How To Gain Respect And Keep It All Your Life

Many people believe that knowing how to earn respect is one of the most important aspects to being successful and happy in life. While other individuals command respect because of their position, standing or rank, for some, respect carries more weight and it is more genuine if it is earned. Many people will also say that money and position cannot buy respect, it is something that needs to be earned. Learning and knowing how to earn respect mostly depends on the situation. For example, tips on how to earn respect are quite different depending on the area of expertise or the area where the person wants to earn respect, although some may apply these tips in another situation. For a person to understand the value and importance of earning respect, a person should have a good grasp of what respect means.

Respect according to Don Vito Corleone. Image courtesy of
Respect according to Don Vito Corleone. Image courtesy of

Respect Defined

By Wikipedia’s definition, respect is a deference or feeling of esteem for a person or other entities like a nation, a religion, a personal belief or an individual’s actions. Respect can be a specific feeling of regard for the actual qualities or character of a person. In some cases, respect can be earned depending on the person’s cultural reference frame. But in most cases and in any type of environment, either at work, family or even the mob, respect is often thought of as earned and built upon over time. For most people who have earned respect from others, continued and caring interactions are required in successfully maintaining a sense of respect. Respect is not the same as tolerance.

Why Is Respect So Important?

Respect is very important because it shows when a person values another person as an individual. It also shows that a person is honoring the dignity and rights of the person as a human being. A person who does not earn the respect of others or who is disrespectful of others is often seen as a person with a weak character who cannot be trusted, will have fewer friends and alliances in the workplace or other environment. Giving respect and earning respect go a very long way in creating a harmonious environment whether it is in your home, workplace, or a social environment.  Any person who is courteous, treats people fairly and listens to others can be called respectful. Anyone who shows respect to others will surely gain respect in return. Respect is essential in our society because it can foster kindness and peace among people. Partners giving mutual respect in their relationship are happier and will have a more stable partnership. Children respecting their parents show good character. Business leaders, CEOs and managers that show and give respect to their associates and employees will surely form better partnerships with those around them. Managers and employees that respect each other will be able to communicate better, collaborate more on many projects and reach business goals.

The great Julius "Dr. J" . there would be no Micheal Jordan if not for this man. Image courtesy of
The great Julius “Dr. J” Erving. There would be no Micheal Jordan if not for this man. Image courtesy of

8 Tips On Earning The Respect That You Deserve

Respect; many people want it, but only a few truly achieve it. It is true that you have to give respect to get respect in return, but in some cases it doesn’t ensure that respect will be given back to you. Too many nice guys and nice girls often give respect to others, but are not respected in return by anyone. Often at times, these nice guys and nice girls are the ones that are walked on by other people. Being a nice guy or a nice girl is not a disadvantage but you have to show your worth and your value by tweaking your attitude and getting the respect you deserve.

1. Respect Yourself

You can start by learning to respect yourself. Everyone is born worthy of respect, it doesn’t matter what religion you belong to, the colour of your skin, your race or gender, but in reality and practice, respect is not always given. It is essential for you to know that having self-respect can be defined as a self-acknowledgement of your own inherent dignity, value or worth. Don’t let other people step on you and take advantage of your niceness. Set healthy boundaries, take good care of yourself. Exercise, eat a healthy diet, be sociable without being too needy. Participate in any activities that can boost your confidence and leave you feeling accomplished. Surround yourself with people who give mutual respect to others, not because they are required to do it, but because they give it genuinely. If you learn to respect yourself, even in situations where you find yourself not being given respect by others, you will still have a sense of value and worth than can lift you up with dignity and grace.

2. Dress The Part

In the professional world, it does not matter what you have done in the past, how much power you yield or how much money you have in your bank account, a man with a well tailored suit or a woman with a nicely cut dress will always be treated better – or at least treated more professionally – than a person who looks like they just got out of bed. If you can afford it or save for it, suit-up! A $100 suit will make you look like a $100 person. Go for a suit between $500 to $1000 and you will look like someone worthy of respect. Don’t skimp on the shoes too. Buy yourself a good pair that will match your suit.

Goodfellas. Looking sharp with their sharp suits. Image courtesy of
Goodfellas. Looking sharp with their sharp suits. Image courtesy of

3. Know When To Speak Up

To get instant respect from your peers, associates or yout boss, you need to keep your mouth shut unless you have something worthy to say. This especially true if you are just starting out at a new company or in a new position. Only say what is necessary. Be mysterious and discreet. Do not be a showboat. Be observant and acknowledge what others say. “A fish is caught by the mouth”, anyone who has too much to say without any good reason will surely blurt out some mistakes. If you have just met a person, you are not obligated to tell them everything about you. The less someone knows about you, the more likely it is that the person will keep a respectful distance from you, which will eventually turn into respect after getting to know one another. Less talk, less mistakes.

4. Be Honest

You should not tell lies and always stick with honesty. If you need to say something, stick with what you know. Don’t make up stories or start talking just to impress somebody. Lying will surely not help you to be respected. If you don’t know something, just say that you don’t know or you cannot comment on it. A person who admits their shortcomings are worthy of respect and can be trusted. If the other party is courteous enough, they will ask what you do know. That is the best time to talk about something that you know that can help everyone and will make you a valueable member in the situation. Treat everyone with kindness and dignity, from the street sweeper to the man holding the highest position in the country. Remember, everyone deserves respect but not every has earnt it.

5. You Have To Learn To Say NO     

Being too nice will make you seem weak, easy to control or seem a pushover. You have to stand up for yourself and let them know that it is not your job to do their job. If for example a co-worker is demanding you do their tasks without showing any respect, you have to cut them off. Never let anyone take advantage of you. You don’t have to be rude by saying no, but refuse what they are telling you in a firm manner. Let them know that you will not accept or tolerate unprofessionalism. Tell them that you only do tasks that are assigned to you, and that are related to your own job. This will make your coworkers see that you are not a pushover and in fact someone who knows their own worth.

No means no. Image courtesy of
No means no. Image courtesy of

6. Convey Confidence With The Right Dose Of Humility

Anyone that radiates confidence will surely attract people. By having a good posture, nice manners and good mannerisms you can convey an image of someone in control. It also shows that the person knows what they are doing and can get the job done. If you’re meeting someone, smile, give a firm handshake and look at them straight in the eye. You also have to remember that there is a fine line between being confident and being arrogant. Practice humility and modesty.

7. Be Polite, Be Courteous

When meeting someone, showing good manners conveys class and refinement. A man or a woman with class has traits that are worthy of respect. Being polite doesn’t make you a wimp. Being polite means that you’re not an ass.

8. Whatever You Do, Make Sure To Be Good At It

In every working field, a person who is the best at what they do will be the most highly regarded. Everyone loves a competent person because they can be counted on for anything and will surely get the job done.

Changing your attitude or how you conduct yourself to gain the respect of others starts with knowing your own worth and value. Good luck!


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