To show respect is to be polite and treat other people the way you want them to treat you. One of the first opportunities we have to show respect to someone is when we first meet them. 

STOP & THINK – How we act when we first meet someone can make a difference in how we will get along with them. Sometimes people make decisions about another person based on how they look, or where they are from, before they get to know anything about that person. Here are some choices you have when you meet someone new, such as a new kid at school. You may feel uncomfortable the first time you do some of these things, but they will become easier the more you do them.

  • Be the first to step up and say hello.
  • Introduce yourself with a smile.
  • Ask them about their favorite things as a way to get to know them.
  • Be sure they are invited to participate in activities.
  • Wait until you get to know someone before you make decisions about them.

How would you feel if someone decided you could not join them without even getting to know you?

Meeting someone new is only one example of a situation where shaking hands is appropriate. Watch for people shaking hands and see if you can tell why they shake hands. Some of the other reasons or occasions when people shake hands include:

  • congratulating someone for an achievement
  • when they make a promise or reach an agreement
  • greeting someone they already know
  • saying goodbye to each other after a visit

What are other ways you can show respect to your friends, family and others?

There are many we can show to others that we believe they are important and that their opinion and participation matters.  Here are just a few:

  • Not interrupting or speaking when someone else is speaking.
  • Holding a door open for someone else.
  • Saying “please” and “thank you” when asking for and receiving help.
  • Picking up something that someone has dropped.