15 tricks that make people respect you

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I know how frustrating and painful it can be when you’re not respected. People don’t listen to you, they brush your feelings aside, they never pick your ideas. You just don’t seem to matter to others.

I also know that no matter where you’re starting, you can quickly start getting more respected. All it takes is a few well-chosen steps in the right direction.

[Are you being disrespected by a specific person or by a few specific people? Then, you should read my popular guide “How to deal with someone who makes fun of you or tries to dominate you”.]

Here are the 15 best steps to start getting more respect in your life.

1. Make people take you seriously with this “status booster”

You shouldn’t brag. But you also shouldn’t be afraid to stand for what’s good about you. Here are some examples of things we want to be able to stand by:

  1. “I work hard”
  2. “I’m a great friend”
  3. “I care a lot about other people”
  4. “I’m trustworthy and responsible”
  5. “I’ve overcome a lot of obstacles in my life”
  6. “I’m proud of who I am”

This doesn’t mean you need to tell people these things directly.

Instead, boost your social status through your actions:

  1. The jokes you make (a lot of self-deprecating humor, or humor that puts other people down, will not earn you respect)
  2. The things you laugh at (and, more importantly, refuse to laugh at)
  3. The places you go, things you do, and events you go to
  4. How you describe yourself, your work or your life when someone asks
  5. The things you post on social media (and the things you like/comment on)

Keep in mind that humblebragging will not earn respect either. Here’s my rule of thumb for standing for who you are without bragging:

Feel no urge to tell people what’s good about you. Feel no fear to stand by who you are when you talk about yourself.

[I have a friend who has different beliefs than most. He’s amazing at showing self-respect without being obnoxious. Read here what he does differently than almost everyone else.]

2. What to do when people take you for granted

If you feel like you’re often taken advantage of or that you’re too nice, then this is going to be extra important for you.

The number one way to stop others from taking advantage of you is to set clear, enforceable boundaries.

This method shows people they can’t take you for granted and that you expect they treat you with respect.

When setting boundaries, first consider the things that you have control over.

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Don’t set a boundary that you can’t enforce.

Let’s say that you feel like your friend is taking advantage of you. They come over to your house any time they want, eat your food, and sleep on your couch. And they never ask for permission or contribute money for groceries.

In this case, you can set a boundary that no one can come to your house between 9 pm and 9 am without your permission or invitation.

Here’s a relevant article about what to do if you’re helping others but not getting anything back.

Once you’ve decided what boundaries you need to set, you need to tell the person you’re having a problem with.

There is almost always a reason why people do the things they do. It helps to consider the other person’s situation. What could have made them act this way? Have they always taken you for granted?

You can even suggest ways that their needs can still be met without taking advantage of you.

For example, ask your friends to call first if they need a place to sleep or contribute money if they frequently eat at your house.

Even once you’ve set a boundary, there is a chance that they will cross the line. Sometimes people simply forget because they’ve been doing it like this for a long time.

If this happens, your next step should be to have another conversation with them about it. Explain again:

  1. Why the things they’re doing are problematic for you
  2. What your boundaries are
  3. And why you’ve set those boundaries

If they still don’t respect your boundaries after that, you may need to make more drastic changes. Unfortunately, it might be necessary to cut contact with certain “friends”.

Read more here about how to tell bad friends from real friends.

3. How to speak so people listen to you: 12 quick tips

Many people who struggle with getting respect feel like they have no voice and nobody listens to them.

  • Are people ignoring you, interrupting you, or talking over you?
  • Are people not paying attention when you speak?
  • Are your opinions overlooked or your feelings brushed aside?

Making yourself heard will help you develop more of a presence. That presence will earn you respect from the people close to you, both family, friends, and work colleagues.

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  1. Use people’s name when you’re talking to them.
  2. Avoid overly complex language so that you are easily understood. (People will resent you if they can’t understand the words you use.)
  3. Talk about things that interest the other person. (A common mistake is to only talk about your own interests.)
  4. Ask more questions about the other person – this will keep their focus on you.
  5. Use hand gestures to make your message stronger and more clear.
  6. Keep more eye contact (make sure you give everyone in the group about equal eye contact to keep everyone’s interest.)
  7. Exercise your voice and articulation to get a strong voice that everyone hears. (Read more here about vocal projection.)
  8. Minimize complaining and negativity (make people feel good listening to you.)
  9. Avoid bragging. (People will see through it and think less of you for it.)
  10. Use effectful pauses. (Silence has a big impact on speech. Read more about it here.)
  11. Vary your tempo and tone when speaking. This makes you more interesting to listen to. (Practice at home by recording yourself speaking.)
  12. Ask people for feedback about how you can improve your speech.

4. Are you apologizing for your mere presence? DON’T!

Imagine someone accidentally spilling their drink on you. Then, out of pure habit, you say “I’m sorry” even if you did nothing wrong and are now covered in beer.

Over-apologizing is a sign that you’re more submissive than dominant. While “submissive” and “dominant” can both be bad things in extremes, it’s all about finding the right balance. You don’t want to be a pushover or a doormat, but you don’t want to be rude or arrogant either.

If you want to gain respect, you’ll need to save your apologies for the times that you’re actually sorry (such as when you’re the person that spills your beer on a stranger).

Don’t apologize for your mere presence, for stating your opinion, or for disagreeing. You don’t need to apologize if you don’t want to do something, either.

Your opinions and presence matter, which means that you shouldn’t apologize for just being around. Don’t get stuck “sorry-ing” your way through life.

5. Use your body language to command respect

Our body language can tell people how we feel about ourselves.

If you walk around with your shoulders hunched, arms crossed, and eyes on the ground, you will seem shy, afraid, or insecure. None of that commands respect.

However, if your body language portrays confidence, people will look up to you. They will believe that there must be a good reason for your confidence and therefore you must be worthy of their respect.

