If you tolerate these 7 behaviors from someone, you lack self-respect (according to psychology)

by Lachlan Brown | July 7, 2024, 11:50 am

Respecting oneself is as vital as breathing, but sometimes we unknowingly let that slip away. Here’s the crux – tolerating certain behaviors from others can be a glaring sign that you’re losing your self-respect.

Now, psychology brings some clarity to this. It suggests that there are certain behaviors you should never tolerate from anyone, no matter who they are.

In this article, I’m going to reveal seven of these behaviors. If you’re tolerating any of them, it might be time for a bit of self-reflection

Let’s get started. 

1) Constant criticism

There’s a saying – ‘We teach people how to treat us’. Nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of constant, unconstructive criticism.

Psychology tells us that everyone needs a healthy dose of constructive criticism now and then. It helps us grow, evolve, and improve. But there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed – the line where criticism becomes constant, destructive, and demoralizing.

When you encounter someone who is continually criticizing your actions, decisions, or even your very personality – and you’re tolerating it – it’s a sign you’re not respecting yourself enough.

The kicker is that it’s not about them being overly critical. It’s about you allowing it to happen.

A key component of self-respect is setting boundaries. So if someone’s constant criticism is getting to you, it’s time to set some boundaries and take that necessary step towards self-respect.

Tolerating constant criticism isn’t a badge of patience; it’s a sign of dwindling self-respect.

2) Disregard for your time

Time is one of the most valuable assets we have, and how others treat our time can reflect on our self-respect.

I remember a friend I used to have. Let’s call her Sarah. Now, Sarah was always late for our meet-ups. I would find myself waiting for her at the coffee shop, often for as long as an hour. Initially, I brushed it off, thinking she was just ‘fashionably late’.

But as this pattern continued, I realized it wasn’t about being fashionable anymore. It was about disrespecting my time.

What was worse? I was tolerating it. I was enabling her behavior by not addressing it. This realization hit me like a ton of bricks – I was compromising my self-respect.

So, I made a stand. The next time Sarah was late, I calmly but firmly expressed how her tardiness made me feel. And you know what? Things began to change.

If someone consistently disregards your time and you’re putting up with it, it’s a sign you might be overlooking your own self-respect. 

3) Verbal abuse

Verbal abuse is often more damaging than physical abuse. It can emotionally scar an individual and significantly erode their self-esteem.

Yet, many people tolerate it, often under the guise of ‘harsh words’ or ‘tough love’. But here’s the truth – verbal abuse is not love, it’s a violation of your self-respect.

Surprisingly, research has shown that victims of verbal abuse can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, just like those who have experienced physical trauma. The impact is deep and lasting.

By tolerating verbal abuse, you’re allowing someone to strip away your dignity and self-worth. Recognize it for what it is – a clear sign that you are not valuing yourself as you should.

4) Dismissal of your feelings

Your feelings are valid. They are a part of who you are and they deserve to be acknowledged and respected.

However, there are times when individuals in our lives may dismiss or invalidate our feelings. They might tell you that you’re overreacting or being too sensitive. Worst case scenario, they might completely ignore your feelings, acting as if they don’t matter at all.

But here’s the thing – your emotions are your own. No one else gets to dictate how you should feel or react in a given situation.

Tolerating someone who dismisses your feelings is a clear sign that you’re not respecting your emotional health and self-worth.

5) Lack of support

Support is the backbone of any relationship, whether it’s friendship, love, or even a professional relationship. It’s about being there for each other, through thick and thin.

A few years back, I was going through a tough time. I lost my job unexpectedly and was struggling to find a new one. During that period, I needed emotional support more than ever. But one person in my life, whom I considered very close, was nowhere to be found.

They didn’t offer a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on. Instead, they seemed annoyed by my situation and often changed the topic when I brought up my job hunt.

In essence, they were not there for me when I needed them the most. And I tolerated it.

In retrospect, I realize that by allowing this behavior, I was undermining my self-worth. Support is a two-way street and if someone can’t be there for you in your hour of need, it’s a sign you’re not respecting yourself enough to demand better.

6) Breach of trust

Trust is the foundation of any relationship. It’s the assurance that your secrets are safe, your vulnerabilities protected, and your words won’t be used against you.

However, if someone betrays your trust and you tolerate it, it’s an indicator that you’re compromising your self-respect. Whether they share something you told them in confidence or lie to you repeatedly, breaching trust is a behavior that should never be tolerated.

Regaining lost trust is like trying to fix a shattered glass – no matter how hard you try, the cracks will always be visible.

If someone breaches your trust and doesn’t show genuine remorse or make efforts to mend things, it might be time to reassess the respect you have for yourself and decide whether that relationship is worth keeping.

7) Disrespectful behavior

Disrespect can come in many forms – from belittling comments to public humiliation, from ignoring your opinions to making fun of your dreams.

Here’s the most important thing you need to know – tolerating disrespectful behavior is the clearest sign you’re lacking self-respect.

Each time you allow someone to disrespect you without consequences, you’re sending a message that it’s okay to treat you that way. And it’s not.

Disrespect is a direct assault on your dignity and self-worth. It’s about someone disregarding your feelings, thoughts, and experiences.

Never tolerate disrespectful behavior from anyone, whether it’s a friend, partner, or even a family member. You deserve respect, just like everyone else. Stand up for yourself and demand the respect you deserve.

Final thoughts: It’s a journey of self-discovery

Understanding self-respect and the behaviors we tolerate from others is a deep dive into the intricate labyrinth of human psychology and personal development.

Renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow, known for his ‘hierarchy of needs’, emphasized the importance of self-respect in our journey towards self-actualization.

According to Maslow, self-respect is not a luxury but a necessity for our psychological health and well-being.

If you’ve been tolerating any of these seven behaviors, it’s not a cause for despair but an opportunity for growth. It’s a starting point towards cultivating a stronger sense of self-respect.

This journey is personal, unique, and transformative. It’s about recognizing your worth, setting healthy boundaries, and demanding the respect you rightfully deserve.

As you venture on this journey towards enhanced self-respect, remember this – respect starts with you. You set the standard for how others treat you.

So, embark on this journey fearlessly. Reflect on these behaviors and your tolerance towards them. As you do so, remember that every step you take towards asserting your self-respect is a step towards a more empowered and authentic you.

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