From the Oxford dictionary, “respect is an attitude of consideration or high regard. Another definition says good opinion, honour or admiration”. Well, both give different angles to what respect is.
Have you ever sat in a room filled with people all chattering and going about their business, then someone walks in and a sudden hush falls on the entire room. Everyone cannot help it but to drop what they are doing to focus on the person, to pay attention to whatever that person needs to share. And I am not talking about fear of an employee being reprimanded by his boss for not paying attention to him; I am referring to a room full of scholars, individuals who are their own boss; so they have nothing to fear, and their focused attention to this person is solely out of deep admiration.
Well, this scenario is a typical definition of what respect is. You hold someone in high regard, it is why you pay attention to them, it is why you want to emulate everything they are doing; you just admire them and want to be like them. A whole lot of persons complain a lot, by saying, “I don’t know why I’m not respected by my employees or people”; the frustration etched on their brows because they want that high regard.
It is every human’s need for people to have a good opinion of them because this will affect the way in which they are being treated by others. And so some go about it the wrong way by demanding for it, they holler at everyone they come across the fact that they need to be respected. But here is a shocker, you can be respected without demanding for it, without louding it. How is that even possible one may ask, well, it is by earning it.
For people to regard you, there has to be something you are doing differently from others. There are character traits, attitudes portrayed that needs to be admired before people begin to esteem you. Now, admiration is relative to an individual. But there are certain things that gets everyone looking up to a certain individual. Some important detail about a person that is hard to dismiss.
So you want respect, here is how to earn it;
1. Talk with wisdom and say less than necessary:
Well, even the Bible says that anyone who holds his peace, is esteemed as a man of great wisdom. There are people who just love talking. In a discussion, they seem to know everything about every topic, giving room for no one but themselves to air their views. Such a person you notice, makes invalid points and people eventually do not pay attention to him. Because empty jars they say, make the loudest noise. So if you want to earn respect, listen more, say less and speak with wisdom.
2. Do not be readily available:
Are you the one who is always available? Everyone can call you to do one thing or the other for them, because you give the impression you do not have anything to do and so they feel you are always available. Sometimes, even though you do not have anything doing, when someone calls, do not easily jump right at it. Use the words; let me look at my schedule, I will think about it…” This gives the impression that one has to give you a prior notice before any engagement. That is how you can be on your path of gaining respect.
3. Be a problem solver:
In today’s world, everyone is looking at what a person can bring to the table. This can be achieved by adding value to yourself through reading books, undergoing trainings and maybe buying a course relevant to your skill set thereby creating room for improvement.
Can people easily come to you when they are in a tight spot and need a solution to their problems? Can your company ask, who would get us out of this financial crisis and your name is mentioned? Listen, you have to have something for people to be attracted to you, for people to admire you. No one will hold you in high regard for nothing, there has to be something you are offering; something you bring constantly to the table.
4. Last but not the least is respecting yourself:
If you do not respect yourself, no one will respect you. Have your boundaries and don’t cross them. You can be friendly and know your limits, do not jump into conversations or situations that are of no concern to you. Respect yourself, go about your business and others will see a need to respect you.
Now, this is in no way saying that when you have everything that is stated here, automatically you will get the respect you want. The list here is relative to individuals, and it is no way trying to tell you to take on habits that are alien to you or you should go about pretending to be a certain individual you are not just to get something. No, it is saying that you can do better and be more. That in fact, everything is about your mind-set. And since it is the need of every individual to be respected that you too, can do what will necessitate your being respected. So look at your attitudes, your habits and the character you exhibit, are they pointers for admiration? Can people have good opinion about it. Remember, Respect is earned and not demanded.