"He that respects himself is safe from others; he wears a coat of mail that none can pierce"
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
To gain respect from others, you have to respect yourself first. People will give you their undying respect as long as they recognise that you portray these 3 key attrib-utes: trustworthiness, integrity and mindfulness. Because having these qualities demonstrates your level of consciousness and maturity.
When people respect you, it is easier to get their support. Getting people to give you continuous support, also requires you to apply yourself. Here are ways to help you make an impact on people whom you want respect and support from.
1. Be exuberant and passionate about what you do and your life
People love those who exude vibrancy and passion about their life, particularly about what they do. Think of this: how stimulating do you find people who are forever talking about their "big ideas" and what they want to do and yet, never starting anything? Now that's a damper!
2. Be unique and individualistic in your views and opinions
Are you unique and stand out with your own style and personality? If you are afraid to voice your opinion, and would rather fit in, I can assure you that it will be difficult to command respect from others. And without respect, no support. This doesn't mean that you have to constantly come up with new innovations. It simply implies that you don't suck up to people, just because you want validation. The best validation is to be true to yourself.
3. Be a great listener. All great listeners are magnetic and charismatic.
There is no charm that equals that of a good listener. Here is an experience I had in a restaurant with my husband not too long ago. I noticed that my husband was fascinated by a woman sitting a few tables way from us.
When I asked him what got him so fascinated about her. He replied that the woman was just fascinating to watch, because she was listening so intently to her partner. Her eyes were on him, as she leaned forward, giving him her feedback, and at the same time not interrupting him. While she let him know that she was hearing him, she also held up her end of the conversation.
Then my husband said something remarkable: "She's the kind of woman I normally wouldn't pay attention to on the street, but while sitting there, listening and being interested the way she's doing now, makes her attractive."
True listening embodies careful attention, patience and honestly wanting to understand what the other person is saying. It also fosters good relationship.
4. Be a life long student. Let people know that you're willing to learn from them and be genuine about it.
Learning is growing, and growing is learning. You cannot learn all by yourself. To truly grow, you need others along the way. And when you show people your willingness and enthusiasm to learn from them, you'll be amazed how helpful and happy they will be to support you.
Be open and get to know people who are different from you. If you're interested in something, never be afraid to ask questions. You won't be ridiculed for showing real interest.
Do you know people who have stopped learning? Do you find them interesting to have around? Probably not! So do yourself the favour of becoming an avid learner.
5. Be authentic and reliable.
Before you make a promise, make sure you can deliver. Keeping your word is very crucial to building trust and credibility. There's nothing more detrimental to your im-age, than having people believing in you and letting them down.
There are times you may genuinely try to fulfil your promise and it just doesn't work out. In that case, be honest about it and apologize. No one will hold that against you.
6. Be generous.
A generous heart gives freely without having any expectations. Don't try to buy people's loyalty or support. It will backfire on you! You will reap more benefit and reward by giving truly from your heart, rather than being calculating. Even if you don't get something in return, the eternal laws of reciprocity will find a way to balance things out for you and give you your dues.
7. Be direct and have boundaries.
When you have something to say, just say it and let people know where you stand. Letting people know what you want and don't want, liberates you and those around you. Don't allow people to walk all over you. Let them know your boundaries.
For instance, to avoid lying about a proposition which may not interest you, a more appropriate answer could be: "I'm sorry that doesn't work for me right now". This is a straightforward and truthful answer making it easy for you and for others to move on.
In conclusion, do you trust and respect yourself? Because if you don't, no one else will. This especially means be true to yourself and what you believe in. Just as Ralph Waldo Emerson said "Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves".
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Kunbi Korostensky N.D., Psychotherapist and Certified Life Coach is specialised in supporting people going through various life changes, such as after a divorce, in bereavement and dealing effectively with teenagers. Check out her ebooklet: Top 10 holistic Questions to Embrace Change and Grow at www.embracingchanges.com/Books-and-Tools-to-facilitate-Changes.html or mailto: [email protected]
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