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Here’s How to Get Unlikely Strangers to Respect You

by | Feb 20, 2023 | Life Hacks

I’ve reached over half a billion people online

Strangers tell me they respect me all the time. It feels weird because I’m a normie with an addiction to chocolate cake.

Recently I had to give a presentation on how I get strangers to respect me. The self-reflection has a lot of unlikely insights you can use to do the same.

Stop trying to grab their wallets and accidentally touch their ass

When I meet a lot of strangers online it feels like they want to touch my butt. Not to feel my beautifully soft ass cheeks but to get at my wallet.

They see “7-figure creator” and get horny. Admittedly, I created this problem. Probably should stop saying that.

What drives me nuts is much of the conversations are transactional. These strangers just want to make a sale happen. I can tell they don’t care about me. And that’s tip #1.

Instead of trying to make money from strangers, try showing them you care. Care is underrated. Care is appreciated.

Ask them about themselves. Have a zoom call. Don’t pitch anything on at least the first three interactions.

Disappear for 6 months

For many years I never achieved anything notable.

So it’s no surprise few people respected me. Why should they? I gave them zero reasons to look up to me.

During one stretch early in my career I disappeared for 6 months. I stopped drinking, going to nightclubs/bars, and watching useless superhero movies. Instead, I locked myself away and worked on my writing. I read books to self-educate. I had calls with interesting people online.

At the end of those 6 months I became unrecognizable.

Not long after, I found strangers started to respect me more. People I worked with made comments like “I love what you write.”

Random customers at work that I barely knew would say “I enjoyed your recent thoughts about crypto.”

To build mastery you need time. Disappearing for 6 months is where you find the time. The results will create an uncommon form of respect.

Build in public

Let’s talk about the opposite of the last point.

Many of us have goals. We work on them quietly, because if we fail, we’d prefer strangers didn’t know. The current trend is to build in public. That means you work on your goal and report the progress on social media.

The key difference is you share everything — successes, failures, and rejections. People respect you when you build in public because it takes vulnerability to show the highs and lows.

When we see public vulnerability we secretly wish we had more of it. This leads to a strange form of respect for anyone we see showing it.

Use the “be humble” mindset to your advantage

Every month I survey strangers who read my work.

A similar pattern always emerges: people think I’m humble. They like that I don’t try to be smarter than anyone else and admit when I screw up.

They appreciate me sharing the hard stories — from near-misses with cancer, to family feuds, to mental illness, to getting fired in front of millions of people on LinkedIn.

Humility is another infectious trait strangers can’t get enough of.

We’re tired of the perfect Instagramers and people on LinkedIn who pretend like every business deal they do turns into another Lambo for their collection.

It’s the same reason I tell people to take photos with their phones and use zero filters if they want to use social media.

Perfect looks like an ad. Perfect isn’t relatable.

Imperfection, though, feels real so people respect you.

Use this feature of your beautiful face more often

Too many people have resting b*tch face. It’s human-repellent.

It sounds weird but strangers respect you more when you smile a lot. And not a fake smile. I mean a genuine smile.

Since I made a few big shifts in my life and overcame mental illness I found myself smiling more, naturally.

Never underestimate a smile. It makes people feel good. When they feel good their interactions with you will be better. And that’ll likely lead them to respect you more.

Master a killer tone of voice

Social media has made everyone a meme queen/king.

This led to a lot of us becoming after hours comedians and sounding overly satirical in our day-to-day interactions with strangers.

I try to be conscious of my tone. I want to sound helpful, not like a smartass who thinks they know everything.

Watch your tone of voice.

Focus on the positive, not the negative

The default persona in society right now is Negative Nancies.

They’re exhausting to listen to. The sky is falling in, dontcha know. America will collapse. The whole game is rigged. The cost of living will destroy us. The next virus will kill us if a nuke doesn’t.

You don’t earn respect when you operate in survival mode. Our brains are designed to spot the negative. That’s beginner mode — or loser mode as I like to say.

Overriding this default programming and leaning into positivity is where real respect is found — because it’s so rare.

Learn to see the world better than it is. Give people real hope. Inspire them with what’s going right.

Watch the newfound respect knock you off your feet.

“Help the pleb stuck in the gutter”

A stranger gave me this advice and I don’t love how it’s phrased.

What he meant to say is help less fortunate people. The fact you don’t have to is part of what makes it special. You could just be King of the Hill and live in your castle while the plebs suffocate and die.

But if you’re fortunate enough to have any level of success it’s your duty to help others. To help those 100 steps behind you.

Humanity is a living, breathing organism. The whole ecosystem doesn’t survive if we don’t all work together. Cheesy as hell but true. When you help others people notice. It earns a lot of respect from unlikely strangers.

Become a person worth respecting.

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