Words That Command Respect


Think of a friend who puts in extra hours at their favorite charity. Maybe they work long, hard hours at a nonprofit job that doesn't pay as much as it should.

That person is likely benevolent, and you can’t help but admire their selfless kindness. Dating back to the 1400s, this word is from Old French benivolence, it means, “good feeling, good will, kindness.”


The word empathy is derived from the Ancient Greek word empatheia, meaning "physical affection or passion." An empathetic person is someone who can not only sympathize with you, but can deeply feel and understand what you’re going through. If one of your friends is empathetic, they're definitely the one you call when you're having a tough day because you know they'll always say "IFY."

In fact, the term empath is used in science fiction to describe a person with a paranormal ability to comprehend others’ emotions, or even someone with psychic abilities. That's pretty damn impressive, no? Respect.

Want to know what the difference between empathy and sympathy are? Here you go!


Do you tend to idolize those who are deeply passionate about what they do? That magnetic quality is known as ardor.

The word comes from the Latin ardor, meaning "burning or heat." So, the next time you hear someone speak with particular enthusiasm, compliment them on their ardor. You'll command the respect too due to your big vocabulary.

Some may not call obsessive fandom a "passion," but no matter if you do or don't, fans definitely care about their teams in a way that is definitely enthusiastic and passionate. To find out more about why fans are so obsessive and whether or not they deserve the title of ardor ... check out this article "Real Fans Only."


Have you ever met someone who refuses to back down when an obstacle presents itself? They’re probably tenacious, and if you’re on their good side, they’re probably one of your most loyal friends.

The word stems from the Latin tenāx, meaning “holding fast.”


Do you know anyone who can skydive, bungee jump, or speak in front of a massive crowd with ease? You’d probably describe them as being audacious. The word comes from the late Middle English audacite, which means “daring.”


There’s nothing more inspiring than seeing someone create a goal and execute it with grace. The perfect word to describe this is efficacy. The term comes from the Latin efficacia, meaning "efficacy or efficiency," and from efficax, meaning "powerful or effective."

Psychologist Albert Bandura defined self-efficacy as a person’s belief in being able to accomplish a specific task, which can contribute to a person’s overall confidence.


Sure, it’s always envious (or annoying?) to watch someone lead a seemingly easy life. How about the rags-to-riches stories, though? When someone is able to recover from setbacks, they’re resilient. The word comes from the Latin resiliens, meaning "to rebound or recoil."

This term is also used in psychology to refer to those who recover from major traumas. However, the word can be used conversationally too to describe someone who can overcome obstacles large and small.


Do you have a friend who refuses to cheat at a game, even if they could get away with it and not get caught? They likely have a strong dosage of integrity, also known as an adherence to moral and ethical principles, and they keep it 100 for sure.

The word comes from the French intégrité or Latin integritas, meaning "intact."


Have you ever met someone who always seems to put others’ needs before their own? There’s nothing like a person with a spirt of generosity. The term originates from the Latin generositatem, and means, ”nobility, goodness of race.”


For our final word deserving the respect, we’ve chosen civility. Sometimes, there’s nothing that earns more respect than a person who can handle a civil matter with others, no matter how tense the situation may be.

Think of a politician who can rise above the most contentious debate and still remain courteous to their opponent. That, my friends, is civility.

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