The Most Respected People Never Indulge In These 11 Bad Habits

These subtle changes will have a major impact on how others view you.

Cut Out These Habits If You Want More Respect Andrii Borodai | Canva

Decades of awkwardness compelled me to learn and understand what connects us and what pushes us apart. People make judgments extremely quickly about the kind of person other people are. This means there are subtle changes we all can make that impact how others see and respect us. 

The most respected people never indulge in these 11 bad habits:

1. Agreeing too quickly

If I’m speaking with someone, and they nod along enthusiastically to all that I say, and they rarely disagree, I can’t help but lose interest. This doesn’t mean you need to be combative and unpleasant. But agreeing to everything and everyone is like adding water to paint. It dilutes you.


2. Rushing speech

Many of us talk quickly for many reasons, including being jacked up on coffee and excited about what we’re saying. But the message this often transmits is you aren’t comfortable in your words. It’s like grabbing a hot cake and throwing it back quickly. When we give ourselves time to speak, it becomes a lot easier to find the right words, it puts others at ease, and people will have more faith in what we’re saying.

RELATED: 4 Public Speaking Tips That Will Make You Shine


3. Lacking attentiveness

Being attentive to someone in person and actually listening is not a submissive act. Scrolling your phone while in conversation doesn’t make you look cool. It makes you look like a child. Be there with someone. Demonstrate your interest and be genuinely interested. Presence has a power to it. 

4. Jumpiness

Slowing down, being a fraction smoother, and letting go physically is extremely powerful. It signals comfort in your skin and calms you down, but more than anything — it alters your own perceived self-identity. You will realize your natural confidence, and this will be felt. Slowing down your breathing is also part of this. Your thoughts will slow, your intelligence will come through, and your perceived status will rise.

5. Taking stuff too seriously

I can get in my head and over-analyze. Find ways to enjoy yourself, no matter the context. Don’t be the guy who brings the heaviness and sucks the energy out of a room. This happens when you’re judgemental in your mind and spirit. Be light-hearted, and focus on lifting those around you.

RELATED: 4 Ways To Stop Taking Things So Personally


6. Not taking up space

Don’t be afraid to physically relax in a space. Many of us inadvertently reduce our occupied space to reflect our illusion of insecurity. How you hold yourself physically transmits confidence, and it also reinforces it.

7. Avoiding high-flame topics

‘High flame’ means using courage in your communication. Speaking your truth. Being willing to say what others might avoid. This depends on how far into a relationship you are with someone, and different contexts determine the appropriateness of chosen topics. But if you’re continually avoiding ‘edgier’ issues or tougher words to avoid offending, you will be seen as merely ‘nice.’ That’s OK, but is ‘nice’ the legacy you want to leave?

8. Talking over someone

There’s no faster way for me to lose my respect for you than if you’re cutting into my sentences. A little overlap is OK — we’re human. But do it in the middle of my sentence three times, and I’m looking for the waiter for the bill. It communicates a couple of things:

  1. You’re not listening to me.
  2. You rely on leap-frogging my words to be seen, which shouts: "I am not enough!"

STOP making this fatal sales mistake

♬ original sound - Matt Easton

RELATED: 7 Ways To Deal With People Who Constantly Interrupt You


9. Self-analyzing

Being overly conscious of how I was coming across and what I was saying was a problem for me growing up. When speaking with people, I’d continually judge what I’d said in a bid to be liked. This self-monitoring meant I was never in the conversation — but rather in my thoughts about the conversation. Ironically this puts us at even more of a performance disadvantage, and you will lose people.

10. Reacting to criticism

It’s easy to believe that being non-reactive to the criticisms of others is a weak move. Surely if someone disrespects us, we need to react — to put them down, to assert our strength? No. Reacting says this: you aren’t comfortable in your skin, and you have something to protect and to prove. This approach is rooted in lack, and people sense this instantly. Instead, smile, tease, make light, and move on.

11. Relying on outcomes

In other words: being needy. Humans are very attuned to the neediness of other people. Perhaps we want her to agree to a second date, or we desperately want that client sale. If we’re reliant on a ‘successful’ outcome, it pollutes our behavior in the moment. We get tight. We take things personally when they don’t go to plan. Our performance is hampered. It makes us look like we have few options, which immediately decreases our perceived status.


To finish: The common thread is the need to get out of our heads and be more in a present flow. But if all the above ideas are in our heads, we will not be calm and present. So, absorb what I’ve shared, and come back to this often. Allow these ideas to become second nature through practice. But when you’re out in the ‘field,’ Let it all go. Be open to your innate wisdom. You always know what to do next. Relax in the uncertainty of it all. This is how you surprise yourself.

RELATED: 6 Assertive Ways To Get The Respect You Deserve

Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient.