Respect: 20+ Useful Examples of How To Show Respect

A useful guide on the concept of respect: Learn what respect is and its definition, why it is important, types of respect, and examples. Discover interesting tips including: How to teach respect?; What to do when someone disrespects us?; How do you learn to respect yourself?; and How do you learn to respect others? In this article we answer all your questions, if you have any more, you can leave us your comment below.

Respect is an important part of a happy life.  Photo by Tiago Felipe Ferreira on Unsplash
Respect is an important part of a happy life. Photo by Tiago Felipe Ferreira on Unsplash

What is Respect? Concept and Definition

Respect is a very important component of both personal identity and interpersonal relationships. Feeling respected could be considered a basic human right and a necessary element of a happy life. Disrespect, on the other hand, is something very serious that can lead to negative emotions, relationship breakdowns, and even anger and violence.

The word respect comes from the Latin respectus which means ‘attention’ or ‘consideration’. It can be defined as “the special consideration and appreciation of someone or something, which is recognized as social value or special difference.”

Respect is a concept that refers to the ability to value and honor another person, both their words and their actions, even if we do not approve of everything they do. Respect is accepting the other person and not trying to change them. Respecting another person is not judging them for their attitudes, behaviors or thoughts. We do not blame them, nor do we expect them to be someone other than who they are..

The differences we find between people are what create our unique identity. Respecting others is about being able to understand and accept that these individual differences exist but, above all, understand that as members of a society we all share common bonds. All people are owed respect for the simple fact of being people.

Equality is in the balance. That is why it is very important to teach children from an early age the value of mutual respect. The best way to teach respect is to become the role model for our children.

Respect for others is very important, but respect for yourself is essential, since you will only be able to value others to the extent that you are able to value yourself. 

Some synonyms for respect would be: consideration, deference, obedience, attention, courtesy, tolerance, or admiration.

Why is Respect Important?

Respect is the foundation upon which our relationships are built. Without respect, interpersonal relationships will be filled with conflict and dissatisfaction. If we don’t respect others, they won’t respect us, and if we don’t respect ourselves we won’t be respected by others either.

Respect is essential to feel safe, to be able to express ourselves as we are without fear of being judged, humiliated or discriminated against.

Being respectful of others, being respected, and respecting ourselves increases our self-esteem, self-efficacy, our mental health, and our well-being.

How Can We Teach Respect to Our Children?

How can we teach our children about respect?  Photo by Joice Kelly on Unsplash
How can we teach our children about respect? Photo by Joice Kelly on Unsplash

Here are a few powerful examples of how we can raise respectful children:

1. Stay Calm and Don’t Yell

If you want to teach respect, it is important to set a good example and always maintain a calm tone. Yelling at a person is often a sign of disrespect, too. Although it can be difficult in some frustrating moments with your children, having patience in these situations is a great way to exemplify respect.

2. Avoid Negative Labels or Insults

Telling your child: “you are a bad boy” or “you are useless” is very harmful to self-esteem but also encourages a disrespectful attitude. So, when your child misbehaves, it is better to say: “What you have done is wrong”, focusing on the action and not judging the child.

3. Understand Why They Act Disrespectful

When your child acts disrespectfully, it is better to understand why they have acted in this way and help them to explore their feelings. For example, if your child calls you “bad,” we will ask them why they said it—is it because they are angry or sad? We have to think about what has made them angry, and say “Are you angry about this?” We must be understanding with their anger and make them understand how to deal with those negative emotions in a healthy way, and that hurting others is not a way to solve problems. Once they understand, we can discuss respectful ways to resolve these negative emotions.

4. Show Them Respect

Respect their tastes and preferences. Do not force them to do something they do not want, just as you would not force an adult. Suggest, encourage, advise, but do not force. If your child has their own way of doing things, let them try it that way. Don’t pretend to have complete control over your children’s behavior or preferences. Respect their decisions and let them make their own decisions.

When we accept children’s differences, they feel heard and respected. They learn firsthand how to treat others who have different opinions and to respect others despite their differences.

5. Don’t Permit Them to be Disrespectful

Don’t let your children or anyone else disrespect you or those around you. Be a good role model for them, not allowing anyone to take advantage of you or not accept you as you are. 

6. Set Limits

When teaching respect it is important to set limits for children about what type of behavior is right and wrong. When they behave in a disrespectful way, get their attention—calmly, without yelling, as we mentioned before—and use these moments to teach them the consequences of disrespectful behavior.

7. Apologize When You Are Wrong

Setting a good example of respectful behavior can be difficult. Even as adults we can make mistakes and act in ways that aren’t respectful. But when you make a mistake, when you fail to keep a promise, or when you are too hard on your child, it is important to apologize to them and show that respect is an ongoing process. Show them that making a mistake does not make you a bad person, as long as you learn from it and do better in the future. We will not only convey humility and the importance of asking for forgiveness, but we will also teach respect.

