How to Be Taken More Seriously
& Get People to Respect You
Do people laugh at your big ideas or say things like, “Yeah, right!” when you tell a story or share your goals with them? It can be wildly frustrating when you toss and turn all night coming up with the next great idea for your life, career, relationship, or education, only to get laughed at when you tell your friends and family the next day. For a lot of people, that is all it takes for them to lay the idea permanently to rest. Read on for some solid tips on how to gain the respect of those around you, as well as earning a reputation as someone with authority, knowledge, and influence!
The Most Common Reasons People are Not Taken Seriously…and How You Can Avoid These Behaviors!
o Problem: Being Messy (Car, Appearance, Personal or Workspace): If you walk around with yesterday’s wrinkled t-shirt on and unwashed hair, how do you really think people will perceive you? People who are not taken seriously often have messy cars, bedrooms, and even an appearance that tells the world they just don’t care about anything.
Solution: Take pride in your appearance, personal space, car, and work or school space. Whether that is keeping an organized backpack or locker, showering more often, getting into the habit of cleaning your car on the same day each week, or simply starting to make your bed, these little things don’t take much time but really add up when it comes to earning respect and a better reputation.
o Problem: Speaking Before Thinking: Do you know anyone that “talks out of both sides of his mouth?” In other words, he (or she!) doesn’t know what they’re talking about but just spouts off about a topic anyway? Maybe this person acts like an authority on a subject, but within seconds of opening his mouth, it’s clear he has no idea what he’s talking about.
Solution: If you think you have a problem in this area, there are 2 EASY steps to fix it!
ü Think First! When asked a question, there is no law (or social code) saying you have to answer within a set amount of time. Take a moment to sort out your thoughts before answering. Breathe. If you need more time, simply say something like, “Hmm, let me take a minute to think about this.”
ü Preface Your Words Before You Speak: When you’re in the middle of a conversation about something you’re not an expert on (i.e. most things), rather than ramble on and on with guesses or personal opinions, try saying something like, “I don’t know much about this subject, but what I think is…” You could also say, “I’m far from an expert, but if you want my opinion, I’d be happy to share it with you.”
o Problem: Constantly Running Late or Ghosting on People: There are certain people that are known for always being late. I’ve even had friends that I could almost guarantee would cancel a lunch date or other type of appointment we had scheduled the day before. They were so unreliable that ultimately those friendships didn’t really last.
Solution: Show up on time. Only cancel appointments as a last resort, and even then, give as much notice as humanly possible. If you are always running late, that tells the other person that your time is more important than his or hers. A good way to prevent being late is to put the appointment in your phone for fifteen minutes earlier than it really is. This is an easy trick that puts an end to all of the apologies (excuses) you have to give when you arrive, red-faced and feeling foolish.
o Problem: Failing to Ask Questions: People naturally want to be around others who can carry on good conversations, have a sense of humor, and are good listeners. When a person talks too much about himself (or herself), fails to ask questions, or is buried in their iPhone, it comes across as rude, even if it is really a matter of being shy.
Solution: When having a conversation, remember not to spend too much time talking about yourself. Give the other person time to respond and share his or her thoughts, too. Additionally, if you’re asked a question such as what is your favorite film or what are your plans this weekend, simply add this to your answer: “How about you?” People who carry on two-way conversations are more fun to be around, experience deeper friendships, and come across as having better personalities.
o Problem: Swearing Too Much: People who swear too much (i.e. every sentence) come across as uneducated, regardless of how well they do in school or what degrees they have earned. Think of the people in history, in media, at school, in the workplace, and in your personal life that you have the greatest respect for…Do you hear them swearing much? At all? Probably not. A sign of personal maturity and self-confidence is speaking well, and with respect for those around you.
Solution: Do a quick online search for tips on how to stop swearing. You’ll be glad you did. It is a filthy habit that only makes a person look uneducated and ridiculous. Here are a few quick ways to help you curb the profanity…Choose alternative words to express your emotions, hold yourself accountable by asking a friend to point out each time you swear, or try the rubber band around your wrist. For this, you just snap it each time you swear, and studies have shown, brains retrain themselves to avoid the pain associated with the unwanted behavior.
These are only a handful of ways to be taken more seriously and earn the respect of the people you interact with on a day-to-day basis. Put in the simplest way, to get respect you must give it: To yourself and to others.