Who is a person that everyone respects

Respect: Not a luxury, but a necessity + 8 tips

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Definition: what is respect?

Respect describes a form of particularly high level of attention, esteem, appreciation and admiration for others. We respect people, nature and institutions. Increased respect turns into awe, as you might say to a deity. Respect ensures that a person can maintain their dignity and thus their autonomy. It can be found in the protection of human dignity as the most important message in the Basic Law.

The term itself originally comes from the French word “respect”, which in turn is derived from the Latin “respectus” and means something like “consideration”, “retrospect” or “consideration”. Behind this is the old understanding of respect as a form of esteem - for example towards higher-ranking personalities such as the nobility, the church or the military.

The general meaning of respect today goes in the direction of a "respectful togetherness". Means: to respect the integrity of a person. Showing appreciation means: respecting another person and recognizing a value in the fact that he or she is different. Disrespectful behavior, on the other hand, is an expression of disregard, a lack of decency or contempt.

2 types of respect

The psychologist Niels Van Quaquebeke from the Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg has been researching the topic of respect (in the workplace) for years. He formulates the different types of recognition as follows:

  • Vertical respect: Describes the feeling of respect for God, parents, musicians, authors, competitive athletes, celebrities as well as experts and dignitaries. It is characterized by differences in hierarchy.
  • Horizontal respect: Horizontal respect takes place at eye level, mostly between friends, acquaintances, colleagues, neighbors, strangers. It can be of different intensity.

The different forms and strengths of respect are reflected in numerous synonyms:

  • Weak: Courtesy, acceptance, tolerance, appreciation
  • Normal: Respect, recognition, appreciation
  • Strong: Admiration, respect, awe, submission, fear

In fact, great respect is not infrequently accompanied by feelings of fear. Anyone who has "respect for a task" also expresses concern about failure. It is similar with the "respect for dogs": Quite a few actually express their fear of being attacked or bitten. And “respect for parents or superiors” usually includes the fear of being punished for wrongdoing.

Why is respect so important?

In the book “Respekt”, the author René Borbonus writes: “Respect is the lubricant of society. It defines our relationships and our entire social behavior like no other factor in human interaction. ”In fact, respect determines the interaction between generations and genders, in the family, among friends, in the professional environment, at school and in leisure time. It is a deeply basic social need to be perceived and valued as an independent person.

The desire for respect accompanies us for a lifetime. We want to be taken seriously and accepted for who and how we are. Not everyone has to like us because of this - but please respect us. A lack of respect, in turn, gnaws at our self-esteem. Doubts arise: am I worth it? Am i good enough Outside recognition and appreciation always influence what we think of ourselves.

Appreciation and respect

Respect and appreciation are close relatives. However, many find it difficult to express both. The results are often hollow phrases and empty phrases of the type “well done!”. But there are alternatives. Three tips on how to show appreciation and respect:

  • be honest
    Appreciation must first be honest. Everything else does the exact opposite. Body language, facial expressions and gestures show the other person what we are really thinking. We will only formulate it credibly if we feel genuine appreciation.
  • Be specific
    Even if this is not absolutely necessary in the case of appreciation - it helps: State explicitly why and for what you value someone. However, these should not be superficial compliments. The deeper and more concretely you address what has been successful, achieved and admirable, the more your counterpart will feel respected.
  • Bow down
    Not literally, of course - unless you are greeting high-ranking nobles or a Japanese. But the Japanese gesture is no coincidence: credible respect is accompanied by short-term humility. By "bowing" mentally or verbally to the other, you express the proverbial "respect" and show real appreciation.

What is disrespectful behavior?

Disrespect shows up in asymmetrical behavior. You are not met at eye level, but from above. Or you are criticized and put down irresponsibly. This also shows the unequal treatment.

It starts with little things - such as a lack of salutation, disregard for good manners, indecency or verbal abuse. The General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) ultimately emerged from this. The state thus - indirectly - admits that people are repeatedly treated with disrespect - because of their gender, their origin, skin color, religion, sexual identity or because of their age.

A lack of respect can be shown through derogatory sayings and gestures: insults or insults, as well as unfairness, ignorance or bullying. Up to physical violence or physical humiliation. In all these cases, the other's fundamental rights (Article 1 of the Basic Law: “Human dignity is inviolable.”) Are disregarded and he or she is humiliated physically and psychologically.

A lack of respect in the job costs billions

Various studies show that recognition and appreciation in the job are elementary for the motivation and satisfaction of employees. Those who feel respected by their boss and colleagues are ready to support decisions, pass on information, seek dialogue and do their best.

