How to Command Respect Without Speaking

In professional as well as casual situations, it’s important to know how to command respect. We’ve shared tips about how to stand out in a crowd before, but that advice largely involved how to act during a spoken conversation. While speaking is obviously part of the process of commanding respect, the real skill is making a positive impression without saying anything at all. A first impression significantly colors later interactions, so it’s crucial to make a good one. These three strategies will help you nonverbally command the respect you deserve.

Fine-tune Your Body Language

Your body language can speak volumes before you even open your mouth. The key is to project confidence with the way you carry yourself. It’s crucial not to slouch or hunch, but rather to stand as straight as possible. Your head should convey this level of assertiveness, too. Instead of looking down and projecting uncertainty or weakness, hold your head high and look straight ahead. This will give others the feeling that you know you are exactly where you need to be. Finally, you need to have a plan for what to do with your hands. Here are some quick tips on how to handle them:

  • Don’t put your hands in your pockets. It might make people think you’re bored or don’t care.
  • Even if you’re skeptical about a situation, refrain from crossing your arms, at least at first. This makes it seem like you’re anxious or closed off, and it’s best to reserve your judgment until you have all of the information.
  • Keep your hands at your sides when standing and in your lap when sitting, but avoid fidgeting. Unexplained hand movements project nervousness and show that you’re not entirely in control of the situation.

Last but not least, don’t forget to smile often. This makes you look relaxed, in control, and – most importantly – good-natured. No one likes a person who looks like they came straight out of an executive fashion boardroom in The Devil Wears Prada. The goal is to be respected and liked.

Perfect A Unique Personal Style

Apart from paying close attention to how you move your body, the way you present your fashion sense should also be carefully curated. Your clothes should be eye-catching in a way that gives others a sense of what you’re like as a person. Maybe you have a signature blazer, or a pair of earrings you especially like. You can take this in whatever direction you’d like, as long as you’re staying true to yourself and making a statement.

Keep in mind that your style also includes your hair. There are few things more impressive than a remarkable hairstyle that’s skillfully executed. Rocking a red hair color, for example, is a powerful move because the color is attention-grabbing and often associated with strength. Red hair takes work to pull off though, so be sure to learn about the tips and tricks before dyeing your hair. There are few things worse than a style risk that is memorable in all the wrong ways.

Strategize with Your Scent

An often-overlooked but very important part of nonverbally commanding respect is making sure you smell nice. Not nice in a generic, forgettable way, but in a way that stands out and lingers positively. Appealing to people’s sense of smell as well as their sight gives you an edge when making a first impression. So-called power perfumes are back for the first time since the 1980s. The New York Times has reported on this, and notes that people want “increasingly strong, memorable fragrances that will become as much of a signature for them as their Twitter handle.” In other words, the way you smell should be as unique as the way you dress and style your hair. It’s ultimately all about branding yourself in as many ways as possible so that people will respect you as much as they do a trusted company.

About The Author

Aleksandar Tomovic
Editor in Chief

French photographer (of Serbian Origins) lives and works in Los Angeles. Known for his celebrity fashion editorials and recognized around the world for his european esthetics and american efficiency.

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