These are the characteristics of confident body language:

  • Good eye contact when speaking and listening
  • Good posture; no slouching or crossing your arms
  • Walking with a purpose (not wandering around aimlessly)
  • Keeping your chin up and eyes forward (instead of down)
  • Use hand gestures when speaking (instead of keeping your hands shoved in your pockets)

Keep in mind that while confident people earn respect, arrogant people lose it.

[Here are my two guides on how to improve your eye contact and how to get a more confident body language.]

6. How to stand up for your opinions and beliefs in a respectful way

When we compromise our beliefs to fit in, we disrespect ourselves.

I have a friend who has traditional Christian beliefs. It’s not very common where he lives in Sweden since most people are atheists over here. But everyone respects him.


Because he doesn’t push his beliefs onto anyone else and doesn’t judge anyone for not sharing his belief. But when someone asks him about it, he always stands firm in his belief, while still being respectful and nice about it.

That’s the sweet spot: Be comfortable both with your own beliefs and ALSO with others differing beliefs.

A lawyer named Janet Kole writes about earning respect through making yourself heard in this article. She says:

The most important thing you can do in any situation is make sure you are being heard.

And I mean this literally.

Here’s one example: I was trying a federal civil case with a jury against two parties represented by male lawyers. Both were much taller than I and had longer strides. One of them asked for a sidebar, and both men made it to the bench before I did and they started talking to the judge.

I was pissed off, of course, but didn’t want to let the jury see me sweat. So I gathered my “outdoor” voice, the one that carries throughout a courtroom, and said: “Just a minute, gentlemen. I’ll be right there.” All three men—the judge and the other lawyers—looked quite shamefaced, and they stopped talking until I got there.

I didn’t believe they started without me because they looked down on me or overlooked me or hated female lawyers. . . But I was not going to be left out; I was not going to let myself be dissed. . . In short, I asserted myself.

Notice that, despite feeling upset, she did not say anything disrespectful or show that she was angry. Instead, she made a comment that simply reminded the others of her presence. She was assertive without being aggressive.

7. If you get interrupted or cut off, make people listen by saying this

If your comment gets ignored or interrupted, you can say:

  • “Just a second, I’d like to finish my thought.”
  • “Excuse me, we got off tracked. What I was saying was that ___________.”
  • “Like I was saying before, ___________.”
  • “Please, let me speak.”

There are two more tactics I like when I want to say something but people keep talking over me:

  1. Using people’s motion-detecting to your advantage

You do this by raising your hand or your index finger briefly. This triggers people’s motion detecting and makes them focus on you. This opens up a perfect window for you to say something.

If you don’t get a window to say something immediately, that’s okay. People will often remember that you got something to say, so they will give you a chance to speak later on in the conversation.

  1. Using a quick inhale as a signal you got something to say

The same thing as the hand signal, by making a quick and audible inhale, people will notice you got something to say and focus on you.

When you start asserting yourself more, people will become more aware of your presence and give you more space in conversations.

Note that all interruptions aren’t made to belittle you.

For example, in a lively group conversation, people interrupt each other all the time. That’s okay and has nothing to do with being disrespectful.

You’ll just look like an asshole if you try to assert yourself EVERY time.

So, choose your fights wisely. (And don’t let others treat you like a doormat just because you’re a nice person.)

Click here to read more about how to join in on a group conversation without being interrupted.

8. Are you losing your temper and getting angry too easily?

“I have a history of my emotions getting the better of me. I am working on it, but it has left such lasting damage that it feels like people are afraid of me. This makes me feel terrible now that I’ve grown up. I’ve realized the damage I made to my relationship by not having control over myself.”

If you’re prone to losing your temper or overreacting in certain situations, it’s probably affecting the respect people have for you.

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If you lose your temper, people won’t take you seriously because you seem so emotional and not logical. And some might even start avoiding you instead of talking with you.

Here’s how to address a conflict in a way that makes people respect you more:

  1. Prepare some suggestions for improving the situation before you have a talk
  2. Have the conversation in private instead of making a scene in public
  3. Do it after you’ve cooled down instead of confronting someone in the heat of the moment
  4. Use “I feel” and “I think” instead of making accusations such as “You always…”
  5. Keep yourself calm; make an effort not to get defensive or upset
  6. Be understanding of the other person’s circumstances; tell them you understand and want to work with them to find a solution that works for both of you
  7. Be honest with yourself about mistakes you’ve made and things you could do differently moving forward
  8. Admit when you’re wrong and apologize

Learning to keep your calm and to handle situations constructively will make people respect you. When you don’t get mad every time, you will see how people start trusting you and talking more with you.

Click here to read more about how to handle difficult conversations.

9. How you can improve your leadership skills to earn respect at work and in life

Leadership makes people listen to you and it also helps you accomplish things at work and in life. Leadership is one of the most valued attributes from employers around the world. It will earn you respect at work.

Being a leader means being a person who helps the group achieve their goals (goals can be both productive or just to have fun together).

Being a leader also means standing up for what you believe is right (even if it goes against what others want or believe).

Here are some practical ways to earn respect by being a leader:

  1. Take initiative in situations where you are knowledgeable or skilled.
  2. Set short-term and long-term goals and come up with plans for achieving them. (Find goal-setting worksheetshere.)
  3. Make sure people hear you by speaking clearly and loudly.
  4. Keep your word – do what you say you’re going to do.
  5. Lead by example – work hard if you want others to do the same.
  6. Do what you believe is right even if it’s different than what everyone else is doing.
  7. Treat others with respect at all times.
  8. Don’t lose your temper or blame others – focus on solving instead of blaming.

10. Self-presentation: The easiest way to double the respect you get?

The way you present yourself determines how people will see you and how much they will respect you.

Self-presentation includes:

  1. Dressing appropriately based on the situation
  2. Well-fitting and nice clothes
  3. Grooming (Showering, shaving, skin-care)
  4. Haircut
  5. Staying in shape

Things like clothes and looks might seem shallow, but people judge you a lot based on that. All those things represent both how you feel about yourself and how you want others to look at you.

How you present yourself is ESPECIALLY important to make a great first impression.

