How to get treated with more respect in relationships

respect in relationships
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If you ask most people, they would call “love” the most important element of a relationship. But respect in relationships is equally important if you want to feel valued and cherished.

Without respect, it’s hard to imagine a relationship fulfilling anyone’s needs. We all need to feel recognized for who we are and what we bring to the table.

If you’re in a relationship where respect is lacking, you might want to consider whether this is the right match for you.

But if you think it’s worth working on and want to know how to get more respect for yourself, here are 6 strong strategies.

1. Put yourself first

Many people think putting themselves first means neglecting loved ones. In fact, when you put yourself first you’re able to serve others more effectively.

Sometimes we put others’ needs ahead of our own because we’ve been raised since childhood to do so. Putting our own needs first feels unnatural, but will become easier with practice.

Putting yourself first will help you become the person you were meant to be. You’ll spend more time on things that bring you pleasure which will enhance your strengths.

When you put yourself first, you gain the respect of others. This is not game-playing or manipulation but a genuine decision to care for your mental health.

When you put yourself first, you gain the respect of others. Click To Tweet

2. Set healthy boundaries to gain respect in relationships

Boundaries teach people how to treat you. When you lack boundaries, you let others dictate the terms of your relationship.

Relationships never get put to the test if you’re constantly going along with what the other person wants. How will you know if they’re only using you for what they can get if you never say ‘no’?

3. Know your values

respect in relationships

If you’ve been raised to become a people pleaser, you may not have a good grip on your values. You have no idea what you like or dislike because you’ve been too busy figuring out what other people want.

Knowing your values is essential to gaining respect in relationships. Rather than giving into someone else’s wishes, values become a filter through which you make your decisions.

Knowing your values is essential to gaining respect in relationships. Click To Tweet

They guide you as you build and create your life rather than reacting to someone else’s demands with self-abandonment.

4. Express yourself to get respect in relationships

Have you been hiding your true thoughts and feelings for fear of burdening your friend or partner? Or do you fear they’ll leave you if they know what you really think?

Constantly agreeing with others or failing to share your opinions makes healthy people disrespect and pull away from you. It’s mainly narcissists who want to surround themselves with “yes men”.

5. Tend a secret garden

The French call the time a woman spends on her own doing something she loves a “secret garden”. Set aside time in your schedule to take care of your needs this way.

Whether it’s reading a novel, engaging in a hobby, or some other project, tending your secret garden will increase your respect in relationships.

You do it to stay connected to yourself and what you love. To remember that you don’t need someone else to fulfill all your needs. The respect you gain is simply a bonus.

6. Communicate honestly

Never play games or try to manipulate your partner or friend into doing what you want. And don’t expect them to read your mind, either!

The best way to get and maintain respect in relationships is to be bold and clear in your communication. That means expressing your needs openly and honestly. And speaking up when something is not working for you.

Why it’s important to express yourself and speak your truth

express yourself
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Have you ever held back thoughts and opinions to avoid conflict? Neglected to express yourself fully for fear of the consequences?

Sometimes we tell ourselves it’s not worth the fight. And, hey, sometimes that’s true. I’m a big proponent of picking your battles and not taking up the sword for every single one.

But I’ve hidden behind a shield of conflict avoidance when I should have spoken up. And that was nothing more than a terrible form of self abandonment.

Not only did it prevent me from getting my needs met, it prevented others from knowing the real me. Here’s are five other things you stand to lose when you refuse to express yourself.

1. Income

If you refuse to speak up at work, you will get passed over for promotions. Agreeableness is not the quality that gets you remembered when opportunities present themselves.

Same goes for entrepreneurs. Getting noticed and putting yourself out there are essential for a viable business. More importantly, your unique qualities that stand in opposition to the competition are key to your success.

Your unique qualities that stand in opposition to the competition are key to your success. Click To Tweet

When you’re afraid to show how you’re different or even disagree with your competitors, you miss out on the opportunity to set yourself apart and attract clients to you.

2. Intimacy (increases when you express yourself)

Relationships won’t go to the next level if you don’t express yourself and reveal the real you. If you’re constantly agreeing and thinking of what the other person wants, lack of intimacy follows.

You betray yourself when you people please or refuse to share your troubles because you don’t want to burden anyone.

If people pull away from you in spite of you bending over backwards for them, that could be the reason. They feel they don’t know the real you and that’s repelling to people who want true intimacy and relationship.

3. Personal growth

express yourself

When you have the courage to speak up for your needs and wants, you grow as a person. Your world expands according to your willingness to stand up and be known for who you are and what you believe.

