How To Respect Others and Have Self-Respect
The desire to be respected is a trait deeply connected to the human experience. Just like wanting to be loved, known, and understood.
When most of us think about respect, we probably think of the ways we’ve always been told to show respect to elders and authorities. Don’t talk back to your parents, obey your teachers, listen to the wisdom of your pastors, etc.
While all of these instructions are sound in their own right, if respect is boiled down to obedience, it significantly diminishes the important role that respect has in each of our lives. Respect is about more than obeying someone’s commands. It’s about fully honoring the dignity of every human we interact with.
It is a crucial life skill to know how to show respect, earn respect, and respect ourselves.
Showing other people respect is all about demonstrating that you value them as a person. To do that, it’s important to show respect by listening and communicating.
Just like people feel loved in different ways, people also may feel respected in different ways. One person may take sarcastic jokes as a sign of established rapport, while another may view it as a sign of disrespect. However, everyone feels respected if you show them that you value them by listening and learning about their individual qualities.
Each of us is only human, and the chances are good that we’ll probably say or do something disrespectful at one time or another. A genuine commitment to showing respect for others means that we have to own up to it when we have disrespected another person. Honoring someone else requires that we recognize when they have been hurt, listen to their grievances, and commit to showing them respectful behavior in the future.
If you want to earn another person’s respect, show them respect first. By showing them respect, you model the type of treatment you’d like to receive from them.
Another way to earn respect is by being responsible and reliable. Showing up late consistently or repeatedly flaking on plans with friends isn’t a crime, but if you don’t respect another person’s time or feelings, chances are they won’t respect you back.
Whether it’s your boss, parent, or a person you admire, if you desire someone’s respect, follow through with your plans, do what you say you would, and show that you are trust-worthy through your actions.
You know that age-old phrase, treat others how you want to be treated? Sometimes it’s important to understand that the Golden Rule works in reverse, too: treat yourself as well as you strive to treat others.
It’s hard to demonstrate respect for others if you struggle to respect yourself. In fact, some people who have the least amount of regard for others often struggle with their own deep sense of self-loathing.
Building your own self-esteem is an essential piece in the process of self-respect. It’s important to work through self-hatred in order to take care of yourself and recognize your value.
But it’s also important to practice self-respect by advocating for yourself. If you’re being mistreated, communicate that. Hopefully you would be willing to stand up for another person if you saw them being mistreated, so you have a responsibility to make your feelings known when others do not honor you.
Always remember that you are fully worthy of the honor that you seek to show others.
If we truly believe that all people are made in God’s image, that means recognizing the ways that God makes himself known in every unique person. Honoring the diversity of one another and showing yourself that same respect is a true picture of what it means to honor the vastness of God.