Watching people around you in everyday life is like peering into a continually-running documentary on human behaviour.
It’s fascinating how simple behaviour shifts can profoundly influence how others perceive us.
Taking an interest in this may seem superficial, but many can struggle unnecessarily without at least a basic awareness of the signals we transmit.
Let’s take a look at a few:
Respectable people aren’t in a hurry.
If they were, something in their life is out of whack.
You may hurry in an emergency, and that’s fine, but if this becomes your normal, this signals to others, and yourself, that you’re out of control. You need not be rushed.
You know that you’re far more efficient when you move at the speed of life.
You are comfortable in your being able to handle what life throws at you with a relaxed sense of ownership.
This is happening at a seemingly increasing rate in the modern, distracted age.
It is frustrating if someone is speaking to you and you can’t wait to interject with your opinion as they’re talking.
Yet this appears to be tolerated by many. The speaker might allow you to trample all over their comments, but deep down, they don’t respect you for this.
Let others finish their thought, and be ok with some silences in a conversation. Cutting in plainly demonstrates you lack faith in your own words.
Because we are continually compelled to prove ourselves, rather than relaxing and giving the other space, which is a leadership move.
3. Buckling on stance.
There’s nothing wrong with occasionally changing your mind and allowing your viewpoints to shift.
If you are willing to admit you got something wrong and that a change of mind was warranted — even better.
But you will lose respect if your opinions or decisions are quickly and repeatedly swayed by others.
If you’re quick to agree and nod along without pause, this signals weakness and a lack of faith in your own views.
People are surprisingly accommodating to even the most controversial opinions or decisions when you state what you mean, don’t apologise, and boldly commit to what you said.
There’s a difference between arguing and engaging in healthy debate on a topic — albeit subtle.
Arguing reflects a need to prove oneself, with an approach that is combative and lacking in a willingness to listen to the opposing view.
Discussion or debate comes from a healthier state, demonstrating a clear interest and openness to the opposite view.
Arguments are like two bulls locking horns, and respectable people know to avoid these.
Stepping into the ring instantly lowers yourself because it is unconscious and undermines your peace.
Discuss calmly, or keep quiet — don’t argue.
If you’re moaning, I’m not interested. Plain and simple.
You may be interested if one is sharing details about a potentially solvable problem.
Judging something as an issue and raising awareness about it is not an unnecessary complaint.
Whining about something you can’t change is, and it lowers respect for you. Why?
Because if something can’t be changed, your bringing it up pollutes the vibe with a heaviness that could have been avoided.
Lift others up. Give us solutions; don’t moan about what’s wrong with everything.
6. Showing little interest in others.
There’s a balance between being overly and forcefully interested in others.
But respect will fade if people hear about you more than you’re asking about them.
True leaders are at least curious about those they are with — not because they are feigning niceness to be liked. It’s about developing consciousness about those around them. It’s about learning.
It’s always a win-win, and if all people hear is you you you, you lose them.
7. Devaluing your time.
If you’re quick to drop everything to help others, you might be pleasing, but what else does it say about you?
Pleasing others is not the same as maintaining self-respect. This is a hard lesson for many to learn.
We all grew up knowing the rewards of pleasing parents and teachers. This doesn’t apply in the adult world.
Pleasing others at the expense of your integrity and freedom is not empowering. Instead, honour yourself first.
If you do decide to help others, make sure you both gain in the process: i.e. you do it out of a genuine desire to help, not to impress.
8. Being a buzzkill.
Blocking yourself off from light-heartedness pushes people away.
Again, there are nuances to this, and often, when the situation warrants it, being aggressive and assertive can be empowering and uplifting.
But when we take things too seriously, we show that we can’t be flexible.
We all have the power to change our perspective to become more resourceful.
This is vital if you intend to inspire people around you.