The cool thing about it is that most of these steps are super easy and effective ways to get more respect. All it takes is going to your hairdresser, taking a shower, shaving, or buying some new clothes.

It’s just a few hours work each month (and some of your hard-earned money) to enjoy more respect for the rest of your life.

Staying in shape is a bit more tricky and time-consuming, but there are also far more benefits to it. You can read more about staying in shape all year long over here.

11. How you can give respect to get respect

Take a second to think about some of the most disrespectful people you’ve ever encountered.

Do you respect those people? The answer is probably not.

The quickest way to shatter your reputation and lose respect is by speaking or behaving disrespectfully to someone else.

Is it okay to get mad or upset or offended?

Yes! You’re human, and nobody can expect you to be perfect. (My motto: Perfect is boring.)

But showing respect to people will go a long way towards earning respect from others (even when they don’t deserve it).

Here’s why it works: When you behave respectfully you’re proving that you’re the bigger person.

Your show of respect will show:

  1. Your self-control
  2. Your level-headedness
  3. Your ability to think on your feet
  4. Your ability to see beyond others weaknesses
  5. Your self-worth (you value yourself enough not to sink to others level)

All of those characteristics are worthy of respect. And you will earn that respect both from the person you responded to and from anyone who’s watching. It says a lot when you refuse to treat someone poorly even when you could have.

You’ve probably heard the “Golden Rule”:

Treat others how you want to be treated.

This is the basis of the concept of earning respect through giving it.

You’ve probably had a bad day before, or a bad week, or even a bad year. Give other people the benefit of the doubt when they’re behaving poorly. They may be going through something that you don’t know about. Choose to treat them with respect anyway.

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12. The surprising effect of owning up to your mistakes

To see why it’s so important to have the ability to admit when you’re wrong, do this:

Think about a person in your life who always refuses to admit when they’ve made a mistake.

How do you feel about that person’s behavior?

People who stand their ground even after they realize they’ve messed up are doing so out of pride. Prideful people quickly lose the respect of their peers.

Be careful not to mistake “pride” with the idea of being proud of who you are. Being proud of who you are is a type of self-respect, while being prideful is believing you’re better than others.

Pride is an unattractive quality that ruins reputations and relationships.

Admitting when you’re wrong is always humbling. No one enjoys making mistakes. But the reality is that we all make mistakes, and each one of us is going to be wrong at some point.

Here are some things you can say when you realize you’re in the wrong:

  • “I’ve thought about what you said, and you’re right.”
  • “I know I disagreed with you before, but what you said makes a lot of sense. You’re right.”
  • “I’m sorry for what I said earlier. I was wrong about that.”

Not only does admitting a mistake prevent you from looking foolish, it also shows the other person that you value them and their opinions. This will strengthen your relationship. But refusing to admit that you’re wrong will push you away from each other.

When I admit a mistake, I can almost FEEL how my relationship instantly improves. And I always learn something valuable from each time I’m wrong or mess up.

When you’re strong enough to admit your mistakes, you never have to be afraid to be wrong or mess up.

13. Be taken more seriously by avoiding self-deprecating humor

When you talk about yourself to others, what messages are you sending?

Here are some examples of what type of messages self-deprecating humor can send:

  • “I’m no good”
  • “I’m terrible at everything”
  • “I don’t like myself”
  • “You’re better than me”
  • “I’m not worth your time”

I realized that I talked down on myself by joking too much about myself. I communicated that I wasn’t good enough.

Self-deprecating humor can be great, but it should be obvious that there’s no truth to it.

When Obama joked that he couldn’t turn down the AC in the oval office, that was funny, because no one doubted his power.

When I joked about being lonely on the weekends, it painted a picture of me as a lonely person, and it also communicated that I didn’t respect myself.

Click here to read how to be funny and use humor to your advantage.

14. Say this instead of “I’m sorry” to change how people perceive you

A big problem with saying “I’m sorry” is that it gives the impression that you’re in the wrong, even if you aren’t.

One way to stop saying “I’m sorry” too often is by replacing the phrase with a simple “Thank you” when it’s possible. For example, if you’re asking someone for something.

When you say “Thank you” instead of “I’m sorry,” you’re changing how the other person perceives you.

“Thank you” shows appreciation to the other person for their time. It switches your mindset from an apologetic one to one of gratitude. The other person will also appreciate not needing to reassure you that you’ve done nothing wrong.

Another thing to say instead of “Sorry” is “Excuse me.” If you bump into someone or need to get past them, saying “Excuse me” is a polite way to let them know without having to apologize for your presence.

15. Are you losing respect because you talk too much and reveal too much about yourself?

It’s common to talk too much and start rambling when you get nervous or want to make a good impression.

To gain others respect you can’t just ramble and talk about yourself. You need to slow down and find some common ground first. That way people will start valuing your input and what you say.

Here are 6 tips if you tend to talk too much or ramble about yourself:

  1. Think about what you want to say before you start speaking. That way your thoughts don’t tumble out of your mouth in a complicated (and embarrassing) mess.
  2. Avoid using “uh” and “um” when you speak. Fillers like that that weaken your message and put you in a bad light.
  3. Start asking more questions and follow-up questions. This will slow down your pace and make sure you don’t babble without any input from the other person.
  4. Avoid telling your whole life-story to others if they don’t do the same.
  5. Share equally much about yourself as they share about themselves.
  6. Focus on finding mutual interests and talk about those. This makes sure the conversation is interesting for everyone involved.

Remember, it’s all about taking one small step at a time. Take it at your own pace. Once you’ve mastered one respect tactic, choose another one to work on.

What’s your biggest problem with respect today? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to help you out.

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Viktor is a Counselor specialized in interpersonal communication and relationships. He manages Socialpro’s scientific review board. Follow on Twitter or read more.

