Personal Growth

How to be respectful to others – 9 Ways to Show Respect

Respect is something that is earned over a lifetime, but we can’y expect to earn respect if we don’t show it to other people in our lives. Displaying respectable behaviour towards other people in our life allows us to build a healthy relationship with them.

But how can we show respect to others in our life? We’re going to look at some key ways to show respect to other people in your life.

Why is Giving Respect Important?

Respect is integral to any healthy, functioning society. It underpins our interactions, our relationships, and the way we function together as a community. There are a few reasons why giving respect is important:

1. Establishes Effective Communication: Respect ensures that each party in a conversation feels heard and understood. It makes room for clear, open, and productive dialogue. By showing respect, we signal that we value the other person’s perspective, even if we disagree.

2. Promotes Equality: Respect is a fundamental way of acknowledging the inherent dignity and worth of every individual. It serves as a cornerstone of equality, helping to reduce biases, prejudices, and discrimination.

3. Creates a Positive Environment: Respectful interactions foster a positive and peaceful atmosphere. It encourages kindness, consideration, and good manners, leading to a more supportive and harmonious environment.

4. Fosters Trust: When people feel respected, they are more likely to trust and open up. This trust forms the basis of strong relationships, whether personal, professional, or communal.

5. Encourages Learning and Growth: Respect allows us to be more open-minded and receptive to new ideas. By respecting others, we acknowledge that we have something to learn from everyone we meet, leading to personal growth and development.

6. Builds Self-Esteem: When we respect others, we are more likely to be respected in return. This mutual respect can help boost our self-esteem and confidence.

7. Teaches Tolerance: Respecting others despite our differences teaches us tolerance. It helps us learn to accept and celebrate our differences, instead of letting them divide us.

8. Mitigates Conflict: Respect is a critical factor in preventing and resolving conflicts. By treating each other with respect, we can express our disagreements in a way that doesn’t escalate into conflict.

Giving respect is about acknowledging and valuing the feelings, thoughts, experiences, and inherent dignity of others. It’s a fundamental part of treating others as we would like to be treated, fostering empathy, and building stronger, more compassionate societies.

Now let’s look at how you can show more respect for people when you meet them and lay down the foundations of a positive relationship.

How to be respectful for others – Different ways to show respect

Listen with intent

When someone is talking to you, it’s important that we listen to them. Paying attention to someone when they’re talking is basic manners across the world, but sometimes people forget to do so.

Whether they’re playing on their phone or they’re daydreaming about something else, it’s easy to feel disrespected when someone doesn’t listen to what you’re saying.

So when others speak, it’s good to listen with intent and let them know that you appreciate what they’re saying, even if you may disagree with them.

Speak in a calm tone

Even though this seems like a small detail, your voice is able to influence the direction that your conversation is going in. If you speak loudly, then this may indicate that you’re angry, or emotional about something.

And in the same way, speaking in a calm tone lets other people know that you have a degree of respect for them. Respect plays a massive part in the conversations that we have with one another, and as human beings, it’s important to consider the tone we speak in too.

Seek to Understand Others

When you have an argument with someone, it’s easy to get defensive about your own opinions. However, what we should try and do is try and understand what other people’s opinions are, even if we disagree with them.

Learning about the perspective of others is important to understand the way that other people see things. It can make us into a more respectful person that embraces the identity of others, as opposed to arguing with them.

Apologize when you mess up

We all make mistakes. This is an inevitability of human life, and there’s not a perfect soul on the Earth that can tell you they’ve never messed up. However, when you do make a mistake, it shows respect for the other person if you apologize sincerely for what you’ve said.

This is both respectful behavior for the other person, but also a form of self respect for yourself too. Showing respect for other people is for them, but it’s also for you too.

Don’t break your promises

Keeping promises is another way of showing respect towards others. Once broken, it’s very difficult to regain someone’s trust. A promise shows someone that you’re dedicated to fulfilling a certain task, and if you fail to do so, it can feel disrespectful.

