When you hear the word “honor”, what comes to mind? Stories, perhaps: great heroes. The privilege given to people of status? Or maybe just a medieval idea that belongs with knights and creeds and princesses and all that.
The more I look around at our society today, the more I see what honor has become: a lost art. So many of our generation have so little regard for others outside of casual interactions, and this lack of respect—of honor—is blowing holes in our ability to form strong relationships, whether with our partners, friends, or family members.
To honor someone is to treat them with great respect and esteem. Unfortunately, many of us today don’t know what that looks like—let alone how to demonstrate it. It’s no wonder so many of our relationships end badly as a result.
True honor comes from a place of generosity. But rather than intentionally cultivating a mindset of selflessness towards others, we’ve been conditioned to a mentality of consumerism; always seeking what’s best for ourselves: how we can look better, feel better, or achieve more.
If we want to have the kind of impact and relationships we desire, it’s time we brought back this lost art.
Why We Need Honor Back
Honor makes others feel valued. All too often, we’re so focused on personal gain—even if not openly—that we neglect to show those around us how much we value them. We’re distracted, distant, forgetful. It’s not that we don’t value others; we’ve simply forgotten to be intentional about letting them know, and we’ve let other things get in the way.
Honor gains respect. If there’s one thing we want in society, it’s respect. We want to be treated well, and we spend so much time demanding that respect and tearing others down in an attempt to elevate ourselves that we forget the concept of honor. When you honor another person—regardless of who they are or whether you agree with them—you will undoubtedly gain the respect of those around you.
Honor demonstrates maturity. We’re so good at letting menial offenses destroy our relationships—and our influence. When we disagree with someone, our last thought is to treat that person with respect, whether they’re a friend, partner, or family member. Rising above offense and choosing to show honor will set you apart not only as someone to be respected, but someone to follow.
6 Ways to Show Honor in Your Relationships
1: Speak positively of them to others
The words you speak will influence your behavior, so let others know you value this person. Instead of complaining about their flaws, compliment their strengths. Be positive—even when they aren’t around.
2: Do unexpected kindnesses
One way to demonstrate honor is by doing simple acts of unexpected kindness, such as writing a note, buying them a cup of coffee, or cleaning the house. These things may be small, but doing them consistently will demonstrate value.
3: Listen to their opinions even if they disagree with you
Our first instinct is to listen to respond, rather than to understand. We want to get to the part when we talk, but true honor is being willing to hear someone out, not because you agree with them, but because you respect them.
4: Let them know you value their perspective
Rather than always making them come to you with their opinions, ask them. Be intentional about communicating with them. This shows you not only care about what they think, but also how they feel in a certain situation.
5: Encourage them in the pursuit of their passions
When we honor others, we seek to help them feel empowered, and this comes from encouragement. Instead of comparing yourself to others and tearing them down, seek to build them up.
6: Be present when you’re with them
It’s easy to let other things take precedence over your relationships; easy to feel pressured to keep up with the constant hustle. But we honor others by elevating them above the distractions in our lives. Being present is one of the best ways to demonstrate respect for another person.
Today I want you to think about how you can honor those around you—whether it’s your significant other, best friend, or coworker. What can you do to esteem them? To make them feel valued?
It’s time we worked together as a generation to bring back the lost art of honor. Be somebody else’s hero today.
- How do you honor others in your relationships?
- Why is respect valuable to you?
- Has lack of honor damaged a relationship of yours in the past?