I get it.
Sometimes it feels like you’re constantly striving for that elusive recognition, only to be met with more demands and less appreciation.
It can make you feel invisible, undervalued, and frankly, disrespected.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone.
In fact, it’s a common sentiment among many of us, especially women in the workforce.
But what if I told you there are women out there who command respect effortlessly?
They don’t have to ask or fight for it, it just follows them around.
Sounds fantastic, right?
I’m here to tell you it’s possible. Yes, even for you.
In this article, I’m going to share six habits of women who command respect without even trying.
Some of these may surprise you…
1. They own their space
You know that feeling when you walk into a room and instantly feel like you’re intruding?
Like you’re taking up too much space?
I’ve been there.
But let me tell you, women who command respect never feel that way.
I remember attending a conference a few years back.
I was in awe of this one woman, let’s call her Jane.
She had this air of confidence about her that was simply magnetic.
She walked into any room like she owned it, not in an arrogant way, but with an unspoken sense that she belonged.
She wasn’t afraid to take up space, both physically and metaphorically.
Since then, I’ve tried to channel my inner Jane.
And you know what?
Owning your space shows others that you respect yourself and that they should too.
2. They speak up
This one was hard for me at first.
I used to be a wallflower, preferring to stay quiet even when I had something valuable to add.
But women who command respect?
They don’t hold back.
One of my closest friends, Lisa, is a prime example.
We were working on a project together and during a group meeting, she disagreed with a suggestion made by our team leader.
Instead of keeping it to herself, she spoke up politely but firmly.
She shared her thoughts and offered an alternative solution.
In the beginning, I worried about her being labelled as ‘difficult’.
But instead, her courage was met with admiration and respect.
Speaking up can be daunting, but it shows conviction and leadership – two traits highly respected in any setting.
3. They don’t apologize unnecessarily
Lots of times, people say sorry too much, even when they don’t need to.
This happens because they think they might have upset someone, even if they really haven’t.
But people who are respected don’t do this.
They don’t make themselves look less important by saying sorry when it’s not needed.
They only say it when they’ve actually made a mistake, and this helps others respect them more.
Doing this shows something strong: they believe their own ideas and what they do are valuable, and they show that everyone else should think so too.
4. They show genuine kindness
In a world where you can be anything, be kind.
Women who command respect understand the power of genuine kindness.
They don’t see it as a weakness but as a strength.
They treat everyone with respect, from the CEO to the office janitor.
I’ve seen this in action and it’s truly inspiring.
A warm smile, a sincere compliment, a helping hand – these small acts of kindness can have a big impact.
It fosters a sense of trust and respect that no amount of authority can command.
Remember, kindness is not about being nice for the sake of appearances.
It is about showing empathy, understanding, and respect for others.
People respond to authenticity.
When you’re kind because you want to be, not because you feel you have to be, people respect that.
5. They set boundaries
This one hits home for me.
I used to be the ‘yes woman’, always agreeing to additional tasks, always available, often at the expense of my own needs and wellbeing.
I thought this would earn me respect. But all it did was leave me burnt out and undervalued.
Then I learned about the power of setting boundaries.
One of my mentors, a woman who exudes respect, taught me this valuable lesson.
She was always clear about her limits and wasn’t afraid to say ‘no’ when she needed to.
And you know what?
People respected her more for it.
Setting boundaries is about knowing your worth and not allowing others to take advantage of your time or energy.
It’s about demanding respect and showing that you value yourself enough to prioritize your own needs.
Since then, I’ve been practicing setting my own boundaries and I can tell you this – it’s been a game changer.
The respect I now command from others is palpable.
And the respect I have for myself?
That’s grown too.
6. They value continuous learning
Women who command respect know that learning doesn’t stop when you leave school or university.
It’s an ongoing process.
These women are always curious, always seeking to broaden their horizons and deepen their understanding.
Take my friend Susan, for example.
She’s a successful lawyer, but she isn’t complacent in her success.
She’s always reading up on new case studies, attending workshops, and learning from her colleagues.
She knows there’s always room for improvement no matter how much she achieves.
And people admire that.
They respect her dedication to personal growth and her humility in recognizing that there’s always more to learn.
So, keep learning.
Pursue knowledge not just for career advancement, but for personal growth.
People will respect you for your intelligence and your humility.
Respect isn’t something that’s given freely; it’s earned.
And these six habits are a testament to that.
They are the habits of women who command respect without even trying.
It’s not about being bossy or domineering, but about being confident, kind, and assertive while maintaining your authenticity.
It’s about respecting yourself first so others will do the same.
So take these habits on board and start implementing them in your own life.
You might be surprised at the ripple effect it creates in your relationships at work and beyond.
It starts with you.