Welcome to episode 18 of the Light Her

Project Podcast, Real Women.

Real Talk.

I'm Rachel Strella.

And I'm Vixen Divine.

Thank you for joining us today.

I can't believe it's been 18 episodes.

I know!

Today's topic is so great.

We're gonna talk about respect.

So, this is like, there's a lot we can

talk about here.

So we start our episodes usually talking

about our personal experiences.

So let's talk about that as it relates to



Respect is, I've known throughout my life,

and there are some things that I learned

really to put on my map that I had to


They were not there.

As far as respect goes, as far as, cause I

thought everyone, when I was younger, I

pretty much thought everyone was raised

the same.

No, they're not.

There were certain things that you were

told you didn't do, and you showed respect.

It was,

It was given to you.

It was expected of you.

And you expected you to give it and get


And that was the way it was, at least in

my world.

Like I said, I thought everyone was raised

the same, at least in my world.

Like that was, you didn't even call, like,

I remember one time I tried to call my aunt by her name.

Like not aunt so-and-so.

I just tried to call her by her name.


No, no, no.


Again, that title is a respect thing.

Like, our parents, they didn't let you get

away with stuff.

So you were taught that as growing up, is

what was expected of you, how you give

respect, and if you did not, there were



You know, I hadn't even really thought

about how I was raised when I was thinking

about this question, but I was raised the

same way.

You were respectful.

You're respectful of your parents, your

teachers, whoever it is.

I was actually thinking more about how I

handle respect as an adult and in my life now.

And I think when it comes to respect and

actually trying to attain respect, we have

to have confidence in ourselves.

And that's something for me that's going

to be a work in progress.

I, um, I suffer from anxiety.

So like certain situations can make me

uncomfortable and it affects how you show up.

You know, if I'm feeling anxious, I'm not

going to be as confident as when my anxiety is at bay.

So, um, one of the things I learned when I

was in psychotherapy, she gave me a mantra.

So it's really long.

The shortened version is I will not seek


And it's helped me a lot because people

who have anxiety, they're looking for that certainty.

They don't like the unknowns or uncertain.

And that's me to a T.

I need to know what's gonna happen.

So when it comes to respect, you know,

once you've established your expectations

and your boundaries and you determine sort

of what's acceptable, you also have to

accept the things that are out of your

control, you know?

And I've had to learn to be able to walk

away from situations, or people,

that don't meet, you know,

my standards of respect.

You know, it's taken me a long time to

learn this.

I'm really grateful that I have a job

that's primarily remote and online,

because I think that relieves some of that

in-person anxiety.

I think that, yeah, I think that does help

for someone in that situation that you

can, it's a way to get out of the

situation quickly.

There's an out quickly rather than being

in front of someone or in a job or in a

place where you have to be that you don't

necessarily want to be.



You’re right.

So let's talk about, you know, how do you

gain respect?

Well, there's a couple of ways, but my big

way and the first way, and a lot of times

people don't think about this, but you

gain respect before you say anything.

If they haven't met you yet, assuming that

you know people who know you already know

if they're going to respect you or not,

but we're talking about someone who

doesn't know you yet okay.

The way you even enter the room.

Your posture, your speech, before, when

they see you coming through that door,

they have already made a picture of you, a

determination before you walked over to where they are.

Whether it's conscious or subconscious,

everything from what you're, and this

should not be, but this is the way it is,

everything from the way you walked to what you're wearing.

How you hold yourself have already made a


Now, by the time you get to them then,

you're already just, you're either

fighting against it or you're flowing with

it if it's positive or negative.

So, yeah, so that's something.

So how you gain that, those nonverbal

cues, that confidence that you just talked

about, if you have that, that is half the

battle right there.

That really is as far as respect goes.

Because then you're not going to have to

fight so hard to gain it because you're

already halfway there.

I totally agree.

First impressions are lasting impressions.

So how you show up initially is gonna set

the stage for how well you're received and respected.

So you may have heard the phrase, we teach

people how to treat us.

Oh yes.

So we do set the stage for what's

acceptable and unacceptable behavior from others.

So, but it really starts with yourself.

You know, you have to have self-respect,

self-awareness, you know, and be present

for this to work.

Like you need to define what it is that

works for you, doesn't work for you, what

you'll accept, you know.

