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Earning respect or demanding respect

People want to be respected. There is nobody who will say he/she would love to be disrespected. Respect is a need everybody enjoys, irrespective of age or position in the work place.
There are three ways respect can be gotten. It can either be earned or forcefully demanded or bought with money by way of gifts. But today, we are dealing with the first two.

To demand respect is to forcefully ask people to respect you. People who demand respect employ the use of age, experience, position, money, social status, educational achievements and material achievements, among others.

The best way to get people’s respect is to earn it with your behaviour, your personal values, your simplicity, your meekness, your kindness, your love for people, your respect for everyone, your humility, your character and your crisis/conflict resolution skills, among others.

If you want to be respected, you have to first of all learn to respect those people who you want to respect you.
The moment you begin to tell people to respect you, you have lost your respect or you are losing it without your knowing. Once many people start losing their respect, their only way of getting it back is to forcefully demand it by telling people “you must respect me.”

The moment you begin to tell your child “you must respect me,” you have lost your respect. You don’t demand respect from people; you honourably earn it. As a manager or senior in your work place or as a result of your age and position within the family, if you demand respect from people below you, will they still respect you from their hearts, if you are out of that position or will they respect you as a family elder, when you are not present?
How do you know you are demanding respect? The following are some of the ways to know whether you are among those who forcefully demand respect. Do you say:
• Don’t you know I am older than you?
• What do you have?
• Who do you know?
• What do you know?
• Who are you?
• Who do you think you are?
• Do you know who I am?
• Who are your parents?
• Where have you been to?
• I am the head of this house.
• You are not my mate.
• You must know that I am the boss.

When you use any of the above or other expressions, then you should be careful because you are treading on the path of threats and pride to get respect from people.

If you truly deserve to be respected, you will definitely get it rightfully without having to tell people your age or your position. True respect is naturally earned. Do not use your position or age or material wealth or marital status to threaten people to respect you. This is what some people are fond of doing. They use money, position, and other forms of power to force or threaten people to respect them.

The secret to earning respect is to treat people well and respect them, irrespective of their age or position in the work place. Be humble, no matter how highly placed you are. Be simple to all, no matter the amount of money you have.

If you do not earn respect and you forcefully want to get it by demanding it, people will secretly disrespect you, while they openly pretend to respect you. With this, you are making a mockery of yourself.

Respect people and respect yourself and you will see that people will naturally respect you. Treat everyone with respect, young or old, senior or junior, elder or younger. Love you.

By Bishop Charles Ighele

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