BIO-Melanie Hansen- The apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree in this family. Melanie, the daughter of Mark Victor Hansen, co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul, is a student, author and entrepreneur. A student of philosophy, she is working on both her first book and business endeavor. She lives and goes to school in Orange County, California.

 Expect Respect: Five Important Tools for Earning Respect

In life, being respected is an integral part of who you are and how you are received. As a young entrepreneur, or even just as a young adult in your household, getting that respect is not always easy. There are many ways to get the respect you deserve, but they won’t be instant, and require a commitment which is sometimes accompanied by arduous and unpleasant tasks. However, it also comes with rewards beyond any monetary measure. Here are some tools to help you get the respect you deserve.

  1. Choose a Respect Mentor. This should be someone you look up to, and highly respect for their values, integrity and decision making prowess. Think about why you respect them. If you are confronted with a difficult situation, think about what he or she might do in that situation.
  2. Be true to your word. If there is one thing I have learned it is that people who are true to their word, also known as having integrity, are highly respected and are often sought after for projects and friendship. Having integrity means consistently representing your personal values and beliefs through the things you say and do. The life of your choosing awaits you, so make your own choices by knowing, doing and thinking what is right for YOU, don’t worry about how popular it makes you at school. If you want people to value what you have to say, show that what you are saying has value. Value is attained through consistency and reliability.
  3. Practice self-reflection. Are you acting in a respectful way towards EVERYONE, even those you don’t like? How did your actions throughout the day project respect? If you want respect, you must be respectful. Don’t expect to be seen as something you aren’t. Before doing anything ask yourself: “Is this respectful?”
  4. Honesty is one of the most important components of becoming a respected individual. Being honest involves, but also goes far beyond, telling the truth. Being honest, truly honest, extends to how you make choices, the people you associate yourself with and the things that you choose to stand for. Ask yourself: Are they honest reflections of who you are, and choose to be, or are you simply following a trend because of fear of exclusion? Be honest with yourself when answering. No one can exclude you from yourself and your own dreams.
  5. Be accountable and don’t make excuses. These go hand in hand with honesty. If something has, or does, happen you must be fully accountable, or responsible, for the choice you made. This is why being honest is so important, when you choose from a place of honesty and integrity, being accountable for your actions is easy because you know you did the right thing. Remember, sometimes mistakes do happen, and that’s ok, if you handle the situation in a calm mature manner, it will reflect positively on you and your character.

When you practice these things you will gain something more valuable than the respect of others, you will develop self-respect. You are what you are because you choose to be it, not because someone “gives” it to you. Practice these things everyday and in every interaction and you will earn the respect you deserve.




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