Then you can be transparent with others

and those expectations.

So, you know, one of the things that I've

noticed that helps with that is setting

clear boundaries with people, you know.

And then there's always those people who

feel like, somebody in my team used to

call them screamers, the person who

demands attention all the time.

And how you respond to that determines the

level of how they're going to treat you going forward.

If you just ignore them and you're not dealing

with it.

And like I said earlier, walking away from

situations that are unacceptable.

Get that toxicity out of your life.

When you are that screamer that you talked

about, that is not necessarily a level of

respect, but it is commanding attention,

but it's not necessarily the attention that you want.


Definitely the attention that can serve

consequences or not.

So you're right.

It's great that you go ahead and let that

go and ignore that so they don't feel

like, oh, if I do this, I'm going to get


Look at me, look at me,

look at me.

But we'll talk about that a little bit

later too, because it is interesting.

Some of the things I've learned about

myself in my old age.

All right.

Question number two that I have here, and

this is, this is something obviously, you

know, I have a lot of experience with, you

know, the work environment has shifted to

remote teams, you know, we have zoom

meetings, we have email, you know, how

does that impact how you show up and how

you gain respect?

So you know, for me I have some basics

here and it's surprising to me how many

people don't have this down, you know,

when you're in a remote meeting, like show up on time.

Mute yourself when you're not talking, you

know, turn your camera on show up

properly, you know, not eating a burrito,

you know, looking like a slob.

You know, and that

and you can tell the person that's

multitasking in a meeting.

You can tell it in a Zoom.

And for me, that's the fastest way to lose

respect for somebody.

They're just not present at all.

Yeah, they're not giving you their whole



It is harder I feel though to kind of

especially in group meetings where

everyone's just like a little spot you

know on zoom it's really hard to get that

respect when you're just a little person

on the screen.

I don't know if you have any thoughts

about how to do that.

I do.

I, that, when it comes to remote, like the

Zoom type of talking, that sort of thing,

you don't have that luxury of showing up,

you know, from the door, you know, to the space.

So I feel like respect is everything that

has to do with coming out of your mouth.

Everything that comes out of your mouth,

the intelligence level or not, that comes

out of your mouth really,

is just about everything, except there is

something to turning on your camera.

That I feel like also is a respectful


Because I've seen meetings, you know, when

they have the picture on there and they

have the picture on for like almost the

whole meeting or in some, you know, are they really there?

You know, there's no interaction really

other than maybe a talk or two, but.

Yeah, so what's coming out of your mouth

intelligence really matters here on that

subject whatever the subject is Somebody

makes them listen to you if you have

something good to say. Because you don't

have that time from when you walk through the door.

I agree with you there.

I think one of the challenges I've had is

some of the meetings that we come to, they

have, there's several of us on our team

there and several, you know, folks on my

client's team and it's kind of like we

expected that we're all supposed to talk,

you know, and as far as us, you know, and

sometimes some of us just don't have

anything to say, but you feel like you

have to.

So that's a challenge that

we have sometimes because they're like,

okay, Laney, what do you have to say?

Oh, what do you have to say, Rachel, what do

you have to say?

Yeah, we all get the floor.

But what if you don't have anything to


Sometimes I feel like it's better to say

nothing at all.

But you got the floor, you know.

That’s a challenge.

That’s a challenge.

If you're expected to talk, yet you have

nothing to say on the subject, is there a

such thing as an I pass?

Yeah, I mean.

There are times when I really thought

about that, but I really racked my brain

at times, like what should I talk about?

Because I feel like I've got the experts

on my team who are already going to talk about

this, you know, I'm just kind of there in


But yeah, it's definitely a challenge the

way the things are.

I mean, I feel like you have a physical

presence, you can just show up a little differently.

And even though I have anxiety, and I like

to be able to hide behind my computer, it

does pose a challenge for trying to earn

respect that I feel like you have when you

show up in person.

As far as email goes, like I also feel

like basic supply here, proper grammar.

Yeah, if I receive an email that's just

riddled with typos.

It's a huge turn off, you know, and I

think that we have to watch the tone of our emails too.

It's really easy to misread the intent of

an email because of the tone.

Absolutely I feel like --

Yeah yeah, I do.