Go to Comments (133)

133 thoughts on “15 tricks that make people respect you”

  1. Thank you for this great article, my biggest issue with respect at this current time in my life is that I seem to offend people easily. I am not easily offended, I’m very open minded and enjoy deep conversations about life. Somehow when I share my opinions everyone seems offended. They don’t tell me this in person, it’s later on when I find out from someone else that they were offended by what I said so I never even get a chance to deal with it with them. Apparently I’m not good at something regarding conversations. Your articles are very helpful, maybe with some effort I will make some progress. It seems to be the best thing for me to do is do more listening and less talking.

  2. I’m so scared of people disregarding me, because I was a big time talkative and surprisingly my siblings don’t know about it yet.
    My news friends say I don’t have a trace of talkativeness in me but I’m scared that maybe I’m putting on an act. I just want to be quiet and confident. I want to be admired and I want to know how far I’ve gone

  3. I so happy I came across this article. I was a bully in my final year in high school, I was really mean to my juniors but very talkative around my friends. This made my friends disrespect me but my juniors respected me because I was mean and quiet around them .
    I got admission into the University two years later, the people I bullied became my mates and some my senior. I’m literally one of the oldest in my class. I don’t know how to act at all. I resorted to being invisible and low key because no one fits into my age and I didn’t want people to hear about how I was and hate me, but along the line I started becoming close to this clique though they’re way younger and I feel so somehow with them because I don’t want people saying I’m too old to be with them. Now people are getting to know about how stupid and talkative I was and how mean I was and I feel they’re going to lose respect for me or look down on me.
    I am highly respected here in Uni or should I say feared because I have a mean face (it’s not intentional at all). I feel like I will lose my respect because of all this and I danced at a party to. I need as much replies as possible I need help.

    • It seems like you’re way too worried about what people think of you. Just try to be kind to people – everybody has inherent value, lots of stories to tell, lots of interesting thoughts that you can find out by asking questions and being respectful! If they are not kind to you, then who cares what they think, just move on, they are not worth your time!
      If however you think that your feeling of being talked about and disliked is debilitating and have a bad effect on your everyday life – e.g. you don’t go to the gym, because you feel like people judge you etc. – you might have what’s called ‘social phobia’ which is a recognised condition, easily treated with cognitive behaviour therapy.
      Rmember, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, nothing wrong with your face or the way you ‘dance’ (?) you just need to be kinder to yourself and you’ll be kinder to others as a result.

  4. HI David and Viktor- Thank you so much for this thorough article. This will help so many people. A Godsend! Thanks again, please keep up the great work.

  5. I’m in grade 10 and most of my classmates are always over looking me and it seems that the only time they know I exist is when they need help or something. And they like teasing me. I’m mostly just ignoring them but I know even though I pretend like I don’t care, it hurts deep inside.
    What should I do?

    • Just be yourself & know school years are NOTHING at all like real-world/the rest of your life.

      It’s TOTALLY DIFFERENT when you grow up. Just know that.

      I promise you, at your 10-year reunion (when you’re 28) you’ll see what I’m saying is true.

      The bullies – living boring lives. Bullies never do well in the real world.
      The popular kids – MOSTLY same as above. Except for the nice ones, they’re the exception.
      The nerds – surprisingly, these are the people who are really kicking ass & taking names. WHY? Because they got the shit beat outta them in high school, and made it a mission to kick ass & take names. They’ve got the hottest spouse, best job & are making the most money.

      So hang in there. Getting your ass kicked in high school means you’ve got a greater chance of succeeding in life.

      Be grateful for the assholes at your school. And pity them. They’re usually that way because someone else (probably parents, maybe brother/sister, or even their friends) is bullying them.

      Go research one-liner comebacks to use when they make comments. Show no emotion. Eventually they’ll feel stupid & go find another victim.

      High school = THE best training ground for life. If you can get through being bullied in high school … YOU CAN GET THROUGH ANYTHING!!!!

  6. My problem is i act too humble; partly to try to make the other person feel comfortable and that they can be themselves without judgement, and partly because I’m not good at being mean. As you can tell it backfires all the time and people walk all over me, what should i do instead? I don’t wanna be mean

    • I completely understand how you feel about this issue. I always want to be the person that makes other people feel like they can be themselves. What I’ve learned (and still struggle with to this day) is you need to set up boundaries for your peers. You gotta treat yourself and others the way you want other people to be treating you, and sometimes that means being firm on where your lines are drawn. That doesn’t mean you have to be angry, mean, spiteful, or anything like that, however it is okay to feel angry, irritated, or anything like that. You gotta understand what your boundaries are and why, and when to enforce those boundaries. That alone will help you build the confidence you need to stand up for what you believe in.

  7. Hi — I am currently struggling with the fact that my daughter does not treat me with respect. She makes me feel like I’m her punching bag. Everyone here seems to be younger, so I’m a little embarrassed to say that I’m 59 and my daughter is 34. Somehow, somewhere, this girl has lost respect for me. I am always there for her (probably too much). So I am basically trying to figure out how to talk and respond to her in a way that can turn this around. We mostly disagree about politics and although I’ve told her “now we should not talk about this subject, because it doesn’t get us anywhere”, she still manages to suck me in and it gets ugly. You would think at my age that I wouldn’t have to deal with this, but it seems to be getting worse. I just want to learn some ways that I can be stronger in my language and avoid the frustration that I have every time I talk to her. I’ve always tried to be a good mother, but I am not perfect, I am human. Thank you

    • Teenagers/young adults are just weird. Plain as that. Frontal lobes not fully developed, especially THESE DAYS … many were raised in the “everyone gets a trophy” generation, and “#me too” movement portraying “being a victim” as “cool” in the media – so many develop this “God Complex” which personally, annoys me to the point where I have to walk/run away, otherwise risk losing total control.

      I’m a GenX raised by hardworking parents who did not coddle me, afford me any explanations for anything they did, despite my pleas. Nor did they worship me or afford me special privileges, apologize etc. when they couldn’t attend events, or when they couldn’t be home after school/for dinner/late working.

      They were like, “It’s your life. Deal with it.”

      My kids – consistently compare me/their dad (divorced) to their friends’ parents (mostly NOT divorced) & my daughter especially, uses my guilt as leverage to get what she wants & assume “alpha” role whenever possible.

