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Respect: The Path to Commanding Respect

What does respect really mean? Do you respect yourself? Do you listen with your ears, head and heart? Respecting yourself is the path to commanding respect

The Path to Commanding Respect

My children have no respect for me. My boss shows no respect for me. My employees do not respect me.
As we make comments like these, we try to demand respect. When we demand respect, we get what we deserve... not much! Our intention is to command respect. There are two aspects to commanding respect, both are simple. You just need to shift your thinking just a touch.

(1) Do you respect yourself?

No one else will respect you if you do not respect yourself. Respecting yourself is just doing what is right for you as long as it is not harmful to yourself or others. Let others have their opinions on what you "should" do. 

How do we make sure that we respect ourselves? This is really simpler than you think. Take five minutes and write your values down on a piece of paper. Not sure what you value most? One way to find out this is by looking at your daily actions. It is not the things you are saying you want to do or think you should do, but what you really do. These are the things you value. Another way is to look at such things you detest. You value the exact opposite. 

People may not agree with you when you respect yourself, but they will respect you because of your conviction to your choice of action.

(2) Do you listen with your ears, head and heart?

- Listening with your ears means you are not making assumptions about what is being said. Your child tells you, "I want to go there," as he points to the patio door. You assume "there" means outside. You strictly tell your child "no" because it is 30 degrees outside. To the child "there" meant in front of the door so he could sit in the sun. 

How do we make sure we hear the right words? By just asking a simple question like, "What do you mean exactly when you say... " In the above example, it would quickly resolve the assumption, and avoid the disheartening comment. 

- Listening with your head means discovering the "why" behind others’ demands. This means asking questions like, "Why is this important?" or "Why is this necessary?" 

The greatest leaders and most respected people always look to understand where people are coming from. They never walk in their shoes for a mile, so do not assume that you understand other people's experience.

- Listening with your heart means being able to empathize with others. You do not have to agree with another person, but empathizing with them will earn that person a high level of respect. They would, in effect, be more likely to listen and try to understand where you are coming from.

(3) Respecting yourself is the path to commanding respect

This simple question for listening with your heart, "What if our roles were reversed?" Commanding respect is about commanding your own thoughts and feelings.

Make sure to teach this valuable lesson to your children. As you do, you will see the areas you need to work on.

Elsayed Farouk

Arabic-Egyptian translator and blogger - I share my experience in a simple way that suits everyone..... (مترجم ومدون عربي مصري - أشارك خبرتي بأسلوب مبسط يناسب الجميع)
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