Respect must be Earned & Renewed

masculinity Aug 12, 2023
Respect must be Earned & Renewed

In our modern society, there's this mentality that everybody deserves respect. While there are many respectful people, the fact remains that respectable people are respectable for a reason. These people don't just do one thing and then expect good treatment. These people understand that respect must be earned & renewed.

This idea stems from the belief that you do something once for others and then those people are indebted to you. That gesture will be held over them constantly.

The most common example we see of this in the modern day is in relationships. Too many men will hold score for the things they've done in the past, saying those are the reasons they deserve good treatment.

This mentality is the beginning of the end for your respectability. Here are two reasons why respect must be earned & renewed so you can avoid this mentality.

1. What's done is done

There's no changing the past. Once something has passed, there's no changing it and it loses its power. However, if we decide to hold onto that past event, the only power that event retains is within ourselves. Why, then, do so many people still use their past deeds to influence their present behavior? 

Let's be completely honest: humans are lazy. We want to preserve energy and effort wherever we can to make things easier for ourselves.

There's nothing wrong with this. In fact, we wouldn't be like this if it wasn't useful in the past. However, now that we have few to no reasons to be so lazy, it tends to make things more complicated than they need to be.

Our modern society unfortunately gives us many reasons to be lazy and expend less energy. This makes it that much harder to put in effort toward anything, even if we want to.

When it comes to influencing others and earning respect, you cannot rely on your past deeds to speak for you. They can definitely help build your reputation and be useful for storytelling, but that's it.

The best way to show your competence is through your present actions rather than your past deeds. Having a reputation or an interesting story is nice, but it means nothing if you cannot rise to the occasion.

The big thing here is that once something has been done, it loses its power. Just because you did something one time does not mean you can do it again. And even if you could, you may not be as good as you were.

To retain respect in a certain area, you must maintain the skills that earned you your deed in the first place. 

2. Empty your mind, flow like water

How many times have you gotten caught up in a disagreement, or seen somebody get caught up in one themselves? Chances are the purpose was to prove a point, which got lost in the back and forth. This kind of conduct is very counterproductive, as you are simultaneously closing yourself off and pushing them away.

This kind of counterproductive behavior stems from our need to feel important, which creates an effect known as the spotlight effect. This means we believe that everyone is paying more attention to us than they actually are.

The spotlight effect in essence pushes us to be correct because if we aren't, that's cause to kick us out of the tribe. In our instinctive minds, social death is just as bad if not worse than actual death.

This leads to one conclusion: rather than resisting the tide that others bring, flow with it. Rather than trying to change their tempo to yours, resonate yours with theirs.

This doesn't mean you become a doormat. You are still free to insert your own blips here and there. What this means is you are matching their wavelength.

This concept is a social cheat code. By resonating with others, you lower their guard which naturally leads to them being open to your input and ideas.

The reason for this is simple: you are open to them, so they feel compelled to be open to you. Achieving this effect is the ultimate goal for interacting with others.

When people feel comfortable being open around you, that's when you've earned their respect. At this point, all you have to do is keep being open and authentic, and respect basically renews itself.

Understand that we humans evolved to mirror each other's emotional states. We often didn't have the time to discuss the looming threat.

Rather than realize the danger once it arrives, we read the emotions of others and derive the emotional state we should feel from that. In the past, this served to warn us of danger, but now it makes things more complicated.

The best way to utilize this is to understand that it works both ways. Just as you can be affected by their emotional state, so too can they be affected by yours.

When you show somebody that you are open to them, they are more likely to be open to you. If you do find one of the bad apples, there's nothing you can do about them, and should move on.

Worthy or unworthy?

Most people these days are not exactly worthy of respect. They do the bare minimum and expect to be celebrated for it. This is not respectable, this is expected.

Respect cannot be earned for doing just the bare minimum. No matter how much people demand respect, if all they do is the bare minimum then all they get is tolerance.

- Karl