      Around 16 yrs, what I consider ‘brainwashing’ begun. One day she decided she “had it rough” compared to her friends, and that by pointing out differences, she could manipulate me via guilt, since no way could I ever live up to what Moms w/husbands do on a regular basis.

      It was very effective.

      She’s in college now, yet when she comes home this sense of entitlement, superiority resurfaces. She knows better than me on every subject.

      Sometimes I call her out. Sometimes I don’t. It’s ANNOYING AS HELL though.

      My suggestion – stand your ground, do NOT allow yourself to be taken for granted. If she’s disrespecting you, especially IN YOUR HOUSE, I would have a nice sit-down & explain how it makes you feel when she says/does XXXX. If she refuses to change her behavior, tell her to find another caregiver.

      You can still love your grandchild in the meantime. In fact, if able to do this, it will make your daughter a better mother by teaching humility, and about how the world works, while she’s young.

      Am I the only one who’s PETRIFIED when thinking about our world will be in the hands of these future generations – entitled, selfish, superficial, dumbed-down, “stuff addicts?”)


  8. A very useful article. Thank you. I am guilty of most of the points. As Musical Director, I’m too nice to my Showband members. I believe this is why one male performer in the group tests my boundaries and patronise ‘s me. Ironically I am not a pushover, yet do not want to exert aggression in order to gain his respect. I feel helpless at the moment, in dealing with him. I know he’s testing me and is probably threatened by my female leadership. It’s going to prove difficult and time consuming, of which time I do not have, to get him to respect me. I have a show to perform now. He’s a brilliant musician, but his narcissistic attitude is upsetting my creativity and I don’t know what to do.

  9. This article is a failure from the first word. “Tricks.” People should not be “tricked” into respecting you. It should result from genuine behavior.

  10. hello. Thank you so much for this piece. I’m having trouble with two people whom I feel should treat me way better than they are doing. I don’t feel good on their presence and lately I’ve had to spend a lot of time with them.

    I’m 32 years old and in my father’s house, and my step mother shouts on me or talks down on me to wash dishes. While I was growing up I washed dishes more than anyone in my father’s house and I don’t understand why plate washing has become an issue for her and she has to become so aggressive. I’m not enjoying and I feel like talking down to her back because I’m capable of it. I I feel she has respect for me at all. Please how best do I address this issue.

    The second one is her Aunty whom I went to live with for sometime in another city while I worked. One Sunday morning I returned from service and I was so shocked when in front of her son she reprimanded me in the following words:( her son who is 35years old was sitting by her side drinking wine both of them) :
    Did you sweep the house this morning before you left?

    I risked insulting her immediately because I have a sharp tongue. But somehow I managed to say: I just
    returned from service.

    This person has continued disrespecting me since then. Please how do I deal with this 62 year old woman.

  11. Absolutely brilliant, very clear and straight forward, best I’ve read in ages . No confusing advice, just clear and totally hit the nail on the head on all ways dealing with awkward people . Thank you so much great stuff!

  12. N.B. You wrote a script to expand apologies (#5); then advised to minimize apologies in two ways (#17, #18).

    Please correct.

    Thank you,
    Barb, aka Barbara

  13. What a great article! Thank you so very much. I have been watching the dog whisperer to more clearly understand “boundaries”. It’s very hard to compare re-habbing a dog and training people to people’s way. For one you can challenge a dog silently and prevent the pup from running away. People not so much…. I hope to begin with inappropriate apologies by considering thank-you’s if it fits the situation.

    Again, I deeply appreciate this article.

  14. I feel like there are different types of low self-esteem, that unless you’re willing to accept it, it’s so easy to critique this article. I really value what you had to say, and my whole persona changed after reading this. Sitting next to my boyfriend who’s really good at making me feel unworthy, I was able to find the mindset that I built up my whole life, before meeting him. I got so used to the insults, I started to believe it. I know that’s unhealthy and I’m trying to work through it… but I felt a glimpse of the true me before I started to disvalue myself. We have to learn to be vulnerable and understand that any negativity that’s targeted towards us, is a lie that we once made an agreement within ourselves attracted by fear.:( We’re so worried about how to respond, and what would be acceptable.. we forget our worth. When you learn to let go… and not take things personally, everything will change start to fall into place and you’ll find who you truly are. Let’s all build each other up and don’t let fear rule our lives… <3

    • Hello Ra, wise words. I’m saddened to hear how your boyfriend makes you feel unworthy. That makes me feel like you deserve better – because you are worthy!

  15. im a 16 year old girl. ive been so “out there” i used be so shy, i dont want so much people to know me. ive let people walk all over me like a door mat. especially guys. the thing is everyone knows me as an easy going girl. i came to school one day and i was a totally different person. nobody took me seriously. when i say “no” they would drag me by the arm and make me do what they want me to do. i want to be strong. independent. i wanna be me… my true self. deep down i know i do things that shouldn’t have happened. deep down i know i can do better. instead i just say “yes”. i want people to know im not the girl like before. people think im a dumb person because i was always acting dumb. but actually im way smarter than they think. im done with people disrespecting me. im done. what should i do. please lol im desperate here for advice.

    • Just keep doing what is right, do what you have read in the article above and practice it. Even though your friends don’t see you as you want them to see you now, trust me, they will do that later.

    • Maryam, begin by saying no. Just start saying no to everyone about everything for a while. The goal is to start setting boundaries and this is a great way to do so. Don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable. You are a wonderful person of great value to this world so don’t allow yourself to be disrespected or devalued from this moment forward. Do what I’m suggesting and the results will amaze you. Take care of yourself my dear!

  16. Thank you very much. This has given me a guide on how to earn self respect and also to change how others persive me. I accept the great challenge to build and maintain respect for myself and others.

  17. I even have a problem of my friends..I m a 1st year BDS student..and frnds I have got… Are nice they re good..but they don’t respect me..always ignore me…never listen to my talks…always make fun of me…behind me…i get very much frustrated.! Help me to get out.. I want to make others respect me !

