When someone is being disrespectful towards us, it can be a blow to our self-esteem; it isn’t a great feeling.
Whether it’s from a rude comment or a dismissive attitude, these behaviors leave a bad taste in our mouths.
It also leaves us wondering: What exactly is the right way to respond to this?
It’s easy to lash back at them, to fight fire with fire.
But where will that really get you?
In no better place than them.
Instead, realize that showing kindness and respect is never a wrong course of action, especially with dealing with these types of people.
So here are 12 more ways to help you deal with people that don’t respect you.
1. Try Not To Take It Personally
You’re in conversation with someone and they say something that you found offensive.
Before you call them out for it and crucify them in public, try to take a step back first.
Maybe they’re an older person and they aren’t aware that some of the terms from the previous generation are now largely considered outdated and offensive.
This is your chance to educate them and teach them better.
It’s going to take practice before you learn not to take these comments to heart.
But once you’re able to do so, you’ll be better able to bring it up to them later on.
Also, try to not let negative comments about yourself get to you. If someone says something rude about you, remember that says more about them than it does about you.
In fact, research by a Wake Forest University psychology professor found that what people say about others reveals a lot about who they are.
“A huge suite of negative personality traits are associated with viewing others negatively”.
So if you take these results to heart, there is literally no point in taking things personally.
What people say about you clearly says more about themselves than anything to do with you.
2. Think Before You Say Something To Them
When someone disrespects you, your reflex might be to lash back at them.
Doesn’t it just feel so good when you have the perfect comeback for someone who’s making fun of you?
While it is a thrill in the moment, it could just make the situation worse.
That’s why before you hit them back with a fiery rebuttal, try to hold yourself back. Pause. Ask yourself what are your options as a reply and what would be the consequences of each response.
It might even stop the fight before it had the chance of even starting.
3. Get Advice Specific To Your Situation
While this article explores the main ways to deal with someone who doesn’t respect you, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.
With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice specific to your life and your experiences…
Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult situations, like when someone doesn’t respect them. They’re a very popular resource for people facing this sort of challenge.
How do I know?
Well, I reached out to them a few months ago when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
In just a few minutes, you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
4. Ask Yourself If It’s Even Worth It To Respond
There are some fights that are just not worth fighting.
Say you launch a killer comeback at them.
They might get even more hurt.
Then a full on fight erupts: you’re calling each other names, screaming at the tops of your lungs, almost getting physical at some points.
What were you looking to achieve there?
You might’ve come out on top but now you’ve lost a relationship, you’re both hurt, and no one’s a better person.
As MIT negotiation professor John Richardson says: never start with, “How do I make this deal?” Start with, “Should this deal be made?” With disrespectful and toxic individuals, the answer is usually no. It’s not worth it.
And anyway, in the bigger picture of everything, is it even worth getting so worked up about what someone said about you?
Wouldn’t it have been an option for you to simply ignore what they’re saying or brush it off, and not let your ego become so involved?
5. Confront Them About It
When you choose to confront them about their behavior, you give them space to explain their side.
Remember to be kind and respectful when you’re talking to them about it.
Ask them if they have a problem with you, why they acted that way, what you can do to help them in the future to avoid something like that from happening again.
You don’t have to be aggressive when you confront them.
You can ask them for a word and walk off to the side for a few minutes to discuss your feelings.
You need to express your feelings to them to help them understand why you felt offended and disrespected.
6. Understand Where They’re Coming From
A possible reason why they acted that way is that they have personal problems of their own and they’re releasing their anger and frustration at other people instead.
Confronting them is the perfect time to lend them your ear, to make them truly feel heard, to allow them to express their emotions in a healthy way.
Try to empathize with their situation and forgive them for what they’ve done. You might even walk away with a new friend.
Christopher Bergland on Psychology Today shares some excellent advice:
“Don’t take rudeness personally; maybe the person is just having a bad day and taking it out on the world. Often you can break the cycle of rudeness by empathizing with the root of someone’s cantankerous behavior as a sign that he or she is unhappy, and be kind.”
7. Set Boundaries With Them
Often someone comes off as offensive and disrespectful because they don’t know better.
They don’t understand that what they’re saying is actually offensive and disrespectful to you.