Respect: How to get it.

It's nice to be respected. It's nice to be treated with respect. Most people want very much to be respected by others. Do you? I hope it is one of your Life-Goals!

Respect is not something that is owed to you. It doesn't come to you just because you exist.
How do you earn respect? The old fashioned way, by doing things people will respect.
How do you earn disrespect? By doing things people don't respect.
You can choose to be respected or to be disrespected, by choosing what you do.
Isn't that obvious?

Take a little self-quiz. Make your notes on your copy of the essay. You will not hand this in. It is for your own use. As you look at each row in the table below I want you to:

WARNING! Be brutally honest in your answers, otherwise you will be cheating yourself!

Earning Respect - or - Earning Disrespect


You choose to be respected by others when you ...


You choose to be disrespected by others when you ...


Try your very best, even if the task is hard.

Don't try, but instead you give up easily.

Keep your promises.

Break your promises.

Are honest.

Are dishonest or cheat.

Tell the truth.


Have a lot of knowledge.

Are ignorant.

Have skills.

Can't do much.

Can communicate well with others, getting your ideas across easily.

Don't express yourself well.

Are kind to other people.

Are cruel to other people.

Build other people up. Encourage them. Support them.

Put other people down. Discourage them. No support.

Do constructive things - helpful things.

Do destructive things - hurtful things.

Are a good leader.

Are a loner.

Are a good follower.

Are a loner.

Are friendly.

Are a bully.

Look nice.

Look shabby.

How did you do with the little quiz? Did you agree that all of these statements are True? If not, you need to talk it over with a trusted and loving adult, to obtain more insight into the meaning.

Did you check mark only in the "A" column? If not, those items are what you likely need to work on. Again, talk it over with a trusted and loving adult, looking for ideas on how to improve yourself.

It's all so obvious! But if we don't stop to think things through a bit, we often miss the obvious.

Think about it. Doesn't it just make good sense?

Some of the things you must do to earn respect may not be easy for you at first. You might have to study or practice hard. You might have to change some habits, the way you view things, or think about things. But when you have earned the respect of other people, it will be worth it.

The main goals of both school and your parents is to help you do those things on the left side - that will earn you respect. If you are a highly respected person, you are a major contributor to both yourself and to our society. The rest of us will be better off if you have earned our respect. Think about that. Can you tell me why this is so? (Look at specific items in the table.) Can you give examples you have seen of anything in the table? (No names please!)

And you know what? It is only when other people respect you that you can truly respect yourself! Sorry, there is no short cut. You have to earn it.

Take another short quiz to measure how well you respect YOURSELF.

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