21 Ways to Build Respect In Your Relationship

by | Jan 25, 2023 | Happy Healthy Relationships, Relationship Behaviors | 0 comments

Build Respect in Your Relationship in 21 Ways

By being intentional as you interact each and every day doing things you already do for each other, but with a focus on being respectful, respected, and giving respect. Build Respect In Your Relationship

1. Listening: When your partner is talking, it’s important to listen without trying to interrupt or finish their sentences and really take in what they are saying. You show respect for your partner and that you value their opinion and ideas. Taking the time to really understand where your partner is coming from will also help you build respect.  Remember to also respect yourself by listening to your own thoughts and feelings.

2. Communication: One of the main ways to demonstrate respect in your relationship with your partner is through communication. By understanding their points of view, sharing thoughts and feelings openly and honestly, and taking time to consider their opinions before responding, you create meaningful dialogue between you which helps build a foundation of trust and mutual admiration resulting in building respect.

3. Compromise: Learning how to compromise in your relationship is an important part of demonstrating respect for each other’s wants and needs. It’s not always easy but it’s necessary in order to make sure you both feel heard and respected. This means learning how to come up with win-win solutions that satisfy both of you so that everyone feels like their interests have been duly taken into account.  I call this finding the common or middle ground where both of you get some of what you want, but neither of you necessarily get everything you want. Build Respect In Your Relationship

4. Showing Appreciation: Achieving any kind of success or milestone requires effort on behalf of our partners; showing appreciation is one way you can express gratitude for them while also helping foster mutual respect between you. Whether it’s small gestures such as a simple compliment or larger shows of support like celebrating achieving each other’s goals together, expressing your admiration for your partner goes a long way in promoting positive feelings between you. Build Respect In Your Relationship

5. Making Space For Difference of Opinions: Respectful relationships require making space for both of you to feel safe enough to honestly express themselves without judgment listening carefully without trying to interject or finish your partner’s sentences as well as encouraging them to open up without fear of being dismissed or ignored. When you make space for your partner’s opinions, it tells them that you value what they have to say and that you’re willing to be open-minded towards hearing different perspectives, even ones that may stretch your comfort level.

6. Validating Feelings: Emotions can often be difficult things to understand so validating your partner’s feelings helps let them know that they aren’t alone in feeling the way they do while also showing respect for the fact that they experience emotions differently from you. By taking the time to check in with how your partner feels, you show that you care enough about them and recognize their sovereign right over their own emotional wellbeing. You also support them take active steps towards alleviating any stress or discomfort they might be going through. Build Respect In Your Relationship

7. Supporting Autonomy: Respectful relationships must include individuals who are autonomous from one another which means you allow each other independent decision-making power when needed. Supporting each other’s autonomy means understanding that there are certain aspects concerning each other individually (e..g body, mind) where only you have total control. This concept is essential for creating mutual respect while also showing you respect each other’s personal boundaries. Build Respect In Your Relationship

8. Avoiding Criticism: Criticism leads to hurt feelings initially followed by resentment.  Instead focus on asking for support in getting your needs met. Most issues in relationships are due to unmet needs and criticism is too. Resist giving feedback, also called constructive criticism, unless your partner has asked for it and then share your input without condemning or belittling your partner. Practicing respect requires understanding when being critical has crossed the line into disrespect.  It’s just simpler to avoid criticism altogether and instead orient your focus on offering positive reinforcement rather than tearing each other apart. Build Respect In Your Relationship

9. Giving reasonable Space & Time: Everyone needs space and time away from each other.  Being secure in yourself and your relationship while granting reasonable amounts for “me time” shows respect and recognition of each other’s need for privacy or solitude. Refraining from contacting your partner during their ‘me’ time is respectful too.

10. Respecting Boundaries & Limits: Respectful relationships must involve boundaries & limits. They are safeguards against crossing over into territory neither of you feel comfortable going into.  It is essential that you both share what’s off-limits and if you can, a brief explanation of why without being defensive. Be respectful of each other’s boundaries at all times.

11. Being Present & Engaged During Conversations: Taking time out from your busy life, putting the phone or remote control down to listen intently when having conversations with your partner shows you care more about them then what you were doing before they started communicating with you and shows attention and empathy.  Being fully present during conversations illustrates the value you have placed on your partner through your active engagement while they are speaking.  This creates an environment of respect that also fosters mutual appreciation and can build respect in your relationship.

12. Communicating Clear Boundaries: One of the best ways to ask for respect from your partner is to set clear boundaries in what you feel comfortable sharing and doing with them. This means being open and honest about topics, activities, and behaviors that make you feel uncomfortable or that you don’t want to engage in. Communicating these boundaries clearly will help ensure your partner has a better understanding of what is expected from them and how they can best show their respect for you.

