Being Popular vs. Being Respected
Consider the difference between being popular with others in contrast to being respected by others. The following contrasts might get your attention:
- Wants to be liked / avoid disapproval
- Doubts their own judgment
- Less adult / less mature
- Less responsible
- Externally grounded
- Avoids conflict
- Responds to peer pressure
- Defers / over-accommodates
- Difficulty with saying no
- Needs to fit in
- Operates from weakness
- Less strength of character
- Wants respect from others
- Trusts their own judgment
- More adult / more mature
- More responsible
- Internally grounded
- Deals with conflict
- Prefers to be eccentric
- Stands ground / faces the music
- Okay with saying no
- Little need to fit in
- Operates from strength
- More strength of character
In your network, you have known many people who prefer to be more in one category than the other. And, when you think about it, you may start concluding that more than half the people you know are more interested in being popular than being respected. Perhaps they are too often operating from weakness and therefore are more hostage to the approval of others.
Which category appears to be more like you? How much would you like to live your life being more regularly respected?
YOU ARE ALWAYS WITH YOURSELF
Do you ever notice that every morning you wake up… you wake up YOU? You are always there, regardless of your dreams or fantasies about being someone else.
I like to say, “Wherever you go, there you are, so there you go!” This means that every morning when you look in the mirror, there you are. You will always be attending that meeting and that experience with yourself so it makes perfect sense to enjoy and feel good about what you see in the mirror.
It is insane to dislike or disrespect the person always attending your party: You.
So, your judgment, your approval, your self-respect, your self-concept is primary. Therefore, to be partially or routinely hostage to the approval / disapproval of others over your own is profoundly counter-productive and insane.
ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS:
1. Which has a longer shelf-life, being popular or being respected?
When you think about it, being popular is similar to fashion, one minute it is IN and the next minute it is OUT. Being popular means that you are hostage to the whims of the masses and often the masses, can be fickle. There is often great group pressure to belong to the Union of Fitting In. You will also notice that people who are popular rarely have a strong opinion on anything and they are careful to routinely avoid being controversial or strong-willed. They want to fit in, be nice, court favor, and avoid conflict. Therefore, popular people are easy to like.
Your being hostage to the approval / disapproval of others perpetually makes you adjust your standards and conduct in the interest of gaining that temporary favor from them.
Moreover, you will notice that people who are respected tend to be respected for a long time. They are willing to be unpopular in the interest of a higher standard. They are often people to whom you look up to because they often choose a higher principle and are willing to stick with it. Principles, values, and standards are important to people who are respected. They often emerge as thought leaders and role models. They also think that fitting in to the trend of the day is unthinkable and that everyone who is concerned about being popular is out of step with what is important. Instead they are committed to strength of character and want to operate from integrity, responsibility, and generosity of spirit.
SO, BEING RESPECTED HAS A LONGER SHELF-LIFE.
SO, BEING RESPECTED HAS A LONGER SHELF-LIFE.
2. Which is more likely?
If you are liked and popular you will be respected? OR
If you are respected you will be liked and popular?
Certainly it is true that either one lacks a guarantee.
On the other hand, think about how much you will respect someone if you like them. Think about the people you think are popular and liked. It is easy to like them because they are easy to be around… fun, funny, charming, affable, polite, mannerly, flexible, accommodating, deferential, amiable, empathetic, and caring. All good qualities. On the other hand, it is less likely you will respect them.
If you respect someone, you admire their values, convictions, discipline, standards, and willingness to live by strong principles. Over time, you might notice that you are gradually drawn to them and actually might begin to like them even if you disagree with some or all of their convictions.
SO, IF YOU ARE RESPECTED, YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE LIKED.
3. If you operate largely from self-respect, are you more likely to be respected?
The degree to which you get respect from others is in direct proportion to your own self-respect. The more self-respect you have, the more respect you will get from others.
Example: You get pressure from your peers to participate in doing drugs because it is cool, everyone is doing it, and you want to avoid being called a wimp. So, to get group approval, you consent, do the drugs and then later regret it big time for a variety of reasons. Sometimes you have to do the “right” thing because your self-respect is at stake. When you do, you respect what you see in the mirror, and then “they” will likely respect you more.
