In high school, and later in life, it's important to know how to earn the respect of your peers. Having your peers' respect comes in handy in situations from group projects to dealing with wildfire rumors. If you're struggling to earn the respect of your peers, keep in mind these simple tips to make that a much easier task!
1. Be Confident
Confidence is key if you want to earn the respect of your peers. A meek, shy girl in the back of class is seldom respected by her peers. While there’s nothing wrong with having a shy personality, you should aim to be confident if you demand respect. You should be confident when you ask and answer questions in class, as well as when you assert your opinions. This will show people that you mean business. That being said, confidence shouldn’t be confused with arrogance, which will not help you earn respect.
2. Be Extraordinary
High school is all about standing out, and striving to be extraordinary. It isn’t the wallflowers who are revered throughout campus, but the extraordinary scholars, athletes, leaders, and musicians. You should try to find something you’re talented at and pursue it passionately. Everyone has a different skill set, but once you discover yours, it’s easy to rise to the top! And once you’ve established that you’re an exemplary student, others will naturally respect you.
3. Be Well-informed
I find it difficult to respect ignorant people. When someone is ill-informed on a topic, but stands upon a soap box preaching about it relentlessly, all I do is ignore them. To earn people’s respect, you’ve got to “know your stuff” and prove that you’re well-informed. When you can support your opinions with facts and examples from current or historical events, people will step back and reevaluate you. Once they can form a clearer picture of you, they’re bound to respect you!
4. Be Tolerant
Tolerance is increasingly important in our society, where different cultures mix and mash together everywhere! It’s a beautiful situation we have in the modern world, yet some people remain to be resistant and are intolerant because of that. But respectable people must be tolerant of others, especially in high school. You probably attend a school with much diversity, where you’ll need the respect of people from all different walks of life! And no one will want to respect you unless you’re tolerant of them first.
5. Follow the Golden Rule
Hopefully you’ve heard this rule since kindergarten, but many of us don’t keep it in mind as much as we should. The rule “treat others the way you want to be treated” must be followed if you want to earn your peers’ respect. When you treat others with the dignity and respect they deserve, they’ll likely return it to you. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case always, but you’re certainly more likely to gain respect when you follow the golden rule.
6. Honor Your Promises
If there’s anything I can’t stand it’s when people break promises. When you give your word, people expect you to keep it. But, as the demand for good character and nobility lessens in modern society, so does the tendency for people to honor their promises. We don't live in a world of knights and lords any more, where a person's word was his or her life, but people who are respected in high school are still expected to keep the promises they make. I don’t know how I could respect someone who lies to my face, do you? So in order to gain the respect of your peers, you must first learn to honor your commitments.
7. Set an Example
Teenagers need a role model. Whether they know it or not, they’re always seeking someone to look up to. Unfortunately, not every teenager has a mom or dad who’s a shining example of what they want to be. That’s where you step in! If you set an example for your peers, they won’t be able to help but respect you! I have many friends who I look up to, because they are always that much more successful than I am. But I’m not jealous of them, instead I respect them! And your peers will respect you too when you become their role model.
We all want to be respected; no one likes the feeling of being pushed around or ignored. If you’ve been struggling to earn the respect of your peers, I hope following these tips helps! What other effective methods have you used to earn the respect of your peers?