Respect is earned, not bought.
You can't force people to respect you, though you can command it through genuine actions.
Becoming a Better Man that commands respect from others is an internally driven process based on a strong inner game, something we talk about a lot here at The Better Man.
Inner game is not something anyone can teach you, though there are techniques you can use like avoiding certain social mistakes that might sabotage your respect-earning efforts. It's essential you not make these mistakes.
After that, as you work on your inner mental game, you will start becoming a more confident, internally driven man—a leader in your own right.
Men and women are attracted to unique, strong-willed humans that are unapologetically themselves. The more you are who you are, the more respect you command.
It's up to you to set the tone for your relationships. What you allow from people around you is EXACTLY what you'll get.
When you are consistent in your standards, people know what to expect from you. When they know what to expect, they respect you.
Of course, this doesn't mean everyone is going to like you.
In fact, most people won't be a good fit. They will weed themselves out, which is great since life is far too short to spend your time with the wrong people.
And you will demand respect from everyone at the same time.
Here are some strategies to command respect in your personal and professional life:
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Don't people please. Never be someone you're not. Never put on an act.
A big respect killer is trying too hard.
People sniff this out a mile away.
On the other hand, when you are entirely yourself, people see that, and they respect it.
Fundamentally, this is the most critical principle of commanding respect while at the same time being the hardest to teach.
It has to come from the inside.
You have to be YOU naturally, without an ounce of forcing.
"Rule number one is, don't sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it's all small stuff."
– Robert Eliot
To become a man that commands respect, you must get out of your head.
Don't worry about what people may or may not do.
Don't think too hard.
Just be yourself.
When you start worrying about what you are saying or how you are coming off, you come off fake and you weaken your image, your communication, and the respect you get from others.
Stop overanalyzing. Stop thinking too hard.
Try some deep breathing or a 60-second breath mediation before you meet with people. Do anything to return to the present moment and quiet your racing mind.
Grounded men command respect like a lightning rod.
You can bear your troubles or shrug them off. They're your shoulders. -Robert Breault
Use the following lines in your dealings and watch as your social interactions soar:
"Hmm, not sure about that."
"Maybe, maybe not."
"I haven't thought about that."
You want to convey that you are not a bandwagon hopper. You don't hop on ideas or quickly say yes to things simply because people around you are. You think for yourself. You are allergic to groupthink and conformity.
One of the most subtle ways of commanding respect is surprising people with your willingness to shrug your shoulders.
Apathy is a desirable trait for both sexes—women are drawn to it since it signals leadership qualities, and men are attracted to it for the same reason.
Shrug your shoulders.
Be willing to say, "I don't know."
4. Don't shy away from confrontation.
We all lose when bullying and personal attacks become a substitute for genuine conversation and principled disagreement. Alicia Garza
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/disagreement-quotes
Most people aren't used to being challenged in conversation.
You should regularly play "Devil's advocate" and make people explain themselves.
If you actively disagree with something, say so.
In this case, work on how you do it so you don't offend people since people are easily offended when you challenge their beliefs (cognitive dissonance).
You can try practicing lines like this:
"Interesting perspective... this is how I think about it."
"Hmm, I could see that. What do you think about this?"
And so on.
You show you have listened while subtly transitioning into a question or counterpoint perspective. The key is subtlety—people must feel heard and understood.
If you put them on the defense, they will respond aggressively. When that happens, you've lost. There is no hope to persuade, change minds, or build mutual respect.
It's generally not a good strategy for commanding respect to disagree with people and make them feel inferior, so use this strategy over time and carefully.
"Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be One." -Marcus Aurelius
Respected men and women avoid response.
They control their response rather than letting external circumstances dictate their mental state.
There is nothing more commanding of respect than not responding when provoked.
Calm under pressure is the key.
Pause before you respond.
Don't furrow your brow.
"Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that's real power."
There aren't shortcuts to earning respect, though you can increase the percentage of respect you get from the people around you by avoiding some of the mistakes above as well as cultivating your inner game as a man.
To command respect, you have to become an internally driven, confidant man. That's why the inner game is so important here at The Better Man—everything grows from it.
Show up authentically and be willing to be who you are, and respect will follow as long as you stay consistent. And like I said, some people will resist this, even attack you, since they will perceive this as a power struggle challenge. Don't respond. smile. Not. Shrug.
Respect will follow.