You can’t. Not make him respect you.
You need to be worthy of respect, and he needs to be a man capable of giving respect.
You can’t control others, but you can control yourself.
It starts with respecting yourself. Of course you already know this; plenty of people and blogs repeat the mantra. But most of them imply that you first need to like yourself, to have conquered all your own demons, and be bubbling over with confidence. I don’t think this impossible standard is required, so take heart!
Respecting yourself is more about the outside than the inside, more about how you act than what you’re thinking and feeling. It means working out your personal standards and boundaries, and doing your best to live up to them every day. AKA integrity. So long as you are walking the walk, it matters not that you are carrying more baggage than Paris Hilton on a world cruise. In time, behaving as your very best self would behave will lead to genuinely respecting and liking yourself.
So, having done the hard work and looked deep inside…
It’s not that men don’t want to treat women with respect, it’s more that some don’t know how to do it! There are clubs and construction sites full of younger guys who’ve never had an emotionally-mature male role model. They’ve learned from street culture and abusive relationships, their emotional intelligence failing to develop beyond infancy.
So don’t immediately assume he’s deliberately dissing you. Consider actually teaching him how to respect you, how to live up to the same standards that you now expect from yourself.
For example, perhaps it’s important to you that he doesn’t keep you waiting when you meet for a date. The first time he turns up late, calmly explain how you feel. Use words of one syllable, don’t judge him, and don’t attack his character. The next time, wait 20 minutes, and if you haven’t heard from him, go home or go on without him. When he phones, remain friendly but be clear that you won’t be treated in this way. His actions and decisions have consequences.
If he still doesn’t get it and his disrespect becomes a pattern, consider whether the relationship is one you want to pursue. (And make no mistake, pursue is the right word; you’ve given him all the power and he’ll always be out of reach. And you’ll always be a doormat with worthless views and opinions.)
Give him space
Once we’re over the early infatuated phase of the relationship all men crave lots of time to do our own stuff. This is not a sign that he’s losing interest. It will become a problem only if you make it one, by not accepting this normal male behavior.
When men are asked what most infuriates them about women, then words like “needy” and “clingy” soon appear. Don’t be this nightmare woman.
When women withdraw, often it is a sign she has some doubts and negative emotions. When men do the same, it is more likely a simple desire for some time to reconnect with himself. Surprise him by being the mate who understands this.
Keep your own life
This is a double-whammy in your favor. It makes it easier for you to do the wise thing and give your partner the independence he needs, plus it increases your appeal in his eyes.
The trick is to make him understand that you want him around, you love him, but you don’t need him to complete you. Try these tips on WikiHow.
Yes, the Golden Rule applies here too. To make a man respect you, you need to respect him.
But even if you understand the mantra “Men Need Respect”, you may not realize how to show respect in a way men value. We have very different goals, dreams and ambitions. The ways you build mutual respect in your female friendships may not apply so much with men. See my article on understanding men in relationships, or try this video: Discover What Men Secretly Want, But They Could Never Tell You.
Sometimes. Do it too often and too aggressively, and you’ll just seem like hard work. The spirit is more to bring something new to the relationship, to complement. Your boyfriend will respect expertise or a skill that he doesn’t have. This is especially true if you’re dating a nerdy guy. Friendly debate and feedback will be welcome.
Because healthy relationships need at least one person who can communicate well, and the chances are it won’t be him (not at first). Don’t drop vague cues about your needs and expect him to read your mind – have an open conversation and tell him straight out. He’ll appreciate knowing exactly how to make you happy, rather than using his under-developed intuition to guess your feelings.
Poor communication is the main reason for resentment and loss of friendship in my opinion.
About everything, to everyone, in every aspect of your life. The cashier gives you change for 20 instead of 5; you gleefully pocket it. You downplay your role in a stuff-up in the office, letting someone else take the blame. Small things, but he’ll notice. The doubt will build, and he’ll wonder whether you might one day lie to him in the same way you lie to your boss and colleagues.
Respect requires trust, trust requires honesty and truth. There’s just no way around this one.
Positive grateful attitude.
He knows how difficult it can be to stay upbeat and positive, and likely he struggles himself. Over the years I’ve watched my wife pick herself up after setbacks, and start each day with a smile. She refuses to play the victim, even during those inevitable periods we all encounter when the whole world seems to be conspiring against us. My admiration and respect grow and grow.
Some girls try to gain respect by competing with men in a masculine style. This may be necessary in the workplace, but not with your guy. I respect my main man’s ability to down 10 beers then moon the nightclub bouncers. But funnily enough I wouldn’t be half as impressed by my wife doing the same. Double standards maybe, but most men feel the same way.
Soft, nurturing and sexy femininity is what we need – don’t be one of the boys.
If you want to understand your man and how to build healthy relationships, grab my free ebook Why Men Lose Interest.