OVERALL IT APPEARS THAT SELF-RESPECT AND BEING RESPECTED IS OVERWHELMINGLY THE PREFERRED CHOICE.
So how do you ensure that you operate from a position of self-respect?
YOUR “SELF-RESPECT BAROMETER©”
Going forward, consider using the “SELF-RESPECT BAROMETER©.”
You know what a barometer measures: air pressure. And, as you may know, boaters and airplane pilots always check the barometer before they venture out into the sea or sky. If the barometer indicates a storm coming, it might be a bad idea to go out in bad weather. Barometers give you a reliable prediction of what is coming.
Consider this, you probably wear a watch, and you probably routinely look at your watch to check the time (or you might routinely look at your mobile phone for the same purpose). Regularly checking the time helps you make important decisions at particular points in the day.
So imagine that you NOW have an additional gauge on your watch (or phone) and this one is called your “SELF-RESPECT BAROMETER©” and it continually measures your self-respect at any time you want to check it.
Now imagine you are going to make a decision about a relationship, an initiative, a purchase, a reaction, etc. and this decision has some emotion attached to it, which means this next decision might be impacted by that emotion.
Take a look at the following examples around which you have 2 choices. Consider which choice is likely to increase your self-respect.
- Run away from the mess you’ve created and hope the conflict resolves itself
- Clean up the mess you made and resolve the conflict
- Buy the item because you must have it even though you lack the money
- Routinely set aside money so you can build up your monetary supply
- Drink and drive because you will be “fine”
- Get a ride home and be safe
- Break your commitment with someone because you just got a “better deal”
- Stick with your commitment because you want to be good to your word
- Betray a relationship with “little white lies”
- Stay loyal, honest, and face the music
- Over-accommodate your spouse / children to avoid the conflict and whining
- Stand fast, say no, and remain calm
- Criticize and blame others because it is always “their fault”
- Own your behavior, pay the freight, and take responsibility for your contribution
- Be defensive and argumentative because you must win and/or avoid losing
- Step up and work on reaching agreement and compromise
- Stay in a toxic relationship, play the victim, practice self-pity, and stay miserable
- Offload the relationship, learn your lessons, and move into your next chapter
- Abandon your commitment to staying healthy because it is “boring”
- Stick with your exercise and diet discipline to stay healthy and have a long life
- Stay in a job you hate because you are afraid to be in charge of your life
- Take responsibility for your destiny and find a new direction that you enjoy
- Carry a grudge, keep condemning, and wanting a pound of flesh from them
- Forgive, get over it, move on, love what you can love and let the rest go
- Compromise your standards because it is easier and “everybody does it”
- Stick with your standards because you are calmer inside when you do
BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY MAKE THE DECISION, SIMPLY CHECK YOUR WATCH AND LOOK AT YOUR SELF-RESPECT BAROMETER©.”
Now ask yourself this question, “If I choose this decision, does my self-respect go up or down?” If the answer is DOWN, then you can decide to make another decision instead.
If the answer is UP, then go ahead and make that decision!
Remind yourself that self-respect is always the guiding light, the guidance counselor, the mentor, the internal locus of control. Is it worth compromising your self-respect when you make the wrong decision?
WHEN YOU ROUTINELY USE THE “SELF-RESPECT BAROMETER©” TO GUIDE YOUR CONDUCT, YOU ARE LIKELY TO MAKE DIFFERENT AND BETTER DECISIONS. THEREFORE, PUT YOUR SELF-RESPECT FIRST.
You then start trusting your judgment more.
Remember, your self-respect begets higher standards in you. You are therefore likely to show more respect to others, which in turn begets more respect from them.
YOUR SELF-RESPECT BAROMETER IS HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT! Refer to it often.
Keep the “Self-Respect Barometer©” close by and look at it often. You will notice that it will help you make important decisions, retain your strength of character, and your self-respect.