People show respect in different ways: they speak kindly, they listen to each other, or they encourage each other’s ideas. All these are definitions of respect in different contexts. When you feel respected, you become confident that you can trust the other person with who you are in that context. While “disrespect” is defined differently by different people, it all comes down to the little things. We unconsciously pick it up when someone else doesn’t value our input, hence the old phrase, “ trust your gut”. Have you been wondering, “How can I ace this interview,” or “What did I do wrong?” or “Can I fix this?” Here are 14 tips that will help you answer these questions.
Number 14: The easiest way to earn anyone’s respect is to manage their first impression of you.
First impressions happen fast, and they are very stubborn. We naturally make judgments about other people in a nanosecond. Your relationships and interactions will be a lot easier if you’re able to start off on the right foot. With a good first impression, it is easier to get a second chance when things go wrong. That said, it’s very important to remember that first impressions can be irrational. This means that most of the time they proceed from personal biases where we project expectations of how other people should behave. Sometimes the fault is yours; you know that you screwed up. Other times you were just misunderstood. If that’s the case, try some of these other tips.
Number 13: Be a person of your word.
This might seem to be more necessary in a lasting relationship, but small things like being prompt to go a long way. Words reflect your intentions and your integrity. Moreover, keeping your promises communicates the value you have for the other person or the activity. When you are not able to keep a commitment, find the courage to mention it in advance. Sometimes over-promising stems from eagerness and ambition. This is healthy but it is also subject to unpredictable and changing circumstances. If you end up making too many promises that you can’t keep, it’s okay to ask for help and figure out other alternatives.
Number 12: Believe in yourself.
When you know you are deserving of respect then you’ll attract it. It’s normal to sometimes feel inadequate or unqualified but this is not true in every situation you find yourself in. There is always something you bring to the table. A great way to earn respect is to make yourself necessary. Naturally, as you build on your strengths and maximize your experiences, fate finds a way of putting them to use. As a result, you don’t always need to try to please people. For example, if you are a student, you take time to understand the preferences, likes, and dislikes of your teacher. Why is it so easy for you? Because you need your teacher. If you can make your interactions valuable and people feel they can count on you, you earn their respect right off the bat.
Number 11: Allow others to talk about themselves.
Whether male or female, everyone’s favorite topic is themselves. We all love talking about ourselves because it makes us feel good. If someone is comfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas to you, they will feel like they can relate to you. Odds are, if you let the other person talk a lot about themselves, they will think you are fascinating. You can use this to your advantage to share ideas in a way that reflects the receiver’s existing opinions, interests, or beliefs. It becomes easier for them to accept your suggestions that way. This calls for being fully present when having conversations. Try not to miss a beat by asking open-ended questions.
Number 10: Mind your language.
The words you use determine other people’s reactions. For example, the words “slim” and “skinny” mean the same thing but will be received differently. Make your words more intentional and considerate of the other person. Awkward moments of silence are not such a bad thing. They are certainly better than talking too much.
Number 9: Stop apologizing!
There is a time and place for apologies. You are not always right. When you are wrong, do apologize. Own up to your mistakes but don’t dwell on them. It’s uncomfortable for others when you use the word “sorry” for every little thing that goes wrong. You come off as overly sensitive. You can’t be respected if people feel like they have to walk on eggshells when they are around you.
Number 8: Don’t be too nice.
Differentiate kindness from always having to do things for people. If you are too nice, it’s interpreted as a lack of self-confidence. The message that it sends is that you can’t be trusted because you are not genuine. It will look like your focus is to please other people. Build your identity in such a way that you don’t have to be available all the time. Do you remember the famous quote “if you want to make people happy, sell ice cream”? Even then, not everybody likes ice cream. Be who you are and they will respect that.
Number 7: Learn to say no.
Don’t feel guilty about saying no. Don’t worry about missed opportunities either. You don’t need to agree to everything that someone asks from you no matter who they are. When you say no, you show you’re not afraid of admitting that you value your time and that you don’t have time for everything. It can also mean you are open to receiving help in the event someone else can do it better than you. A little praise and show of confidence in the abilities of others quickly earn your place in any situation.
Number 6: Make use of good humor.
Just be friendly and in a good mood. Your goal is not purely to impress people but to make your interactions memorable. Find common ground and be engaging. This can be in the form of small talk about the weather, the ballgame, or anything that can kick off the conversation on a light note. When people meet someone who’s friendly, it eases the pressure of issues hanging over their heads. For a moment, things are lighter and they are open to listening to you.
Number 5: Make sure that the person you’re presenting is consistent.
Figure out what you stand for and hold on to it. It’s good that you believe in yourself, but don’t be afraid to stand up for it or stand against the things that don’t sit right with you. Don’t cross any lines for anyone, they’ll respect you for that. Stick to your convictions and make the best decisions possible. When you practice a moral code, it becomes clear, repetitive, and normal even to other people. If you’re doing a good job, people will notice.
Number 4: Always do your homework.
In other words, retain information about the things that matter to the people you interact with. Be genuinely impressed by what they are into. It’s actually fascinating how different people can be. The next time you meet them, you have a good place to start the conversation. You’d never attend an interview without checking up on the company you want to work for. In the same way, people appreciate it when you take the time to get to know them. They’ll in turn want to know you and will give you a chance to express yourself.
Number 3: Control your reactions.
It’s okay to be yourself and shows enthusiasm, but you have to keep your emotions in check. Every environment brings out different aspects of who we are. When you have to keep it together, practice communicating your emotions calmly yet with boldness. When you receive good news you can say something like, “I don’t know what to say”. This is subtle and confident. It communicates that you’re happy it worked out and you’re ready for the next challenge. Know when certain reactions are appropriate and when they are not. Politely excuse yourself when it’s beyond you. It’s a way of separating your work life from your family, your business relationships from your friendships, and your weaknesses from your potential foes.
Number 2: Keep the right company.
Surround yourself with people who have the qualities you admire. If people can see how resourceful the people you interact with are, they will believe you are too without having to interact with you personally.
Number 1: Don’t forget to respect yourself.
More than believing in yourself, self-respect is a journey of self-discovery. You become better at noticing your own pre-judgments and stereotypes by the day. That way, you can learn to suspend judgment when you meet other people. Taking time to understand your weaknesses, strengths, and limits makes you more confident in other people’s abilities. It becomes easier to notice how they complement or emphasize who you are.
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