Defining masculinity is difficult. It is many different things to many different people, but for a lot of guys, masculinity has a foundation in an innate desire for respect. It is why so many blogs and men’s self-improvement articles center around generating an aura of confidence that commands leadership. That doesn’t mean women can’t be leaders, that doesn’t mean women don’t deserve respect, it just means that for a lot of guys there is an important in being perceived as an alpha male. Traditionally, women seek love and men seek respect. There’s an entire book on it…I read it.
There’s this common misconception that being an “alpha” male requires being a “bad boy” and there’s another idea that there’s only room for a few alpha males and that the rest submit to their leadership. The reality is, demanding respect doesn’t necessitate being a “bad boy” and demanding respect has nothing to do with a pecking order in any group. At the most basic level, presenting yourself confidently is synonymous with an alpha personality and insecurity plays into a beta personality.
You don’t need to be the most muscular guy in the room.
You don’t need to be 6′-2″ tall.
You don’t have to make six figures.
You don’t have to have a fancy car.
You don’t even have to be extroverted.
You don’t have to have any of those prerequisites. You just have to present yourself as someone that is confident in himself.
Keep in mind, becoming well respected isn’t something that just happens overnight. You don’t just read this article and apply these tips and suddenly receive respect from people. You’re going to have to earn it and it is going to throw people off at first.
You don’t just lift weights and suddenly build massive muscles over the course of a week. Your presentation to change people’s perception occurs over time.
That said, here are a few ways to start building a more respected rapport.
Be Happy With The Man in the Mirror
Who better to first respect you than yourself? I can assure you if you’re not respecting who you are than there is little reason for anyone else to do the same.
I’m weak. I can’t do this. I’m not going to make it. She’s out of my league. I’m scared to ask for a raise. My hairline is horrendous. I’m unlovable.
All of those things are unsubstantiated negativity. That doesn’t mean we can’t critique ourselves, you just have to be happy with who you are at any given moment and part of that is being happy that you are improving things you want to improve.
If you want larger muscles, go work for them. If you want to lose a few pounds, set that as a goal. If you’ve got some acne, go talk to a dermatologist.
Recognizing the things you can improve (and applying effort to improve them) while accepting the things you can’t is part of coming to terms and being happy with who you are. But if all you do is view yourself in a negative light, you’re impacting the ability for others to see you in a positive one.
Embrace the Golden Rule
Treat others how you want to be treated. Simple enough and while second on the list probably stands to be the main contributor to becoming respected.
Being feared is not the same as being respected.
If you’re going around treating employees like shit, they might be giving you the impression of respect by following your directions, but they are talking behind your back. That isn’t being respected, that’s you exploiting your power…asshole.
If you’re cheating on your girlfriend and she keeps finding out but never leaves you, she is battling herself to stay. That isn’t respect – that’s you destroying her self-esteem…asshole.
If the people around you always do what you want because you reject everyone else’s ideas leaving only yours as the options. That isn’t respect, it’s oppressive…asshole.
If you beat your girl and tell her she’s worthless and she still treats you like a king, she’s crying when you leave and wishing she could figure out how to leave you. That isn’t respect, that’s fear keeping her around and you should be rotting in prison…oh, and you’re an asshole.
Being in a position of leadership where people are respecting you out of obligations isn’t earned respect. Showing respect to those in positions of leadership does and respecting those you’re in the position of leading does, too.
Listen, respecting someone in a position of leadership is not about bending over and sucking up. You aren’t gaining their respect, you’re gaining their enslavement and most of all, you aren’t creating a connection of respect from your colleagues if you’re the “teacher’s pet”. Remember rule one is to respect yourself, so don’t just go with the flow of whatever leaders want to shove down your throat.
Listen, you can respect yourself and be happy in the mirror with who you are, you can even treat other people with respect in the social circles you’re seeking it, but if you don’t extend those same actions out to everyone, people will realize you aren’t authentic with everyone.
At some point, if you don’t maintain your authenticity you’ll get called out on it.
