7 Ways To Get Instant Respect

By Mr. Mafioso
Street Life Correspondent -


Everyone wants it, few get it.

Why? I'll tell you why. Respect is earned, never given. And nowadays, with our rush to do everything yesterday, few have the will, patience, or perseverance needed to be truly respected. Like drinking a good espresso , building up respect requires time and an appreciation of the fine details needed to achieve a perfect result.

Respect is also directly related to your reputation. Build up a rep as a "stand-up guy," and respect will follow as a result.

That said, there are ways to speed up the process -- at least in the short-term -- with a few shortcuts. For example, get into any position where you can wield power ( real power, not head of the janitor club power) and a certain level of respect is awarded to you, not because you deserve it but because it's part of the package of your new position.

don't spit on anyone

I had a police commissioner so deep in my pocket at one time that I could spit in his face and have him apologize to me for blocking the path of my saliva, but because of his "post," I refrained from committing such a rude act. I respect the institution of the American Presidency, so I respect the President because of his "position," not because he has done anything to deserve my respect. Capisce?

So, let's be realistic; the majority of you can't afford a Cadillac, much less buy yourselves a powerful position, so what can you do to garner some respect immediatamente ?

This is where you take out a piece of paper and write down what I am about to reveal because I won't live forever. Here are seven things that won't guarantee you respect, but will lead you in the right direction. What you have to remember is that these things aren't done once and forgotten -- they have to be part of a new lifestyle and image you project.

1- Dress the part
Regardless of what you've done in the past, how much money you have in your bank account, how famous you are, or how fat you've become, a man in a well-tailored suit will always get treated better than some salame off the street.

I'm not talking about just any suit, I mean a well-fitted one, tailored by a man who left his village in the south of Italy to come to America with nothing but his needling skills and his shoes. This is not a time to be cheap. Get a suit that costs $200 US, and you'll look like $200. Get a suit that costs you $1,000, and you'll look like a million. And don't skimp on the shoes either; buy yourself one good pair at $400 a pop rather than four cheap pairs for $85. Anything made in Italy is automatically better than anything else -- end of story.

Keep your mouth shut and stick to the truth...

2- Keep silent
I know all of yous think you're geniuses, but the truth is you aren't. You wouldn't need my advice otherwise. The world would be a toy in the palm of your hand. So, because you still have a lot to learn, you are better off just shutting your mouth and listening.

Be discreet, be mysterious, and only say what's necessary. In fact, don't say anything at all unless you have to. Mistakes are usually made by people who open their traps without good reason. The less someone knows about you, the more likely he'll choose to stay at a respectful distance.

When I meet someone for the first time, I politely salute them and take about two minutes before I say anything after that. In the meantime, the clown I just met has just told me where he lives, who he is cheating on his wife with, his credit card numbers, and how many Viagra pills he has to use to get it up. If you were a little bird listening in on our conversation, who would you respect more after the two minutes have passed?

3- Don't lie
If you do have to open your mouth, stick to what you know. If I had a nickel for every time some cafone I met started talking about crap he didn't know about in order to impress me or get my respect, I'd have two dozen Ferraris in my driveway.

There is no faster way to lose someone's respect than by lying, especially about stupidities. If you don't know something just say, "I can't really comment." It takes a real man to admit his shortcomings. If the other party is courteous, they'll ask you what you do, and then you'll have an opportunity to talk about something that can make you look like Einstein.

4- Never smile (keep that for the mistress)
Every time I see a wiseguy showing all his teeth, a picture of a crocodile always comes to my mind. When you're a man of respect, you're also a man of caution. Smiling is like letting your guard down and may make others think you're a snake or a used car salesman (like my brother-in-law, the son-of-a-bitch always has an alligator smile -- he reeks of cunning).

Withhold a smile, and everyone knows that you are a serious man who's not easily impressed. Nine times out of 10, the other person will try even harder to get your approval. Who respects who in this situation?

But by all means, show your pearly whites when the doors are closed and your mistress brings her bisexual Spaniard friend Lola for a little bedroom action. At that point, the only respect you are thinking about is if she sw...

5- Confidence & humility
I might be stating the obvious, but a man with confidence attracts people like a hooker at a prison camp. Confidence, even if it just includes having a good swagger, good posture, or good mannerisms, projects the image of someone in control, who knows what he's doing and can get the job done. A man with confidence says, "you can trust my abilities" and "respect my words."

Look someone in the eye. A confident man never spots any dirt on his shoes because he's never looking down.

Remember the fine line between confidence and arrogance. Confidence has to be balanced with a good dose of humility. Only a jackass likes to brag. Someone introduces you and says, "Mr. M is really smart, his organization made $10 million last year."

You answer, "Even with the greatest leadership skills in the world, without a good crew made of smart soldiers, I couldn't have done anything. A man alone cannot accomplish anything." What have you done? You've acknowledged your abilities while praising others. What a stand-up guy you are.

Rude guys never get anything from anyone...

6- Be polite - reciprocate respect & courtesy
When you meet someone, you shouldn't smile like a donkey, but you shouldn't be impolite either. Being guarded doesn't mean you can't be courteous. Good manners imply refinement, and refinement implies class; a man with class is a man that has traits worth respecting.

No one ever went to war because his enemy was too courteous or polite. Politeness doesn't mean being a wimp either. It means not being a jerk.

7- Have a good memory
One of the first things I tell the young turks in my crew is to develop a good memory because it won't just save their jackasses one day, it can score them a lot of points with business associates. You look like a fool when you don't remember the name of someone you were introduced to just 30 seconds before.

Remembering someone's name and something they told you proves that you are a man who pays attention to detail, and is attentive, intelligent and savvy. You don't have to repeat some drunken tirade he told you at your sister's wedding; remembering a name is sufficient, and it makes the person feel good (you get bonus points if you remember something about his kids). And what will he think? "What a stand-up guy, I like him. He even remembered my name."

end of story

I'll be the first to admit that I'm no rocket scientist: this advice is pretty straightforward. Some things you probably already do, some you don't. Applying all seven of these rules means you have to change your lifestyle, the way you act with people you've known for years, but if it is instant respect you want, you have to pay the price.

Just do what I said for a couple of days and you'll see the difference. Walk into a restaurant in a Canali suit, with your head up and good posture, get a table, and order your food. When you get to the wine list, ask the waiter about a French wine you're not familiar with.

Don't say a word to the waiter until the end of the night, except for "thank you" whenever he brings you something. Don't show your dentures. At the end of the evening, repeat what the waiter told you about the wine, and give your own opinion if you are a connoisseur. Leave a 20% tip. He may only be a waiter but it's a start on the respectability trail.

Watch your backs and keep your noses clean.