Your world expands according to your willingness to stand up and be known for who you are and what you believe. Click To Tweet

If you fail to express yourself because you fear rejection (consciously or not), you won’t align with your heart’s desire. You’ll never feel fulfilled because you’re looking outside yourself for approval and validation.

4. Confidence (increases when you express yourself)

Oh, how your confidence increases when you push through the resistance and express yourself fully. But first comes discomfort.

It’s painful to stretch outside your comfort zone and that’s why so few people do it. But if you decide the pain is worth the gain of showing up as your authentic self, unlimited rewards await.

You’ll love yourself so much, you won’t care what other people think. At least not enough to let it sway you from your purpose and values.

5. Feeling understood

Speaking from experience, feeling misunderstood goes hand in hand with failing to express yourself. That’s what happens when you expect other people to read your mind instead of clearly communicating your needs.

When you set boundaries that tell people what you will and won’t tolerate, it’s easier for them to understand what you want and give it to you.

And those boundaries will protect you from people who will never understand because they don’t want to. You know the ones…family members who don’t want you to change. Or friends who preferred it when you catered to their needs instead of your own.

And, whether others understand you or not won’t concern you as much. Because you understand yourself and what you need and you’re not afraid to say it. And that’s what matters most.

How to set relationship boundaries and deal breakers

relationship boundaries
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Relationship boundaries are parameters you set that tell other people where they end and you begin. They tell the world what you will and won’t tolerate. And help you understand your wants and needs to get them met.

Relationship boundaries keep you safe. They help you spot red flags because you’ve determined ahead of time what you will and won’t accept.

When considering a prospective partner, for instance, you might have “deal breakers” or non-negotiables. These are attributes in a person that act as a stop sign or warning light.

Addictions, for example, may be deal breakers for you. You won’t continue in a relationship with someone who has them.

When establishing relationship boundaries, you’ll consider both physical and emotional limits. Here are four examples:

1. Texting

How often do you wish to send and receive texts? Set aside any “rules” about waiting a certain amount of time before returning a text. That’s manipulative and does nothing to help you connect with what you really want.

I prefer to receive texts twice a day at most. Otherwise, I get pulled away from my responsibilities and goals for the day.

You may need more or less than that to feel comfortable. But be honest about your needs and why you have them.

If you need hourly texts to feel okay and constantly check your phone for them, you may have an anxious attachment that needs addressing.

If you need hourly texts to feel okay, you may have an anxious attachment that needs addressing. Click To Tweet

2. Physical intimacy

Many happy long-term couples had sex soon after meeting. But maybe you want to wait until marriage before going that far.

You may be okay with touching but not want to go “all the way” until you’re in a committed relationship. It’s a good idea to know where you stand before meeting that special someone to avoid a decision you later regret.

Many women confess to having used sex to get or keep a man’s interest. Not only is this a complete self-betrayal, it never works. Sex as a tool creates false intimacy that prevents true emotional intimacy from flourishing.

3. Relationship boundaries include time apart

No matter how close you are with your partner, it’s healthy to have time away to do your own thing.

The French refer to this personal time as a secret garden. It’s the time you spend alone doing something you love that enriches you. And your partner knows nothing about it.

The French refer to time spent alone doing something you love as the secret garden. Click To Tweet

Nurturing yourself this way ensures you stay connected to yourself as an individual. And you feel vital and interesting outside of your relationships. After your time away, you come back with more to give.

4. Entertainment

I’m a highly sensitive person which means violent movies and loud action flicks have a negative impact on my nervous system. As a result, I have relationship boundaries around the type of media I’ll ingest.

You may have similar limits on what you watch or consume with your partner. You may wish to avoid seeing anything that demeans women. And you may not tolerate your partner watching such material.

Final thoughts on relationship boundaries

These are just a few of the countless examples of relationship boundaries available to us. Most important is to communicate these and not expect someone to read your mind.

Healthy boundaries are all about clear communication, after all. They help us draw closer to one another in a respectful way while protecting us from harm.

Relationship boundaries keep out those who are no good for us. And invite in the ones who will treat us the way we deserve and desire.

Reasons for busyness and how to overcome compulsive doing

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With the advent of modern conveniences like dishwashers and other household time savers, pundits predicted we’d have more leisure time on our hands. Hence, less busyness.

But, since then we’ve only become busier and leisure time more scarce. People work longer hours and take fewer vacation days. And technology has only increased our capacity to work longer hours and remotely.

Some say our insistence on overworking comes from a desire for status. Saying you’re busy indicates you’re important and sought-after in this world.

