Part of being respected is about how you treat others, but it’s also largely about how you treat yourself. Engaging in certain behaviors can undermine the respect you command from others. Here are 20 things you should avoid if you want to earn and maintain people’s respect.
Make it All About You
Respect isn’t just about what you want; it’s about considering the needs and desires of others. If people see that you only focus on your wants or needs, they will likely not respect you.
Make it Not About You at All
On the other hand, if you’re not considering your own needs or wants to please others, people won’t respect you either. People need to know that you can take care of yourself and make decisions for yourself.
Dismiss Your Ideas
Don’t undermine yourself or your ideas. People won’t take you seriously if you’re always discounting your contributions or dismissing them offhandedly. Believe in yourself, and others will do too.
People will only take you seriously if your words and actions match up. They will only respect you if they can rely on you to keep your word or stay true to what you stand for.
Lying or being deceptive will always result in a loss of respect. People won’t trust you if they know that you can’t be truthful; without trust, there can be no respect.
Don’t constantly be pessimistic. People don’t want to be around someone who’s always grumbling about everything. Be positive and optimistic, and people will respect you for it.
Be Overly Critical
Nothing turns people off faster than someone who’s always critical of others. If you’re constantly pointing out the flaws and mistakes of others, they won’t think very highly of you.
You’ll never get respect if you don’t return it. If someone is speaking to you or expressing their opinion, listen respectfully and respond in kind. Anything less is a surefire way to lose respect.
If the goal is to get people to respect you, then arguing for the sake of arguing is not the way to do it. If people see that you’re just being argumentative or stubborn, they won’t take you seriously and will think less of you.
Be a Know-It-All
Nobody likes someone who acts like they know everything. Being humble and open to learning is necessary if you want people to respect you. And if you must give advice, be sure to do it in a way that shows you’re open to other opinions.
Similarly, people who can’t rely on you to show up when needed or fulfill your commitments will only think a little of you. Being dependable and reliable will ensure that people always look at you with respect.
Don’t be rude or insensitive with your words, actions, or body language. If people feel like you don’t care about their feelings, then they won’t have any respect for you either.
It’s one thing to be honest about your mistakes or weaknesses, but it’s another to make excuses constantly. People won’t respect you if they feel you’re always trying to get out of responsibility.
Respectful people don’t spread malicious rumors or talk behind the backs of others. People who hear you gossip about them won’t want anything to do with you.
Be Too Casual
Be aware of the context in which you interact with people and act accordingly. Being too casual in a formal setting or overly stiff when it’s not necessary can cause people to think less of you.
Point Out Your Invisible Mistakes
Nobody likes a perfectionist. If you’re constantly second-guessing yourself or pointing out your invisible flaws, people won’t take you seriously and will think less of you. Showing confidence in yourself is the best way to earn respect.
Be Overly Competitive
Competition can be healthy in some contexts, but if you’re constantly trying to prove yourself better than others, they won’t respect you. Respectful people don’t need to be the best but can still appreciate others’ successes and accomplishments.
Don’t always make it about yourself or your interests. People will think poorly of you if you’re always looking out for number one. Respectful people put others before themselves and include everyone in their conversations and activities.
Don’t take revenge on people or constantly try to get back at them. People won’t want anything to do with someone continually trying to “get even.” Respectful people are gracious and forgiving and never seek retribution.
Don’t judge people harshly or focus on their flaws. People will think less of you if they feel like you’re constantly scrutinizing them or trying to make them feel bad about themselves. Respectful people are kind and understanding and don’t feel the need to pass judgment on others.
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