Too many people assume that just because they have a position of authority, they are entitled to receive respect. What they fail to realise is that respect does not come easily. You have to earn the respect of others. The same applies to friends, family members and colleagues. It is important to appreciate each other, to recognize that each one has different talents and abilities and that each person is unique. If we accord respect to each other our friendships will be stronger and our relationships will be greater. When we work with people of different nationalities and from different cultures we need to respect these differences. In this post I will describe the way people show others little or no respect and then suggest what we can do to show respect to each other. These measures are simple and easy to implement.

Some Examples

Monica treats serving staff very poorly. She is curt and rude to them. She will demand for things and she will do so in a harsh tone of voice. Her body language indicates rudeness. She does not consider the feelings of the staff. Monica will criticize over little things and she thinks nothing of demeaning the staff. One can describe her behaviour as that of a bully.

Charmaine is a supervisor in an organisation where the majority of the staff are foreign nationals. They undertake low level work and are not well paid. Charmaine treats them poorly and is often hostile to them. She uses crude language and will use a tone of voice that is hard. She will insult them and call them names at times.

Timothy is a group leader in an industrial organisation. Often the team members will make suggestions about how to improve work processes. Timothy will then take their ideas and present it to his manager as his own. The manager thinks highly of him and Timothy gets promoted. His team members lose respect for him.

Anthony is the Chief Executive Officer of a company. He openly shows his dislike for certain people in the organisation. When someone he does not like speaks at a meeting he will turn away from him and engage in conversation with his deputy or someone sitting next to him at the table. When he walks down a corridor and sees someone he dislikes walking towards him he will not look at the person or greet the person. Even when the person greets him, he will just look the other way. This petty mean behaviour of his has caused a member of staff to be depressed and eventually commit suicide. Other staff members not only have no respect for Anthony but resent him as well.

James is married to Peggy and he treats her with little respect. He says things about her to their friends and he belittles her in front of them. Whenever she speaks he will interrupt her and prevent her from expressing herself. Peggy feels humiliated and is now taking steps to end their marriage.

Ways To Show Respect

Practice kindness, politeness and courtesy. Think about the other person. How would that person feel? Put yourself in the shoes of the other person.

When dealing with others we should demonstrate patience and humility. Avoid insulting anyone or using language that will offend others. Before you speak think about the words that you are using. Are they offensive? Will they upset the other person? If you feel angry try to calm yourself.

If you are a leader of others, look after them. Learn to like people and find positive things about others. Avoid ignoring those you do not like. Greet them and speak to them. Look them in the eye when they speak to you and listen to what they have to say. Let them speak their views before you give yours. Neither should you interrupt them when they speak.

Acknowledge the work and ideas of others. Use praise often. Encourage others so they can perform even better. Adopt a warm tone of voice and inviting body language. Make sure that when you talk to someone you adopt a well-mannered position.

If you work with foreign nationals, accept and understand their cultures. Recognize that they have different traditions and needs. Do not look down on other people.

To be respectful of others, you should not judge people by the way they dress and the way they look. Do not call people names and do not criticize them.

Do not use your hand-phone when you are talking to others. Give them your full attention.

Offer to help your family members, friends, neighbours and colleagues when they are working on a project or when they are in need. Give them advice and provide tips and guidelines on how to complete their work with success. They will respect you for the help you provide them.

Get into the habit of thanking others for their help, their contributions, their gifts and their friendship and support. Send cards, letters, email messages and phone texts. I love doing this and I can assure you that you will feel good doing this.

Make sure that when you offer to do something for others or to be involved in an exercise or task, that you will stay committed to the end and not walk away from it halfway through. By doing so you show that you are reliable and people will give you their respect.

Before you work on respecting others you need to work on respecting yourself. You need to look after yourself and work towards being good. Stay healthy.

Start working on respecting others from this very moment. I leave you with this quotation by Buddha,

“You should respect each other and refrain from disputes; you should not , like water and oil repel each other, but should like milk and water, mingle together.”


  1. Thank you so much for this Zaibun especially at this season! The world is becoming very ugly and there seems to be no light at the end of this tunnel.

    We do need to purpose in our hearts to practice kindness to all those around us no matter how different they may be.

    We are the change we want to see!

    Bless you my dear for taking the time to remind us as to what we can do!



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