There many ways to love people. A very simple way to love someone is to meet their needs. There are 4 basic types of needs that people have. Physical needs are things like food, water and shelter. You can love people in this manner by working in a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, clothing or food bank and other things like that. Another type of need is Spiritual needs. They can be met by teaching a bible study, taking someone to church, leading a small group, leading worship and things of that ilk. Intellectual needs are another and they can be met by teaching a class, sharing books, encouraging good discussion on certain topics.
The last type of need is emotional or relational. These are things like appreciation, affection, attention, approval, comfort, acceptance, encouragement, support and more. Most of this website is centered around emotional needs. The only ways that they can be met are within a relationship. Sadly, many relationships in our world are damaged if not downright broken. Therefor, if you really want to love someone and have a lot of impact, meet their emotional needs.
One of the emotional needs that I feel is more often than not UNmet is respect. Think about it. How often do you hear people say, “I’ve never been so disrespected!” and “Don’t you disrespect me!”? I’ll bet it’s a ton. How often have you felt that you were not respected? Now, allow me to ask you this…When was the last time someone came up to you and said, “I really respect how you…”? It’s been awhile hasn’t it? If it has been recently, I’d bet it’s not very often. That’s why I think that if you purposefully respect someone, they will really need it, appreciate it, and feel loved.
I’ve been going over ways to do this during my church services. For about 5 minutes each week, I take the time to not only talk about love but to equip people to love others. Here is a list of ways that you can show people respect. Mind you, you have to actually believe these things when you do them. Otherwise, you’re just a phony and people will see through that and certainly not feel loved.
- Tell them that you respect them. In this fist case, keep it super simple, “Hey Frank, I really respect you.” This is the most obvious way to go about it and very often feels quite clunky. However, it is in that awkwardness that they will not be able to mistake your intention and thus, feel loved.
- In general, use appropriate titles. Call older gentlemen Sir, older ladies, Mam. It may sound a bit archaic but it will definitely leave them feeling respected (unless they feel really old and take it as a slight).
- Ask them for advice. Whatever it is about them that they have any expertise in, ask them about that.
- Remind them about a time in their life when they got through something and how much you respected how they handled it.
- Think about what matters most to this person. What are they most passionate about? If they excel in that at all, tell them that you respect that aspect of their life. Whether it be parenting, their job, their favorite hobby, whatever. Tell them that you respect how they perform/are in those regards.
- When they are not around, talk about them. No, not in the typical way but in the exact opposite. Talk POSITIVELY about them when they are not around. Then, it will eventually get back to them that you were doing this and they will feel…respected.
- When the opposite it true (others are talking behind someone’s back) stand up for them. Let it be known that you are not cool with what is going on. Like the last one, work may/will get back to the person (hopefully not by you) and they will feel that you respected them.
- Lastly, when someone is going through some tough times, when they are under attack, when they have no one on their side…be there for them. Stand beside them figuratively if not literally. When all is against them, be with them.
These are just some ways to show respect. There are variations to each. I really feel like you can positively impact others by doing things like this. I would love to hear other ways that you feel like one can show respect.