Most of my posts are pretty bubbly and upbeat, but I thought it would be good to write about some common signs of disrespect. I think it’s important to be aware of these things in social situations – you shouldn’t fear them or be hyper aware of every little disagreement that happens, but it’s good to be alert when someone is being disrespectful to you. I want you all to be safe and happy always! ❤ Without further ado, here’s some common signs someone does not respect you.
- They challenge everything you say. No one is going to agree with us all the time. Sometimes people will have a different take on something or constructive criticism will be used if applicable (such as in workplace settings). These are just normal parts of life. However, when someone doesn’t like or respect you, they will *always* find a way to either debate or ‘one up’ everything you say. At first you probably brushed it off not wanting to be too sensitive, but as time goes on, you realize it’s literally every time you say something, they get rubbed the wrong way. This person probably doesn’t like you so they’re using disrespect as a way to show it. If you notice this is a consistent problem but want to continue associating with them, communication is key. Speak up when they undermine you and let them know you aren’t comfortable with having everything you say looked down on.
- They don’t care about your boundaries. Many people will say they like you, but when you set clear boundaries with them (I.e. Telling your date that you’re not comfortable with being intimate until you get to know them more) they completely ignore your needs and try to break down your boundaries. Boundaries are set in order to maintain a relationship where both people are happy and comfortable, so if someone can’t respect your wishes, they clearly don’t see you as an equal and will always try to wear you down until you give in to them. Eliminate these types of people from your life or at least distance yourself as much as possible.
- They don’t celebrate good news with you. You’re probably afraid to tell certain people about something amazing that happened to you, because you know they’ll accuse you of gloating/flexing and they’ll try to take away your joy. Real friends celebrate your milestones and successes with you. You’ll know someone’s true intentions toward you by how they react when you’re thriving.
- They flat out insult you. Some people don’t know the art of subtlety, but at least they reveal themselves faster. It’s not just a joke or a friendly jab. Teasing between friends, family, and couples is normal and healthy, but it goes into insult territory when the jab is clearly meant to hurt or bring out insecurity in another person. If they ever insult your race, culture, sexual orientation, religion, age, or socioeconomic status, then that’s a true bigot on your hands. I wouldn’t stick around long if I was with someone who was that comfortable with insulting me.
- They’re patronizing. Some people call it ‘mansplaining’ or others call it ‘preaching to the choir’. It’s all the same thing when people talk down to you as though they know more than you do about your life/your job/ your field/etc. Obviously, there’s cases where you do need to listen to the experts, but we’re talking moreso in everyday contexts when people capitalize on any wrong move you make or assume you know less than you do. (I.e. You forget to turn down the correct street so you have to adjust your route, so the person you’re with goes “How do you ever get around on your own? Do you even know where you are?”) Nobody can be perfectly kind all the time and people sometimes tease or poke fun at those close to them, but if it’s happening a lot where you feel like you can’t do anything right around them, they’ve probably convinced themselves that you’re less swift or intelligent than them.
- It’s all about them. Some people have major ‘main character syndrome’. They think they’re the star of the show and everyone else is the supporting character in their life. (Think of the Karens who complain about the most minor detail for something they purchased then they expect to get something for free, or those single guys who think they have the authority to determine which woman is girlfriend material and which one is “just good for sex”). This is very different from being self-focused or partaking in self-care (which are two important things needed for good mental health). Caring only for yourself goes beyond being self-confident because it can lead to narcissistic behaviour that hurts other people. Hurtful people lie, manipulate, and cheat to get more money, better jobs, richer friends, sex, etc. You’ll quickly know when a new friend or date doesn’t see you as an equal when they always prioritize their needs over yours. It’s always just about their problems, their desires, their feelings, their insights and you’re just a means to an end.
- Gaslighting. This is such a harmful abuse tactic, because the intent is to alter the target’s reality and sense of truth. Basically, it’s meant to manipulate someone into becoming less confident in themselves so they will think more in line with the abuser. People often gaslight those they feel are vulnerable or easy to manipulate – or they might try to gaslight someone who’s very confident but has a few blind spots. Nobody deserves to be gaslit. Some examples of gaslighting are: 1) Fearmongering (This often happens on a mass public scale in the media to get more clicks) 2) “You’re too sensitive.” 3) “I was just joking.” 4) “You’re crazy.”
- They put you in unsafe scenarios. Think when a guy asks a woman to go over to his place on the first date or when someone is driving really dangerously with another in the passenger seat because they’re mad. There’s so many examples of things someone could suggest or do to make someone else feel at risk or uncomfortable. These people know what they are doing – even children know when they are doing something bad to someone else, so don’t make excuses for adults who make you feel unsafe. If someone suggests anything that could be harmful to you, just know they don’t respect you. Maybe they’re fun to be with and you admire certain qualities in them, but if anything bad ever happened, this type of person would leave you in the dirt if it meant saving their own neck.
I hope you found this post informative. I know it’s not my usual style, but I have a background in psychology and mental health counseling, so I’d like to write about this type of thing from time to time. If someone is in one of these situations who’s read this, I hope you realize you’re worthy of healthy, respectful relationships and that you have the strength to remove yourself from anyone who is mistreating you. If something like this was going on in your life, it’s nice to have someone else validate your experience.