How to Gain Respect From Friends

Friends talking in cafe

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Everyone wants to be respected. It means you’re making a difference, that people hold a high opinion of you and that you treat others with the respect they deserve. “Respect, in many ways, defines who you are, how you are perceived and how you are remembered,” says N. Taiwo, author of “Respect: Gaining It and Sustaining It.” Gaining the respect of your friends, especially if you’ve done something to shatter that respect, might not always be easy, but with understanding and patience, you can become someone who is respected and admired.

Build your self-confidence by exploring the things you’re good at, such as drawing, cycling or singing, and devoting energy and time to them. Confident people tend to earn respect from others. Make sure the goals you set for yourself are achievable but challenging. “If you never struggle with confidence, you are obviously not stretching yourself far enough. You are not pressing to the edge of your abilities,” says Timothy Ursini, author of “The Confidence Plan: How to Build a Stronger You.”

Speak with integrity. Refrain from disparaging others or talking about them behind their backs. Your friends might momentarily be enthralled with your juicy bit of gossip, but they probably won’t respect you much after the conversation ends.

Listen actively to what your friends say. Active listening focuses the attention on the speaker and helps create mutual understanding between two individuals, according to the University of Colorado’s Conflict Research Consortium. During conversations with friends, periodically restate what they’ve said, pose follow-up questions and express your feelings about what they’ve said.

Encourage your friends to be the best they can be. Try not to express judgment or negativity and refrain from being overly critical. If a friend comes to you with a new idea, help her explore how she can make it a reality. If another friend is feeling down, give her words of support and let her know you’re there for her.

Keep your word and be trustworthy. People respect those who do what they say they'll do. If you agree to meet a friend at noon, show up at noon. If you promised a friend you’d watch her children for the evening, follow through. If you fail to meet your obligations, your friends might become more cautious around you, and you’ll probably feel uneasy around them until you can rebuild their trust.