I feel like if they don't, if you think,

if you even begin to think that person is

going to take what you say and kind of

turn it around, or it sounds like it could

be misinterpreted, I think a phone call is

better in that respect.

Even leaving, if they don't answer, even

leaving a voicemail, at least they can

hear your inflection and

you know, it's bound to not be taken in

such a way because it can get, yeah, it

can get pretty bad in some cases.

No I agree with you.

I also think that boundaries are important

with email too and I am guilty of this sometimes.

You know, when I get an email from

somebody, especially somebody on my team,

I am pretty immediate to respond.

You know, I think that, you know, I'm

being so responsive that I cause people to

take advantage a little bit and they email

me about things that they probably could

figure out on their own.

But they know that I'm gonna respond

quickly, so they email me.

And I'm not saying that they're

disrespectful, I'm saying that we set the

expectations of communication.

And I had a great conversation with Laney

yesterday about this, because she's a

great example of setting clear boundaries

as a remote worker.

She does not respond to email that can


And she puts her phone away, so she can

show up for her kids and other things in her life.

So I'm really learning how to do that too.

To set that boundary.

That's impressive.

That's impressive because most people are,

for lack of a better term, they're

actually addicted to their phone, to this

world of social media, to this world that doesn't actually exist.

You know. So for her to be able to do that, that

would really take, sounds like it would take discipline.


To do that.

So I commend, Laney, if you're watching

this, honey, I commend you, dear.

I know you'll be watching.

No, it's true.

It's again, it goes back to we teach

people how to treat us, you know, and, and

I'm really learning that, you know, being

available all the time has its disadvantages.

There, I think people have a fear of

missing out, though I think that fear of

missing out is what keeps people

on their phone constantly.

I can't miss something.

Yes, yes, I'm with you.

I can, if you beep me at three in the

morning, I probably am getting it.

I'm probably getting it.

At least I might not respond, but I

probably look at it because I wanna know,

like I can't, what is it?

What is it?

So I might not respond, but I probably

looked at it.



All right.

So, and do you think that there are

certain circumstances in which some people

might have more difficulty gaining respect

than others?

I think so.

I think okay you ever heard the term they

can smell your fear?


Oh, yes.


So this is where I feel like if someone

thinks or someone feels like you're giving

off that vibe of a I'm timid or I'm just

gonna be over here, you know, that kind of

thing, then they feel like you don't have

the gumption for respect.

I just, that timid little, now, there's

probably a level of respect, a minimal

level of respect, pretty much, that

everyone gets from the beginning.

But there you gain more or you basically

gain points or you lose points.

But they're gonna stay kinda at that

minimal level.

Like that's the person who's fighting to

prove themselves.

Because they didn't start off any higher

than this.

It's true that handshake, that how you

speak, are you looking them in the eye?

What are you commanding when you meet them

or see them?

What you're talking about really is

somebody's personality too.

I mean there are people who are just

naturally timid.

You know it takes a conscious effort to

break out of that but some people just

never do and they probably don't realize

that they have trouble commanding respect because of it.

We’ve talked about anxiety for me.

And it's so funny you mentioned about

smell fear because my former coach

mentioned that to me before.

And I believe that I am a work in progress

on the anxiety, but one tip that they,

that he gave me that I, that I really like

is it's called an anchor.

To have an anchor.

I've heard that.

Yeah so like somebody I know, she wears pearls.

So her pearls are her anchor.

If she has those on, that gives her that

confidence that she's got this.

For me, it took me a long time to find my

anchor, but it's now my smart watch.

I’m naked if I don't have that on.

So like when I go to your place Vixen and get

a massage, I'm like, ah, I don't have that on.

Okay, so I'm gonna give you one more


At least from my personal perspective, I

have profound hearing loss.

So it definitely impacts my confidence


Which impacts how I show up and how I feel

like I earn respect.

Probably my single biggest challenge.

Um, a good example for me, I'm at the gym.

I don't wear my aides at the gym, but if

like they're talking to me, the people at

the front desk or Nathan’s trying to talk to

me or whatever.

I'm not going to hear anything they're


So I actually avoid people at all costs.

Now, most people avoid people at the gym,

but I really avoid people.

So I don't even know what people at the

gym think of me.

