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If you want people to respect you, say goodbye to these 18 behaviors

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1. Being rude to others: it hardly needs to be said, but if you are rude to someone, they will lose all respect for you. And, just as importantly, so will anyone who witnesses your offensive behavior.

2. Being superficial: although style is subjective, if you come across as caring too much about your appearance or status, it’s not a good look. Likewise, if you only ever talk about surface-level things and post a selfie every hour on social media, you might get labeled as shallow.

3. Being overly negative: it’s exhausting to be around someone who complains all the time or has a seriously pessimistic outlook on life. What’s more, it makes you come across as defeatist, as though you are the victim in every situation.

4. People pleasing: while it is a good thing to want to help others and show kindness, when you stray into people-pleasing territory, you risk coming across as weak, needy, and indecisive. People respect those who speak up and stand up for themselves.

5. Bragging: it’s okay to take pride in yourself, but if you base your entire identity around what you have done (e.g. achievements or accolades) or what you have got (e.g. wealth or material possessions) then you’ll be seen as arrogant and self-important.

6. Playing down your achievements: humility and modesty are admirable qualities, but they can be taken too far. If you refuse to accept praise or put everything down to luck or the efforts of others, other people will soon believe you and lose respect for you.

7. Lacking follow-through: your word is your bond, so when you don’t do something you say you’ll do, it breaks the trust others have in you. And when a person can’t trust you, they probably won’t respect you either.

8. Shifting the blame: everyone makes mistakes, but if you can’t admit to yours, it reflects poorly on your character. If you seek to blame others instead of taking responsibility for your actions, why should anyone take you seriously?

9. Talking badly about people behind their backs: while it is somewhat common to talk about people who are not present, if the tone of that conversation is entirely negative, those you are talking to might feel uncomfortable, and they might wonder if you talk this way about them too.

10. Being inflexible: if it’s your way or the highway, other people might not want to walk the path with you. If you must have the final say on what you do or how things get done, you suppress the ideas or wishes of others and deprive them of freedom of choice.

11. Talking about yourself all the time: good conversations are two-way streets where everyone gets to express themselves. So, if you hog the limelight by talking about yourself the entire time, other people won’t feel heard or respected by you, and they will lose respect for you in return.

12. Being a know-it-all: it’s one thing to have confidence in your knowledge and something else entirely to push that knowledge onto others who might not have asked for it. What’s more, your knowledge is incomplete but if you assert that you know something for certain when in fact you are wrong or the thing in question is subjective, all you do is alienate people.

13. Making “jokes” at the expense of others: few things are as awkward as watching someone being singled out and made the butt of the joke. If you’re the person doing it, you’ll gain precisely zero respect and lose all credibility in the process. Oh, and self-deprecating humor kinda has the same effect.

14. Blindly following others: if someone says “they told me to do it,” that is minus 100 respect points right there. If you don’t have the conviction to make your own decisions but instead follow what other people are doing or saying, you might be seen as weak or morally fickle.

15. Using others: asking for and receiving the help of others is absolutely acceptable—it should be encouraged, even. But if all you do is take take take without so much as a word of gratitude and with no intention of repaying the favor, people will quickly stop wanting to lend a hand.

16. Turning up late every time: punctuality is a mark of respect for the other person, so when you are always running a little (or a lot!) behind schedule, it shows a lack of respect for them. And you know what, when that person feels disrespected, they lose respect for you.

17. Invalidating the feelings of others: perhaps you think “it’s not that bad” or “you’re overreacting” are acceptable phrases to use. You’d be wrong. If you say these sorts of things or do anything else that makes a person think what they are feeling is somehow wrong, they’ll probably avoid you altogether in future.

18. Being unreliable: if you’re a fair-weather friend who only sticks around when things are just peachy, you might find yourself being culled from many a party invitation list. By disappearing when someone truly needs you, you’re proving how flaky you are and how you can’t be depended upon.

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