While that may be true, I believe busyness has a deeper purpose. It distracts us from the truth that our lives are not where we want them to be.

Busyness distracts us from the truth that our lives are not where we want them to be. Click To Tweet

I’ve already written about my belief that working harder doesn’t reap greater rewards. We have the 4-hour work week to prove that longer hours do not always produce success.

So why have we insisted on staying busy in spite of the time-saving devices and evidence that it doesn’t correlate with success?

1. We’re afraid to stop our busyness

Have you noticed the slight shame you feel when someone asks what you’re doing today and you say, “not much”. Even in the middle of a pandemic?

That’s society’s way of stopping you from taking time to go within and find out what lights you up. Even after all the work I’ve done to stop mindless busyness, I feel guilty rather than proud when someone asks if I’m busy and I say “no”.

2. We don’t know our innate worth

You may have been raised in a family that valued hard work. People were not loved for who they were but what they did.

You may have been programmed to believe that only lazy people take breaks or all their vacation days. And you think “lazy” is the worst thing a person can be.

This fear of appearing less than hard-working keeps you slogging away. Even when the extra work fails to deliver additional results or income.

3. There’s a payoff for busyness

Have you noticed when you complete a task or reach a goal you feel a celebratory rush? But it doesn’t last so you jump back on the treadmill towards the next goal.

It’s important to have goals for how you feel apart from any achievement. Let’s challenge the belief that feeling good only comes as a reward for reaching a target.


How to stop being so busy

Schedule down time into your calendar. Actually pencil in time for yourself where you’ll do self care activities or absolutely nothing.

Acknowledge your emotions. We use busyness as a distraction from negative feelings. But those feelings carry important information about our lives. They tell us what we need and what to change.

We use busyness as a distraction from negative feelings. But those feelings carry important information about what needs to change. Click To Tweet

Learn to sit still. Set a timer and let your thoughts roam. Or journal for ten minutes. Give yourself the time and space to simply sit alone and let yourself be.

You’ll be amazed at what comes up. Time alone to let your thoughts and feelings free can reveal huge gaps between your true desires and how you’re living life.

Connect with spirit. For me, that’s God. For you, it might be a higher power or something else that connects you to a source beyond yourself.

You can find this connection in nature, reading the Bible, prayer and meditation. It’s a reminder there’s something bigger than you, you’re not alone, and all this worldly scrambling is less important than we think.

Why we need recognition and how to get it from the right places

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As someone growing her readership, I often receive advice to guest post on larger “platforms” to increase my recognition. You can’t keep showing up for just your own readers and expect to get ahead, they say.

While I have provided guest content when it felt right to me, something holds me back from going hard at seeking guest spots. That may change, but for now I prefer to focus on my readers.

The recognition I desire comes from my audience and those who have trusted me with their email address. I’m more interested in writing something that makes you open and read my emails, than capturing a guest spot on HuffPost.

I’m not writing this to flatter you, but to introduce my topic today which is about recognition. What it means, why it’s important to us, and how it differs from person to person.

It seems obvious that recognition is a basic human need. But it’s important to look at ourselves and know from whom we desire that recognition. So we’re not seeking it in all the wrong places.

What is recognition?

It’s the feeling of wanting to be seen and known. That could come from your husband and family or your boss at work. It doesn’t mean you want to be famous.

I’ve read we crave recognition most from the people we serve. That’s why a compliment from a customer can mean more than one from your manager.

If you’re a mom, nothing feels better than hearing your kids call you a good mom. Other people can praise your parenting all day, but it’s special when the kids acknowledge you this way.

Same when other women call you pretty but you never hear a man say it. This may not pass the PC test, but it’s something many women experience, myself included.

Why do we need it?


You may have convinced yourself you don’t need this type of outside affirmation. And it is better to get the lion’s share of our motivation from within. But we all need a little appreciation and tend to wilt and wither without it.

As a child, you may have felt discouraged from flexing your talents for others to see. You learned to avoid getting too big for your britches. You dimmed your light to become more acceptable to whoever fed you those lies.

When you tell yourself recognition doesn’t matter, cognitive dissonance sets in. This leads to simmering resentment and the martyr syndrome common to mothers of previous generations.

When you tell yourself recognition doesn't matter, it leads to resentment and martyr syndrome. Click To Tweet

We are not made to give selflessly without any acknowledgment of our contributions. When we are recognized by those we serve, we stand a little taller and shine a little brighter.

Ultimately, recognition shows us we’re not alone. As social animals, human beings crave connection with others. Recognition provides proof that we matter and have a purpose that influences others.

What does recognition mean to you?