The art of respect: 7 simple ways to make others take you seriously

Have you ever felt like you’re not being taken seriously enough?

Maybe in a meeting, during a conversation, or even in your day-to-day interactions?

It’s a pretty common feeling, one I’ve experienced in the past too.

But here’s the good news: there are some really simple and straightforward ways to change that.

In this article, I’ll share 7 simple ways to make others take you seriously. And to do that, there’s one key factor – earning their respect.

Ready? Let’s get started!

1) Authenticity

In any interaction or relationship, authenticity is essential.

But don’t mistake this for putting on a persona or pretending to be something you’re not—be genuine and embrace your true self. Why?

Well, people are incredibly perceptive, and can often tell when someone is being insincere.

It’s a surefire way to lose respect and credibility.

But don’t worry – being authentic doesn’t mean baring your soul to everyone you meet. Simply put, when you’re authentic, your words and actions line up. You’re honest about who you are. 

When people see that you’re genuine, it builds trust.

And trust, in turn, earns you respect.

So if you want to be taken seriously, start by being true to yourself. 

2) Reliability

When people know they can count on you, they naturally take you more seriously.

For example, early in my career, I was part of a team working on a major project.

One day, our team leader fell ill and couldn’t make it to an important meeting.

I stepped in and took charge, ensuring the meeting went smoothly and all the key points were covered.

This not only showed my team that I could be relied upon in a pinch, but it also earned me the respect of my superiors.

From that point on, I was given more responsibilities and opportunities because people knew they could count on me.

Now, think about how you can show up for those in your life…the next time someone asks for a favor, don’t be afraid to step up to the plate and be there for them. 

3) Active listening

In ancient Greece, philosophers like Socrates were known for their ability to ask probing questions and then truly listen to the answers.

This Socratic method of inquiry wasn’t just about gaining information—it was a way of showing respect for the other person’s ideas and perspectives.

Listening is more than just being quiet while the other person talks. You should pay attention to their thoughts and feelings, ask insightful questions, and show genuine interest in what they have to say.

Here’s the thing:

When you listen actively, you’re not only gaining valuable insights—you’re also showing the other person that their thoughts and opinions matter.

And when people feel heard and understood, they’re much more likely to take you seriously and appreciate your willingness to listen to others. 

4) Respectfulness

It sounds simple, but it’s true – to earn respect, you need to give respect.

This includes treating everyone you interact with, regardless of their position or status, with kindness and courtesy.

Disrespecting others, whether deliberately or unintentionally, can quickly undermine your credibility and the respect others have for you.

On the other hand, demonstrating respect for others in your words and actions can significantly enhance how seriously you’re taken.

As a former teacher, I remember attempting to manage the classroom by being stern and strict. But I quickly realized that the kids weren’t paying attention. 

I changed tactics and decided to create an environment of mutual respect. I practiced active listening, as I mentioned above, and treated each child with courtesy, kindness, and patience. 

Funnily enough, all of them except one buckled up their behavior. They started taking me seriously, and there’s no doubt this works on most adults, too. 

5) Confidence

Confidence can be a game-changer when it comes to earning respect and being taken seriously.

But remember, there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance.

Confidence is about believing in yourself, your abilities, and your worth.

Don’t mistake it for boasting or trying to overshadow others.

The truth is, when you exude confidence, people naturally gravitate towards you.

They listen to what you have to say and take your ideas into consideration.

And that’s a significant step towards earning respect.

But how can you build confidence?

Start by recognizing your strengths and achievements. Accept compliments graciously. And most importantly, remember that it’s okay to make mistakes – they’re opportunities to learn and grow.

6) Empathy

Empathy – it’s the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, stepping into their shoes, and seeing things from their perspective.

When you show empathy, you’re showing respect for others’ experiences and emotions. And as we’ve just discussed, showing respect to others is key if you want to be taken seriously. 

Essentially, you’re signaling that you value their feelings and perspectives as much as your own.

It’s a powerful way to build trust and improve how people view you.

Because when you show others that you truly care about them, they’re more likely to take you seriously and value your opinions.

7) Accountability

And finally, one thing many people overlook…

Accountability is about taking responsibility for your actions and decisions, and without it, it’s very hard to be taken seriously. 

Think about it:

When someone messes up and blames everyone else, would you consider them to be respectful and trustworthy?

Probably not. 

I remember a time when I made a significant error during a project at work.

Instead of trying to pass the blame or hide from it, I immediately brought it to my team’s attention. I apologized for my mistake, explained what had happened, and proposed a solution to fix it.

Of course, I was nervous and scared. But it was the right thing to do. 

The result?

I showed my colleagues that I was willing to take responsibility for my actions and do what was necessary to make things right.

This act of accountability not only helped to rectify the situation but also earned me the respect of my team.

Being accountable doesn’t mean being perfect—it means being honest, showing integrity, and striving to do better. And these are qualities that people truly respect.

It’s interesting to note that respect, much like love or trust, can’t be demanded—it must be earned. And earning respect is not about the grand gestures or earth-shaking declarations—it’s about the small, consistent actions that demonstrate your character.

Whether it’s showing empathy to someone in distress or being accountable for your mistakes, each effort contributes to the respect you earn from others.

So as we part ways on this topic, I invite you to reflect on this journey.

How will you earn the respect of others?

How will you ensure that you are taken seriously?

The answers lie within you.

Picture of Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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