People want to respect people they can put their trust in and if they start to build that trust only to hear from other sources a perspective of you that is different, then you have a problem. This is also why it takes so long to develop respect because preconceived ideas about who you are will need to be challenged if you have already done things that paint you in a particular way to certain people.
Take Some Fucking Risks
Do you know what demands respect? People that are ambitious, that have dreams they go after and don’t just swim in a sea of self-pity and doubt.
That girl you think is out of your league could be one chat away from being your next girlfriend. Maybe she will or maybe she won’t, but it is fucking respectable to walk up and say “hello”.
The business that left you bankrupt because you put everything you had into it might make you feel worthless. You tried. You took a risk and that’s fucking respectable.
The job you think you don’t have enough experience for is only one interview away from finding out if that’s the case. Whether you get it or not, you shoot your Goddamn shot because that’s what a respectable person that believes in themselves does.
The business plan that sits on your shelf…you should go talk to someone and see how to get it started.
You don’t become respected by being a “someday” type of person.
Make that “someday” be today.
Respect is action. Respect is earned from doing things that garner respect. It is walking into a room and knowing people can say “that’s the guy that had the balls to ask out Veronica”, “that’s the guy that went and interviewed at Google”, or that’s “the guy that is working on starting a small business”.
Have goals and go after those goals.
I once heard the sexiest thing a man can have is a little black book on his nightstand filled with goals and aspirations instead of names of girls he’s screwed.
If you’re driven to add value to this world, you’re driven to be respected.
Give Fewer Shits
It seems hypocritical to jump from being super ambitious and driven to not giving a shit, but it’s also that mindset that sets your priorities straight on the things and people that truly matter.
Here’s the thing, you are NOT going to be respected by everyone. Hold onto your personal values and give less of a shit to those that don’t deserve it.
This is the pinnacle point of loving yourself, respecting those that matter, and being driven about your passion because:
- If you’re passionate about certain political values, you cannot undermine those values by trying to downplay their importance to you just to avoid offending someone else.
- If you’re wanting to be a successful business owner, you’re going to have to make challenging decisions that often require a little less empathy toward other people’s situations. You aren’t gaining Jane’s respect by not firing Jane because she is a single mom when she is an absolutely worthless employee providing zero value to the company.
- If you want to start a small business, you’re going to have to start caring less about the risks. Accept them, mitigate them, and work to eliminate them, but give less shit about what could go wrong and more about what could go right.
- If you want to ask that girl out, give less of a shit about what might happen if she says no.
- If you want to lift weights, give fewer shits about you being the weakest guy in the room – we all start somewhere.
Giving fewer shits isn’t really about caring less, it’s really about prioritizing how you care more. It is about putting a priority on being passionate about some things and not getting your nuts all tied up over the things that will hold you back. It’s about doing more to make yourself and the people that matter to you happy and not trying to just make everyone happy.
Newsflash! You can’t, so why overexert the effort in trying?
Accept you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Not everyone will like your crude sense of humor. Not everyone will like your political rants. Not everyone will share your opinions on abortion. Trying to live in the middle ground that doesn’t disagree with anyone and attempts to appease everyone isn’t building respect for anyone. You don’t have to offend people to disagree with them, but you also don’t have to give a shit whether they agree, support, or like you because you have different views.
Persistence Is The Key
It is a daily investment to wake up every morning and be happy with who you are, driven to succeed even on a Monday, and shake hands with people you don’t particularly agree with.
There’s this saying that winning is about who shows up and wants it more. Except, you can’t just show up on gameday and guarantee a win because you wanted it more that day. You have to want it more in the gym, you have to want it more on the practice field, you have to want it more watching film, and you have to want it more when you make smart decisions off the field.
Being respected is no different. You don’t just walk into a club Friday night wanting to be respected more and have it happen. You have to want to live the idea of being a respected person at work, with the waiter, at home in the mirror, on Tinder, and in every decision you make in order for it to become a way of life that you carry into the club.
At the end of the day, being respected is about doing the right thing for yourself and for others. Make that a persistent part of your life and people will take notice.
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