12 signs of a disrespectful person (and how to deal with them)

How do you know if a person is already crossing the line and disrespecting you? And how do you handle situations with difficult people like this?

If you want to know the answer to these questions, read on for the 12 signs of a disrespectful person (and how to deal with them).

1) They don’t value your boundaries

A clear sign of this is when people don’t take the time to ask you first about your boundaries.

You may find that they automatically assume what you are comfortable with without any question.

Disrespectful people may also think that it’s their right to tell you what to do even if it’s not in their place at all.

And even when they are aware of your boundaries, they might still pressure you to do things that you clearly don’t want to do.

They may push you to share things that you’re not comfortable sharing. Or maybe they will incessantly invade your personal space without your consent.

2) They aren’t good listeners

There are some disrespectful people who love to talk and make themselves feel heard. But it’s not a guarantee that they will return the favor.

When you’re the one expressing your thoughts, you may find that they’re always distracted. They may also deliberately try to show you that they are not giving you their full attention.

Are they always on their phones just as you’re about to give your presentation? Or when you’re trying to give them advice, do they suddenly need to put on their makeup in front of you?

Another sign is if they don’t really take note of or remember the things that you’ve told them. Have you tried explaining something hundreds of times but these people still don’t seem to follow your reminders? This may show that they’re very dismissive of the things that you say.

A bad listener also cuts you off or interrupts you whenever you’re talking. This reveals that they don’t have any respect for your ideas and that they think you have nothing valuable to say.

3) They don’t validate your feelings

It may be difficult to open up when we’re sharing deeply personal information about your feelings. Other people may respond to this by affirming that your feelings make sense and are expected.

But a disrespectful person is often insensitive and may question the validity of your emotions.

They’ll say things like, “You shouldn’t feel that way” or “Maybe you’re just overreacting”. These are all comments that absolutely no one wants to hear especially when they’re in a very vulnerable place.

Disrespectful people may also lack the empathy that is needed for tough conversations and safe spaces. They have no interest in helping other people work through their problems.

The worst thing here is that whenever people neglect your feelings, you feel bad about yourself too.

That’s why I need you to realize that you need to stand up for yourself and find personal power. Why?

Because that’s the only way to find satisfaction and fulfillment in life.

I learned this from the shaman Rudá Iandê. His life mission is to help people restore balance to their lives and unlock their creativity and potential. He has an incredible approach that combines ancient shamanic techniques with a modern-day twist. 

So, how to achieve your personal power?

In his excellent free video, Rudá taught me how to unlock my potential and embrace my inner desires.

That’s how you can deal with the fact that some people don’t validate your feelings. 

Here’s a link to the free video again.

4) They don’t keep their word

It can be very frustrating if you’re always with people who don’t fulfill their promises. This means that they did not take these commitments very seriously in the first place.

Perhaps someone promises to meet you but then fails to show up. Or maybe you have coworkers who say that they’re going to fill in for you but they end up not doing it.

All in all, maintaining integrity is something that a disrespectful person really struggles with.

It’s even worse if they don’t tell you in advance that they’re not following through with their initial commitment. This signals that they couldn’t care less about the consequences of their actions on you.

5) They lie to you often

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Disrespectful people can be very selfish and inconsiderate. They will always act in accordance with what feels right for them.

It’s really unfortunate that they will not hesitate to prioritize their convenience over the truth.

If the people you are with are always covering up the truth to save themselves, it may not be worth it to associate yourself with this crowd anymore. This behavior should definitely not be tolerated.

6) They love gossiping

When people gossip about others in front of you, you may think that this isn’t a big deal. You may even believe that it’s good that they trust you with these types of conversations.

But don’t be fooled. If this is your experience with them, what do you think is stopping them from talking badly about you to other people?

Disrespectful people love gossiping and they’re not afraid to go behind people’s backs. They are known to be very insincere and disingenuous.

7) They give you backhanded compliments

Backhanded compliments can be really tricky to identify. They may make you question whether a person is your friend or if they’re someone who actually dislikes you.

Disrespectful people may give you comments like “I did not expect you to do so well in that client meeting!” or “It would be so great if I could just do nothing all day as you do!”.

In case you’re doubting, the intention of people who give you backhanded compliments is really to insult you. It’s just that they want to do it in a more subtle way.

On their end, maybe they still want to look good in front of other people so they’re taking a less obvious approach. They don’t want to be accused of being an unkind person, even though that’s exactly who they are.

Needless to say, you should stay away from these people as much as possible.

8) They are always late to meetings

One of our most valuable resources is our time. When someone is always coming to meetings late, it may mean that they don’t respect your time and priorities.

Disrespectful people think that they can just walk all over you without any consequences. They feel entitled and they expect everyone else to adjust to them.

These kinds of people are always living in their own little bubble. They think only of themselves and what concerns them.

9) They take advantage of your insecurities and past trauma

Disrespectful people may feel the need to hurt the people around them to make themselves feel better.

And when they do try to cause you pain, they may bring up your deepest insecurities in order to make you question your self-worth.

It’s unbelievable how good they are at knowing what would hurt you the most.

They may do this by mentioning past traumatic events that you are still struggling with. It is common for them to even manipulate the truth to make you feel worse about yourself.

Disrespectful people may also exploit your deepest fears in order to trigger you.

They may also keep reminding you of every single mistake that you’ve made in the past. For them, it doesn’t matter if it’s already ancient history. Their ultimate goal is to make you look bad and they will do everything that it takes to mess with you.

10) They devalue your successes

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There may be times that you find yourself being so excited to share your recent accomplishments with the people around you.

But disrespectful people waste no time when it comes to negating all of the happiness and satisfaction that you feel.

