When you are in the company of others, it’s important to give them your respect. For me, respect is defined by two people reciprocating their treatments of one another. I still remember one of the biggest reason why I felt so unvalued back before I tried to jump. The people I was surrounded by, or at least, encountering on a daily basis, they wouldn’t respect me. They treated me like I was a chore to be around, an obligation that they did not want to attend to, even when I would greatly value my time with them and listen keenly to everything they say. The most noticeable example was that they would always be on their phones when I was hanging out or interacting with them. That alone was just rude. When you are on your phone when somebody is talking to you, is sends a message that that person is not as important as whatever it is you are doing on your phone. When my roommate used to do that to me, I just felt like I was wasting their time, and it hurt a lot of my own self-respect.
Obviously, you should treat others like how you want to be treated. That is generally how you garner respect from others. However, some people can be just so inherently disrespectful that even doing that is not enough. People who demand more effort or attention and do not reciprocate it, they are not worth your time. Those sorts of people will not respect you ever, and they themselves need a lesson in manners. It makes me really angry just thinking about it. I always wondered why I felt my roommate never respected me. It was because they did that every single time we interacted. So even though I had a lot of self-respect going into that living situation, I ultimately felt like I was being a burden or a waste of time, and that was one of the many reasons why I tried to kill myself back then.
The easiest way to show somebody respect is to LISTEN with your full attention. Yes, I fully capitalized that word like a pre-pubescent teenaged girl because it needs to be properly emphasized. Don’t look at your cellphone, don’t avoid eye contact. If somebody is trying to spend time with you, you spend time with them, and have no sort of interferences. If you set the tone that way, then it will be up to the both of you (you and the hypothetical person you are talking or interacting with) to maintain that calling for full attention. It is really important that you give somebody your undivided time, or else they will feel like they are not as valuable as whatever it is you are distracting yourself with. I know that from being treated that way myself.
A conversation is a two-way street. You putting in the effort to listen and remember these details in a conversation is a great thing, but if the other person does not, then they are not worth your time or attention. Those people who do not respect you are not worth your time. Always be the higher person by setting that tone of respect, and for those who choose not to reciprocate, cut them out of your life. That is necessary if you want to have a feather-light life.