In this lifetime, we get to meet people with different personalities, different views, and different ways of interacting with the people they meet. And in this lifetime, you only get one chance to earn the respect of other people – earn – not demand, nor command.
Once respect is earned, you only have two choices of what to make of it: take care of it or abuse it. And I have met people who did not use it well enough to make me retain it in my system. Several steps have been made to get it back, several well-thought-of steps, even employed morals to make me realize that they at least deserve what is demanded by public norms; yet it’s still not enough. Because there will only be two possible results of all the effort and dialogue and scripts and schemes. Two levels of respect that you might then again earn after fighting for dear life just to get it back – it’s either lower, or none at all; it will never be the same as it was before. Never.
Whatever everybody says, whatever every article on self-help books say, whatever your psychiatrists say, your teacher, your parents, church leaders, whatever you try to do, say, not do and not say, respect earned and lost will never be the same respect regained, if ever you get to regain it. Nothing will ever be the same again. Nothing.
Take care of what you earn. Not everything earned can be well-spent.