How Respect Works
Respect is built on two social motives. First is desire for status and second is the need to belong or connect. Status elevation and liking contribute to respect. Status can be elevated by lowering other people’s status through insults or competition, or it can be elevated through demonstrating competence. Liking is closely related to rapport. See our article here for more on how to make people like you and feel connected to you.
This journal article will be drawn upon through out this article.
Make them Respect You
When entering a group focus first on fear, then competence, then liking. Most of your time should be focused on demonstrating competence.
- Create fear by being able and willing to punish. This means keeping track of people’s weaknesses so you can remind them of how they fall short when they start behaving arrogantly. Create strong boundaries and enforce them when they are violated. The best and most socially reasonable way to create the fear aspect of respect is to be less agreeable. Try disagreeing with at least one thing the person says in each conversation.
- Create competence by simply working harder and smarter. Develop a skill that is in high demand and become the best at that skill. Work no your presentation, posture, and speaking skills.
- Drive an increase in liking by truly listening to what the other person is saying. Figure out what they want and need in life. If you really care, people will often realize it.
Tactics (For Creating Fear, Obsession, Respect)
You won’t like many of these techniques, but they work. How badly do you want the narcissist to fear, obsess over, or respect you?
- Disagree with at least one thing the person says. Make sure you have good facts and evidence to back up your claim. People will start choosing their words more carefully when they speak around you.
- Build respect with social status. Narcissists value attention. If you can hold social attention, they will likely respect that part of your character. Try this article on starting conversations to build your social network.
- Understand how to punish the Narcissist. Narcissists are all about their “perfect” image. Harm that image when they don’t treat you correctly, by pointing out all the ways they fall short. See this article for the psychology of how that works. You can also minimize their accomplishments for the same effect.
- Narcissists respect power. Learn to build social power. We covered how to build power here, and the strategies apply to everyone, regardless. You might not like the topic of building power, or find it repulsive, but there in lies part of the reason the Narcissist doesn’t respect you. You don’t care about, and you don’t likely have, power.
- Create obsession with the hot cold technique. First find out what the narcissist wants. Then give it to them. Later, withdraw that thing that they want. Cycle through giving them what they want and taking it away. You can also do this by being nice and mean. Note, this is a very manipulative technique sometimes called psychological fractionation. Cults use it. We don’t suggest using it unless you don’t care about the relationship and the person has attacked you repeatedly, first.
- Create interest and attention by being ambiguous and hard to predict and decipher. Learn more from this law of power about concealing your intentions.
A Cautionary Note
Yes, you can earn people’s respect. But it isn’t always a good idea.
Sometimes people don’t respect you because they won’t respect you. No matter what you do or accomplish, they won’t change because that change would require them to disrupt too much of their life’s foundations. In such situations, the common saying rings true. “Never wrestle with a pig in the mud. You get dirty and the pig likes it.”
Never wrestle with a pig in the mud. You get dirty and the pig likes it.Unknown
If you stay in situations where you can’t win, you are the fool. Instead of pleading for someone to like or respect you, take back the power. Take responsibility. Take the sales approach to relationships.
Sales people are tasked with selling the organization’s product. They do this by contacting large amounts of people, sifting through them, and then finding those who have a need. Good sales people don’t waste time with prospects who don’t have a problem. Instead, they quickly move on to find those who show potential. Then they nudge those with potential to buy.
Contrary to some people’s beliefs, sales people don’t flip people’s beliefs 180 degrees, because they can’t. Completely changing someone isn’t a realistic persuasion goal. So instead, they nudge.
All the tactics of the sales person are meant to do two things. First, sort through the many people they come in contact with to find those who have a potential interest. Then uses persuasion to expand their problem and help them find a solution.
But what does this have to do with Narcissists?
Narcissists are by definition obsessed with themselves. They see others as extensions of them. They don’t see others as independent beings who are individuals. Since you are simply an extension of themselves, you are to be controlled and treated as they wish, with little remorse.
Thinking you can change them is arrogance. It is arrogance, almost on par with the narcissist’s own self love and false sense of superiority. Sometimes walking away is the only way to make them respect you because it is the only way to assert your independence and separation from their ego.