How to Be Taken Seriously

Four Methods:In General SituationsIn Your FamilyIn an ArgumentAt Work

Are people blowing off what you are saying and not really taking you seriously? Do you want them to finally treat you like the mature person that you really are? Read the following tips to get them to really listen to what you say.

Method 1
In General Situations

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    Look people in the eye while talking to them. This will mainly work in showing them that you're serious about what you're talking about, and that you are engaged in the conversation. Not only will it let them know that you are talking to them, but it also allow you to connect with them. By looking at their face you can read their facial expressions and see how they are reacting to what you are saying. If you don't look at them, they probably won't be looking at you and they will get distracted.
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    Speak clearly. Say what you need to say and get to the point. Know when not to dwell on a detail because it's easier for your listeners to pay attention when you speak more simply. Speak up! Don't mumble or speak too quickly/slowly. Just say what you want to say - spit it out.
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    Don't try to make a joke out of everything. When it's appropriate, go ahead and have a little fun. But if you are always joking around about everything, how do you expect to be taken seriously? Know when the situation is right for a joke, but stay serious most of the time.
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    Avoid hyperbole. Hyperbole is when you exaggerate for dramatic effect. This is very common in American speech, but is also common across the world. An example would be describing something as "enormous", when it was really just large. If you use hyperbole too often, people will start to think that you're exaggerating all the time and they won't take your words at face value.
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    Dress for success. Take care of your appearance by showering, and keeping your hair and clothes presentable. This will keep you from looking sloppy, disinterested, or like a slacker. You don't have to look ready for a board meeting (unless you're going to a board meeting), but you should look like you tried to put on something nice.
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    Set up a good reputation. If you want to be taken seriously, don't do things that make people think less of you. Avoid public drinking, drugs, crime, and other poor decisions. If you don't believe us, ask Anthony Weiner. You too could be just a few scandals away from being a total joke.

Method 2
In Your Family

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    Explain your actions. If you really want to do something, but your family doesn't agree with you or think you're really serious about it, you need to explain to them the exact line of reasoning, very specific reasons why you want to do that thing. If you can, show them why the alternative would be worse.
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    Work hard. Show your family that you mean business by working really hard and putting your heart into what you do. This is much more likely to earn their respect and get them to take you seriously. They also need to SEE you working hard, so give them opportunities to see you doing what you do best.
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    Follow through on your promises. If you tell a family member that you will do something, you need to follow through on that. If they see you as someone that just makes empty promises, they will be very unlikely to take you seriously.
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    Tell the truth. If you are lying all the time, then don't expect people to believe you. They aren't going to bother with you because they can't trust you to tell them the right information. Your family especially will be able to tell if you are lying, so be truthful with them to avoid being written off.

Method 3
In an Argument

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    Stay calm. When you're arguing with someone, stay calm and speak in an even tone. Don't get all worked up. This will make you look like you can't think clearly, or are just rattling off a list of pre-prepared arguments, instead of really thinking about the issue.
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    Have evidence. Have solid evidence (not relying on anecdotes!) for the arguments that you make. Solid evidence does not include things that are frequently disputed, like the Bible. Solid evidence should be indisputable to anyone who sees it, regardless of what they believe or how they feel about an issue. You can use less solid evidence, but it won't work out very well for getting people to take you seriously.
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    Explain your reasoning. When you come to a conclusion, you'll want to explain that conclusion and how you arrived at it to the person you're arguing with. This will show your thought process and help them understand you and your ideas much better.
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    Avoid logical fallacies and false equivalencies. Logical fallacies and false equivalencies are arguments that are wrong because you're looking at the issue wrong or using evidence that isn't really evidence. Try to step back from your argument and look at how someone else might see it.
    • An example of a logical fallacy is to say that because something is true in one situation, it is always true. This is known as misleading vividness, and causes generalization.
    • Another example would be attacking the person instead of their argument, known as the ad hominem fallacy.

Method 4
At Work

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    Act serious. If you really want people to start taking you seriously, first of all you have to act serious. Make sure that you are truly willing to work at it and do your best. Don't constantly joke around and slack off. Instead, act like a responsible adult. Keep a stern face and get to business!
    • Don't make too many jokes about yourself or use a lot of self deprecating humor. This will make people less inclined to think that you're serious.
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    Be assertive. When you talk to someone, say their name, look them in the eye, and make sure they know you are talking to them and you want them to listen. Try to put all your attention into what you are saying or doing so they know that this is important.
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    Be confident and decisive! When you make a decision - stick with it. When you decide to do something - do it. When you decide to say something - say it! Give it your all and once you start, make sure to follow through with your action to keep it strong. Be happy with who you are and what you do. If people start pushing your buttons and finding little ways to get you to give in to a decision, they won't always take what you say seriously.
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    Take responsibility. This of course means accepting responsibility if you do something wrong (instead of blaming it on everyone else), but it also means that you should seek out responsibility. Take on more work, without expectation of reward. Try to find ways to do things better, more efficiently, or find problems that no one else has noticed. This will show your boss and your coworkers that you mean business.


  • Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  • Think about your decisions before you make them.
  • Smile when necessary, but not too much. If you smile, they may not take you seriously or they might think you are lying.
  • Don't dwell on a subject for too long.
  • It's helpful to be well-educated and know what you are talking about.
  • Put yourself in someone else's shoes and think about how you would view yourself.
  • Try not to worry about what other people think.
  • Just be yourself.
  • Be nice and have a high confidence in yourself!


  • Act naturally or you may look silly while trying to become serious.
  • Don't try to change yourself overnight. Changing a personality and a reputation isn't done in one day. Make it a long-term goal instead and be proud of yourself when you see an improvement.

Article Info

Categories: Managing Conflict and Difficult Interactions