How Hard Is It to Get Respect?
You’re a good person who treats others well, and you can’t understand why you don’t get respect in return.
Sadly, some people are jerks. It’s in their DNA. However you can usually see those people from a mile away.
You have a harder time understanding disrespect from someone you love.
When it comes to creating a life you love—what we call a Plan A Life—respect for yourself and from others is part of your foundation. You can’t move very far ahead without it. Your good intentions crumble, your so-called friends pull you back down, and you give up on your dreams.
So as hard as it might seem to call people out when they disrespect you, the alternative is much worse.
If you let the disrespect linger, then it will find a permanent home in your life—kinda like a squatter who moves into a beautiful vacant home and trashes it before the owners realize what’s going on.
Why Doesn’t He Respect Me Anymore?
You usually get respect from your husband, friend, coworker, or sister. However, now it is missing because of a temporary reason.
(None of the situations below are excuses for poor behavior. They are simply reasons that may account for a sudden change in respectful behavior.)
- Outside Stress: He’s working long hours on a big project, or you’re dealing with a family crisis or money crunch. Stress makes it easier to overreact to small irritations or overlook favors and contributions.
- Disagreements: Why does your normally pleasant sister turn into a vicious witch when you have an argument? The heat of anger causes some people to lose their civility. They say horrible things that can never be unsaid.
- Illness: When you feel terrible, it’s hard to think of anything but your pain and discomfort. Sick people are sometimes tough on caretakers and those closest to them.
- Opportunity: Your formerly team-oriented coworker might step on your hands as he climbs right over you on the career ladder. He’ll keep quiet about your contributions to a project. It’s possible he’ll drop hints to the boss that he did more of the work. Sometimes he’ll freeze you out of essential communication or start gossip.
- Good News: You lose weight, gain a promotion, win an award, or pay off your credit card debt. When you want people to congratulate you, you instead receive passive-aggressive barbs that demean your accomplishment. When you succeed, it sometimes causes people around you to assess their own progress and come up short. Instead of improving themselves, they lash out at you.
Once you realize why you can’t get respect from someone, it makes it easier to challenge it. This is how you get your relationship back on track.
You calling them out gives them a chance to level up to deserve your companionship.
You’ve probably witnessed a lack of respect toward others and even said something like this to a good friend:
- “That man doesn’t deserve you.”
- “Your boss always takes advantage of you!”
- “Your sister is manipulating you—again.”
Why is it so easy to come to the defense of a friend but so hard to do it for yourself?
Any boss, partner, friend, coworker, or family member worth having in your life is one that treats you as an equal human being. This person supports your dreams, lovingly calls you on your bullshit, and works to make your union more productive than your individual contributions would be. You get respect, and you give it.
- Your partner treats you as an equal, sharing decisions, responsibilities, and of course the joys and pains in life.
- Your boss values your contribution. She expects you to challenge yourself and develop your skills in return for promotions and pay raises. They also want you to take rest periods to recharge your batteries.
- Your family members support your choices and offer help when needed. They expect you to do the same as they actively work to live their dreams. They do not use guilt to get their way.
When you clearly expect the same level of respect that you demand for your friends and loved ones, you’ll get it. Be your own best friend when it comes to setting the bar for respect.
Resolving A Lack of Respect
As you continue to unclutter your life of the things, people, and situations that no longer fit who you are, these undeserving people will not ever gain a foothold in your life. (Or if they do, then it won’t be for long!)
But how do you get respect from people you love who’ve turned into temporary jerks?
First, alert them to the lack of respect
- “Babe, I get embarrassed when you criticize me in front of other people, and it makes you look like a mean person. We both know you aren’t, so if you have feedback for me I’d like to get it in private and I’ll do the same for you.”
- “No, boss, I can’t work this weekend. I’ve already worked late 2 nights this week, and I need some personal time to recharge or I’ll be no good at all.”
- “You’ve said that mom has always loved me best so often I think you might just believe it, sis. Since we both know it isn’t true, let’s drop it. What’s really bugging you?”
These kinds of statements are hard to say the first time, but they get much easier with practice. It may take a few attempts, but reasonable people respond well to this method.
Calling disrespectful actions out in a calm, logical way alerts people to their unacceptable behavior.
Second, build solutions based on their reactions
Did your mate say, “I didn’t realize I was doing that” or some other “a-ha” statement? Good news. You simply come up with a catchphrase or sign to alert him or her when they slip up so it can be immediately rectified.
Did your boss say, “I didn’t realize you had already put so much extra time in.” When you reply that you’re happy to do your part but unwilling to step over the line, it reinforces you are part of the team. You are deserving of respect and time off for your contributions.
Did your sister say, “I always feel second-best next to you, and it drives me crazy.” This opens the door to talk about an issue she has been projecting onto you.
These kinds of re-centering conversations can be revolutionary in a relationship, uncovering root problems and resolving any nagging issues before they get out of hand.
Third, distance yourself from jerks who refuse to respect you
If your mate said something like, “If you didn’t screw up so much I wouldn’t have to point it out,” then you are dealing with a bigger problem. If you really are that much of a screw-up, what does that say about him or her that they would stay with you?
There is something deeper going on here. The longer you let your partner use you as the emotional punching bag, the longer it will take for them to deal with their problems. By the time they do, you’ll be a ball of goo from all the years of put-downs.
Visit a counselor or a trusted friend to figure out your options for repairing this relationship or getting the hell out. Life’s too short to live with a jerk, and you deserve respect. We all do.
If your boss said, “You either work this weekend or you don’t have a job,” then you know exactly how you rank. You also know your boss is a poor leader. Now is the time to start looking for a new position within the company or a new job altogether.
You spend more time at work than almost anywhere else in your life. Find a job that values your contributions and manages through motivation, not threats.
If your sister sticks by her claims that life is unfair and you got all the love/luck/attention, you won’t be able to change her mind. Your best option here is to continue the phrase from above every time she starts whining: “What’s this really about?”
People who are not deserving of you will brush off your attempts at resolution, make fun of you for bringing it up, or try to justify actions they would never tolerate themselves if the tables were turned.
These are excellent signs of a relationship in which you are never likely to get respect.
As you move forward in defining your Plan A Life and create good habits and strong relationships, you’ll see a sharp decline in a lack of respect. Nipping these problems in the bud with a calm, rational statement of non-toleration will keep the confidence-busters out of your life and allow you to get on with the business of living.
Calling disrespectful people out also does them the social service of letting them know they are out of line, whether they choose to level up their behavior or not.
You get to determine how you are treated in this world, and by setting a high bar you’ll quickly recenter your loving relationships and rid yourself of the bozos who aren’t worth your respect.
Not everyone is going to make the cut in this 3-step process to get respect. Does this mean the process doesn’t work? Far from it! It means the process works perfectly.
This toxic person doesn’t have enough respect to deserve a place in your life anymore. It’s time to cut the cord.
And if you need help ending bad relationships or limiting your exposure, this free guide is for you. Click the image or the orange button below to get it asap.
With regular practice of these methods, you’ll get respect from people who love and support you. The occasional disrespectful knucklehead will discover your boundaries very quickly! He’ll either get with the program or hit the road. Either way, you get the respect you deserve.