Preye Raymond is a leading content writer, who enjoys discussing topics relating to self-improvement, self-education and social issues.
Commanding respect demands character and mental toughness.
There are no gimmicks or tricks involved in earning respect from others. It is about how well you can understand people's distinctive nature and relate with them according to their traits, world views, and principles.
It also depends on your intrinsic values. Your intrinsic values are simply: your mindset, how you react to situations, and most importantly how you present yourself to others.
These are some of the prerequisites to gaining respect without force or acting arrogantly.
I) Improve on Your First Impression
Making a good first impression rely heavily on your interaction with someone. It is not solely based on how you look or dress, although those things matter but not in all cases.
The major things to consider are: your manner of approach, how you carry yourself, and your state of mind, which reiterates the importance of your intrinsic values.
When introduced to someone new, or trying to approach a total stranger at the bar, apply these tips to improve your thin-slice:
- Turn on your friendly charm and approach with confidence.
- Introduce yourself properly without giving too much information.
- Ask questions that relates with whatever the person is doing at the moment, instead of awkward and odd questions.
- Maintain proper eye contact and smile when necessary.
- Read the body language of whoever you are communicating with to know if he or she is interested in the conversation, or even interested to have you around.
When you develop a good manner of approach with good communication skills, you would be able to retain anyone’s attention and gain their respect even if you are meeting them for the first time.
II) Occupy Space with the Right Posture.
Learn to occupy enough space by having a confident posture.
Oftentimes, we make more statements with our bodies than we do with our mouths, and this can be seen through our posture.
Bad postures are mostly caused by insecurities and lack of self-esteem, and not only medical conditions or natural incidents.
Avoid having a shy or lily-livered body posture. It sends a negative message that you are weak and vulnerable. This is not the kind of vibe or energy you want to radiate if you want to be taken seriously.
When you walk, stand, or sit, you should maintain a serious and active frame that naturally commands respect. The infographic below depicts how to achieve this:
III) Get Rid of the ‘Herd Mentality‘
So many people in society today adopt the herd mentality. Their opinions and beliefs are as flexible as branches, wherever the wind blows they follow.
Some do this to gain recognition or ‘to feel among’.
Whatever the reason might be, ‘going with the flow’ camouflages your distinct personality and your values.
One of my favorite quotes that best describes the herd mentality is from the existentialist -Soren Kierkegaard, he said;
“By seeing the multitude of people around it, by being busied with all sorts of worldly affairs, by being wise to the ways of the world, such a person forgets himself, in a divine sense forgets his own name, dares not believe in himself, finds being himself too risky, finds it much easier and safer to be like the others, to become a copy, a number, along with the crowd.....”
If you are just a number among the crowd, then it proves that there is nothing exceptional about you, therefore earning respect becomes unattainable.
Believe it or not, people gravitate towards those with their own unique voice, one that stands out among the crowd and doesn’t sing the same old song as others.
It is okay to be different and unique, the majority would not love you for that, but they would surely respect you for being who you truly are.
IV) Don’t Allow People Interrupt You in the Middle of a Sentence.
As much as possible, always ensure that you flow with your words and sentences without being interrupted.
We often trivialize the act of interrupting people while they speak, but it is very rude and unprofessional.
In most cases, when someone cuts you off mid-sentence, it insinuates that what you are saying is unreasonable or doesn’t really matter.
It may not appear to be such a big deal at first, but if the person you are conversing with constantly forces his statements over yours, or always interrupts you mid-sentence, politely call the person out on his or her intrusive behavior and go on to finish your statement.
Sometimes in group discussions, a lot of interruptions is allowed when arguing or debating.
If you find yourself in such a scenario, endeavor to make your voice audible when talking, and ensure that each sentence you utter must be effective and valuable to whatever the subject-matter is.
V) Compliment & Respect Others
Genuinely complimenting others on their good deeds portrays your level of maturity and strength, which can earn you respect in return.
Those who gossip, talk bad in front of, or behind others, are usually perceived to be petty, weak-minded and lacking in self-respect.
