomenon known as ‘basking in reflected glory‘.

In essence, we enjoy the company of those who we hold in high esteem. You might even say that we wish a little bit of their (or your!) gold dust would rub off on us.

4) “I’ll have what you’re having.”

At dinner or perhaps a bar, you might in the past have been met with the phenomenon of someone choosing to order exactly what you’re ordering.

Now, either they need new glasses and are choosing to hide that by only glossing over the menu, or they really value your opinions and your taste.

And this one goes one step beyond ordering the same bacon burger or Tom Collins.

If you go as far as to notice people subtly mimicking your style, mannerisms, or even your opinions, it’s not just adulation. It’s a subconscious sign of admiration and respect. 

This phenomenon, known as “mirroring,” is often used to build connection, establish common ground, and, as we addressed above, hope that we can appear a little more like these golden individuals whom we so respect.

Remember: Imitation is the highest form of flattery!

5) They hear, they see, they listen

Respect isn’t just about talking; it’s actually about listening. 

(Moreso the latter, if we’re being totally honest.)

Because there are few things more infuriating and more indicative of a disrespectful person than one who interrupts, talks over you, and forgets what you’re saying.

So take heed of people who genuinely listen to you, who hold steady eye contact, who nod along to show that they’re listening, and who ask clarifying questions to demonstrate interest.

The pillars of active listening, these all signal that the listeners respect your thoughts and value your input. 

6) You’re the helping hand they turn to

When faced with a problem you alone cannot solve, do you go to someone who you know won’t be able to solve it either?


You go straight to the person who you respect and trust to be able to help you in your time of need.

So find pride in moments when friends, loved ones, or colleagues come straight to you with their plights.

In doing so, they’re acknowledging your expertise, your skills, or simply your innate ability to just get things done.

Equally, if other people show up when you need help, take that as a sign that they see you as both competent and trustworthy. 

After all, you would hardly go out of your way to help someone out that you held no respect for!

7) “Remember that time you…”

As we covered above, people have busy lives. 

If, amongst the hustle and bustle of everything they have going on, they remind you of fun bygone times with wistful nostalgia, it sure is looking good for you!

(As long as they’re not constantly reminding you of moments where you embarrassed yourself to belittle you. This type of behavior doesn’t indicate respect, and should generally be nipped in the bud before it’s allowed to blossom.)

But if other people often reminisce about your past achievements or memories they share with you, it’s their way of acknowledging your value and reminding you of your impact. 

Even if that memory is you running crazed through the streets of Barcelona at 3 am, red-cheeked and tipsy on Sangria.

Bringing up the past to reminisce about shared memories reinforces your sense of belonging to a group and strengthens social bonds, according to research on collective memory.

8) You’ve got a personal cheerleading team

Finally, people don’t have to cheer you on and motivate you. 

(Much as they don’t need to give you feedback, they also aren’t obliged to support you.)

Hence why when other people express confidence in your abilities, it’s (usually) not just because they’re trying to give you a pep talk. 

Unwavering support, reassurance, and encouragement all tend to indicate that they believe in your potential and are voting in confidence in your future success. 

And interestingly enough, having such a high degree of support and encouragement often leads to what we call a ‘self fulfilling prophecy’. 

In short, others respect you and believe in you, so you in turn begin to respect yourself…and surprise surprise, the more you respect yourself, the more others respect you.

Respect yourself & others will too

Most of us grapple with imposter syndrome now and then. But remember, these feelings are often just that: feelings, not facts. 

While they’re valid emotions, your mind might just be playing tricks on you. 

So, the next time someone offers unsolicited advice genuinely listens to you, or reminisces about your past triumphs, take note. These are the subtle signs of respect, a reminder that you’re valued and appreciated more than you might realize.

Self-doubt might be a sneaky guest at the dinner party, but you’re the host. Don’t let it steal the spotlight from the genuine appreciation others have for you. 

In turn, respect yourself and others because that’s how you create a continuous cycle of mutual admiration and support.

If you recognize these 8 signs, you have an incredibly sharp and perceptive mind

If you’re experiencing these 9 feelings daily, it’s time to start a new chapter in life