I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “To get respect, you need to give respect.” It’s a good rule to follow, but I’m willing to bet your perspective on its meaning is completely skewed. Somehow, our selfie-induced-shallowed-out-10-second-attention-span-having-selfish-selves have warped it into meaning, “if you want me to respect you, you need to respect me first.”
Um, no. This is not what an effective communicator does. And if this is how you operate, you need a serious attitude adjustment. Right. Now.
Second, understand respect should reflect your character, not theirs. You must take responsibility for your own behavior and how you treat others. Stop being reactive and start being proactive. Stop looking for others to respect you first. The way you treat others can steer those interactions in a positive or negative direction. And if they’re still acting like a douche after you’ve treated them with the utmost respect, don’t let their behavior drag you into the swamp with them. Remain above the pettiness and resolve to be a respectful person, regardless of how they behave.