Life is painful when you don’t feel respected by others.
If your boss treats you like shit and your co-workers look down on you, then every day in the office can seem like a living hell.
If you always end up on the bottom of the totem poll in group settings, then social gatherings can seem extremely intimidating.
If talking to “alpha male” type guys makes you nervous and insecure, then becoming a leader other men look up to can seem impossible.
In this article you will learn 5 simple steps you can follow right now in order to believe in yourself and start getting the respect you deserve from other people.
#1. Change Your Mindset
The first thing you must do is recognize that your interpretation of things is far more important than the actual events themselves.
More often than not, the lack of respect you’re feeling is being fabricated inside your head.
Just because someone didn’t say hi to you doesn’t mean they don’t respect you. Just because someone interrupted you doesn’t mean they don’t respect you. Just because someone ignored your advice doesn’t mean they don’t respect you either.
These things only bother you when you let them. They only seem like a lack of respect when you focus on them and analyze their meaning. If you simply didn’t pay attention to them, then you probably wouldn’t feel disrespected in the first place.
Look – I’m not saying that you’re completely crazy and that ignoring blatant acts of disrespect will make everything better. But I am saying that more often than not, you’re probably being defensive or over-sensitive when you interpret something as a lack of respect.
How do you fix this? Simple: just be aware.
Catch yourself when the next time you feel like you were disrespected. Decide to let it go. Focusing on it will only make it seem like a bigger deal that it actually is.
Read More: How to Build Confidence Through Meditation
#2. Stop Seeking Approval
If you get easily bothered when other people don’t show you the respect you think you deserve, then you’re probably guilty of this.
Look – we all want to feel valued and accepted by others. It’s an innate part of human nature.
But some of us get hyper-focused on it. Some of us are constantly looking for other people to give us clear signs of approval.
We desperately want people to laugh at our jokes. We desperately want women to sleep with us. We desperately want other men to show us respect.
If this is you, then realize that this is one big reason you’re constantly feeling a lack of respect from others. Decide to stop caring so much what other people think, and instead start focusing on living up to your own values.
Start pursuing hobbies that you enjoy. Start spending your time with people that make you happy. Start setting goals that you truly care about.
Stop living for other people.
#3. Focus On Other People
Another key ingredient to being insecure and failing to feel respected is only focusing on your issues and your own needs.
If you’re always stuck inside your head worrying about everything that’s wrong with your life, then you’re never going to truly connect with other people.
On one hand, this will make you more likely to over-analyze other people’s behavior and interpret it as a lack of respect. On the other hand, people won’t like you as much.
Think about it this way: do you prefer talking to someone who’s always bitching and moaning about their problems? Or do you prefer talking to someone who’s always curious about what’s going on in your life?
Studies show that self disclosure – or talking about yourself – activates key regions of your brain that release dopamine and make you feel good.
This means that you should focus your conversations on the other person. Ask them about their day. Talk to them about their interests. This will make them feel good. And it will make them like you more, because they will associate these warm feelings with you.
Read More: 5 Easy Ways to Keep a Conversation Going
#4. Make Your Own Decisions
We inherently respect people who are comfortable making their own decisions.
You the guy. The guy who is always prepared to make a decision. It doesn’t matter if you’re figuring out where to get lunch, what movie to see, or what job offer to accept. This guy is always comfortable stepping in and making the call.
In a world of guys who constantly say, “I don’t care, what do you want to do?” This decisive instinct immediately makes him stand out.
Most people simply have conditioned themselves to avoid making decisions. You ask other people for their opinion. You research your options endlessly. You don’t want to make the wrong decision.
You let your indecisiveness paralyze you.
On one hand, this cripples your ability to take action and get shit done. On the other hand, other people quickly identify you as one of the sheep.
Break free from this toxic habit. Start making instant decisions today.
Ordering dinner? Choose the first entree that catches your eye. Getting dressed? Grab the first outfit that’s appropriate for the occasion. Deciding what plans to make? Choose whatever option you get to do less often.
You will quickly build confidence in your ability to make decisions. And other people will begin to look at you as a leader who’s not afraid to make a tough call.
#5. Always Take the Blame
Another common weak habit that prevents you from getting the respect you want is failing to take responsibility.
When something goes wrong, is your first instinct to pass the blame? Or do you step up and take the blame yourself?
If a project at work gets fucked up, what do you do? If a girl rejects you, what do you do? If you accidently break something, what do you do?
Most people dodge taking responsibility. They prefer to blame someone else, or bad luck, for the unfavorable outcome.
Instead you must step up and say, “That was my fault.”
On one hand, this will allow you to learn from your mistakes. You can think back and determine what you should do differently next time in order to get a better outcome. On the other hand, people will respect you more.
People look up to those who are comfortable taking the blame. It makes them feel safe and secure. They know if the shit hits the fan, they can count on you to take control of the situation and figure things out.
So next time something goes wrong, raise your hand and take responsibility. Then watch how people react. I promise they will show you respect for being strong and shouldering the blame.