If you are a self respecting individual, chances are you want others to treat you with respect. And you know what, age isn’t a prerequisite nor is it a magic key to gaining respect. I’ve seen plenty of people who are young be highly respected from their elders. I’ve also come across older people who I’d never respect because their actions are so out of line. It’s about how you conduct yourself, your attitudes towards others and your actions.
- Be good at what you do
In every field of work, the most highly regarded people are those who are the best at what they do. Everyone loves competent people, especially those who present their best work all the time. If you’re just starting out in your profession, that doesn’t mean you’re not deserving of respect. It’s about starting small and building from there.
When I started my personal development blog 2 years ago, no one knew me. Of my early audience, I remember some people would discount my work because of my age, saying I had no experience and shouldn’t writing on such topics. Such comments are normal since they didn’t know who I was, just my age and my brief background. Rather than letting these stop me, I built my reputation, one step at a time, via producing the best content and planting seeds everywhere. Over time, people began to register the value I was providing and they developed respect for what I was doing. Today, I have many readers and coaching clients who are older than me, and that’s because they recognize my abilities and what I have to offer.
It’s through gaining experience and improving that you establish yourself as the best and earn the respect from others. It’s not an overnight process, but the respect people have of you after that will be steadfast.
- Respect others
Respect is 2-way. If you want others to respect you, you’ve to respect others first. If you’ve ever come across someone who isn’t being respectful to you, I invite you to think of just one person you’re not being respectful to in your life now. Chances you’ll find at least someone. Rather than harp on how people are not respectful to you, work on being respectful to those people you’re treating shabbily. It’ll help you reach new heights in your relationship with others. Whenever someone is rude to me, I think of how I might be rude to someone else and mend that relationship. It’s creates a positive shift in my relationships.
- Honor what you say
No one likes a dishonest or unreliable person. A well respected individual is one who is honest in his/her communications and can be trusted to do what he/she promised. I believe integrity is the first step to being our highest self. I always ensure I live up to my commitments and deliver beyond what I promise. If due to some reason you can’t honor your commitments, make sure you address them accordingly to the other party and make up for it.
- Be open to criticisms
Contrary to popular belief, being respected doesn’t mean you won’t receive criticism. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The more known you are in your work, the more criticisms you’ll receive. My blog readership has grown over 4 times in the last 6 months. Just as I’ve received a lot more positive feedback than before on my posts, I’m also receiving more criticisms. It’s not about rejecting criticisms but about being able to handle criticisms gracefully. People respect someone who is able to handle negative feedback and turn it into something positive. If you need pointers, here are 8 Ways To Deal With Critical People.
- Treat yourself with respect
It’s funny that many of us seek respect from others, yet we don’t even respect ourselves. Have you ever beaten yourself up before? Do you love yourself wholly and unconditionally? Do you treat yourself poorly by not getting enough sleep, proper diet or exercise? If you don’t respect yourself, you can’t hope to get respect from others. Start off by loving yourself. The love from others will come subsequently.
- Conduct yourself professionally
This includes dressing well, being well-mannered, using appropriate language and having social etiquette. If you haven’t attended a social etiquette class before, it’ll be useful to do so. Even if you intuitively know what they teach in the class, it’s great as reinforcement. I attended a few etiquette classes when I was a student, including wine appreciation, dining etiquette, how to conduct yourself in a 1st meeting, etc. I personally found it helpful. The things taught inside are not rocket science by any means, but it helps to practice them in an actual setting and know what are the do’s and do-not’s.
- Don’t bad mouth others
Whether it’s in a professional or social setting, it’s not appropriate to bad mouth people. You certainly don’t earn respect this way. If you’re unhappy with a certain individual and what he/she is doing, talk to him/her and work things out. Don’t talk behind his/her back. This is the kind of behavior that attracts gossip and negativity. Not only does it reflect badly on you as a person, it also hurts the other party, whether you realize it or not. Be honest and transparent in your communications.
- Stand up for what you believe in
Have you ever come across people who simply agree with whatever others say without much thought? I have, and it gets meaningless after a while as they just say yes to everything. Personally, I have more respect for someone who disagrees (civilly) and stands up for himself/herself than someone who parrots others. Likewise, it is by having your own opinion and a mind of your own that you get respect from others. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. At the same time, make sure you do it in a respectful manner to others.
- Be yourself
Along the same lines as #8, be yourself. It’s better to be an original version of yourself than an exact duplicate of someone else. People respect individuals who are original. Too many people try too hard to be someone else they are not and in the end they don’t have a sense of identity. Discover who you are and what you stand for. What the world needs are more people who are true to themselves, not clones of each other.
- Be a role model to others
Actions speak louder than words. Are you a role model to others by way of your behavior? Do you uphold yourself to the highest code of conduct? You gain respect by walking the talk. The most respected person is the one who inspires others to achieve their best and enables them to unlock their highest potential.
How about you? Do any of the 10 methods above resonate with you? Do you have any personal experiences on how to cultivate respect from others? Feel free to share in the comments area.
|Written on 7/31/2009 by Celestine Chua. Celestine writes at Personal Excellence, where she shares her best advice on how to achieve personal excellence and live your best life. Get her RSS feed directly and add her on Twitter @celestinechua. If you like this article, you will enjoy one of her top articles: 101 Things To Do Before You Die.||Photo Credit: B.S. Wise|