There can be any reason why someone chooses to disrespect another person.
If you’re getting the sense that someone disrespects you, or if that person has shown you disrespect repeatedly, then you may wonder how to handle it. In a perfect world, we treat others how we want to be treated, and then they turn around and reciprocate the gesture. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work that way. There can be any reason why someone chooses to disrespect another person. The root of the problem is that said person lacks self-confidence and may be insecure in how they feel about who they are on the inside.
Why they are disrespectful
People who are all about big, showy displays and getting their way by bullying others are generally revealing that they feel small and worthless inside. They must overcompensate for these feelings of inadequacy by dominating a situation or crossing a line into someone else’s personal boundaries. This is known as disrespect.
When disrespect happens to you, it definitely does not feel good. You likely feel angry and frustrated that your effort to get along with a person resulted in that person trying to step all over you. What should you do about this?
The first thing you should do if you feel that someone is disrespecting you is to communicate your needs and explain to them what you feel is happening between you, as you see it. It’s always possible that you only think that someone is disregarding or snubbing or taking advantage (a.k.a. disrespecting you) in some way. The possibility of misunderstanding is always there.
If you really are not sure about it being a misunderstanding, communicate clearly and without placing blame or becoming angry. Point out what you perceive is going on between you. Offer to meet in the middle between you and the other person. You can talk about what they wish to get out of the situation, and you can also express what you hope to get, and then make a plan for how to arrive there.
How they react will depend on what kind of person they are, as well as their general temperament and demeanor. If they become angry, then you probably can assume that they are disrespecting you now and have been all along. If they turn around and blame you, you can also assume that they are disrespecting you.
If the person agrees to work on the problem together with you, then give them a chance to show respect. It’s possible that things can improve now that they know your position, your needs, and what you hope to get out of the association and the circumstance.
Pay attention going forward
Take note of things like the manner in which words are spoken to you, what is said, body language, and general indicators that would show that a person is making an effort to respect you. If don’t see any improvement in their approach to dealing with you, you can probably assume that they will continue to disrespect you, and don’t care.
Take it to another level
In this case, you will have to take the matter into your own hands, and move it to another level. Look for a way to change the situation so that you are no longer having to deal with the person. The details of this will of course depend on what the situation is.
If it’s someone whom you work with and you feel that they’re sabotaging your effectiveness and success on the job, you might speak with your manager. Brainstorm ways that you can change the way you work so that you’re no longer directly in the path of this person. If your manager is not amenable to change, you can go to the next level and speak to upper management. Do not be afraid to speak up. Conflict management is part and parcel of working in a corporate setting.
If the relationship is a more personal one such as with an intimate partner or spouse, then taking it to the next level would mean speaking to a counselor or someone you trust in your circle of friends. if you attend a church and have a close-knit church community you might speak with the pastor or someone in charge if that feels safe to you. Another option would be to suggest that you and your partner attend therapy so that you can work out a plan for showing each other respect.