Everyone naturally wants respect, but people often only give it if it’s earned. They must get to know you and understand your intentions before offering their admiration and loyalty. Of course, every human deserves kindness and compassion regardless of their status or background. But it’s easier for people to be respectful when they know you have their best interests at heart.
Respect goes both ways, so you must first show others basic decency and humanity. If you genuinely care about others’ well-being, they will naturally reciprocate the gesture most of the time. If you feel people don’t respect you, it may help to analyze your behaviors and demeanor. Introspection can allow you to identify unwanted thought patterns and actions that may aggravate people.
However, it’s worth noting that you can’t please everyone, so don’t judge yourself too harshly. Sometimes, people may not respect you simply because they have a negative outlook on life. Therefore, they see the world through grey-colored glasses and have issues with everyone, including themselves.
That said, you can still get on people’s good side and spread love wherever possible. Being generous and empathetic will help you deepen your personal and professional relationships. So, to earn people’s respect, try to avoid the following detrimental behaviors.
Here’s Why People Don’t Respect You
1. You’re a people pleaser.
If you want to please everyone and bend over backward to meet their demands, you will feel empty inside. Offering so much energy to others while leaving none for yourself only sets you up for disappointment. And people won’t respect you if they know you’ll do anything they ask without hesitation. Sadly, opportunists often take advantage of the nicest, most charitable people looking for an easy target.
That doesn’t mean you should shut yourself off from the world and become indifferent to people’s suffering. However, if you always put others first and try not to ruffle feathers, you’ll have nothing left to give. People may also perceive you as disingenuous if you constantly bend to their will without offering your opinions. They’ll respect you more if you consider their approach and give your input.
2. People may not respect you if you lack boundaries.
If you don’t set boundaries with people, it shows them that you don’t value yourself. If it means gaining their friendship or attention, you’ll allow them to walk over you. But a relationship built on disrespect and desperation cannot last forever. Eventually, you’ll feel resentful and wish you had set firmer boundaries from the start.
Often, not setting boundaries in relationships stems from insecurity and codependent tendencies. You may long for someone’s affection and validation so much that you compromise your dignity. In this vulnerable state, you might overlook clear signs of abuse from others because you fear a confrontation about their behavior. But if you have no self-worth, others will learn that mistreating you is okay.
So, if you’re unsatisfied with your relationships, look at how you see yourself first. Others are a mirror reflecting our inner world and can offer valuable insight into our state of consciousness.
3. They’re entitled and self-centered–not respectful of others.
Sometimes, a lack of respect has nothing to do with your personality or how you approach people. In some cases, others’ toxic viewpoints and behaviors make them incapable of fostering healthy relationships. They may harbor resentment because of past adverse experiences or relationships, making them mistrust others. Or, they might have a superiority complex and feel that others don’t deserve their respect.
So, if someone doesn’t see your value, know that you’re not always to blame. Some people have egotistical personalities and cannot see beyond their limited ideas about the world. People like this typically have issues with everyone because of their entitled, uncaring attitude.
They may not even respond to unconditional love or kindness because they don’t value themselves enough to receive it. Or, perhaps, they’ve endured traumatic experiences that made them distant and aloof around others. Either way, you can still offer people compassion without taking it personally when they can’t return the sentiment.
4. You never stand up for yourself.
Another reason people may not be respectful is because of how you carry yourself. They won’t take you seriously if you always compromise your values or allow people to interrupt you in conversations. It’s essential to remain firm but polite when dealing with people so they don’t take advantage of your kindness. Also, most people value authenticity and honesty, even if they don’t always agree with your views. They will learn to respect you when they know you won’t budge on essential issues.
5. They don’t know you well enough yet.
As we said in the beginning, respect is earned and not given. Therefore, people may only show loyalty and admiration for you once they know you better. That doesn’t mean you should tolerate blatant disrespect and cruelty, however. But you also shouldn’t expect someone to immediately offer their friendship if they don’t know your intentions.
For example, if you’re a new manager at a restaurant, your employees may be reluctant to follow your orders at first. They need time to warm up to you and also want to see if you’ll treat them fairly. After they’ve worked with you for a while and know you’re trustworthy, they will appreciate your leadership abilities and be more respectful.
Final Thoughts on Reasons People Don’t Respect You
Do you feel people don’t respect you at work or in your relationships? If so, please keep hope that you’ll eventually earn their affection. It simply takes time for most people to have faith in others until they know them more deeply. After all, you wouldn’t expect employees to defer to your authority as a new manager entirely.
They would need to work with you for a while to gauge your competence and agreeableness with others. But they should offer basic respect, regardless of your background or other factors. If people don’t respect you even after getting to know you, you may need to set firmer boundaries.
Also, speak your truth respectfully so that people know where you stand. This shows them you won’t back down even in the face of strong opposition. Finally, if you treat others kindly, they will most likely return the favor and be respectful of you.