Health Advocate Blog

Relearn respect

To respect someone means that you accept them for who they are and treat them kindly, even if they are different from you or have beliefs you don’t agree with. We live, work, and learn among diverse social groups, and respecting others is important for everyone’s well-being. These tips can help you be more respectful toward others.

Accept people as they are without trying to change them. Appreciate the person’s differences and see what you can learn from them.

Value other people’s opinions, views, and beliefs. Do this even though they may differ from your own.

Be polite. There are many ways you can show respect by being polite, including saying please and thank you, following through on your commitments to others, being on time for engagements, and not promising what you can’t complete.

Maintain eye contact and listen fully when someone is speaking. Avoid looking at your phone or at other distractions. Do not interrupt or plan what you’re going to say next. Try to fully understand their perspective.

Think before you speak. It’s easy to say things we don’t intend to when we rush to answer or add our opinion. It’s impossible to take things back once they’re said. Before responding, count to 10 to gather your thoughts.

Try not to interrupt. Truly listen and give the other person the attention you would like to have.

Use “I’ statements to express your views and avoid blaming the other person or “side.”

Limit strong conversations in interactions where heated debate can lead to unnecessary conflicts. Whether you’re with family, friends, or coworkers, if you know a topic may cause tension, try to avoid it. If someone else brings it up, it’s best to give a polite reply, and change the subject or leave the discussion.

Finally, follow the number one rule of respect: Treat others the way you would want to be treated.