Want More Respect at Work? © 2008

Discover a simple technique for gaining more respect so you can get your needs met and enjoy your life much more. Turn anger, fear, and other negative emotions into peace and confidence. You deserve happiness. Read tips that will help you gain positive recognition, resolve conflicts more easily, and divorce yourself from the “difficult people syndrome.”

By Doris Helge, Ph.D.

Shopping Even though Jan and Nan are both very talented, Jan’s contributions are applauded while Nan’s gifts are unnoticed. What’s Jan’s secret? Jan has discovered that we are constantly training other people how to treat us. When Jan is treated with disrespect, she politely says, “No thank you” by using the technique in this article. Even though Jan knows we can’t change other people, she knows how to set up situations in which she’s treated well and her needs are met.

The following is an example of how you can gain peace of mind when someone else’s behavior rubs you the wrong way. My coaching clients call it The Get Respect Now Technique.


Nan tries to ignore her problems like an ostrich that hides its head in the sand. Then Nan moans that life presents her with the same snarly packages over and over. Jan’s approach is very different. She meets a challenge with, “Hmmm . . . I wonder what I’ll learn from this experience?”

Denying an unpleasant situation breeds more of the same. The challenge magnifies until we finally say, “Alright, already . . . I’ll deal with this.” Avoid getting hit over the head by a 2x4 by standing up for yourself when a toothpick jabs you. Perceive situations as accurately as possible. A rope is a rope and a snake is a snake. The simple act of acknowledging what exists initiates the potential for positive change. Why? You signal your mind to search for solutions.


When you’ve been treated with disrespect, pause a moment and ponder. How can you express what you’re entitled to in a factual way? The other person may never acknowledge that you’re right because all of us have erroneous perceptions. They’ve been formed by decades of experiences and faulty beliefs.

Do you ever watch a “sunset” even though the sun never sets? Do you ever instantly like or dislike a person you’ve never met? When treated with disregard, your goal is to be heard and get your needs met. We can’t force other adults to change their opinions or behavior. However, we are in total control of how we respond to every situation. We can say what we need to and transform anxiety into peace of mind.


Here’s an example you might use at work. “I felt hurt when his contributions were recognized and mine weren’t noticed. I need for my work to be acknowledged.” An example at home is, “When you didn’t call and tell me you changed your plans, I worried about you. I need to know when you’ll be late so I can arrange my own schedule.”

Notice: These statements are not drenched with negative emotions or accusations that trigger defensiveness and counterattacks. You gain positive results faster by using “I statements” that acknowledge your emotions. Using the minimum amount of words possible, say what you need. Know you deserve it. This approach will empower you to breathe a big sigh of relief and go on with your next step in life.


No matter what the final outcome of the particular situation, you’ll meet your personal growth challenge, so this type of situation will occur less frequently. Just use the technique I’ve outlined so you can easily resolve conflicts with “difficult people.” Soon, an effective response to disrespectful behavior will become easy and automatic because you’ll be clear what you deserve.

Enjoy knowing you are so powerful that you can infinitely reshape your life. You deserve happiness. Turn every unpleasant experience into a rich opportunity for personal growth.

© 2008. This article was excerpted with permission from “Joy on the Job” by Doris Helge, Ph.D. Permission to reprint this article is granted if the article is in tact, with proper credit given. All reprints must state, "Reprinted with permission by Doris Helge, Ph.D. Originally published in "Joy on the Job" & http://MoreJoyOnTheJob.com © 2008.

Visit http://www.FreeJoyOnTheJobEbooks.com and GET YOUR FREE EBOOKS: "Secrets of Happiness at Work," "Get the Respect & Appreciation You Deserve Now," & "Employee Engagement Made Easy." Coach Doris Helge, Ph.D., is 100% dedicated to empowering you to create more meaning, fun, and fulfillment at work.

Share this page with your friends


Share this page with your friends.