If you want to be respected by other people, never talk about these 11 things

You ever say something and immediately wish you could take it back?

We all have.

Sometimes what we say can turn a good moment sour.

If you want people to keep thinking you’re awesome, there are some things better left unsaid.

Want to know what they are?

Stick around as we go through 11 topics you might want to avoid talking about.

Trust me, it’s for the best!

1. Other People’s Personal Business

Gossip. We all hear it, and let’s be honest, it can be kinda fun to listen to.

But the moment you start spreading it?

That’s when you go from the “cool, trustworthy person” to the “yikes, better not tell them anything” category.

Chatting about someone else’s private life without their permission is a one-way ticket to losing respect.

Not only does it show you can’t be trusted, it also makes you look like you don’t have anything better to talk about.

So, next time the gossip train starts chugging, maybe it’s a good idea to hop off.

2. Your Own Bragging Rights

Hey, we all have moments we’re proud of, right?

Maybe you nailed that presentation at work, or perhaps you’ve been hitting the gym and you’re starting to see those muscles pop.

While it’s totally fine to be proud of your achievements, constantly bragging about them can rub people the wrong way.

I remember this one time when I couldn’t stop talking about a promotion I got. I was excited, okay?

But then I noticed my friends were smiling less and sort of drifting away from the conversation. It hit me: no one likes a show-off.

If people are genuinely interested in your life, they’ll ask about it. And if they do, sure, go ahead and share your victories.

But don’t make every conversation about how awesome you are.

Trust me, if you’re really that great, people will figure it out without you having to tell them.

3. Your Deep-seated Negative Opinions About Others

Let’s get real for a second.

We all have judgments and opinions about people—it’s human nature.

But there’s a massive difference between thinking something in your head and saying it out loud, especially when it’s dripping with negativity.

Ever been around someone who just can’t stop talking trash about others? It’s exhausting and honestly, kinda toxic.

The harsh truth?

When you’re spewing negative opinions about someone else, it doesn’t make the person you’re talking about look bad; it makes you look bad.

People start to wonder, “If they’re saying this about someone else, what are they saying about me when I’m not around?”

So, if you catch yourself about to go on a rant about someone, just pause.

Take a deep breath. Is saying this out loud really going to benefit anyone?

Probably not.

And honestly, it’ll likely just cost you the respect of whoever’s listening.

4. Your Money (or Lack of It)

Money talks, but sometimes it’s better if it doesn’t.

Whether you’re rolling in the dough or scraping to get by, oversharing about your financial situation can make people seriously uncomfortable.

Why? Because money is often tied to a whole mess of emotions—pride, shame, envy, you name it.

I remember a friend who would always flaunt his high salary and expensive toys.

Sure, it was impressive at first, but then it got old, really fast. It felt like he was either bragging or trying to prove something.

On the flip side, I’ve been around folks who constantly talk about how broke they are, and let me tell you, it puts everyone in a tight spot.

The bottom line? Unless you’re in a situation where discussing finances is necessary (like, you’re buying a house together), maybe keep the money talk on the down-low.

Whether you think you have too much or too little, going on about it isn’t going to make people respect you more. In fact, it might just do the opposite.

5. Your Love Life (in Excruciating Detail)

Ah, love. It can be as exciting as a roller coaster and as confusing as a maze.

And while it’s normal to want to talk about your significant other or your hot date last weekend, there’s a limit.

No one really needs—or usually wants—to hear about every single detail, especially the ones that should stay, you know, private.

I had a buddy who used to overshare about his relationships all the time. At first, it was like, “Okay, he’s happy; that’s cool.”

But after a while, it felt like we were all characters in his personal soap opera.

And let me tell you, it got awkward, especially when we’d run into his partner at social events.

It was like we knew too much but couldn’t say anything.

So yeah, share the joys and even the struggles of your love life if you want, but maybe spare people the play-by-play.

Keep some things between you and your partner; it’s more respectful to them and a lot less awkward for everyone else.

6. Hot-button Social or Political Issues (Unless It’s the Right Time and Place)

Look, we’re all passionate about something, right?

Whether it’s climate change, social justice, or who should really be in office, these topics matter.

But—and it’s a big but—not every gathering is the place to go full-on debate mode.

Ever been at a casual get-together where someone suddenly turned the conversation into a heated political argument?

Yeah, me too.

The air gets thick, faces turn red, and suddenly everyone’s either at each other’s throats or looking for the nearest exit.

Not exactly a fun night out.