Do employees feel disrespected by their bosses? - for example because they ignore services and make decisions over their heads - this has an enormously demotivating to destructive effect. Soon the workforce will only be shifting to work or quitting their jobs.

According to a Gallup study, the economic damage can be estimated at around 100 billion euros. A respectful corporate culture is therefore in your own best interests and should be reflected in the management style.

Can respect be demanded?

You get respect, it can neither be forced nor demanded. There is also no automatism here, motto: “If you respect me, I respect you.” Nevertheless, this is the first step towards more respect. Respect is based on reciprocity: Anyone who demands "more respect" from others or who wants to be respected in general must first show it to others. Only then can we hope to be treated in the same way. But there is still no guarantee.

Showing respect nowadays is almost as difficult as earning respect. (Joseph Joubert)

Often the reason for this lies in ourselves. Respect is an inner attitude, not just lip service. People definitely feel whether our praise or the appreciation shown is real and authentic or just artificial. Those who only appear respectfully in order to gain more respect themselves will quickly meet with rejection and be seen through. Sincere respect for one's fellow human beings is only possible if one acts out of a basic conviction to accept the other as “valuable” - without (opportune) ulterior motives. Even if it results in its own disadvantages.

How should I respond to disrespect?

It depends on the specific case: If the disrespect happened unintentionally or from a casual acquaintance, one can and should overlook it. After all, true greatness is also shown by the fact that you confidently ignore small details and negligence. Many people are also unaware that their behavior was or is disrespectful.

Something different applies if, for example, you have to deal with the person more often or have to work together (colleagues, superiors, friends, partners). In that case, you should definitely address the misconduct and make it clear that you feel degraded by it. But please be polite, respectful and, if possible, packaged as a first-person message (“I feel that I have been treated disrespectfully”). Only when your counterpart does not want to see his disrespect and does not change his behavior should you draw the conclusions from it. For example, by keeping your distance, reducing contact to the bare minimum or officially complaining - right up to the point of being reported.

It is worth more to have people's respect at all times than their occasional admiration. (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)

8 tips for more respect (at work)

Here you will find some tips and suggestions on how you can gain more respect and recognition (not only in your job):

Respect yourself

Those who regularly downsize invite others to follow suit. Rather, make yourself aware of your strengths and successes and treat yourself with more self-respect. Then you will also treat other people with more respect.

Take care of your appearance

Your clothes signal what you think of yourself. If you dress sloppily, carelessly or neglected, it sends the message: “I have no respect for myself.” That too invites you to reflect. It is not without reason that there is the phrase “dress to impress”: If you dress appropriately for the environment and clearly cared for, you will automatically be respected more.

Improve your posture

Posture, gestures and facial expressions are even more important for our effect than the spoken word. For example, those who adopt an upright posture, seek eye contact and come up with a firm handshake, exude self-confidence and demand more respect from their counterparts.

Shine with expertise and performance

Please no false modesty! Show what you are made of, what you can do and what you know. Do you have a clear profile and an area in which you can excel? Then stand by it. With dosed self-marketing, you can and should attract attention and draw attention to yourself. After all, outstanding achievements and special skills are always respected.

Pay attention to reciprocity

Anyone who wants more appreciation - whether at work or in their private life - has to work on their public image. With our behavior, we have a direct influence on how others perceive us. Getting more recognition takes time. Respect has to be earned. And it's not a one-way street. As long as you repeatedly treat others with recognizable disrespect (for example in a meeting or in comments on Facebook & Co.), this will be registered and your efforts will be undermined.

Don't be afraid of a discussion

Stand by your values ​​and beliefs. They don't have to share others, but they have to respect them. But they only do that if you stay true to yourself. Yes-sayers or people without a backbone or attitude, on the other hand, earn no respect. Anyone who defends their position with good arguments even in difficult moments earns recognition.

Be factual

In some discussions, emotions can easily boil. Stick to it factually and confidently and stick to the facts. Those who not only make claims, but can substantiate what has been said, may not immediately gain approval (stupidity and ignorance are unfortunately widespread), but at some point they will be respected. At least from the audience.

Don't pretend

Nothing earns us more respect than an authentic personality. Some people may polarize, but they are at least a “type”, “real”, “brand”. Most importantly, they don't pretend to be someone else. Follow this example. Those who always remain credible and truthful will be forgiven for some quirks - and still show respect.

Always have respect for yourself, respect for others and take responsibility for your actions. (Dalai Lama)

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