“If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Are you getting the respect that you deserve? Or do your loved ones seem to belittle you, undermine you, and ultimately pass you by?
Here are twelve guaranteed ways to earn respect from those around you:
1. Stand up for yourself and others.
Even adults can be bullied. When you see someone being mistreated – or experience it yourself – speak up. Show the world that this kind of behavior is unacceptable to you. Do not be a complicit bystander.
2. Respond – don’t react.
Connecting with your emotions is a positive and powerful thing. However, your immediate emotional reaction is rarely the wisest one. Don’t react in moments of anger and confusion. Give yourself time to process your feelings and respond in a healthy way.
3. Say “no” often.
Become familiar with your limits – energy, money, and time, for example, always seem to be in short supply. Identify the things you care about, and put your energy into doing them well. Say no to the rest. Don’t over-commit in an effort to please others.
4. Don’t waste anyone’s time.
Be well prepared for your meetings. Avoid excessive small talk. Stay on topic, and keep meetings shorter than scheduled whenever possible.
5. Know your own morality – and live by it.
Give a significant amount of thought to your personal moral compass. What do you truly believe in? What things do you value? What is and isn’t sacred to you? Strive for clarity in this regard, and do your best to live in accordance with your own values.
6. Respect the moral codes of other people.
Even if you don’t agree with someone’s principles, it is important to support them in following them. Don’t try to get a vegetarian to eat meat, for example. No one really wants to be converted from their deeply held beliefs.
7. Treat all people with kindness and equality.
Nobody respects a person who kisses up to their boss and then treats the taxi driver like garbage. Remember that we are all, as human beings, fundamentally on the same level.
8. Stand your ground.
Don’t devalue your own needs and ideas. Assert yourself. Be kind and listen actively to other people, but don’t defer to them out of habit. If you disagree, say so. People appreciate sincerity.
9. Don’t gossip. Gossip is lots of fun. It is also hurtful and frivolous. By engaging in gossip, you show others that you do not respect the feelings and privacy of those around you.
10. Be intentional with your apologies.
Apologize when you have done something wrong. Don’t say you’re sorry if you aren’t. Make sure that your apologies are always thoughtful and sincere. Your word should mean something.
11. Keep your commitments.
If you promise to be somewhere, make sure you show up – on time. Show people that you are trustworthy, dependable, and respectful of their schedule.
12. Take action.
Don’t always wait for someone else to take the lead. Be proactive in finding solutions to problems and going after the things that you want. If you want a date, ask her out. Don’t beat around the bush.
“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love,” wrote Fyodor Dostoyevsky.