Everyone wants to be liked. But more importantly people want to be respected.
Mutual respect and gratitude is the foundation of any relationship – be it between spouses, co-workers, acquaintances or your children. One of the best ways to show someone you love them is by treating them with respect.
Respect comes with embracing acceptance, forgiveness, not judging others, listening to and valuing their viewpoints and appreciating their personality.
People often unintentionally damage the mutual respect by violating their boundaries, pushing their opinions on others and by not accepting the other person’s individuality.
Being disrespectful often leads to a feeling of bitterness. Both parties should work together toward maintaining mutual respect in a relationship.
The key here is to respect others like you respect yourself.
Things to keep in mind to show your respect to others:
- Be kind and considerate. Pay attention to the needs and wants of people around you. Genuinely care and show concern when they need it.
- Be pleasant. Smile and be pleasant and nice to people whenever you meet them.
- Be affectionate. Show affection to people around you, especially to your family.
- Be courteous. Avoid being too stiff or too familiar.
- Practice humility. Be humble without putting yourself down too much.
- Be straightforward but be respectful.
- Be generous with your pleasantries. Say ‘thank you’, ‘you’re welcome’, ‘sorry’ and ‘please’ often. Also, be real with your compliments.
- Offer a friendly greeting. When you greet people, take 10 seconds and make them feel important. Look them in their eyes with warmth and genuineness. If appropriate, give them a firm handshake or a quick hug.
- Use people’s names. In all your communication, whether it’s written or verbal, whether it’s a single time or repeated communication, make it a point to use a person’s name. By using someone’s name, you are indicating that the person has made an impression on you. You are indirectly giving them a compliment and making them feel important.
- Be helpful. Help people without being asked.
Be it your family member or a stranger, by helping them, you are giving them importance. Babysit for a friend who needs to take some time out to relax or help a relative move to a new home.
- Respect others' opinion. Give other people a chance to express themselves, even if you disagree with them. Know that no two people can agree on everything.
- Don’t try to control people. Allow people to do their own things in their own way. The freedom to make decisions is the fundamental right of each person. Be it your children or your spouse or any family member, let them make their own decisions.
- Avoid unnecessary fault-finding. Avoid criticizing over little things. Don’t be critical of people’s mistakes and shortcomings.
- Respect others' privacy. Give others their much-needed space instead of being nosy. When two people are in a conversation, let them be on their own. Avoid interrupting. Talk to them later.
- Respect others' customs and beliefs. Treat people the same – no matter their race, religion or cultural traditions.
- Acknowledge other people’s differences. Accept others the way they are.
- Be open-minded. When you are open-minded, you are willing to accept others' opinions and ideas. You are willing to learn new things and are open to the possibility that you might be wrong.
- Apologize for your mistakes. Treat others well through your words and actions, and if you hurt them, own up and say you are sorry. Do not make excuses.
- Give honest feedback. Highlight others' positive sides and offer encouragement for changing their negatives.
- Avoid being judgmental. Don’t judge or patronize people when you don’t know anything about them.
- Don’t be arrogant. Looking down on anybody or belittling others will not lift you up.
- Do not hold grudges toward anyone.
- Do not vent your frustration on others.
- Don’t be a bully.
- Avoid foul language. Never name call or disparage others. If you don’t watch your mouth, it can turn off anyone, or worse, hurt their feelings.
- Avoid gossiping. Respect others even if you don’t like them. If you have a problem following this, imagine the person being present with you when you feel the urge to gossip about him or her. When you talk behind people’s backs, it’s reflecting your own insecurities.
- Keep your promise. Honor commitments. By keeping your word, you are showing the other person that you value and respect them.
- Respect time. Always be on time. Don’t waste others' time.
Not being late for appointments, getting to the point fast, not talking and wasting time about useless topics– all show people that you respect their time.
- Listen actively in a conversation. Don’t butt in, speak over or cut off another person. You love when others listen to you, so you should do the same. Put down your phone when you are in conversation with someone. Show them they are important by listening to them.
- Remember things about others. Take note of small details, like remembering their kids’ names or their weekend trip. It shows that you took the effort to remember them and care about them.
- Do nice little things for people. Small gestures like getting an extra cup of coffee for your colleague or getting some flowers for your friend who you know is feeling down can make their day and make them feel special, cared for and respected.
- Encourage others. If someone is having a bad day, a smile or a pep talk can go a long way to make their day.
- If someone does something good, congratulate them. If you are in a higher position and one of your employees has done a great job, congratulate him or her openly. This will raise their morale and make them strive harder for better results.
- Be fair. Power can tend to make a person arrogant. Give people what they deserve, even if it’s a small word of appreciation.
- Be honest. When you are honest with others, it shows how much you really care. It demonstrates your love and respect for them.
- Acknowledge when others are right.
- Ask for help. Asking for help doesn’t mean you don’t know what you are doing. It means that you consider the other person’s opinion to be important.
- Show manners. By showing manners, you are making them feel valuable. Be polite. Say ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ whenever needed.
- Be mindful of the tone and expression of your voice. Sarcasm or harshness is often interpreted as contempt. Always be respectful when discussing things with others.
- When involved in a conflict, be respectful to the other person. Avoid being rude. Never insult people.