    • First, and I mean no disrespect with this, learn how to communicate by using proper English and grammar, and use complete sentences, not phrases separated by “…”. This method of communication is difficult to read and tends to make others not take you seriously.

      • I don’t think she is here for English lessons. ..just some advice….I’m sure you managed to understand her..well done to her for trying to speak an additional language!..no reason for any negativity

    • It’s not that your disrespectful,it’s your friend that have no respect for themselves. It’s not healthy to be in that kind of relationship for too long, you will doubt yourself and lose your self confidence. I know its not easy but try to find a new friend who will respect you but you have to respect yourself first and also don’t be scared to spend some time alone. Be your own best friend and respect yourself so others will respect you.

      • From all of the comments I’ve read here, I see a familiar pattern forming, a common denominator of reasons why we are not respected and taken seriously, and of which applies to myself too. We’ve become targets for these reasons: Too sensitive and emotional. Low self worth. Harboured guilt from our past, which actually exacerbates our existing low esteem. Trying too hard to impress/make up our shortfalls to others. Conning ourselves that humility/bowing down to others makes us nice people. Confusing respect for others with being a doormat for their abuse. Trying to lead others when we can’t even lead ourselves. Believing that our skills is enough to make others respect us.

    • There not your real friends. You said they ignore you and won’t listen to what you have to say, well then there not true friends. True friends would never talk about you behind your back and would listen to you when you need someone to rely on.

  18. I genuinely do no. 1 with my teenagers and my son has told me that it makes it easier for him to forgive me when I own my shit. My kids know they can openly talk to me and call me on my shit too. The only drawback is, I need to practice on not reacting emotionally. I have hard time with that one.

    One little side note to the author: on #10, the last paragraph is repeated from the one before it. Just letting you know of the typo. 🙂

  19. I Like This Article Very Well. Once One Is Practising, One Is Hopeful Of Perfection. This Article Is Helpful. My Advice Is That People Should Try All Possible Ways To Be Respected In The Society.

  20. Sorry but this article is NOT true.
    You canNOT control if someone respects you.

    You can only live your life, and try your best to be a good person, and pray to God. If someone respects you is NOT in your control. You canNOT control that.
    How do you control someone else’s behavior??? This is impossible.

    You do everything correct and sometimes people will disrespect you more. Why? Because of envy and jealousy. Respect is not something you can “earn”. It’s a big lie.

    • I disagree.

      For example, there was a user who wrote a mean-spirited comment to another user on this blog (which I deleted). That behavior made me lose respect for them.

      How you decide to live your life and treat others will affect what you get back. Not always, but most often.

    • I disagree
      You can control how others view you.
      The way you respect your pastor and a theif are not the same.
      Because of their behaviour, you view them differently.
      If your pastor becomes a theif you’ll no longer respect him.
      So this is a great article.
      Thanks for writing

    • That means you just lied to yourself
      Tell me, how can you change a fighter into a calm person if you fight back at every little thing they do? Tell me how you calm you partner down when they are wrong and believe they are right to tell them they are wrong by forcefully imposing the truth in them? If you can answer this questions correctly, then you can answer if you can or cannot cause people to respect you. Thanks

      • That’s when you walk away from those kinds of people. If you respect yourself and assert yourself and someone still doesn’t respect you, they aren’t worth your time anyway. There’s plenty of other people who are decent enough to show you respect.

    • To Anonymous, THANK YOU!!! That is sooooo true. You can’t make someone respect you even if you’ve done everything on this list. I know; tried every one on this list and still get disrespected.

    • This last comment illustrates the need for reasoned thought and emotional calmness. To enforce their opinion they capitalized “NOT.” Was this is ensure that this word was not missed, or to blast an opinion as something that could not be challenged.

      I suspect same people will make many mistakes in life and assume the whole world is wrong. As we grow and learn emotionally we learn the whole word is often nothing more than the mirror we see of ourselves.

      Bullying the innocent and truly bad people do exist.

      However, we need to recognize the difference between the honest feedback from others from the ignorance of a few.

    • You cannot FORCE anyone to respect you, but you can behave in ways that make people more likely to respect you. That is what this fine article is about.

  21. This is a great article. You’re right, trying to change everything at the same time is too much to deal with, so going through it step by step is a great solution. In my opinion it all comes down to self-respect as a starting point and people who genuinely believe in your success and support you regardless of your flaws.

  22. Don’t do things to devalue your authenticity e.g. Don’t do stupid things on social media, or devalue someone else opinion and believes just because they are not the same as your own. Keep high morals and avoid making mistakes in the sense of morals .Be an inspiration towards others instead of the guy who nobody wants to be associated with because of his poor life decisions.

    • I like that, integrity! Maybe I should add one more principle to explain that in more depth and how you can increase your integrity?

      • I would say integrity is one of the fundamental qualities that people respect you for. Even if you’re not the nicest, if you always do the right thing, people will respect you 100% even if they don’t like you.

    • I found this very helpful. You tend to get disrespect from society when you hold strong convictions on subjects that differ from the rest.

      • I think this it’s very usefull for every humanbeing im try to change my self for along time but this is the first thing help me to get respect ebd

  23. No one take me seriously just because i crack jokes evry time the reason is I dose’nt want to create tense situtation but no one understand my veiw not family nor my friend respect me for them i m nothing more then a joke so pls tell how should i deal with it

    • Sneha,I also faced the same situation but slowly after introspection I understood where I went wrong.Nowdays I have started giving back to people who make incessant fun and don’t take it seriously and I practice with the choice of words where it will hurt them so that they realise.i practice this in the bathroom while taking shower imagining they are in font of me .This has worked out for me for sure.I wish you all the luck in developing your personality.

