Should Respect be Earned?

When we were young, it was taught that we must respect everyone even though we have differences. We were taught to respect the elders, our teachers, and our friends. As we grew up, we tend to know our worth and who’s worth our respect. Respect is like a give-and-take situation. Yes, everyone deserves respect, but respect must also be earned.

Respect must be earned to prove that a person is worthy of it. One of the best feelings is when you earned the respect of the person you admire because you worked hard to earn it. You will earn the respect because you chose to respect them and they will also treat you the same. At the same time, you are not required to respect others if you think they don’t deserve it.  

In this article, I provided an in-depth explanation about respect and how it can be earned. To learn more, let’s keep reading!

Should Respect be Earned?

In our life, we tend to appreciate more of the things that we worked hard for and earned it. Let’s say, for example, our job. We appreciate our salary because we know that we worked hard for how many days and then we earned it by the end of the month.

It’s also the same with respect, you know that you will treasure that respect because you worked hard to earn it from someone. Maybe it’s your boss or someone you admire because of their abilities.

For some, it’s not always that way. Other people believed that respect should be received by all regardless of their circumstances. But, we can’t deny the fact that there are a lot of people who lack respect and it just annoys us. We want them to be respectful so that we can also respect them.

We must never confuse respect and simple kindness. A person can believe that respect is earned while still showing kindness to others. In my experience, those people who disrespect me, I still want to be polite with them. But, I know that they will never earn my respect if they keep on disrespecting me.

People have different perspectives when it comes to earning respect. The most common mistake that I always noticed is they confused respect and kindness all the time. Earning your respect is one thing, showing kindness is another thing.

I know a lot of people believed that respect must be a give-and-take. Even I also apply it to my everyday life while communicating with other people. No matter how old or wealthy that person is, if they show true respect, they must also earn your respect.

Every human being is raised with different perspectives and opinions in life. Not all of us are raised to have a holistic attitude as the saints did. Don’t get me wrong, but we know that most people would only respect others if they feel that they are respected.

I know that I’m a kind person, but I’m not obliged to respect others and you shouldn’t either. Don’t feel guilty if you haven’t given your respect to someone knowing that they don’t deserve it. There are a lot of people out there who deserve your respect.

How is Respect Earned?

Whether you’re a student who wants to earn the respect of your professor, or you’re the boss who wants to earn the respect of your people, here are the 5 ways how respect is earned.

1. Always Listen Well to Other People

When you listen well to other people, you’re in an active process and you know how to reply well. The person you’re talking to feels that you’re respecting them because you actively participate in what they’re saying. They feel important because you’re effective during your conversation.

When I’m talking to someone, I try to avoid thinking of other things and just focus on the conversation. I learn to be quiet and understand what they are sharing about and just respond after they talk.

When you don’t listen well, you will not fully understand what they’re talking about and they will notice that you’re not sincere while you’re talking.

2. Be Willing to Change

When you’re a hard-headed person, it won’t take you anywhere. You won’t earn the respect of others when you have a behavior that annoys them. Make an effort to change, such as learning new skills, reflecting on your behavior, and changing your attitude.

When you feel that the people around you don’t hang out with you anymore, maybe there’s something wrong. If you want to be the best and earn other people’s respect, you have to do things that will change your life.

In the past, I realized that change is a good thing. When I changed my life, I had the power to become happier and it gave me peace of mind. For how many weeks and months, I was hungry for change and did things one step at a time. I noticed that I earned the respect of others especially those who I admire.

3. Avoid Insulting Others

For real, when you insult others, it means you’re disrespecting them. Try to imagine when you’re in their position, for sure you won’t also like it. When you insult others, it means that you’re a toxic and insecure person.

The first step that you should do is to recognize your attitude. Next, try to figure out why you’re doing it. Maybe you’re surrounded by people who also have the kind of attitude. Lastly, make it a habit to have positive thoughts all the time.

Everyone deserves to be respected. When you want to earn others’ respect, also respect them for who they are. Even if you don’t agree with their opinion, they deserve to be heard and not insulted.

4. Don’t Make Unnecessary Excuses

Making unnecessary excuses won’t make you earn other people’s respect. I always try to remember the quote, “your actions are based on your choice”. Want to earn the respect of your boss at the company? Don’t be late and work hard.

When you did something wrong, just own it and avoid making excuses. Look for opportunities to improve those things the next time you do it. When people can see that you’re doing your best to improve things, they will appreciate it and respect you.

I know that most people make excuses from time to time because they didn’t commit to that specific activity. But if they want to earn other people’s respect they must avoid making excuses all the time and prove that they are worthy to earn your respect.

5. Let Go of the Grudges

When you have grudges in your heart, it will make you blind and it will just hurt you. Be angry for a second and learn how to move on. Try to realize that no one is perfect and do your best to understand others all the time.

It will be more difficult to heal when you have grudges against someone. People will notice that you have an ugly attitude. I also realize that when you have grudges, it’s difficult to heal. It feels so unhealthy like you’re not making the world a better place. We must think about things that can give us peace of mind.

Instead of holding the grudges, choose to forgive. In that way, others will respect you more. When someone accidentally hurts your feelings, forgive them. At that moment, you already earned their respect because they realize that you’re a forgiving person. Grudges will only make it harder for you to let go.

Can Respect be Earned Back?

Respect can be earned back but it can be difficult. We tend to make dumb choices sometimes and it can break the respect of other people against us. When you want to earn their respect back, you need to prove yourself again that you’re worthy of it.

I made stupid choices when I was young, and I lost the respect of the people who are special to me. I learned how to gain their respect back but it didn’t happen overnight. I was just consistent in proving myself that I’m worthy of it.

The first thing that I did was to respect myself first. In that way, I accepted myself for who I am. I brought change into my life and tried to move forward. Then everything just followed that I can’t explain how that happened. Maybe they felt that I was already a renewed person at that time.

I know not everyone will respond with a forgiving heart directly. You just need to be consistent because time will come that you will earn their respect like what they did in the past. Always remember not to beg for respect, you must prove to them that you’re deserving to earn it back.

Respect Should Never be Demanded

I believe that respect should never be demanded because it’s one way of showing that the person is constantly proving themselves of who they are and what good they can bring to you. When you demand respect, nothing works out. You are forcing things in your way and somehow it’s being selfish.

“Those who demand respect based on their title will never earn respect based on their character.” -Robb Whitaker

Learn how to respect yourself to build respect for other people. A lot of people demand respect even though they don’t respect you. They want to be in control of everything. They feel like they’re so entitled. The truth is, those are the people that are scared and anxious.

They are angry because they’re not confident with their abilities and they know that you are greater than them. What I usually do when I encounter this kind of person is, I’ll just try to leave them alone and won’t waste my time with them. They don’t have the right to overstep my boundaries because of their entitled attitude.

So right now, can you already see why we should never demand respect? It can be too dangerous when people just keep on demanding respect. The desire when people want to earn our respect must come from their hearts. They must prove it and willing to take action for it.


Hey! I'm Lorofy, I'm a politician in our Local Government Unit and a Church Leader. I'm a dedicated leader in our community and an ambassador of goodwill. I became a motivator and an advocate for men who are looking for meaning in life and on how to reach their full potential. I'm also a fitness enthusiast and consider fitness as my everyday expertise.