They probably think I'm a weirdo, but I'm

afraid someone's gonna try to talk to me

and I won't be able to hear them.

So it definitely affects how I show up and

probably how people perceive me and who I am.

Well I’m the person, see

what I would give you.

If I were you, I would have

little signs.

If someone starts talking, I can't hear


Sorry, can't hear you.

I’ve thought about it.

I’ve thought about it.

There's a show that I'm just finishing

watching right now.

It's on Netflix.

It's called In the Dark.

And the main character her name is Murphy

Mason she's blind and how she shows up is

hilarious she doesn't care she doesn't

care she'll just cut through the line, I'm blind I

can't see you know and she doesn't care

she breaks all the rules.

And I'm like, how do I do that?

She could do that when she's blind.

How can I do that?

You know, with the hearing loss.

I don't know.

Maybe I wear a big sandwich sign.

You know, I don't know, but it is an

ongoing challenge because I struggle

because I don't want to feel like I'm

different, you know, but I am.

I'm stuck here, I know.

I’ll make you a sign

with sparkles on it.

Don't worry.

A little purple around the edge.


All right.

Well, now one question and, you know,

given your opening, I'm sure I kind of

have an answer about this, but respect,

you know, is it earned or is it given?

Well, I feel like it's definitely earned

because there's a neutral, like I said,

there's a neutral level that everybody


Like you start out at ground zero,

everybody has a neutral level ground zero.

So you got that neutral level.

In other words, I'm not gonna treat you

bad, I'm not gonna treat you good, I'm

just, I'm gonna treat you norm there.

So with your actions and your words then,

you either gain points or you lose points.


So I feel like respect is, I guess it's given as far

as neutrality, but to get any good level

of respect, you have to earn that.

Because I'm not going to just go around

treating people bad until you crawl out of that hole.

You know? I'm not

going to do that.

Everybody gets a neutrality, you know.

But then you can go up or down from there,

depending what.

You ever seen a person

who is gorgeous.

Oh my God, he is drop dead gorgeous until

he started talking.


Then he went down real, real fast.

And woman the same way.

Guys, oh my gosh, she is beautiful until

she started talking.

I agree with you.

I think we should have a basic level of

respect for everyone.

You know, being courteous, not rude or

kind of sending to them, you know.

You can't really fake respect, you know,

you either truly respect them or you don't.

You know, like, you should be polite and

show respect, but like you said, there's a

level of how that goes depending on your


I saw a Reddit thread this week.

Someone mentioned that

in the thread that respect should be given

but trust is earned.

So that's an interesting perspective.

One that I agree with.

Be respectful but trusting somebody is a

different level.

Completely different level, honestly,


Trust is not, there's no baseline for that


You don't have it at all, like to begin

with, like, no, trust you as far as I can

throw you, not happening.

That is something that is completely


And I do, I would put that actually in a

different category from respect.


I agree.

Trust I feel like, is a

whole different thing.

That's another podcast.

This is funny how the thread went and

these reddit threads, these people can

really go into it, you know.

So it's, you know, a couple hundred

comments down, we start shifting from

respect to trust.

So I just thought that was interesting.

But I guess at the end of the day, trust

is really the ultimate, you know.

So respect to me is like the initial and

ongoing thing that has to occur, you know.

Because you respect your co-workers.

You respect them because they're your


They had to do something, you know, to get

to that level, to get the interview, to

get there, you know.

So in some way, there should be some kind

of neutrality.

But do you trust that they're not going to

eat your sandwich?

Yeah, they'll lift and level.


Mm hmm.

I agree.

Well, let's talk about a couple things

we're seeing.

So I found this article on

entrepreneur.com that's one of the biggest

takeaways for me that I thought was in our

same like we're both female, you know,

entrepreneurs, business leaders.

So leaders are judged on their results and

respected for how well they treat people.

I thought that was really interesting and

it goes back to what we were talking about

with respect, kind of having that

baseline, you know, you can be a person

that's the boss or be an authority figure,

but so you're going to have that baseline

respect, you know, but when it comes to

like truly respecting people, it's like

how you treat them matters, you know, how

you show up and treat them, not just how

you show up for yourself, but how you

treat them.


I really believe that because I've, you

know, I've had, I've had a lot of people

that have worked on my team in the past 13 years.

