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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Edge, LPC

10 Benefits of Respecting Others and How to Respect Others Online

Updated: Jun 14


Respect is a character trait most of us desire from others. We want our kids to respect us. We want to be respected at work. We want to be respected with our peers and in the community. It feels good when we are respected.


But what happens when we show respect to others?


When we focus our attention on respecting others rather than getting respect, positive things happen. Here are 10 benefits or reasons to respect others.


1. Reduces Stress and Tension


What happens when there is tension in a relationship? Stress increases. We can help reduce our stress by working to improve the relationships around us. And showing respect helps build relationships and reduce stress.


We can respect others by showing kindness, expressing empathy, validating feelings, and understanding perspectives. When we communicate to another, “I think you are valuable,” we show respect. This action helps dissipate tension in relationships, thus reducing stress. If there is tension in your relationships, show respect and see what happens for the relationship and for you.


Even if we do not like someone or disagree with their opinion, we can still show respect. Online, we can recognize another’s perspective while objectively stating ours. It’s natural to get heated when we are online and read or see something outlandish and goes against our values. The last thing we want to do is respect others in that situation. But our stress actually increases when we respond with anger and vitriol. Reduce your blood pressure and stress by showing respect in-person and online.

 

2. Enhances Relationships


Let’s say your child has a few friends at school but you don’t really know them or their parents. You’ve met at a few school functions but never really got to know them. Showing respect can help enhance relationships even in a short amount of time.


We can show respect and enhance relationships by…


  • Remembering and saying their name in conversations

  • Meet them close to eye level (if they are sitting and we are standing, sit next to them rather than standing looking down at them)

  • Look at them when they are speaking to show you’re listening and interested

  • Engage in an appropriate level of positive physical touch (i.e. shaking hands, quick hug, or fist bump)


We can also enhance our online relationships through showing respect. Yes, online relationships lack the benefits of body language and (if we interact through text) tone of voice.


What we say matters.


When we respond to messages within 24 hours, are clear with our thoughts and feelings, and respond with kindness, we show respect online which will enhance relationships.

 

3. Helps With Professional Connections            


It’s often said: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Showing respect can help with knowing more people professionally. Showing respect in the workforce is easy when we do the following.


  • Show interest in their work

  • Be curious and learn about what they do

  • Encourage and praise their accomplishments

  • Integrate voice inflection and raised eye brows to communicate interest in what they do


Many are very proud of their work and what they do. When we show interest in someone’s work, we are showing we respect them and their contributions to the world.


This helps build relationships and others will want to do business with you.

 

We can build relationships online through how we respond to emails, Slack messages, and video calls. When we respond to emails in a timely manner, have an intelligent response, and solve problems, we show respect to those we work with.

 

4. Improves Workplace Morale


Respecting others in the workplace can increases worker’s mood and performance and in turn benefit the company.


If you are the boss, respecting your employees is one of the most desirable behaviors of a leader.


If you’re not the boss, showing respect to others can have a positive ripple effect. Others around you will see how you act and be influenced to do the same. Especially when there are positive outcomes.


What we do impacts those around us.  When we show civility, kindness, and respect towards others we gain from the positive environment. If we are mean, critical, short, or condescending we will be contributing to a negative work environment and morale. But, if we are intentional about respecting others, we will reap the rewards of a positive environment we helped create.


You can see the benefits of improving workplace morale through our online interactions too. Responding to group email in a professional manor set’s a positive president to those in the group. Not doing multiple things on different tabs during a Zoom meeting but focusing all your attention on the call sets a positive bar and standard of respectful work etiquette. 

 

5. Improves Relationships with Our Kids


Work is not the only environment that can improve with respect. Communicating to our kids we respect their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors works to improve our relationship with them. We can show respect to our kids in the following ways.


  • Let them do for themselves age-appropriate tasks

    • For an elementary schooler, let them get themselves dressed in the morning

    • For a middle schooler, let them get up by themselves in the morning using an alarm clock

    • For a high schooler, let them be responsible for keeping up with all school assignments and grades

  • During a conversation, listen to them and summarize what you heard them say

  • Show support financially and with your time to the activities your child values

  • Allow them to discuss their views on the world even if they are different than yours


Showing respect to our kids does not mean they make the rules and they can do or say whatever they want.


It’s our job as parents to give them space to feel heard but also communicate and uphold the family’s rules and expectations. Doing so shows respect to our kids and the family system which benefits yourself and everyone in the home.


With devices, we can show our kids respect by giving them opportunities to make good choices online.


In general, if we give our child a device, we should be able to trust them with that tool.


We can respect them through giving them privacy in their conversations online and how they play a video game. If our child has not shown they are trustworthy with a device then I think more parental oversight might be needed. Help empower your kids by showing respect to what they like and are naturally drawn to online.

 

6. Good Modeling for Our Kids


Another benefit for respecting others is to model appropriate behavior to our kids. How we act and treat others will increase the likelihood our kids will act the same way. Our kids pick up on everything we do and when we have respectful attitudes, conversations, or interactions towards others, they will notice.