8. Compliment Them When They Are Respectful

It is important that children learn actions that are okay and that are respectful. Let them know when they have done something that is good or respectful, because that way he will be more likely to repeat it. 

What Can I Do If I Feel That I Am Not Respected?

Do you feel that others do not respect you and take advantage of you? Here are a series of tips to overcome disrespect

1. Treat Others the Way You Want Them to Treat You

It is a rather cliche phrase but it is true. If you want to be respected, start by respecting others. People tend to be reciprocal in our dealings. 

2. Respect Yourself

A lack of respect? Low self-esteem? If others see that you don’t value or respect yourself, they may also undervalue and treat you with less respect than you deserve. Consider yourself a priority. 

3. Use Body Language Body

The language we use is very important, including our body language, because it helps convey a lot of information. But many times the information that we send with the body is contradictory with our words. In some situations, we may give our opinion but with a shaky or soft voice and with a closed posture. If we act this way, it is more likely that no one will take into account what we are saying. However, if we express what we think with a firm voice, looking into the eyes of others and sound sure of ourselves, those who are listening are more likely to respect what we say.

4. Speak Positively.

Even if you are humble or don’t want to behave arrogant, it is important that you don’t belittle yourself or downplay yourself. 

5. Surround Yourself With The Right People

Some people simply never understand how to be respectful. No matter what we do, we are not going to make them respect us. When dealing with these people, the further away we have them the better. And if you can’t avoid dealing with them, learn to ignore their comments.

6. Stand Up To Disrespect

If you are disrespected or not taken seriously, stand up for yourself. Do not let disrespect happen unchallenged. But don’t attack or respond in a disrespectful way either. Respond with “What you said hurt me”, “That comment is very inappropriate” or “I do not allow you to talk to me like that.” 

7. Boost Your Self-esteem

Many times we are not respected because we do not consider ourselves worthy of respect. This can be conscious or unconscious. Although we rationally know that we do deserve respect, sometimes unconsciously we don’t quite believe it. This is due to low self-esteem.

How Do We Show Respect To Others? Examples Of Respect

It is important to show respect to all people.  Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash
It is important to show respect to all people. Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

How do we show respect to others?

  • Listen to the other person.
  • Be empathetic, try to understand the other person, and put ourselves in their place.
  • Use assertive communication; defend our rights while respecting the rights of others, in a polite and non-aggressive way.
  • Bear in mind that our approaches, ideas, and opinions may differ from those of other people and none is wrong. Nobody has the absolute truth.
  • Apologize when we go wrong or make mistakes.
  • Keep the secrets of others.
  • Comply with and respect the laws and regulations that govern civil discourse
  • Take care of common spaces and the environment.
  • Show a genuine interest in how others are feeling, their mental and physical state, and how their life is going.
  • Respect the privacy and intimacy of others.
  • Respect the spaces and belongings of others, do not invade or use what is not ours without permission.
  • Respect personal space.
  • Making sure we include rather than exclude others.
  • Help others when it is in our power to do so.
  • Be grateful.

Types of Respect

There are many types of respect, some examples of the types of respect which are important for our daily lives include: self-respect, respect for others, respect for social norms, respect for nature, respect for family, respect for values, respect for culture, or respect for national symbols.

Respect consists of learning to tolerate, not to discriminate, and to avoid taking actions that may offend others. Some examples of respect in daily life are: Greeting or speaking to others in a kind and respectful way, giving up your seat in public places, giving way, or treating others as you would like to be treated.

  • Self-respect: This type of respect refers to the ability to respect oneself, to value and appreciate oneself. And to accept yourself no matter what others think.
  • Respect for others: This type of respect refers to the act of tolerating, accepting and being considerate towards another person, despite the fact that there may be differences between you and them, or between their way of thinking. Some examples would be; respect for your parents, respect for gender equality, respect for teachers, the elderly, the religious beliefs of others, respect for people who have different sexual orientation, respect for classmates or coworkers, etc ..
  • Respect for social norms: This type of respect refers to the ability to respect the set of norms that govern society. Some examples of this type of respect would be; Respect for the rules of courtesy, working hours, other people’s belongings, letting people speak and listen, respecting other opinions.
  • Respect for nature: This type of respect refers to the appreciation of the environment (animals, plants, rivers, etc.). Some examples of this type of respect would be; not throwing garbage in rivers, forests, or fields, not uprooting plants or mistreating nature, not wasting water, not harming animals or insects, recycling, using environmentally friendly means of transport, etc.
  • Respect for the family: This type of respect implies being able to understand and respect each other within the family nucleus, and implies being able to follow a set of rules of coexistence.
  • Respect for values: This type of respect refers to the ability to honor our own principles.
  • Respect for culture: This type of value refers to the ability to recognize that other beliefs exist and to be able to respect them. Some examples of this type of respect would be; avoiding trying to impose our beliefs on others, avoiding making judgments about the opinions of others, etc.
  • Respect for national symbols: This type of respect refers to the ability to value and appreciate the symbols of a nation. For example, your anthem or flag.