How to learn how to behave socially
Contributor(s): Michael Dickerson, PsyD. Michael Dickerson is a clinical psychologist with over six years of experience counseling students. He specializes in depression, OCD, and men’s mental health. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, Sacramento and his doctorate in psychology (PsyD) from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California.
Number of sources used in this article: 12. You will find a list of them at the bottom of the page.
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Good social behavior, or etiquette, can make your life much more pleasant. People will respond well to you, and they will enjoy being in your company – just a basic knowledge of how one should behave with others. To master good social behavior, you need to learn to understand your audience, own your body, improve your communication skills, and learn how to dress appropriately.
- You may already find that you behave differently with close friends and family than you do with strangers. You may behave differently in private with colleagues than you would in the presence of a supervisor. And you may behave differently with your children than you do with the elderly. Reflect on what the reason is.
- Be sensitive to those around you. Think about who you are talking to before you say anything. Observe subtle nuances that may be misunderstood by certain people.  X Source of Information
Pay attention to how others interact. Observation is especially helpful when you find yourself in a new environment, such as a new job or a new social circle. With a little detachment and observation of others, you can pick up on what is acceptable to these people and what is not, in different situations.
- Be friendly and respectful to all people, no matter how different they are from you. If you are uncomfortable at first, the reason may be that you are just as different to them as they are to you. Take the first step and be polite. After all, you can learn a lot from observing the diversity in the world.
- In the words of Dale Carnegie (bestselling author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”), try to “focus from the inside out.”  X Source of Information
- Stereotypical and racist and sexist comments can be very offensive, even if you are addressing a group of people who are not in the category in question.
- Example: You are busy working on a project and someone comes up to you with a conversation. You respond briefly and continue working. If this person continues to talk to you, it means that they didn’t pick up on your social signal that you were too busy to have a conversation.
- Another example: you are at a party or a bar. A stranger approaches you and starts flirting. You turn away and continue talking to your friends. The stranger doesn’t leave, but instead keeps trying to get your attention. The person doesn’t pick up on your social signal that you’re not interested in getting to know him or her.
- Being able to read social signals is extremely important, otherwise the person who sent that signal and was not understood will be extremely uncomfortable communicating with you. As a rule, we learn to read social signals in childhood.
- Cultural differences, as well as certain illnesses such as Asperger’s syndrome or other autistic conditions, and even depression can be a barrier to reading social cues.
Use common polite words. Whoever you’re talking to, use words like “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me,” as these words demonstrate the respect for the individual that everyone you’re talking to deserves.  X Source of Information
Act with caution and be polite. If you are not sure what to say in a given situation, speak as little and as politely as possible. Sometimes, especially with people you don’t know well, a little small talk is enough.  X Source of Information
How do you get people to respect you?
How do you get people to respect you? It is impossible to make people respect you, but it is possible to behave so that they will respect you and treat you respectfully. How do you show yourself and gain the respect of others through your actions?
How do you gain the respect of others?
“Truly strong people don’t explain why they want respect for themselves. They just don’t communicate with people who don’t treat them with the respect they deserve.” Sherry Argow
Respect doesn’t lie in kindness and gentleness
How do you get people to respect you? To be kind, nice, good and accommodating? A person who is overly kind can be perceived as a wimp. A man who has no opinion of his own, does not defend his interests and tries to please everyone around him looks weak. And no one respects the weak.
Respect is found in the actions of
Nobody respects liars, cheaters or people who are unfaithful. It is not words, but actions that speak best for a person. The actions you take today will shape the opinion of others tomorrow.
Do your job well and be conscientious. It is important to act appropriately, honestly, and directly. Keep your word and see things through. Very few people do so, that you will immediately stand out. By your actions you will win the respect of others.
Treat everyone with respect if you want respect.
Treat all people with respect, even if they are inferior in social status. Mutual respect is the basis of respect. When you are respectful to the people around you, people will involuntarily respect you. You don’t divide people into statuses, you act tactfully with everyone.
Even respected and strong people get criticized. Know how to take constructive criticism with understanding, to unconstructive hating with a smile. If you’re right, why break your spears in fighting windmills? If they’re telling the truth, it’s an opportunity to learn something and come out of it stronger.
Act like a professional.
Behave with dignity, dress well, maintain etiquette and choose to be tactful. Show yourself always on your best and professional side. Do not stoop to squabbles, swearing, petty squabbles, gossip and fuss. Keep your emotions under control. Watch your body language. Behave like a professional if you want to be respected.
Don’t confuse respect and position.
Some people think that they will gain people’s respect when they have a great position or status. But the thing is, status can be respected, but a person cannot. A big boss is an arrogant, rude, and negative person who asserts himself at the expense of others? Such a person is not respected and never will be, no matter what status he has achieved. Respect is the ability to behave appropriately and tactfully.
Be an example to others.
Be someone that others want to resemble and look up to. Show leadership qualities, take responsibility, be attentive to the people around you and give them your time. Be what many people want to be, but are afraid to be or can’t be. Be an example to those around you and hold the bar of quality.
Self-confidence brings respect
There is nothing worse than looking at someone who needs and greedily seeks approval. It’s evidence of low self-esteem. Say no to slouching, fidgeting, mumbling, lethargy, apathy, and quiet speech. Behave with confidence. When a person is confident and knows what he wants, he is respected. Self-confidence is the cornerstone of respect.
“Respect every man to the best of your ability, until that man has shown you that your respect is not worthy.” Boris Akunin