Here are practical ways to show respect on and offline around your kids.


  • When talking with someone in-person, put your phone out of sight to give the person your full attention

  • When we see something we don’t agree with online, try not to put down the person or group but communicate they have a different perspective on that topic than you

  • Be kind in your interactions with those around you in the community like people at the grocery store, restaurants, and gym

  • Liking and commenting on ideas, causes, and movements you agree with


If we want our kids to be respectful, they have to see how it’s done.


We can also communicate we respect ourself and our personal health by managing our screen use. By putting the phone away at night and getting 8+ hours of sleep, spending time with friends outside after a few hours of gaming, and prioritizing work and productivity prior to online entertainment communicates to our kids we respect our health and wellbeing.

 

7. Strengthens Marriages


One of the most desirable characteristics in a marriage is respect. Experts agree that respect is essential in a healthy marriage such as Dr. Emerson Eggerichs in his New York Times Bestseller “Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs” and Dr. John Gottman from “The Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work” under Principle 2: Nurture your fondness and admiration.


When we respect our partners, they feel understood, safe, connected, empowered, and secure. Here are some specific ways we can show respect in our marriages.


  • Ask about our spouse’s day and reflect back what you hear them say

  • Give our spouse our full attention with our eyes and body language when talking

  • Do something kind that will speak to your spouse’s Love Language

  • Value your spouse’s opinion and express that to them

  • Encourage and praise your spouse’s hard work and accomplishments

  • Validate spouse’s feelings, worries, and ideas

  • Plan date nights and do something different and/or unique

 

Prioritizing respect in our marriages does wonders for us personally. Our overall happiness increases and stress reduces when we are in a healthy, positive marriage.


Marriages improve when respect is a daily ingredient in the relationship stew.


You can also show respect to your spouse online through thoughtful messages. Send flowers or small gift to your spouse through ProFlowers.com or Amazon. Send a fun emoji of how your thinking about your spouse. When we utilize the tool of technology to show respect to our spouse, our marriage improves.


8. Spreads Kindness


How do you feel when someone shows you kindness? It’s probably a positive experience resulting in feeling connected, valued, and respected. Kindness is a version of respect. When we spread kindness, we spread respect.


Here are a few ways we can practically show respect to others.


  • Use manors by saying “Please” and “Thank you”

  • When driving, slow down to let someone in

  • Ask, “How is you doing?” to the grocery store cashier

  • Pay for the order behind you in a drive-thru


We can spread kindness with our words and actions. It’s easy to be kind to those who are kind to us like our friends and family. But what would it look like to be kind to those we don’t like or don’t agree with? How can we show kindness and respect to those with a different religious belief? What about saying kind things to our Democratic neighbor when we are strong Republicans?



Spreading kindness can be especially difficult to do online. With many different viewpoints online, it can be easy to criticize those who we don’t agree with. However, when we are the source of positive interactions, online and in-person, we can impact many more than just the individual whom we are kind to. Others will see this and potentially be inspired to do the same. Notice what happens to those around you and yourself when you are kind this week.

 

9. Increases Joy


Physical acts like eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep has a direct positive impact on our physical and neurological health. Showing kindness, serving and respecting others has a direct positive impact on our internal health and increases joy.


The positive outcomes of respecting others results in improved joy. Joy is not as fleeting as happiness which is dictated by situations and fluctuating feelings. Joy is a constant which provides the user with peace and stability. Even when life sucks, joy keeps us going. And respecting others can continue to build joy for us by seeing the positive results of it.


10. Helps Be a Good Person


We all want to be a “good person.” We work hard to be a good person through work, family, and personally. When we respect others, we continue that progression of being good people. Someone who adds value to their community and who people want to be around.


Imagine if most of the people you interact with on a daily basis were respectful to you.


How awesome would that be?! How would that impact you? We can not make others respect us. But we can do our best to respect others. The results of respecting others will positively impact them and ourselves.

 

*BONUS* We Get to Know Their Parent's Name


Growing up, I made it a point to say "Yes ma'am" or "Yes sir" when talking with anyone older than me. I did this with the intent to show respect but the outcome was pretty funny. Many time, the person would respond with, "Oh no, that is my mother's name. I'm Sandra."


If you are a teenager or younger, a fun experiment is to say "Yes ma'am" or "Yes sir" to those older than you and see their reaction!



In most of my counseling sessions, I like to give homework or things my clients can practice to improve their health and wellbeing. When I give homework I often encourage them to objectively notice how this action or practice impacts them. Don’t judge the result as good or bad, just notice what happens when you implement the strategy or skill.

 

My challenge for you is to objectively notice how respecting others impacts you. Be respectful to strangers. Be respectful to friends. Be respectful to yourself. And notice what that does to you and others.

 

If you want to work with a professional counselor at Escapingthe.com, reach out to us at 214-433-2721 or contact us below.



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