To devalue all of your efforts, they may try to convince you and others that you don’t deserve the success that you now have. Disrespectful people may claim that you just got “lucky” or that you were only successful because of your connections.

Maybe it’s because they’re jealous of your victories. Or perhaps they feel threatened by the number of your achievements. Either way, they treat your win as their loss, which shouldn’t be the case at all.

11) They always use you for their own selfish purposes

Disrespectful people may want to start a relationship with you because there’s something in it for them.

In other words, they may not really care about you as a person. Instead, they are only concerned about the benefits that you can bring them.

Maybe you’ve noticed how other people cling to you because of your money or your reputation. They could also want to use your family connections for their own selfish purposes.

Try to notice if your whole relationship has been all about what they can gain from it.

Do these people talk to you about other things aside from the topics that they prefer? When it comes down to it, are they willing to sacrifice the same way that you do for them?

Or when you ask for their help, do you always find them just disappearing out of nowhere? If you can’t talk to these people all of a sudden, it may be a sign that they don’t really respect you as a person.

12) They don’t apologize

There is no human being that is perfect. We’re all bound to make numerous mistakes over the course of our lifetimes.

But disrespectful people usually choose to ignore and disregard this fact. Because of their arrogance and pride, they may find it difficult to admit the wrongdoings that they make.

Instead of acknowledging reality, they may try to justify their actions with multiple excuses. They will make it seem like they don’t have any control over situations even though this can be an obvious lie.

They may even go as far as putting the blame on you. Disrespectful people will do just about anything to get themselves off the hook and put themselves back on everyone’s good graces.

How should we deal with disrespectful people?

When people are disrespected, some may be tempted to just turn a blind eye to avoid conflict and to maintain some sense of peace.

But pretending that this issue shouldn’t be addressed is not good for you or for these disrespectful people as well. We shouldn’t normalize the act of accepting and perpetuating this toxic behavior.

Instead, we should strive to be mindful of the right ways to deal with disrespectful people.

1) Admit that you are being disrespected

In any issue, the first step that you should take is to acknowledge the problem. It’s so often that we find ourselves making excuses for other people, especially when we are close to them.

Have you ever caught yourself trying to justify the actions of disrespectful people?

You may have thought, “That guy didn’t really mean to disrespect me.”

Or you may have said, “That’s just how they are as people. They can’t really change themselves.”

One thing we can do starting now is to intentionally stop ourselves from thinking this way.

The fact of the matter is that you have been disrespected. You were treated in a way that you do not deserve, and something should be done about it.

Only if you acknowledge the validity of your experience can you move on to the next steps in dealing with disrespectful people.

2) Speak up

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Depending on your situation, it may be right that you speak up and communicate what the problem is to a disrespectful person.

You can start by calmly recounting what happened and how this caused you to feel disrespected. Afterward, you can also share with them the potential consequences to other people if they continue with their disrespectful behavior.

From the perspective of the offending party, it may feel that you’re attacking them. They may totally misunderstand your intentions and get very angry.

But remember that this is not your fault and you can’t control how they would respond to you. If they are mature enough, they should know that it’s much better to be aware of how damaging their actions can be.

On your end, you have to make sure that your intentions are not to make them look bad or to take revenge. It should be because you want them to improve the relationships that they have with other people.

3) Affirm your worth

Disrespectful people are known to be very critical of the people around them. They may be used to making other people feel small and to disregard their dreams, goals, and decisions.

Because of this, those on the receiving end of this behavior may be tempted to believe in what these disrespectful people think of them.

It’s definitely not easy to be consistently surrounded by all this negativity. That’s why you need to constantly remind yourself of the truth and affirm your worth.

What you think of yourself is not dependent on the input of others. You have all the capabilities and skills to achieve what you set your mind to.

Repeat after us: There’s nothing wrong with you. You are enough just as you are.

When other people bring you down, you have to stand firm with what your beliefs are of yourself. You can’t let yourself be swayed by the opinions of others.

4) Move forward

Let’s say that you’ve just finished confronting a disrespectful person. No matter how he reacts to this request, eventually, you have to learn to let it go and move forward.

You can’t let yourself get bogged down by how other people treat you. Don’t let the negativity from your interactions continue to affect the way you live your life.

At the end of the day, you can choose to release all bitterness that you have against this person and move on.

5) Choose your friends wisely

There are two points that we want to make here.

The first is that you should be extra careful with the friends that you surround yourself with.

If there are people who constantly bring toxicity and disrespect in your life, you shouldn’t be afraid to cut ties with them. Consider distancing yourself from these people for your peace of mind.

Secondly, of course, there will be times that you are unable to totally avoid disrespectful people. That is just a fact of life that we all have to accept.

If this is the case for you, another tip we have is to look for a good support system. You need people who are willing to cheer you up and to affirm your worth alongside you whenever you are attacked by these people.

Everyone deserves to be respected

From all of the signs that we’ve mentioned above, you’ve probably noticed that disrespectful people can generally be described in two ways:

First, they only care about themselves. They think the world revolves around them and they always make sure that their needs are met first.

Secondly, they mistakenly think that the only way they can feel superior is by making other people question their self-worth. This points to the fact that they have major issues with their self-esteem.

Clearly, these are all major red flags that should not be taken lightly. We should definitely treat other people the way they ought to be treated — justly, fairly, and respectfully.

If you have a chance to speak to these people, you should remind them that absolutely everyone deserves to be respected. We may have our differences, but we shouldn’t let these get in the way of our humanity.

In the end, our relationships with one another are one of the most valuable things we have. Truly, we must be careful to nurture and develop these relationships by treating other people the right way.

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Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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