Breaking these promises could result in people losing confidence in you over time, and eventually it can turn healthy relationships into unhealthy ones. So when you make a promise, be sure to follow through with it.

Be respectful of the feelings of others

Sometimes, it is easy to become lost in our own troubles and frustrations. And when this happens, we forget to think about the feelings of others, thinking only about ourselves and how we’ve been wronged in a situation. When this happens, it’s easy to upset someone.

Feelings are extremely sensitive, so it’s not possible to go through life without hurting other’s feelings at all. However, when you can, be sure to try and not hurt the feelings of others.

Respect other people’s time

Time and respect are an essential commodity, and we need to spend our time wisely, as it’s the one thing in life that we’ll never get back. This is why respecting people’s time is important, and there’s no way to get a refund once it’s spent.

Respecting someone’s time means that you don’t show up late for meetings, and when they’re taking the time out of their day to spend it with you, make sure you focus on them.

Give people the benefit of the doubt

One thing that can really help when it comes to showing respect over a longer period of time is giving people the benefit of the doubt. Even if something they’ve said is potentially wrong, it can be a good idea to assume it’s been said with positive intent.

And if you do think something they’ve said is offensive, always be respectful. If you challenge someone coming from a place of respect, you’re much less likely to end up in a debate.

Respect other cultures and customs

As society becomes more diverse, our cultures and traditions are gaining more importance to us than ever. Many people don’t want to lose their sense of identity, which is wrapped up in the culture that we were all raised in.

To a certain degree, it’s human nature to be proud of who you are and where you come from. So, if you expect people to respect your culture, it’s important that you respect theirs too.

Examples of Showing Respect to Others In Different Cultures

Respect is universally important, but the ways it’s expressed can vary greatly from culture to culture. Showing respect is different depending on the country you’re from – here’s a few of the most well known differences you may experience across the world.

1. Japan: In Japanese culture, bowing is a significant sign of respect. The depth and duration of a bow can depend on the situation and the status of the people involved. Additionally, respecting hierarchy and seniority is very important, often reflected in language usage and workplace dynamics.

2. India: In India, it’s common to greet elders or respected individuals by folding your hands together (in a gesture called “Namaste”) and slightly bowing your head. It’s also customary to touch the feet of elders as a sign of respect.

3. Native American Cultures: Many Native American cultures value silence and thoughtful communication. Interrupting is seen as disrespectful. Additionally, some tribes consider direct eye contact as impolite or aggressive.

4. Middle East: In many Middle Eastern cultures, it’s respectful to use your right hand for eating, greeting, and giving or receiving items, as the left hand is considered unclean. Also, showing the soles of your shoes or feet can be seen as a sign of disrespect.

5. Maori in New Zealand: The Hongi, a traditional Māori greeting, involves pressing noses and foreheads together. It’s a sign of respect and shared life breath. Respecting elders and ancestors is also deeply ingrained in their culture.

6. China: Respect for elders and ancestors is very important in Chinese culture. During the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), younger members of the family traditionally greet their elders with a deep bow.

7. Africa: In many African cultures, elders are highly respected. Younger individuals might kneel, lower their head, or avoid direct eye contact to show respect. In some regions, it’s also considered polite to accept items with both hands.

8. Korea: Koreans show respect to elders and superiors through their language, using honorific titles and speech levels. They also bow to each other during greetings, with deeper bows for those of higher status or age.

9. Latin America: Respect (or “respeto”) in many Latin cultures is often tied to social status, age, and gender. Direct eye contact can be a sign of respect and attentiveness.

These are only a few examples and it’s important to note that even within these regions, there can be significant cultural differences. Always remember to be observant and considerate of the cultural norms and customs of the people you’re interacting with.


Unfortunately, there are some people that go through life without respecting others. The truth is that disrespectful behavior is still common, and starting a relationship off with initial disrespect in a bad way to start a relationship.

So, try to show as much respect to others as you can if you want to ensure to give the other person a sense of trust in you, and yourself if you want to maintain self respect.