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“Respect isn't earned, it's given.” I'm sure you've heard this saying before. Basically, it means to act in a way that is worthy of respect. Unfortunately, many people misapply the saying. They use it to justify not respecting someone else, and this shouldn't be so.
I think you can agree with me when I say that everyone should be respected. To fully understand why you should show respect for others, we're going to define respect and show why it's important. Then, I'm going to provide you with ways to show respect in your everyday life.
(Side note: One of the best ways to increase your happiness and life satisfaction is to plan your day, so you focus on your TOP goals. To get started, watch this free video that details the 7-minute habit for planning your day to focus on what's important.)
What You Will Learn
- What is Respect?
- Why Is It Important to Show Respect?
- The Importance of Self-Respect
- How Kindness, Empathy, Compassion are Related to Respect
- 13 Ways to Show Respect
- 1. Practice Active Listening
- 2. Look for Common Ground
- 3. Seek to Understand Others
- 4. Show Empathy for Differences
- 5. Serve Others
- 6. Apologize When You're Wrong
- 7. Be Polite
- 8. Show Gratitude
- 9. Celebrate Their Achievements
- 10. Affirm the Other Person
- 11. Offer Support
- 12. Keep Your Promises
- 13. Take Care of Yourself
- Final Thoughts on Ways to Show Respect
What is Respect?
Respect can be defined as thinking and feeling good things about a person. Also, it's treating someone in a way that shows them that you care about their well-being. When you respect someone, you consider them as a person of worth.
Ultimately, you appreciate their value as an individual.
Why Is It Important to Show Respect?
Showing respect is important for building healthy relationships.
This is because:
Respect creates a positive environment in which relationships can flourish. Without it, relationships flounder.
The Importance of Self-Respect
Before you can respect others, you have to respect yourself. You can't think positively about others, if you don't think positively about yourself. Basically, a person that respects themselves will treat others the way they want to be treated.
In short, self-respect means having confidence and behaving with dignity. When you respect yourself, you believe that you're worthy of being respected and loved. Without it, you won't be able to accept the respect that others have for you. In turn, you won't respect others because you won't understand the positive effects that respect has on a person.
Ultimately, respecting others begins with self-compassion and respecting yourself.
How Kindness, Empathy, Compassion are Related to Respect
To fully appreciate an individual, you'll have to show kindness, empathy, and compassion. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes.
Respecting someone means showing kindness, empathy, and compassion in the face of their mistakes.
Kindness means being generous and considerate. This allows you to look past a person's faults. Likewise, empathy allows you to put yourself in another person's shoes. Then, you can see things from their perspective.
Finally, compassion literally means “suffering together”. This levels the playing field. Neither person is better than the other. In the end, we're all human and worthy of validation.
Therefore, when you respect someone, you show them kindness, empathy, and compassion.
13 Ways to Show Respect
It's not enough to say that you respect someone. You have to show respect. It needs to be evident in your actions.
To help you show respect to others, here are some ways to show respect to those around you.
1. Practice Active Listening
Active listening requires you to be present in the conversation. Also, to actively listen, you have to demonstrate that you're paying attention.
Listening and hearing are two different activities. When you listen, you process what you're hearing. You have to think about it and respond appropriately.
There are several ways that you can practice active listening.
For example, you can:
Active listening demonstrates to the other person that you value what they have to say. Furthermore, you convey that you value their ideas. This goes a long way towards showing respect.
2. Look for Common Ground
Humanity has commonalities along with diversity. If you look hard enough, you can find something that you have in common with another person. It may be a shared experience or a shared value.
Honestly, everyone shares the basic aspects of life. We were all born, and we will all die. In between the two, everyone experiences growth and change. Even if you can't think of any other common ground, everyone shares the reality of life.
Once you find common ground, use this as a starting point for a relationship. From there, you can help the relationship grow by focusing on the similarities, instead of the differences between each other.
3. Seek to Understand Others
In the face of conflict, it's easy to defend your opinion. Instead, invoke your curiosity. Use the situation as a learning opportunity. Find out the basis of the other person's perspective.
Even if you don't agree, you'll learn something new about the other person. You'll gain an understanding of why they feel and act the way they do. You'll see how their experiences have shaped their perspective.
Also, you'll grow personally as you expand your horizons past your own experiences as you show respect for the experiences of others.
