I think it’s safe to say that as men, we all have the desire to be respected.
But the thing about respect is that it’s earned not given. In other words, we have to put the work in.
As long as we act consistently, respect will invariably follow. It’s that simple.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the key traits of men who command respect without demanding it.
Once you get an idea of the proper behaviors, you’ll be in a far better position to incorporate them into your life.
Let’s get it!
1) They have integrity
I think it’s apt that we kick off this list with a little thing called integrity.
Integrity is a kind of umbrella term for being honest, trustworthy, and reliable–if you want to be truly respected, having integrity is non-negotiable.
Think of the unscrupulous businessman or shady politician who has no qualms screwing over others for personal gain. This is an example of a person with a lack of integrity.
They may have money in the bank or the odd flashy car, but their achievements are a product of great ruthlessness and deceit, typically coming at the expense of others.
Once word gets out about the latter, gaining the respect of peers or colleagues becomes an uphill battle.
On the other hand, when you live with real integrity, such as consistently being true to yourself and others, commanding respect becomes almost automatic.
2) They are humble
Here’s the thing: a real man is naturally modest, regardless of status or achievements.
When you are regularly boastful, you’re essentially communicating your insecurities with the rest of the world; that you have an inferiority complex and are overcompensating for something lacking.
From my experience, these types of people have a hard time gaining respect from those that matter.
Sure, being proud of your achievements is one thing, but excessive bragging or name-dropping won’t be doing you any favors. In fact, expect it to backfire.
When you’re confident in your foundations as a man, you tend to organically exude humility.
You might know what you bring to the table but you don’t feel the urge to show off. You have nothing to prove.
By being humble and staying quiet, you’re ironically making a resounding statement: that you’re an honorable man, and one worthy of plenty of respect.
You also don’t look down on others or feel better than them. You’re genuinely comfortable in your own skin and trust me, people notice.
3) They have plenty of emotional Intelligence
The stereotype is that men take action, leaving extra things like “feelings” to women. I assure you that in 2023, this is a glaring and outdated misconception.
Being self-aware and understanding the emotions of those around you reinforces your power as a man—that you’re able to manage and navigate life’s tense moments gracefully.
Respected men have empathy for others, consistently in tune with their feelings and perspectives. They have the ability to make you feel seen and heard.
Unfortunately, emotional intelligence is still a relatively rare trait in men. So if you choose to cultivate it, I guarantee you’ll be ahead of the game, with plenty of respect in tow.
4) They are resilient
Real talk: hardship is an inevitable part of life. It’s how we respond that counts.
“Fall seven times, get up eight,” is a simple but profound Japanese proverb that is as relevant now as it was when it was first uttered centuries ago.
Many men will throw in the towel at the first sight of adversity. If you want to command respect, don’t be one of these men.
Bounce back with grace and poise, knowing that with obstacles come a ton of growth and learning. After all, there’s no better teacher than life.
During the pandemic, I went through one of the most difficult periods of my life. I lost my hard-earned business and with it, pretty much my only source of income.
I accumulated a mountain of debt and my savings dwindled by the day paying off the interest.
My relationships suffered. My mental health was in shambles. There were many times when I was on the verge of tearfully giving up.
But I managed to find the resolve to press on and see it through. I methodically attacked my problems; every day, I would slowly chip away at them.
Today, I’m in an exponentially better position than during that dark period.
I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have gotten out of that pandemic-induced rut without a resilient mindset.
5) They are effective communicators
From my experience, respected men are inclined to possess effective communication abilities.
Now by communication, I’m not simply referring to being talkative–it’s the way in which they talk and listen to others that separates the respected man from the rest.
They’re able to express themselves in a calm, collected, and articulate fashion and don’t let emotions dictate their reactions.
They listen actively, read and understand non-verbal cues, and are able to respond accordingly.
6) They are often generous
I’ll be honest, being greedy isn’t a great look. And the opposite is true: real generosity elevates your appeal by a country mile.
Generosity isn’t just limited to money or material things… you can be generous with your time and knowledge too.
When you’re giving, you are in a prime position to command respect.
Why? Because generous acts (particularly when nothing is expected in return) exude genuine kindness and care–something that the world is sorely lacking.
After graduating from college, I was pretty lost. I needed some semblance of direction. I didn’t know what field I wanted a career in and couldn’t hold down a job.
I decided to reach out to one of my favorite professors for guidance. He responded by clearing his hectic schedule and setting an appointment with me.
We spent an afternoon discussing career prospects, with him dropping plenty of sage advice and knowledge in the process.
Even though he was a busy, in-demand professor, he knew I needed help and was generous enough with his time to drop obligations to be there for me.
I emerged from that meeting far more clear-headed and ready to tackle adulthood, which for the most part I eventually did.
It’s been well over a decade but this seemingly minor act of generosity is something I haven’t forgotten.
In the end, the cliche is very much true: it’s the little things that count.
7) They are self-assured
Real talk: men that command respect often have a palpable air of confidence about them.
They know their worth and have little doubt about their abilities and skills.
But disclaimer: there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. And if you want to command respect, it’s smart to make the extra effort not to cross that line.
As we’ve established, confidence doesn’t mean belittling others to look superior—it’s about being secure in who you are as a person; it’s about treating others with equality and respect.
And finally, it’s about being authentic and comfortable in your own skin.
To recap, commanding respect isn’t a hugely complicated process if you’re dedicated to it.
All you essentially have to do is try to cultivate the above steps and mindfully and gradually incorporate them into your daily interactions.
Don’t expect drastic changes overnight. After all, nothing good in life comes instantly.
And if you aren’t making the progress you want, don’t be too hard on yourself. Fake it til you make it… but always be genuine and real in your intentions.
With a bit of practice, you’ll be gaining the respect of your peers in no time–this much I’m sure of. Oh, and one more thing… don’t be an a**hole.
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