      Please note that I am also developing but it is a tip I am sharing with you based on my realization and how I coped with the situation

      Let me now if I can be of any help to you

  24. hi.. I think I’ve lost my respect because majority of the times I’m joking around even in serious occasions and that is solely because I have that jolly personality … like I want to overcome this habit nut unintentionally I crack a joke… also I’ve noticed I am a chatter box and tend to be easily share my thoughts with strangers whom I’ve just met .. like I fail to keep a distance also I’m not committed to my words sometimes I’m a student female… I also think some no many people get jealous of me either from my appearance or what … I don’t get some people like some of them I’ve never talked or so also tend to dislike me. I was once very confident but after getting into university my confidence level has dropped too … this article is good and I really would like to follow it

    • Thanks for sharing! Glad you liked the article, I recommend you start with one principle and focus on that to start. With your self-insight, I think you can improve a lot!

  25. The article is good but unfortunately no one lives up to those standards. We are all humans,full of flaws and idiosyncrasies. I think good people try their best to follow the examples mentioned, but inevitably we all fail sooner or later. For example, I think most people want to stay cool, calm and collective during an argument but unfortunately things happen that sometimes we ourselves can’t control. We are not robots. I respect people not solely based on the qualities mentioned, but on what is in their heart, mind and most importantly, honesty and if they have good morals.

    • I agree Chris, we can never be perfect and neither should we expect perfection from others. That’s why at the start of the article I wrote about how you can choose just one principle that you resonate with to focus on, that way it gets more manageable and realistic.

      • While this is a very good article, I tend to agree with Chris. Even born leaders have sometimes lost their cool. The question is “how often do you lose your cool”?

        I happens to be someone people always look up to. I am not the alpha male but people want to see me as such. I have a carriage that makes people curious about me. They want to know what is behind my confidence. And many times people have made several attempts to even see the size of my dick. They have done this sometimes by directly touching me inappropriately at my groin or they follow me to the watch room to look at my dick while I am having a pee. Also, in order to get my attention, some have intentionally belittle me, make fun of me, slight me purposely, use derogatory remarks etc. Unfortunately, that is where I had failed because I lose my cool most times. And you will not blame me given that I am constantly under scrutiny and barrage of verbal attacks.

        While I exhibited most of the qualities mentioned above, I always fail in point 4 (Allowing my emotions to get the best of me). Although, I am conscious of the fact that I should not raise my voice in an argument but I often do not know when I drift apart and lose it with bitter exchange of words.

        The more embarrassing situation happened recently when I had a quarrel with a seemingly insignificant, uneducated and socially unexposed girl that is half my age. To be honest, I lost respect from two or three of my neighbours but because I still have the respect from a large spectrum of my community, I did not feel the impact of the loss of respect. But, I hurt my ego with the incident. In my opinion, the incident was a turning point for me to manage point 4. I learnt a lesson in a bitter way. However, as the saying goes “No pains, No gain” because, ever since the incident, I am more efficient in keeping my cool. I have come to realize that people purposely want to provoke and insult me because of the following reasons:

        They either want to be in my circle of acquaintances and they are not making any head way
        They pale in comparisons with my social status
        They feel I get too much respect from the community
        People always talk good of me and they want to look for means to belittle me publicly
        They hate my guts
        I tend to mine my business all the time and that infuriates them
        They are looking for means to make me loose my ego and carriage

        In any case, I am better equipped now in managing my emotions since I came to the realization that people consider me a person of class and as such many want to intentionally talk negatively of me just to bring me down. I no longer give them the room by responding to their insult or derogatory remarks.

        Thank you very much for this article because it has helped me to see myself.

      • Really? Was your comment written in jest or to gain attention? I can’t imagine there are people in this world who really believe many of the ideas you expressed in your comment! NOBODY cares how big a man’s dick is – except perhaps someone in the porn business. In the real world, dick size is absolutely NOT RELATED to respect in any way. And to even suggest it – whether it was joke or serious – tells me that you have some SERIOUS mental health issues to deal with. MUCH more serious that whether or not you are respected!

      • How do u deal with a borderline overstepping mother? I’ve tried everything and feel I’m the only one to deal with this. She is my main stressor. Extremely controlling and at times delusional . does nothing but try to make everyone feel guilty

      • So sorry to hear about that Tina. Dealing with mentally ill people is a very tough issue. I think this forum might be of help: https://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/

        It’s a gathering place for other people in similar situations as you, I think just reading about others problems can help you get perspective on your situation. That will hopefully give you clarity on how to move on.

        You have my best wishes!

    • Good article. No we cannot control how others feel about us.
      But we can affect how others feel about us. If we respect ourselves, and show respect to others, over time, that gets conveyed…… this article gave good pointers as to how to not overreact and how to come from a place of integrity, no matter what is coming at us. Then there are those who out of habitual behavior, will never show us respect. And its best to recognize that, not take it personally, and go on being an ‘example’ of integrity, yes making mistakes also. And saying ‘sorry I was wrong’.

  26. I lost respect frm a friend(a boy) and I’m a girl and its been awhile since we spoke…i actually bought something for him as a borthday gift,should i give it to him,npw dat we dont talk anymore?

    • Amera jist don’t talk to your boy frnd for 3days or 1week…….After he will respect you.Boys always think about girls when they are trying to leave……..

  27. I am 12 and I am new at school.I hang around with my one year older friend and her buddies.sometimes some of them hit me 4 no reason what should I do please help??.

    • Find different friends immediately. One second more of time spent around them conveys you are willing to accept their behavior. Treat them as if they are a gray rock on the side of the road by passing them by and ignoring their existence. They want to get a reaction out of you. You can tell your older friend it was nice knowing her but you don’t play that way. If the harassment continues, immediately tell your parents and teacher.

    • Hit them back very hard and tell her to get off of you if she starts violence with you first. Otherwise, you have no reason to fear anyone.