Respect is reciprocal, and when you genuinely give out one, you earn it back tenfolds-not just from the person you complimented or showed respect to, but from others who acted as witnesses.
VI) Don’t Always Tell Others Your Flaws & Problems
This is a very powerful tip and it contradicts what most self-help influencers or coaches will tell you about being vulnerable with your flaws, or it being ok! to share your weaknesses with others to ease emotional tensions.
Common sense should be applied when doing this, because in reality we live in a world whereby people can easily use your weaknesses and flaws against you, therefore you should be extremely careful how you open up to others about your emotions or flaws, especially in group meetings.
Also, when you constantly open up to others (friends, co-workers, family members) about your problems and issues, it becomes irritating at a certain point, and you come off as someone incapable of dealing with his or her problems, which will immediately earn you a 0.0% rating in respect.
Except when necessary, or in cases of emergencies, don’t be quick to reveal your flaws or your issues to others to prevent them from taking advantage of you, and disrespecting your character.
VII) Learn to Control Your Emotions when in Public
Whatever you do in public has a way of sticking with you for the rest of your life, especially if it is a public place you occasionally visit, e.g the mall, coffee shop, office, bar, restaurant, etc.
Sometimes what stains our reputation is our inability to control our emotions. It is alright to act emotionally when you are home or with your therapist, but when in public (especially in a work environment) keep your emotions to yourself.
I am sure in one way or the other, we've learnt this lesson the hard way: nothing ruins your self-respect or reputation than a shameful public outburst. It could be a fight, a quarrel, or a heated argument that spiraled out of control.
Avoid trampling your reputation in the mud by engaging in worthless public banters. It doesn’t command respect, rather it results in shame and mockery.
VIII) Listen More, Talk Less
Silence is not only bliss, it is also power.
Sales expert often use silence as a psychological technique to enable their prospects make a favorable buying decision.
Sales experts know that people conceal their real objections (or reasons) why they don’t want to make a purchase, especially when they say: “I will think about it” or “I would give you a call when I am ready”.
They tackle this problem by making their prospects speak more by asking questions, while they do the listening.
When they eventually uncover the real objections, they handle those objections with compelling responses and move on to ‘close the sale’.
For others to take you seriously, you have to learn to listen more than you speak when conversing. That way you can have control over the conversation, and the individual would be more open to hearing your suggestions.
People like revealing their secrets to a good listener and the cliche-‘strong silent type’. They perceive them as being confident, mysterious, attractive, and strong.
On page 31 of his book “The 48 Laws of Power” the renowned author Robert Greene wrote:
“When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control...Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less...”
Nobody respects a chatterbox. Silence places value and authority on each word and statement you utter.
IX) Avoid ‘Being too Nice’
It is paradoxical how people misconstrue meekness for weakness, and never seem to fully respect those who are always available to help them.
It is good to help others when they are in need, but being too extreme about your niceness can make people take you for granted, or worse, see you as being pretentious.
Beware of the ‘nice guy’ act, and only render help to those who really deserve it.
X) Be Open-Minded
Those who are open-minded have a candid and balanced perspective about life.
People respect them because they don’t easily choose sides and they are not quick to pass judgements.
These set of individuals are rare, because we live in a world where most people are prejudicial or dogmatic, mainly because of their respective beliefs and self-made principles.
Being open-minded encourages you to relate with others on a mutual basis, irrespective of their age, gender, race and indigenous cultures.
When you are open-minded you become easily accessible. People would always want to seek your neutral and unique views about certain issues and circumstances of which they can’t resolve, which displays their respect and competence in your opinions.
In conclusion, practice these psychological skillsets until they naturally become part of you. There are no shortcuts or hacks to earning respect, It comes with experience and mental discipline.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Preye Raymond
Preye Raymond (author) from Nigeria on October 19, 2021:
How lovely... Thank you, am glad you found it valuable.
Chinyere Okoye from Anambra ,Awka on October 19, 2021:
This article is rich. I enjoyed it.