Being liked and being respected are two different traits which many people confuse with one another.
If you seem to be well-liked by those around you, it does not equate to you being respected. Respect is by nature surrounded by hints of positive envy. We respect those who do what we cannot yet do. As much as you want to think that you choose who you respect, your respect is often commanded without any input from you.
The fact that respect can be commanded, without any input from other parties, is what makes it different from being well-liked. Being liked cannot be commanded. The people who like you, choose whether or not to like you. Being well-liked can be beneficial in influencing people within your social circles. However, being well-liked does not allow you to dictate anything into reality without first acquiring acceptance from others.
Gaining respect can be attained through ways which do not make you liked by those who grow to respect you. Although it is best to be liked by those who you command respect from, sometimes it is not an option.
The Cat That Nobody Likes
For example, a cat which swats at any hand that comes close to pet it commands respect through violent means. The level of respect you have for that cat will dictate whether or not you choose to reach and pet it.
The cat has began to dictate your behavior by commanding respect via violent methods. It has gotten what it wants, and does not care if it is liked by you. This is the beautiful thing about respect; you can command it should you choose to. If positive and lighthearted ways do not work, you can utilize sterner methods. Respect will allow you to shape reality to what you want it to be, therefore the act of commanding respect must be taken seriously.
The Act of Commanding Respect
Any person who wishes to achieve their goals must command respect from those around them in some form. Whether or not they are well-liked should not influence their decision to command respect. If the goals you are working toward are, in your mind, noble ones which do not hurt those around you, then you must command the respect that you require to make them happen. If you see that you are not gaining the respect that you command, you must be willing to take things further in an effort to attain it.
Violence is of course the end-point in the journey of commanding respect, and it explains the psychology of every violent dictator to have existed. Never jump to violence as your first attempt to gain respect however, as it is weak-minded to do so. Your commands for respect must be incremental in nature, increasing in intensity with every failed attempt.