  28. My daddy always taught me that a person’s character is most important. He was a wealthy man but not at all materialistc. He never dressed in expensive clothes or wore dazzling jewelry, not even a watch. He didn’t believe in ‘putting on the dog’ as many people do. He told me not to wear my money just to gain others attention and respect. My true character would create my respect, as it did his. He was a self-made man. I do believe that some people are born with a natural aura of respect that others pick up on and admire. My daddy was such a person. He has passed on from this realm of life and I miss him terribly. But, I carry his legacy with me, his smile that he wore every day no matter how he felt or his situation. If I’m asked how am I doing I always use daddy’s reply, “I’m perfect, everything is perfect!” Daddy said nobody cared to hear your troubles so don’t speak of them. He left me with the best of him and I’m so blessed he was mine. I doubt I will gain every person I meet or I know, repect. But, I work on keeping my character true, maintainging my dignity, always show respect, give when there’s need, and keep my word. By having all these great qualities, taught by my daddy, I’m a good person with a good heart and a heart full of courage. I’m all I need to be for myself and not so much for others and that is enough. Strength comes from true character. Be strong.

  29. if someone is really shy man then what should he do to improve.Let me explain i am a student and I want to get respect from others and I know that I am smarter than other but actually when some girls or lady teacher saw me then i can’t make eye contact i don’t know what happen to me please help me …

    • try to more girls , once u initiate lots of conversation of the opposite sex despite their age u will get rid of this anxiety , best of luck 🙂 its just the matter of developing ur comfortability and that can only be done through experience

  30. To treasure your integrity more than gold even being called selfish.
    Respect others even they do not like you.
    Keep a proper disctence from thoese who do not care about your integrity.

  31. To treasure your integrity more than gold even being called selfish.
    Respect others even they do not like you.
    Keep a proper disctence from thoese who do not care about your integrity.

  32. Integrity needs to be maintained and protected, which sounds to be selfish sometimes. Repsect other even though they might not respect you.It is very necessary to keep a proper disctence from certian types of people with no dudgement.

  33. Useful to me and proper use of good topics and related to the most important thing in life. Everyone should see this I will share this webpage to everyone.

  34. Mr.David it was really wonderful in going through your lines.Actually i don’t know whether this reply will be read by u personally. But i feel that these r one of the most important lines that I have gone through in my life…. I have started to practice them from today itself and I’m confident that these will work…
    But do u think these would work against people who intend to show u inferior.
    I mean I’m 18 years old and my relatives try to prove everything i do as wrong … will these tips help me sir..or do u have something in stock for that tooo…
    I’m expecting to hear from u people..

  35. Im relatively a good nured person and base my life strict on respect and character. Im a big giver by heart wanting nothing back. I tend to find people take me for granted and can bé nasty to me for no reasons and I dont like it sometimes I ignore other times I talk against it to let them seem the disadvantages of it. Im always undermind inspite of my achievements and great associations by people who have and are far less than me. People dont take me seriously yet I do for the benefit of me growth. I like to evaluate myself for growth and for me to bé a better person. I dont conflict and compromise good ethics but I tend to bé. Hurt by people so often, get into ugly arguments that are not even constructive and most time common with vulgar and when vulgar and slander to me I could retaliate in the same way shutting everyone off and its when they still and I hateeeeeee this I dont want to bé defensive in this way in fact not at all I understand that life is not a bed of roses but if in a dispute let it bé respectful hence I remove myself from such people. I tend to dislike people who treat me bad for a while and then forgive but dont go down that road again. I also love people but kind and respectful people who treat me well. I prefer animals and nature to rude people. Im a Christian and believe in what the word teaches and I aspire to bé that hence I constantly check myself and make changes for me not people. I hate it when I get dragged or treated rudely when I dont give to people this and when its too much I retakiate. I also try to make myself. Clear but not heard. Most times its from family, neighbours, workplace, seldom on the street. I dont have friends but associates of profound interest and this behaviour is not good for my image. Im hurting. When Im in a place and around people I aspire to bé and amb as myself Im fine and come out refreshed and get emotional that people are good just some and I question why are they nasty when life can bé good. I dont compromise character and I hold mine high and when compromised I make it know, first calm and when they go on either I walk away dont talk again or if pushed depending how far I can lash out. And its most times and I hate it. Its hurting me I dont want double standards in my life. So yes even my 16 year old does not listen instead when corrected he will same thing for public audience and when people do things and I indicate I dont like they say who you when you beaten by you son and even my mom and sibblings do this to me. Currently Im in a legal dispute because of domestic violence living in a volatile community and I hate the lifestyle here. Imoved after termination of contract back to family home and its hell for me struggling.from the eloquent life I lived. I take care of kids by goodwill and yet their father long story does not confide and communicate with me but his daughter least support them. Basically Im in a messy environment. Please help me to change. Im also going for psychlogy treatment no meds as yet. Thank you

  36. Respect is most often earned through fear and intimidation. We are but animals, we homo sapiens, and as such are drawn to the bold and daring. Be the Alpha, exhibit the traits of dominance, and you WILL be respected. Respect is not given, it is not earned…..IT IS DEMANDED AND TAKEN!!!

    • Paul. You are welcome to your opinion. But what you will get in the end, with that attitude, is not genuine respect.
      You will be viewed as someone to just stay away from.
      Fear and intimidation belongs in tyrannical societies , not in democracies like the United of States.

  37. i m a student all my classmates respected me till last year but now all of them are making me shameful and are critisising mee what should i do to gain my respect

    • Simple.
      Don’t say anything.

      Work your arse of until it’s obvious that you’re getting somewhere, show those who shame you respect, regardless of what they have done. If they tease you, laugh along, keep it light-hearted. Never lose your cool on anyone. Don’t be afraid of being alone, you should look confident in your own skin. People will eventually grow to respect you.

  38. What if you are not finish or doing good your tasks?, I feel like I am a disaster. My boss told me how is this possible?; a prol like you, with your curse studies, can’t understand about bla bla about your task.

  39. Hey, I think number 5 is the most important because above all, true respect must be earned and having integrity is the best way of achieving that, in my opinion.

    It’s not just about doing what you say – it’s also about living life to your own values and respecting yourself first.

    • I’m in high school I’m far from a social person and I have no friends therefore I get little to no respect but if someone tries to bully/threaten etc I will stand my ground
      over the last few weeks I’ve been trying to make friends but being a very shy and not social I’ve had many problems I hope this article will help me



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