How To Command Respect If You Are Quiet

Getting respect is difficult for anyone, but quite people have additional disadvantage. Verbal confidence and even loud speech can be perceived as dominance. Respect often follows dominance.

First, set clear boundaries with people for how you want to be treated. If you aren’t willing to treat yourself with respect by drawing boundaries, why should other people? When someone crosses your boundary, quietly take them aside and tell them that isn’t acceptable. Find a way to punish them if they cross it again. This can be by taking away something they want or giving them something they don’t want. Setting clear boundaries and following through on consequences is the best way to get respect in a relationship.

Second, respond to attacks. Often the problem with people who don’t get respect is that they don’t respond to insults, challenges, or trespasses. We’ve found it effective to let the first attack go, since people often have bad days, but always respond to the second one. Try mirroring their attack back. If they insult you, insult them. See this post for more.

Third, develop superior skills. A simple way to get respect even if you are quiet is to just be better than everyone else at important tasks. In the workplace, become the best at your job. In school, get the best grades. In social situations, be better than everyone else at sports.

Finally be less agreeable. Agreeable people have a hard time harnessing respect since everyone expects them to just go along with whoever is in charge. Fight back against this by disagreeing more. Learn to take the opposite stance on issues. If that makes you uncomfortable, learn to ask skeptical questions. Develop a habit of questioning everyone’s assertions and they will start to respect you more.

Respect At Work Or In Leadership

Respect at work whether you are a leader or a worker, comes primarily from two sources. First is competence. The better you are at your craft, the more people will respect you. If you are in sales, people will respect you if you are the top sales person. If you are a software engineer, people will respect you if your code if it is easy to use and trouble free.

Working harder than everyone is another way to get respect in these situations. Be the first into the office and the last to leave. Work harder, faster, and smarter than everyone else. Don’t be afraid to put yourself in situations where your skills can improve, even if you might fail.

People respect those who bring results. As a leader, your team will respect you if you have a history of success. Sometimes this simply means setting up situations where you share what you have accomplished. If you haven’t had any success, consider sharing your plan and telling people WIIFM if they follow the plan.

Second is verbal dominance. The ability to spar with anyone verbally can often win you respect even if you don’t deserve it. Learn to debate other things people say. Learn to defend your plans. When people insult you, respond with a zinger. If you are nervous when you speak, go to a public speaking workshop or club and practice until the feeling goes away.

See this article on compliance techniques if you are having trouble in a leadership position.

Getting Respect From Students

One way to get respect from students is to explain why what you are teaching them matters. Why would they respect what you are saying if there is no value in it for them? Learn to attach a WIIFM statement through out your performance. Make lessons interesting and surprising. What do teachers typically do? Find a way to subvert that pattern.

Another way to get respect from students is to not tolerate any backlash. Learn to make fun of people who don’t listen to you. Be willing to discipline people who don’t comply. If you let one of them over on you, it signals to all of the students you aren’t to be taken seriously. You can also single out students to explain to the class what the reading said or what a passage means.

The final technique you can use is somewhat manipulative, but it works. Learn to create division. Division is when you take a group that is strong and divide it into sections that are weak. Divide students and then go after the problem ones.

For more, see this article on the psychology of fear and respect.

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