20 Common Behaviors That Will Make People Lose Respect for You

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By Jonathan Trent

Respect is the cornerstone of healthy relationships. There’s a difference between being liked and being respected, yet many people lose the latter through simple habits that affect how people see them. These are the 20 most common behaviors that cause you to no longer be respected.

Lack of Integrity

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If you constantly break promises you make or lack honesty in certain situations, respect for you is soon going to plummet. Respect is earned by keeping your promises and being a trustworthy person. Therefore, showing a lack of integrity only leads to a lack of respect.


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If you act superior to others and speak condescendingly, you give off an air of arrogance that nobody will respect. Constantly talking about yourself or focusing on your own accomplishments shows that you don’t value other people’s contributions.

Poor Communication Skills

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Forbes defines a lack of communication skills as responding too quickly, interrupting, and speaking at a fast pace. Good communication is vital for understanding others and helping people understand you. Respect is easily lost if people begin to realize they can’t depend on you to communicate.

Inconsistency Through Actions and Speech

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Are you constantly saying one thing and doing another? Are you always changing your behavior or even your viewpoint on certain matters? If you’re inconsistent with what you say or do, people will come to realize that your opinion can’t be respected or depended on.

Lack of Empathy

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It’s difficult to respect someone who doesn’t show empathy for other people’s thoughts and feelings. Empathy is vital for building strong relationships and for being likable. A lack of empathy can show an insensitivity to the struggles of others, and that’s something not many people can respect.


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There can be a fine line between selfishness and setting up your own healthy boundaries. While it’s important to consider your own needs, constantly putting them before others’ will make them lose respect for you. Selfish behavior can also include not appreciating other people’s efforts.

Being Unprofessional

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A surefire way to lose respect in the workplace is to behave unprofessionally. If you’re sloppy with your time management, such as missing deadlines, this can be a factor. If you also lack sensitivity with the way you dress or are open to office gossip, this will also cause people to lose respect.

You Have a Close-Minded Attitude

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Speaking with someone who is completely close-minded can be very exhausting. It also eventually leads to a person avoiding interactions with you. Being unwilling to learn from others or refusing to consider their perspective isn’t a good way to earn respect.


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One clear sign of insecurity, according to Business Insider, is never feeling like you’re good enough. This can then affect how you act and how you treat others. Insecurity can result in you needing validation and putting others down to make yourself feel better. This sort of behavior can make people lose respect for you.

Lack of Accountability

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If you constantly make excuses for your mistakes instead of owning up to them, people will soon stop respecting you. This is especially true if your lack of accountability puts the blame on others, which is seen as cowardly. If you also can’t accept constructive criticism, this can cause tension.

Disrespectful Behavior

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If you’re always behaving disrespectfully, then nobody is going to respect you in return. Disrespectful behavior can be as simple as interrupting others or as serious as using derogatory language. It also counts as disrespectful behavior if you’re pushing the patience of others.


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You don’t have to be outright aggressive for it to count. Many people don’t even realize they’re showing passive-aggressive tendencies. If backhanded compliments are your go-to, or if you avoid addressing issues out loud, this is all a sign of passive-aggressiveness. It can negatively impact how others view you.

Lack of Gratitude

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Even if you feel thankful inwardly, never expressing it outright can lead people to believe you’re ungrateful. It’s very easy to feel entitled, but if you don’t acknowledge how damaging this behavior can be, it can easily lead people to lose respect for how much you take for granted.

Making Too Many Promises

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Even if you do so with good intentions, making too many promises that you can’t keep will lead people to lack respect for you. Overburdening yourself with tasks you don’t have time for in order to please others will ultimately lead to failure to meet expectations.

Poor Etiquette

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Etiquette coach Laura Yetunde Akano explains via LinkedIn that etiquette “shows that we value and respect others”. Without it, people will likely not want to respect you in return. Basic manners, such as saying thank you or being courteous to serving staff, are examples of respectful behavior.

Being Too Judgemental

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You can respect someone for having their own opinions. But if that person is overly critical of anyone with a different opinion, this is where problems can begin. Being too judgemental can include being critical without fully understanding the situation, as well as criticizing the lifestyle choices of others.

Lack of Humility

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Being proud of your achievements is perfectly acceptable; overly bragging about them is not. Many people will lose respect for you if you constantly put excessive focus on the things you’re good at without acknowledging any limitations that you may have.

Manipulative Behavior

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Manipulation is “a means of trying to gain control or power”, says PsychCentral. If your interactions are made with the sole purpose of getting people to do what you want, then those interactions aren’t worthy of respect. Playing mind games and emotionally blackmailing other people will only alienate you.

Breaking People’s Trust

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If people have trusted you enough to share personal information, it’s your duty to keep that confidential. Betraying people’s trust, whether a colleague or a close friend, only shows you to be a dishonest person who lacks integrity. This type of person isn’t one to be respected.

Ignoring Emotional or Physical Boundaries

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Putting pressure on others to do things you want them to do can risk breaking boundaries. If that person is showing clear signs of discomfort, you should respect that. Any sort of boundary-breaking, including invading personal space or bringing up sensitive topics, can make people lose respect for you.

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