When it comes to partners, family, friends, and even colleagues, it can be easy to overlook signs that they are not treating us how they should.
We write it off as ‘tough love’ or believe that deep down, they mean well. This may be the case. In fact, often, they may not know that they are doing these things.
However, whether the behaviors are intentional or not, and no matter how close we are to a particular person, there are certain behaviors that we simply shouldn’t tolerate.
Today, we cover three that you simply shouldn’t put up with if you want to have any self-respect.
Over time, they can seriously harm our self-worth and, as you will learn in this post, have consequences on our physical well-being. They might seem quite harmless, but research suggests otherwise.
How many have you experienced?
Let’s find out.
1) Constant criticism
Before we dive right into this, let’s confirm what we mean by ‘criticism’. As put by couples therapist Zach Brittle:
“Criticism is when a complaint is expressed as a character flaw.”
This is different from a regular old complaint. It hits deeper as it suggests that we are inherently flawed rather than we just made a mistake.
You have probably accepted this sort of behavior in the past, and you probably still let it slide with some people today.
Most of us have.
We say to ourselves, “He’s only trying to help me to get better,” or “I should be able to confront this weakness and should be thankful to her for bringing it to my attention”.
After all, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, right?
Well, research suggests that constant criticism does not.
Not only can accepting such behavior make us lose self-confidence, it can have much more serious consequences.
Research by Lafayette College, reported on by Business Insider, found that “constant criticism” from our better half had the most impact on health and longevity. That is, those who bear constant criticism from their partners are less healthy and have a higher risk of early death.
This is backed up by the 85-year Harvard study on happiness, which I covered in detail in a previous article. Put simply. The study suggests that having positive relationships when middle-aged is the best predictor of happiness and even how long we will live.
Of course, most people don’t know this, and that person who is always criticizing you might think they are doing it for your benefit.
But it hurts you in many ways. You now know this.
It’s time to quit putting up with such behavior for your own mental and physical health.
We all tell white lies from time to time.
In fact, a study suggests that 3 out of 4 of us tell up to two lies a day, but these lies are mostly “inconsequential”. Among participants, almost 90% of lies were white lies.
Just over 11% of lies were classed as “big lies”.
These are the ones we need to worry about.
According to Better Help, lies in a relationship can lead to a lack of intimacy and breakups, but perhaps more importantly, can also result in feelings of isolation and negatively affect mental and physical health.
As well as feeling disrespected, being lied to causes us to question everything around us and question ourselves. Just one person lying to us repeatedly can put us in a mindset that makes it difficult to trust anyone around us.
If you have been in this position, you will know it isn’t a pleasant place to be.
The behavior of one individual should not have an effect on how we see the world and the quality of our relationships with others.
No one person should be permitted to have this sort of influence over your life.
If someone is repeatedly dishonest with you, it may be time to confront them.
And if they don’t make a change, it may be time to move on from that relationship with your head held high and your self-respect intact.
As we defined in a previous article, “Ghosting is when someone pretends to be interested in you but abruptly stops replying to your messages or calls without any explanation whatsoever.”
It mostly occurs in dating situations, but it can happen in friendships, too.
In this digital age, it is rampant. In a recent survey reported on by Forbes, 60% of participants said they had been ghosted.
For those of you who haven’t experienced this, it might be hard to understand.
For those of you who have, which is most of us, you will know how confusing and frustrating it can be.
What has happened to common courtesy? Why do people ghost?
The survey revealed a number of reasons with the top ones including:
- Not having the same expectations for the relationship – 49%.
- Not liking the other person’s personality – 47%.
- Not being ‘invested’ enough to respond – 45%.
- Not finding the other person attractive – 39%.
- Going through a hard time – 25%.
As interesting as the figures are, these reasons are no excuse to just abruptly cut communication with someone.
I think most of us would agree that a simple message or phone call to explain why they would not like to continue the relationship is the least we could expect.
While the message might be hard to receive and process, it’s better than not knowing.
As noted by Rufus Tony Spann, Ph.D., a certified sex therapist, “Ghosting takes away the opportunity to talk and process, which can allow healing” and “ can lead to trauma and other severe emotions like depression or anxiety.”
Research backs this up. A study on those who were ghosted reported loneliness, increased helplessness, and lower life satisfaction.
Needless to say, if you are a victim of ghosting and have been putting up with it, it’s time to put an end to it. It’s basic self-respect.
We’ve already posted a full article on how to respond to ghosting, so I’ll not repeat it. You can check it out here.
The bottom line
While accepting many behaviors can harm our self-worth, the three mentioned arguably top the list.
Tolerating them might seem pretty harmless, especially if you are close to the person, but over time, they degrade our self-worth and eat away at our potential for contentment.
Not only that but letting them slide can have severe consequences for your physical health.
If you really want to have self-respect, you should quit tolerating such actions, no matter who the person is.
As always, I hope this post has provided you with some food for thought for living a happier, more fulfilled life.
Until next time.