In some circles, respect is worth more than money. Those circles are generally formed around a trashcan fire and the level of respect earned is directly proportionate to one’s ability to scrounge up a set of fish bones with which to comb his or her hair. But nevertheless, they do exist. Want that kind of respect? Well, if every poorly written action movie is accurate, respect is not given, but earned. That sounds like a lot of work. Wondering if there’s an easier way? There is. In fact, there are ten. And I respect you for asking. Keep up the good work, kid.
Refer to books as “literature.” Oh, you read books? Big deal. Everybody reads books. I know four-year-olds that read books. You’re not a four-year-old, are you? Huh, are you, you big baby? Oh, you are? I’m very sorry. In that case, you are an excellent reader. As for the rest of you, instead of telling friends that you’re reading a good book, let them know that you’ve just picked up the most interesting piece of literature and they should follow suit forthwith. Be sure you’re pronouncing it “LIT-ra-chure” to really drive the point home. If your friends don’t punch you in the face, congratulations, you’ve earned their respect.
Just ask. How do you think Lincoln freed the slaves?
Confidently spout poorly researched historical assertions.
Speak louder than everyone else. If there’s one thing that will never change from generation to generation, it’s that the person with the largest skull should always be the leader. And if there’s one other thing that will never change, it’s that after that leader is attacked and eaten by natives after leading some sort of jungle expedition that he or she was warned on multiple occasions was positively mad, the new leader will naturally be the person who steps up and yells “RUN!” first and loudest. Follow that person. They seem to know what they’re talking about.
Avoid dancing. It is far better to remain stationary and be thought a square than to slide electrically and remove all doubt.
Touch your nose with your tongue. It’s a skill so few possess, but has so many practical applications—unlike patting your head and rubbing your belly simultaneously, which is a complete waste of time.
Interrupt people. You need to train those whose respect you wish to earn that what you have to say is more important than what they’re talking about. So I’m very sorry that you’re choking, darling, but I need to finish this point about customer service at airlines these days.
Use the speakerphone at all times. Dialing your phone on speaker in public spaces or while at your desk as others attempt to work around you is a clear signal that your time and personal space is considerably more valuable than theirs. Following that up by conducting your entire conversation on speaker phone really drives the point home. Plus, it’s another way to show off your ability to speak loudly, warding off those who may attempt to usurp you or natives looking to claim your enormous skull as their trophy.
Kick someone’s ass. Having trouble getting noticed at work? Find the most well-respected person in the office and assault them. Just make sure you finish the job, otherwise you may appear weak in the eyes of coworkers or, eventually, fellow inmates.
Hold your urine on long car rides. When you see the way your children look at you, you’ll wonder why you didn’t risk severe kidney damage sooner.
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