“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely,” wrote Roy T. Bennett.
We all understand the importance of respect – but what can we do when we don’t get it? How can we encourage others to give us the same respect that we show them?
Here are seven ways to receive respect from the people in your life:
1. GET COMFORTABLE WITH CONFRONTATION.
When someone treats you disrespectfully, call them out on it. This is uncomfortable to do, but so necessary. If you say nothing about their behavior, it is sure to continue. It may even escalate. Calmly explain why their behavior was disrespectful and how it made you feel. Tell them kindly but firmly that they can not treat you this way.
2. WATCH YOUR TONE.
Many of us are guilty of a habit called upspeak. Upspeak is the unfortunate tendency to let your voice go higher at the end of a sentence. This makes statements, or even demands, sound like questions. It diminishes your authority and takes away your power in the conversation. If you want to be respected, avoid doing this at all costs.
3. LEARN TO LEAVE OTHERS UNSATISFIED.
It’s hard to respect a people-pleaser. They let others use them as a doormat. They never say no. If this is your M.O., you are not likely to command much respect – from others, or from yourself. Learn to be okay with ruffling some feathers. Stand up for yourself. Respect yourself, and others will follow suit – even if they don’t like it at first.
4. STAND BY YOUR WORTH.
Learn to own your strengths and accomplishments without bragging. This will take lots of practice, but it is a powerful skill to master. Keep track of the things you have done well. Internalize them. Share them when appropriate. Tell your boss about a sale you made. Share your disciplinary victory with your child’s teacher. Your positive self-image will project confidence, which always commands a certain level of respect.
5. MASTER THE ART OF EYE CONTACT.
Our eyes are the first thing to betray a lack of confidence. When we look down or to the side when someone is speaking, it comes across as disinterested. It causes us to appear unsure of ourselves and disengaged from the conversation. Learn to maintain eye contact without staring. This is an easy way to establish mutual respect.
6. STAND UP STRAIGHT.
Roll your shoulders back. Pretend there is a string pulling you up from the crown of your head. Good posture signifies confidence and self-respect. Show others that you are not a spineless person – in any sense of the word.
7. DEMAND IT.
Some people will not give you respect unless you ask for it. Address their behavior directly. When someone interrupts you, simply say “Excuse me. I was still speaking.” Assert your needs. Keep your voice calm and your message clear. Refuse to back down.
“RESPECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS WILL RESPECT YOU,” EXPLAINED CONFUCIUS.
Value yourself and others will follow. Practice self care. Stand by your needs, feelings, and thoughts. Above all, remember that you are no more or less important than anyone else is.