Some that well, I'm glad they're gone.

Some that I'm so grateful that they work

with me every day, but no matter who they

are, I treat them well.

I can't think of anybody on my team would

say I don't, you know, and I feel like our

team is strong because there is that

mutual respect and they are treated well.

Well, I think in order for you to even do

that, you have to be, when you're in a

place of authority, you know, when you are

a leader, you have to also be a good listener.

Because in order to provide that person

with what they need to be successful,

whatever part you need to play in that

role, you need to understand what it is

that you need to help them develop.

And in order to do that,

you can't just guess.

I mean, you can guess, but you're probably

gonna be wrong.

If you listen and you look for the cues,

then you can see, oh, they need

development in this area.

Or, and this is where you start to help

them and give them their strength, so that

you can be a good leader, and then they'll

appreciate how much they've grown from

being on your team, or being under you,

whatever the structure is of that particular business.

Makes, yep, I 100% agree.

I 100% agree.

Listening is huge and not assuming.


We do something with all of our...

folks on our team where we call it like a

check-in or regular check-in.

We ask them about 12, 13 questions.

We have some questions that, you know,

some people would not want to know the

answer to, you know, like what don't you

like about what you do?

You know, how, how can we improve?

Like, how can we help you with what, what

would you do if you were a CEO of my company?

Um, this kind of questions that really dig

deep, but it, it really gives you that feedback that you need

to know how to keep people happy on the


Well, if you don't ask though...

Some people

don’t listen.

Yeah, if you don't ask,

some people, they'll just

hold it in because they don't think you

wanna know.

And sometimes it'll just stew till they

like just quit.

I have a couple tactics around that.

One, we asked the same question several

different ways throughout the conversation.

So if they avoided it the first time, you

know, we're gonna rephrase it later on.

Two, I'm not the one who's doing the


You know, Laney’s the one who will get that

feedback and they're gonna tell her a lot

faster than they're gonna tell me.

So this article also talks about seven

qualities of people who are highly respected.

So here are these qualities.

Be polite, given.

Act respectfully.

So yeah, that's that mutual respect, makes


Vixen, you win, you win.

Listen well, yes.

Be helpful.

If you're listening well, you can help

people better, right?

Don't make excuses.

That one rings the bell for me.

Don't make excuses.

Let go of anger.

And that's the thing we didn't talk a lot

about today, but managing your emotions is

also a way that you can earn or not earn


That's tough for some people.

That is really tough for some people.

It really is.

I mean, they don't know their triggers.

They don't know how to, as we call it,

bring it down.

You know, before, I mean, not everyone,

but it happens a lot, especially in the

workplace and in a relationship.

Yep, you just react.

Yep, easy way to lose respect.

The final one is be willing to change, and

I think if you're doing all these other

things well, that would come naturally.

But who knows?

Some people, you know, they, their map is


We talked about the map before.

If their map isn't big enough, they're not

going to change or even do any of these things.

They don't realize that they need to


The first thing to help them change is

understanding that they need to.

And if they think they're right.

There's no hope, no hope.

You know, you can lead a horse to water,

but trust me, I've got a lot of people

that I knew that some family members too

that you can't change them.

They are who they are.

Sometime people are

stubborn and they just don't care.

Or they just don't know, you know, there's

just that they're just lacking that

awareness all around.

Well, we're coming to the end of this


Is there anything else you'd like to say

about this topic, Vixen?

No, I think we were pretty thorough on

this one.

I think if, and if you're an introvert

though, and you're finding that, you know,

you didn't understand why, what people are

perceiving of you from the outside.

Not that you're a bad person, don't get me

wrong, but just fake it one day.

Just one day consciously fake that and see

the difference.

You know, just walk in that room, just

pretend just for just a minute and see how

differently you're perceived.

Leave it in the comments.

If you do that, just leave comments and

tell us how it went for you.

That would be a great experiment.

As somebody who I call a situational

extrovert myself, I could experiment with

these things and it's kind of funny.

So I love to hear from anybody who's an

introvert and faking it how that goes for them.

Well, thank you everybody for tuning into

the Light Her Project podcast.

You can follow our conversation online

with our hashtag.

In the meantime, keep it real.

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