4 Qualities of People Who Are Highly Respected

how to be respected

In this article, we will talk about four qualities of highly respected people, that you can easily learn, observe, and make yours.

We all want to be respected and appreciated. It’s only human nature.

However, let’s be real, although we all deserve it, respect is usually something you have to earn, it’s not something people give you automatically.

And you earn it through your social habits and how you decide to behave around others.

If we observe those who tend to be respected by others, we will notice they tend to have in common the following qualities.


1. Highly Respected People Communicate Assertively

As explained in Mayo Clinic,

“If you communicate in a way that’s too passive or too aggressive, your message may get lost because people are too busy reacting to your delivery.”

This is why one of the best things you can learn is to communicate assertively. It’s not something easy to do it, especially in situations where strong emotions arise.

However, highly respected people learned the art of assertive communication.

So they now know how to manage their emotions and communicate in a courteous, clear and concise way, without violating the boundaries of others. And this is why others usually admire and respect them.

How to apply this, in a nutshell:

Think before you speak, always. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is what I’m going to say relevant to this situation?
  • Is what I’m going to say clear?
  • Are the words I’m going to use respectful?
  • Am I going to regret this?

If the answer to the first three questions is yes, and the answer to the last question is no, go ahead.


2. Highly Respected People Are Competent and Exude Confidence— Without Being Arrogant

Think about one person you know who is competent in their field, and who is not arrogant.

Or think about someone who simply looks competent when they talk about something — because they only open their mouth when they have something meaningful to say.

What is your opinion of them? How do others normally behave around them? Do they respect them? Do they pay attention to them or do they ignore them?

I guess you noticed the healthy confidence they exude when they talk — and you admire that confidence.

And I guess you noticed others tend to respect them and to pay attention to what they have to say. Am I right?

This happens because when someone is competent, they are also confident when they talk about what they know.

And when someone speaks with confidence — without bragging or being arrogant — people tend to pay more attention.

How to apply this, in a nutshell:

Speak only when you have something meaningful to say.

Before saying something, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have I listened enough?/Have I really understood the other person’s point?
  • Do I actually know enough about this topic?
  • Is what I’m going to say helpful?
  • Is what I’m going to say something new, that hasn’t been mentioned yet?

3. They Exhibit Warmth

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.
— Harper Lee

I once read on Business Insider that a person needs to find you warm before they can respect you.

In particular, as Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy explained, to earn the trust of those around you, you have to project warmth — because the first one comes from the latter.

Now you might ask, “How can I be perceived as warm?” The answer is simple: always put yourself in other people’s shoes. Be empathic. Be compassionate.

And learn the art of making others feel understood.

As Amy Cuddy mentions, it’s when others perceive you as warm and consequently trust you, that you actually earn their respect.

How to apply this, in a nutshell:

Always be kind. Smile. It costs you nothing.


4. They Set Healthy Boundaries

You can’t force someone to respect you but you can refuse to be disrespected.
– Unknown

This is probably one of the most important points. People tend to respect those who have boundaries, as simple as that.

If you don’t set healthy boundaries, you are basically telling the world, “All I want is being accepted and liked, so come here and do whatever you want.”

Here are some examples of people who lack boundaries:

  • A woman who let her husband yell at her all the time;
  • A man who repeatedly forgives her wife’s infidelity;
  • Someone who lets a friend repeatedly ridicule them in public.

As Brianna Wiest mentioned in Human Parts, the reason why some people can’t set healthy boundaries is that they usually prioritize other people’s perception of them over anything else. And I couldn’t agree more with her.

See, to set healthy boundaries with others you must first have healthy boundaries with yourself.

You have to work on your self-esteem and you need to have a clear idea of what you can and can’t tolerate from others.

When you reach a healthy level of confidence, you don’t really care about other people’s perception of you anymore.

What you care about is your mental wellness, your happiness, and so you start to choose wisely who you want in your life — and you start distancing yourself from people who only add negativity to it.

And this is the attitude of people who are highly respected.

How to apply this, in a nutshell:

Always keep in mind these two things:

  • The first person you have to be kind to is you;
  • If you want others to respect you, you have to respect yourself first.

To summarize, the qualities highly respected people usually have in common are:

  • They communicate assertively;
  • Are competent and exude confidence;
  • Are warm;
  • Set healthy boundaries.

New to The Truly Charming? Start here!

Featured Image: Pexels — Daniel Xavier

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