Five Traits to Develop to Make People Respect You

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Respect is something that we all want to receive from other people, at work and in our relationships at home and in the community. But is there a device that measures if we are indeed getting the respect we long for? In the East, respect is fundamental for older people and persons holding lofty positions in the familial or societal hierarchy. In the modern world however, it has to be earned and deserved.

Genuine respect cannot be forced from others. If your employees or members of the family jump when you crack the whip, it is usually out of fear, not because they defer to you. Some people gain respect from others around them effortlessly. When they talk, the crowd listens. When they give orders, these are carried out willingly. They are admired and held in high regard yet they are not overtly domineering, and you aspire to be like them. By studying the actions of these people, you can learn how to make people respect you. Read on to know more.


How to Make People Respect You

1. Be genuinely interested.

When you are interested, you start listening to what the other person is saying. Then you learn about their background and understand their views and ideas. Individuals who are self-absorbed don’t really listen. They are only hearing the other person’s words while their minds are busy drafting their own comeback.

When you truly listen, you show people that you care for them and what they say is important. This is a very powerful trait that you can develop to earn their respect.

2. Learn how to be humble.

Humility is a tricky trait to develop. Most people think they are humble when they are actually humblebragging. When you reach the level of possessing true humility, you don’t even care to impress upon other people that you are humble. Humility in action is:

  • Putting others’ needs first without sacrificing your own.
  • Praising other people sincerely because you’re not afraid they will be perceived as being better than you.
  • Doing little things for others.
  • Listening to other opinions even if you know you are more knowledgeable and skilled on the subject being discussed.
  • Not imposing your own views on other people.

 Humility is like underwear, essential, but indecent if it shows. – Helen Nielsen

3. Don’t be a doormat.

Being too nice does not automatically win you respect. When you always agree to everyone’s decisions and opinions and offer to do everything, people will start treating you like a doormat. It may even make them think you are spineless and have no mind of your own.

Respect yourself first before you can earn it from others. Learn to set boundaries and say “no.” Do not fear rejection just because you stand up for your rights and principles. You can be firm without having to be rude. You can help without letting your kindness be abused.


4. Be open to other ideas.

When you’re an expert in a certain field, it’s difficult to listen to other ideas. But keeping an open mind may spring its own surprises. You might have missed something because your own knowledge is so entrenched from what you have studied for years.

Recognizing your own expertise in your specialization is not bragging. Yet it should not stop you from seeking more and sharing your knowledge. Listening to others who know you are an authority on the topic will make them feel good about themselves. You have given importance to their own contribution and they will respect you for that.

5. Deliver on your promises.

Honor commitments you have made. People remember promises made and kept, and will respect other people who do it. The promise may be over a small act but not honoring it will hurt your credibility and make the other person lose trust in you.

If you have difficulty keeping a promise, the least you can do is inform the other person. Whether it’s before or past the due date, a call, text message or a more formal email will let them know that they are important and you cared enough to acknowledge your lapse over a missed commitment.

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