13. Practicing Self-Care: Taking time to prioritize yourself and practice self-care is effective way of asking for respect from your partner. By carving out moments throughout the day where you focus on taking care of yourself, whether it’s through exercise, relaxation, or other forms of self-care, you’re sending the message to your partner that you value yourself and expect them to respect that. Self-care includes self-acceptance, self-respect, self-love, self-empowerment, and self-soothing as well.

14. Requesting Compassion & Empathy: When asking your partner for respect, it’s important to also ask them for compassion and empathy as well. This could mean simply asking your partner to try to see things from your perspective or offering reassurance when needed. Whatever specific requests you have and make, be sure to emphasize a desire for compassionate understanding from your partner. This demonstrates that you value their opinion but also want mutual understanding which can build respect in your relationship.

15. Being Specific, Clear, and Direct With Your Requests: To ensure that your needs are met, it’s essential to be specific, clear and direct with any requests you have when asking your partner for respect. This means being clear about exactly what you need.  It also means avoiding language like “you should…” or “you must or “you have to” which can comes off as condescending or manipulative instead of encouraging the support you are requesting from them. Build Respect In Your Relationship

16. Acknowledging & Appreciating Respectful Behaviors: In addition to being specific when making requests, it’s also essential to acknowledge any respectful behaviors by your partner. This could include simple compliments but could also involve more substantial displays such as planning surprise dates or making extra time for conversations between you. Showing appreciation towards your partner’s thoughtfulness, goal achievement, or even their mistakes helps encourage further positive behaviors which then helps thus helps build a strong foundation of mutual respect.

17. Establishing Positive Reinforcement Systems: Establishing positive reinforcement systems such as rewards when desired behavior is exhibited can be an effective way of getting your partner to behave in ways that are more conducive towards creating a mutually respectful relationship. Making agreements upfront regarding how successful outcomes will be rewarded and recognized by each other helps ensure fairness while providing additional motivation towards you achieving your or each other’s desired goals. Build Respect In Your Relationship

18. Mindful Communication Strategies: Mindful communication strategies such as those employed during compassionate listening where you both take turns speaking while paying close attention towards nonverbal cues can minimize misunderstandings. This will help you create a safe environment with respectful dialogue. Similarly practicing responsible communication techniques such as using ‘I statements” instead of “You statements” helps you keep the dialogue self-oriented instead of blame. These strategies promote respect in your relationship by communicating responsibly without resorting to blaming, criticizing, or other aggressive words or actions.

19. Focusing On Mutual Goals & Interests: Instead of focusing solely on your own interests, actively put emphasis on shared goals & interests. This lets your partner know that your relationship matters. Showing active interest in each other’s hobbies, dreams, activities, etc., helps reinforce your bond by investing quality time with each other. Build Respect In Your Relationship

20. Checking-In Regularly: Taking the time to briefly and lovingly check-in with your partner shows consideration about their day, how they’re feeling, and what they are going through. This shows you genuinely care about their well-being. These check-ins also can open the door to organically discuss any issues either of you may be experiencing while also providing reassurance about how valued you feel in your relationship.

21. Disagreeing Compassionately: While disagreements are inevitable in your relationship, respecting each other’s opposing viewpoints requires listening compassionately to their point of view, without getting triggered, upset, or needing them to agree with your point of view. Disagreeing compassionately, with curiosity in their point of view minimizes hurt feelings and prevents situations from escalating quickly into arguments.  This creates space for productive conversations that draw you closer, encourage sharing more with each other, and increases respect and mutual appreciation despite those differences. Build Respect In Your Relationship

There are many ways to build respect in your relationship.  I hope these tips on how to build respect in your relationship are helpful to you and they put you on the path to having a happy, healthy, and harmonious relationship.


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Dr. Dar Hawks. Relationship Coach for Couples

Hello, I'm Dr. Dar

This is my little corner of the internet where I share simple, effective advice to help you have better, stronger, happier relationships.



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Hi, I’m Dr. Dar…

If I could share just one thing with you today, let it be this: you have the power to shape your relationship into what you want it to be.

I am Dar, the Relationship Healer. I help couples to solve the communication and relationship issues that could potentially tear them apart. 

Until I started on the coaching path that led to my formulation of the Relationship Languages, most of the problems in my life had been due to problematic relationships… relationships where I felt unable to communicate, where I was not being heard, where I was not feeling understood. 

I have learned that, to create happy, healthy, and harmonious relationships even when you have differences, you have to learn how to give and receive communication in a healthy way. You have to feel safe expressing how you feel and what you need. 

That’s the beauty of the Relationship Languages. Once understood, they are the key to safe, curious communication. 

I’m here to help you on your journey to understanding and being understood. 

From my heart to yours,

Dr. Dar - The Relationship Healer - The 5 Relationship Languages Quiz
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