Respect is more than a quality. It’s a tool. You can use it to improve any area of your life. When you’re respected, it’s much easier to reach your goals.
Unfortunately, most people misunderstand the concept of respect. It’s not just how people “seem” to others. It’s actually, how they behave.
So when someone commands respect, how do they do it?
Read on and find out!
1) Respectable folks don’t care about external validation
If you chase external validation you’ll never grow as a person. You’ll be trying to please people around you and keep them happy instead of caring for yourself.
Worst of all, you’ll never get actual respect.
Highly respectable people don’t seek validation from others, they find it within themselves.
They work and learn and always have a plan for what to do next. They start with respecting themselves first. And that happens when they keep up according to their own plan.
As a result, they stop caring about what others might think of them, and they chase their dreams without any hesitation.
2) They keep their word
Respectable people won’t leave you when you need them. Instead, they’ll be there for you and do more than you expected from them.
For example, let’s say you’re at a restaurant and you’re waiting for your food, which hasn’t come yet even though it’s been a while.
So you ask the staff, and they tell you that your food will come out in a few minutes.
To really express they’re sorry, they give you a free plate of french fries as a bonus. Then, the server arrives with your food.
This is a very effective technique, since now you’re happier because you’ve got free fries, and you can get on with your meal.
The staff just gained respect from you, and even gratefulness.
They respond to a negative situation quickly and efficiently, and they take care of you in the best possible way.
This is a very old technique, where you, and overdeliver. It’s bound to help you make friends and allies through life and is very simple to use on a day-to-day basis.
Furthermore, it proves that you don’t need to be at the top of the hierarchy to earn respect. You didn’t speak to the owner of the restaurant, but to the server.
And their smart move turned you from an annoyed client into a happy customer.
3) They’re not afraid of taking responsibility
There are thousands of scenarios where this quality can be helpful.
Let’s say that a fight breaks between two groups at a bar. One or two people might be cheering them on, hoping for a show.
At the same time, a respectable person will realize the danger of the situation and try to descale it before it gets worse. This is taking responsibility, and gaining the respect of the people around you.
Most people try to avoid responsibility, especially in unexpected situations like the one above. They can hear someone scream and pretend they haven’t heard a single thing afterward.
While some prefer to watch from the sidelines, others–become highly respected individuals by acting.
Think of a situation like this that happened to you in your life. Did you act or decided to take a passive role? It’s not always safe to intervene, you have to be careful. But this rule can be applied to positive scenarios too.
For instance, when there’s a need to organize something for a community and you volunteer to do that. It’ll make you look more respectable in the eyes of others, for sure!
4) They don’t leave anyone out
People, who made it to the top of the career ladder usually forget this very important quality. They simply forget where they started and that others, who are not there yet are not that different.
Think about some famous superstar that dismisses their fans with a despective hand gesture, for example. Or maybe you work for someone who’s snobbish and thinks everyone is beneath them.
These kinds of people only pay attention to those they consider “worthy” of their time and respect. They usually surround themselves with “useful” people and move on to the new “friends” once the old ones aren’t necessary anymore.
No one likes or respects that.
However, being humble and remembering your roots can help you gain respect from others.
Treat people with kindness, be aware of your power, and never leave anyone out. You’ll find out who’s there for you quickly enough.
You’ll be supported through whatever you choose to start, and people will know you’re authentic.
Earn respect by being a kind person, not by showing off.
5) Respectable people are innovators
Making a mistake, even a bad one, is normal. This is something that a lot of people don’t understand: you’re not expected to be perfect 24/7.
However, highly respectable people do more than just admit their mistakes: they provide solutions. And more often than not–these are some really creative ideas.
Instead of beating themselves up, respectable people can come up with innovative solutions to fix the problem and focus on that.
If you make a mistake, think about what you can do to improve a situation, and work on that. Don’t dive into a “victim mode” but rather look at it as an opportunity to make your and other people’s lives better.
If this happened at work, being creative and looking for a solution will also make a more positive work environment, something essential for a company.
6) They don’t pretend they know things that they don’t
I’ve done this more than I’d like to admit. Instead of just saying that I don’t know enough about a topic, I emit an opinion as if I did.