I’m not saying you should never speak your mind.

Some conversations are necessary for change. But reading the room is crucial.

Know when it’s the right time to dig deep into these subjects and when it’s better to keep the peace and stick to lighter topics.

Sometimes, going all-in on a divisive issue can make you look less like a concerned citizen and more like someone who just likes to argue. And that’s not a good look on anyone.

7. Your Good Deeds

Wait, what? Shouldn’t we celebrate acts of kindness and generosity? Absolutely, we should.

But there’s a fine line between sharing a beautiful moment and fishing for compliments.

Believe it or not, constantly talking about your own good deeds can actually make people respect you less.

You might think you’re inspiring others, and maybe you are to an extent, but if you’re always the hero of your own stories, people might start to wonder:

Are you doing these things because you genuinely care or because you want to be showered with praise?

It’s like when you see someone post a video of themselves giving food to a homeless person—heart’s in the right place, but the camera? Not so much.

Acts of kindness often speak louder when they’re not announced to the world.

So the next time you do something good, maybe keep it to yourself or share it only with those who were involved.

The respect you’ll earn from being quietly compassionate is far more valuable than any number of likes or pats on the back.

8. Other People’s Physical Appearance

We live in a world that’s obsessed with looks.

Whether it’s about celebrities, coworkers, or even random people on the street, commenting on how someone looks has almost become a national pastime.

But here’s the kicker: discussing someone’s physical appearance, especially in a negative or condescending manner, can instantly diminish the respect people have for you.

Sure, you might think you’re just making a harmless observation or even giving a compliment, but talking about someone’s appearance puts them in a box.

It reduces them to just their looks rather than who they are as a person.

So before you make that joke or comment about someone’s weight, hairstyle, or anything else that’s skin-deep, think twice.

Not only is it none of your business, but it also makes you come off as shallow and judgmental.

If you want to be respected, focus on talking about qualities that actually say something about a person’s character, not just their cover.

9. Your Own Shortcomings (But in a Pity-Party Way)

Listen, we all have flaws; we’re human.

But there’s a big difference between being open about your weaknesses and turning every conversation into a pity party.

Continually talking down about yourself not only bums everyone out, but it can also make people question why they should respect you if you don’t even respect yourself.

I’ve been there, caught in a spiral of self-doubt and insecurity, venting to anyone who would listen.

For a moment, it felt good to get it off my chest. But then I realized: my friends started treating me like I was fragile, like I couldn’t handle life.

And you know what? That sucked.

Self-awareness is one thing; self-deprecation to the point of making everyone around you uncomfortable is another.

If you genuinely have issues you’re struggling with, that’s okay.

Seek help, talk to people you trust, but don’t make it your go-to topic with everyone you meet.

Because the truth is, it won’t earn you respect; it’ll just make people see you as someone who’s stuck, and nobody respects that.

10. Your Ambitions (When They’re Just Talk)

Hold on, shouldn’t we all be encouraged to chase our dreams and talk about our goals? Well, yes and no.

Sharing your ambitions can be incredibly motivating and may even help you network with the right people.

But—and this is a big “but”—if you’re all talk and no action, people are going to catch on, and respect for you will plummet.

I’ve known folks who are always hyped about the “next big thing” they’re going to do.

One week, it’s starting a podcast.

The next, it’s training for a marathon.

But when nothing ever comes of these grand plans, their words start to lose weight.

People begin to see them as dreamers, not doers.

And it’s hard to respect a dreamer who never makes a move.

So, by all means, share your ambitions, but make sure you’re actually taking steps to achieve them.

And if you’re not ready to take those steps yet, maybe hold off on the big announcements.

Your actions will speak way louder than your words ever will, and that’s what earns you lasting respect.

11. Excessive Complaining

We all have bad days, tough breaks, and frustrating experiences. Venting about them can feel therapeutic, and sometimes it’s healthy to let off steam.

But if you find yourself constantly complaining about everything—from the weather to your boss to the brand of coffee at the grocery store—people are likely going to start tuning you out.

Nobody likes a chronic complainer. It drags down the mood and saps the energy out of a room.

Plus, it often leaves people wondering, “If they’re so unhappy about so many things, what are they saying about me when I’m not around?”

It’s natural to want to share your woes, but don’t let it become your defining trait.

Instead, try to find the silver lining or a solution to what’s bothering you.

Showing that you can handle life’s ups and downs with a level head will win you way more respect than endlessly grumbling ever will.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.