Monday, January 10, 2011

How to Earn Respect

I overheard two senior citizens talking about something animatedly. One said "I really felt insulted when he did what he did. After all I deserve some respect. I retired as Chief of XYZ organisation and I am no ordinary guy. I still feel hurt and upset over that incident....". He went on and on. How many of us have felt similarly at some stage in our lives? We all crave for recognition and respect. And if there are instances where we experience something else, we feel hurt and brood over it for a long long time.

I remember a favourite saying heard in my childhood days "Command Respect and don't Demand Respect". I always felt that it is important to know how to command respect and this blog attempts to address this question.

In order to command respect from other, we would need to do one or more things from the list given below. This list is only indicative and not exhaustive. Moreover, it is not listed in any particular order other than how it occurred to me. To earn and retain respect, we should:

1. Give respect to others and their feelings
2. Be humble
3. Work without expectations
4. Be selfless
5. Have courage
6. Have high integrity
7. Listen more
8. Speak well
9. Deliver on promises

It occurs to me that people tend to genuinely respect only those people who live a life of values. Others may be able to create a false respect out of fear or greed but these are short lived and certainly not heartfelt. Whatever your role in life may be - whether as a boss, a friend, a mother, a teacher, a parent or anything else, in my considered view, real respect is only reserved for value based living.

What are your thoughts on this?


AS said...

Its more of the way we are brought up. What is the aim of life? Be this, be that, see him, you should be like that ... etc .. That does set the pace up in the life. In the race, one who moves up, forgets the others, and what the person forgets, is that the race is just a temporary one, it has to end one day. The young ones will take over, and then what? Its a void, a deep void, a sense of despair, for what has one lived, if not for that respect? But .. who is to blame for this? No one, we ourself. So you have aptly put what one should do, but i think missed the one point. What is the target of life? Respect or some thing more deep ....

V Rakesh said...

Wonderful post Sir - Perhaps there could be nothing more rewarding than to know that one is respected by the outside world for what one truly is.

Vishwanath Seshadri said...

Dear AS,

My blogspot deals extensively on the purpose of life. If you go the main page and search for "purpose of life", you will find many blogs that talks about it.

I believe each of us has to find out and discover our purpose by independently. It cannot be prescribed because it is human nature to resist and reject what is handed down.

My own thoughts (captured in earlier blogs) are derived out of listening to eminent speakers and reading about different philosophies and thoughts. I believe that life is so temporary that respect / legacy etc. have no meaning if one has a larger time frame in mind. For example, do we know / care about whether Birbal's neighbour respected him or not?

Therefore, one has to look for something deeper and arrive at the purpose of life. As I understand, realising God and attaining His state is the purpose of all - whether one accepts it or not, whether one realises it or not. We are all moving towards this objective but using different paths.

Some of us know the purpose and are actually striving towards it. Some of us are distracted and are pursuing the distraction. However, the laws of nature are so well crafted that eventually everyone will realise the folly of pursuing "dreams" and will start moving towards the "real" objective.


Anonymous said...

Regardless of whether you are old or young you can be well respected by others depending on how you conduct yourself,your attitude towards others and your actions..
If you want others to respect you you have to respect them .. 'Respect Begets Respect'.
I believe that first and foremost we need to treat ourselves with respect,honour what we say,stand up for what we believe in and be ourselves..


Sonal Raisinghani said...

Respect is about how you conduct yourself; your attitude towards others and your actions...

I must say Sir! You deserve this respect from your subordinates/ Juniors /Friends....You have lived upto all the points listed by you...

In your example Sir, this man claims that he has not received respect from others. But this is his point of view, his feelings.. It can be wrong..I think this kind of dejection feeling comes only when you don't respect your own self and your values...So apart from all the above - Respect yourself and your values and for this you also need to know what your values are...

Shyamsunder J said...

"When you bow to a mirror, the reflected image bows back".

People who respect others are respected by others in turn. Those who are unstinting in their compassion and concern for others are also protected and supported by others. Our environment is essentially a reflection of ourselves.

Anonymous said...


I begin on internet with a directory

Whirlwind said...

Its a great post. I agree that traits like humility and integrity command a lot of respect.I also feel that a calm frame of mind and the way one reacts to adverse situations speaks a lot about the person. For instance a person who reacts positively without getting ruffled will earn more respect than one who exhibits arrogance and intolerance. Factors like perserverance, determination and sincerity generates respect from people.

Sundeep Sivadasan said...

Agreeing 100 % with u sir...very good post

Henry Ndele said...

It is very true Sir, it always happens regardless from where you come from.

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