4. Show Empathy for Differences
You might not relate to their perspective, but you can respect their right to have it. Everyone comes from a different background. Even two people that grew up in the same town may have different perspectives because they grew up in different families.
Our backgrounds and experiences shape our perspectives. By honoring a person's perspective, you honor their background.
When you don't understand someone's perspective, ask them, “What makes you say that?” This opens the door for you to learn about what has shaped their perspective. Then, you can value their experience.
5. Serve Others
Service doesn't have to be complicated. It's really about giving back to others. By doing so, you make their life better.
Look for ways to lend a helping hand. It can be something as simple as helping them pick up a dropped item. Help them to be of benefit to them. Make it about them and not yourself.
Serving others shows kindness, which shows respect.
6. Apologize When You're Wrong
If you make a mistake, admit it. Don't try to cover it up. Also, say you're sorry.
Apologizing shows empathy, care, and recognition.
Finally, it's an act of honesty that requires humility. By apologizing, you demonstrate the value of the wronged person.
7. Be Polite
The lack of politeness today is shocking. For example, road rage incidents have increased recently. This proves that society has forgotten how to be nice.
Furthermore, you can find people being unpolite wherever you look.
It doesn't take much effort to be polite. In fact, it's something that we teach children. When you think about it, being polite simply means interacting positively with others. Saying thank you with a smile is the least you can do.
8. Show Gratitude
While saying thank you is being polite, showing gratitude goes deeper with being thankful. Gratitude expresses your appreciation for another person.
Yes, you should tell someone you're thankful for what they have done or for who they are. For instance, you can say, “I just wanted you to know I appreciate how you always look for the good in every situation. It really inspires me to be more positive.”
In addition to saying words of gratitude, you also need to show gratitude by doing something nice for others. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture. It can be a simple act of kindness.
9. Celebrate Their Achievements
Everyone deserves a pat on the back. We've all done something worth praising. Again, you don't have to wait for major accomplishments to celebrate.
Celebrate the small wins, too. In fact, finding something small to appreciate may be more meaningful because it means you are paying close attention.
Draw attention to their success. Let them know they did a good job, and watch their faces light up.
10. Affirm the Other Person
Find something good to say about someone and say it. This gives them evidence that they matter. Make it about something dear to their heart and give them even more satisfaction.
You can affirm their opinions, values, and viewpoints. Whatever you choose to affirm, let them know they have value. Show them that they're worthy of respect
For example, you can say something like, “I really like what you said. It helped me see things from a different perspective, and I appreciate that.”
11. Offer Support
We all need a helping hand at times, whether it be physical or emotional support. By offering support and encouragement, you let them know that you care about them. Moreover, helping out demonstrates that their actions are important because you're participating with them.
This makes them feel important, because what they're doing is important to you.
12. Keep Your Promises
Being a person of your word shows the other person that they're worth the effort. On the other hand, breaking a promise shows a lack of respect. To the other person, it's as if they don't matter enough for you to keep your promise.
Ultimately, this undermines the relationship because the trust is broken. A healthy relationship requires trust.
13. Take Care of Yourself
Give yourself the same respect that you give others. You can do this by taking care of yourself physically and mentally.
You can't serve and support others if you don't have the energy to do so. Moreover, you can't keep promises if you're too run-down to do what you've promised.
Also, it helps to consider practicing self- care from your loved one's perspective. If you respect their opinions, you'll want to take care of yourself because they want the best for you. You'll honor their desire for the best for you by giving yourself the opportunity to receive the best.
Because you appreciate the other person, you'll want to give them the best version of yourself.
Final Thoughts on Ways to Show Respect
As you can see, respect means thinking and showing positivity to others. It proclaims the other person as a person of value. While you might appreciate their actions, it speaks more to their character because character produces actions.
As a result, when you respect someone, you're communicating that they matter to you. You can do this by respecting their opinions, perspectives, experiences, and values. To pay respect to someone, pay attention to what they say and do.
Look for opportunities to show your appreciation. By doing so, you'll create positive feelings in the other person, which will create a more positive relationship. By using these ways to show respect, you create a positive environment that benefits everyone, including yourself.
For more ways to show respect in your everyday life, check out our List of 201 Compliments to Say to a Friend, Coworker, Or Loved One.
Finally, if you want to increase your happiness and life satisfaction, then watch this free video that details the 7-minute habit for planning your day to focus on what's important.