Then, obviously, people would find out that I pretend to be smarter than I was.
This is the fastest way for someone to lose the respect of others. People will quickly realize that you don’t know enough about a topic.
To be more respectable, just admit you don’t know enough about something. I promise it’s okay, I’ve done it!
The message you’re sending to the world is that you’re honest and that you’re not afraid of making mistakes.
And this is something other people respect. Trust me.
7) Highly respectable people aren’t victims
We all know someone whose entire personality is being a victim. It ties up to the people who blame others for their mistakes.
A person with a victim mindset will never find fault within themselves. Everyone else will be to blame for their problems.
Highly respectable people take responsibility for their lives and they resolve their problems with the help of professionals, books, or whatever tool is useful for them.
They’re more focused on moving forwards than on counting all the ways people have wronged them at some point in their lives.
Gaining respect isn’t always easy, but it certainly will make you a happier, more honest person.
8) They don’t reject other people’s ideas
A person who’s living in their ego energy will always be hurt, even by constructive criticism. They’ll focus on the negative instead of seeing the opportunity to do something better.
Worse of all, they will shoot down every idea other people might have to solve a problem! They’re so focused on their problems that they can’t come up with a simple solution or even accept it from others.
These people will then complain that nobody’s honest with them, and that’s for a reason! But if they learn from their mistakes, they can quickly become highly respectable.
Being open to different opinions and challenging yours from time to time is a sign of a highly intelligent person, who’s always eager to learn. And that’s something to respect!
9) Highly respectable people don’t settle
If someone “settles” it usually means they’ve agreed to something less than they’d like or that they deserve.
Why do people settle?
Sometimes they feel like there’s no other option for them or they’re tired of looking for one.
Now, there are two ways how someone can settle:
- Settling for less than what you deserve: it automatically makes you less respectable. Why are you sending the message that you don’t respect yourself? People will see it and act accordingly.
- Settling for less than what you want: if you don’t want something, don’t settle, even if think this is the only option for you. Trust me, the new opportunities will arise.
Highly respectable people put in the work to get what they want exactly when they want it. If they don’t deserve it, they improve until they do.
They don’t settle often, and if they do, you can be sure they made a good choice.
What to do to be more respected
Yes, respect needs to be earned. You don’t get others respecting you by simply acting like it’s owed!
However, there are things you can do to quickly become more respectable in the eyes of others.
1) Act with respect
Of course, this is the first step. You have to be respectful to be respected, at least at this first level.
Here are some things you should stop doing:
- Rolling your eyes at others;
- Yelling or raising your voice;
- Interrupting when someone’s speaking;
- Talking badly about someone behind their back;
- Insulting someone, even subtly.
These behaviors don’t solve issues, they create more and they can be catastrophic in the long run.
Instead, try to encourage an environment where people are heard and understood. Even if you don’t agree with their opinion, it’s important that they have a safe space to speak their mind.
2) Don’t gossip
It’s so tempting, I know!
However, it won’t make you more respectable. People will wonder if you’re not gossiping about them behind their backs. You’ll have a harder time making them trust you.
Besides, sharing intimate details about someone else can be detrimental to the other person, or right down dangerous. Remember that not everyone has good intentions!
3) Don’t hold on to useless anger
Listen, I know it’s not easy. People can hurt you badly.
Unfortunately, anger and resentment only hurt you. You’re spending valuable time and energy considering what the other person thinks about you, and that won’t make you more respectable.
Allow yourself to feel negative emotions, never repress them, but don’t let them take root. It’ll only affect your life.
Forgive and move on, even if you don’t forget.
4) Don’t be afraid to ask for help
This is very important. Most of us don’t struggle when it comes to helping others, but when it’s about us, problems arise.
Asking for help won’t make you less respected. It just makes you more honest, and in turn, more respectable.
You don’t need to pretend you’re a superhero!
5) Don’t break your promises
This is worth repeating. Being reliable is about being able to keep your word, even when times are tough.
If you can’t follow through, it’s simply better to say no.
Apologize if there are some things you can’t do, and again: focus on the solutions.
I hope the strategies above help you become a better person, and more respected over time.