How to Not Follow the Herd and Still Get Respect
Those of us who dance to our own drum beat are often criticized for our beliefs and actions. Somebody will always have something negative to say about you, but on the other hand, there will also be people who like you in spite of your being different, or even because you are different. Being different isn’t a bad thing. Different people have the power to change the world and often do. Personally, I never wanted to be just like everyone else and I learned to embrace my unique qualities at a very young age. I am also very well thought of by most people, so let me take the time to show those who struggle with balancing their uniqueness with social acceptance how to get more respect from others.
“When you dare to be different, you can expect to be criticized.” – My Mom
When I was young, I made some rather unusual clothing choices that caused both strangers and relatives to make fun of me, threaten to assault me and even grope me in shopping malls and on public transit. I chose to be different, so the natural consequence is that people would react negatively to me. My mother said they would, and they did. Nevertheless, I was resolute in my choice to not be like everyone else and to not be deterred by the fallout from my decisions. The way people reacted to me was more about them than me. The majority of people left me alone, after all.
That brings me to the first point of how to gain respect from others:
Accept yourself. No one will love you if you don’t love yourself. Many of the interactions we have with people are mirrors of our self-perception. If you are not completely comfortable in your own skin, then someone will attempt to feed off your insecurity. Bullies are experts at sussing this out. Don’t give them your blood. Your being offended by others is a sign that you have not fully embraced your individuality. How you define yourself should not be dependent upon the way others define you. Only you are in charge of that.
Never demand respect. If you want others to respect you, then you must command it. We do this by being stellar communicators. Take the high road at all times and never assume that people are out to get you. Often our perception of other people’s opinions of us are coloured by our own self-perception. This goes back to my last point about accepting yourself and embracing your uniqueness. Your relationship with yourself will affect your relationship with others. If you love and respect who you are, then your behaviour toward others will reflect that, and in turn other people will show that they have great respect for you.
Respect the opinions and ideas of others. You get what you give. You cannot expect people to respect you if you don’t show respect for others. Avoid being rude, making snide remarks, hurling accusations and other forms of negative communication, even if you think the other person deserves it. The truth is, nobody deserves abuse. Strive to become known for the good you do and for having some class.
Be kind. Always be kind to others. Never assume that those who criticize you are horrible people. People sometimes do boorish things. Be kind, anyway. What you give out in the world comes back to you tenfold. Remember that.
Be helpful. Whenever the opportunity to help another person comes up, be as helpful as you can. If you have the time and the capability to help even one person in your day, then do it. Good citizens get respect.
Be honest. Without being rude, tell the truth, do the right thing by others and become known for being a good person. Honest people are trustworthy and trust is the foundation of respect.
Be loving. Show love for others whenever you can. The world needs more of that. Just ask Burt Bacharach.
Forgive others. It’s not always easy to forgive people because sometimes people do really shitty things to us, but forgive those who hurt you, no matter what. Take the high road whenever you are faced with conflict and never hold a grudge. Taking the high road is a way of allowing yourself to love and respect who you are. Like I said earlier, your self-respect will cause others to be more respectful of you.
Avoid conflict and hostile behaviour. Pick your battles. If you step back and analyse a situation before you respond, you will see that there is usually no need to be hostile or combative. Check out my post, How to Speak Your Mind and Not Piss People Off for more tips about managing conflict without being a doormat.
Be quick to apologize. If you screw up and offend someone, admit it. Don’t try to justify your actions. Just deliver a sincere apology. My beBee post Tips for Mastering the Art of Public Apology or Any Apology for That Matter gives some very helpful advice about apologies. Letting go of your ego and showing some humility will allow others to really respect who you are and all that you stand for.
Here’s to all the “different” people out there! Love yourself above all others.
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Are you tired of wanting things to be different? Do you accept that your thoughts sometimes hold you back? Would it help you to have an accountability partner? Would you like some help setting goals and getting things done? Ask about my new flat fee accelerated coaching program. For a flat fee of just $997 you can access unlimited one-on-one coaching for a full year. My Action Focused Express Coaching program is revolutionary and guaranteed to get results!
Renée Cormier is a certified coach and facilitator on a mission to show people how changing their thinking changes their lives. Contact Renée to learn how to quickly move forward and achieve growth in business and all other areas of life. Renée happily shares her business and personal development expertise through a variety of training and coaching programs that create unsurpassed value for her clientele.
Renée Cormier is also a Brand Ambassador for beBee.com. Follow my beBee blogs!
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