Unknown-2After last week’s post on 10 ways to show lack of respect, I was asked a simple question. How do I gain someone’s respect? I pondered that question all weekend and am not sure yet that I have the right answer.

To gain respect, you could do the opposite of what I posted in Friday’s blog but I don’t think that is enough. I think the way to get and keep someone’s respect is to have empathy.

Empathy is a confusing concept, sometimes described as “intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another” and other times as “the capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another sentient or fictional being.”

There is a big gap between being able to recognize emotions to being able to identify intellectually with them to actually vicariously experiencing others feelings.

Let’s say then it is a continuum. On one end of the continuum you are a narcissistic psychopath. In the middle you are able to recognize and identify others emotions and at the far end, you are reduced to blubber on a regular basis because you spend too much time vicariously experiencing others feelings.

What is key, no matter where you are on the continuum is to actually take others emotions into account in making decisions. I think that will earn you immeasurable respect.