If you tolerate these 10 behaviors from someone, you lack self-respect



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There’s a fine line between being patient with someone and tolerating behavior that disrespects you.

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This boundary is often blurred when we lose sight of our self-worth.

Let’s be clear, giving someone leeway doesn’t mean enduring actions that belittle your dignity.

In this piece, I’m going to highlight 10 behaviors that, if you’re putting up with, might indicate you’re not respecting yourself as much as you should.

Read on, and let’s start setting those boundaries.

1) Constant criticism

We all have moments of self-doubt. It’s a human trait. However, when someone regularly criticises you, it’s not about your flaws – it’s about their need to belittle others.

Repeated criticism can chip away at your self-esteem, making you feel unworthy or incompetent.

It’s one thing to accept constructive feedback, but it’s another thing entirely to tolerate relentless, harsh criticism aimed at undermining you.

Respecting yourself means standing up to such behavior and acknowledging that you deserve better.

No one has the right to make you feel inferior without your consent. And consent, in this case, is something you should never give.

Read also: The art of not caring: 8 steps to stop seeking approval from others 

2) Disregard for your time

Time is one of the most valuable resources we have. Once it’s gone, you can never get it back.

I learned this lesson the hard way with a friend who constantly showed up late. Whether it was for a coffee catch-up or a movie outing, she was always at least 20 minutes behind schedule. And the worst part? She didn’t think it was a big deal.

In her mind, being late was just “her thing”. But to me, it felt like she was saying my time wasn’t important.

It took me a while to realize that every time I shrugged off her tardiness, I was letting her know that it was okay to disrespect my time.

Putting up with someone’s consistent disregard for your time is not a sign of patience. It’s an indicator that you’re not respecting your own worth.

When someone keeps you waiting without a valid reason, remember that your time is just as precious as theirs. Stand up for yourself and let them know their behavior is not acceptable.

3) Invasion of personal space

Personal space is an invisible boundary that protects us from unwanted intrusion. It’s a universal human need, rooted deep within our survival instincts.

Did you know that the average personal space radius varies from culture to culture? In the United States, it’s typically about an arm’s length. On the other hand, in places like Japan, personal space extends even further.

If someone consistently invades your personal space without your permission – always sitting too close, touching you when you’re not comfortable, or going through your personal belongings – it can feel like a violation of your privacy and personal dignity.

Tolerating such behavior might be a sign that you’re not respecting your own boundaries. Remember: You have every right to define and protect your personal space. Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.

4) Verbal abuse

Words can sometimes hurt more than physical blows. They have the power to scar us emotionally, leaving lasting impacts on our self-worth and confidence.

Verbal abuse can take many forms, from name-calling and belittling comments to threats and intense bouts of anger directed at you. It’s a toxic behavior that seeks to control and demean the victim.

If you find yourself tolerating consistent verbal abuse from someone, it’s crucial to recognize that it’s not okay. You deserve respect and kindness, not hostility.

Standing up against such behavior is a powerful act of self-respect. Remember, being brave isn’t about enduring abuse, it’s about acknowledging your worth and demanding the respect you deserve.

5) Emotional manipulation

Emotional manipulation is a sneaky, underhanded tactic that can easily go unnoticed until it’s too late. It’s when someone uses your emotions against you, often to get their way.

This can look like guilt-tripping you into doing something, playing the victim when they’re at fault, or gaslighting you into questioning your own reality.

Tolerating emotional manipulation can lead to feelings of confusion, guilt, and self-doubt. If you often find yourself in situations where you feel manipulated, it might be time to reassess your interactions with that person.

6) Disrespect towards your loved ones

Our loved ones are an integral part of our lives. They’re the people we turn to for support, comfort and joy.

So when someone shows constant disrespect towards those you hold dear, it can feel like a direct affront to your own values and emotions.

This could be in the form of derogatory comments, dismissive behavior, or showing blatant disregard for their feelings.

Tolerating such behavior not only shows a lack of self-respect but also belittles the importance of your relationships.

Respect is non-negotiable in any relationship. Stand up for your loved ones, and in doing so, you’re standing up for yourself too.

7) Constant disregard for your opinions

Everyone has a unique perspective shaped by their experiences, beliefs, and values. Our opinions are an expression of this perspective.

I once had a colleague who would laugh off or ignore any suggestion I made during meetings. It felt like my opinions didn’t matter to him. This not only made me doubt my capabilities, but it also made me question my worth in the team.

If you’re constantly ignored or dismissed when expressing your thoughts, it can be deeply demoralizing. It’s a form of disrespect that undermines your confidence and self-esteem.

Your opinions matter. Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise. Stand up for your right to be heard and valued.

Read also: If you want to be more content as you get older say goodbye to these 8 behaviours 

8) Acceptance of their dishonesty

Honesty is often seen as a virtue. But in relationships, it can sometimes feel easier to let a lie slide than to confront the truth.

A person who frequently lies to you, whether about big issues or small ones, shows a lack of respect for your trust and intelligence.

Surprisingly, putting up with such behavior might seem like you’re keeping the peace, but in reality, it’s a sign that you’re not respecting your own need for honesty and transparency.

Truthfulness is the foundation of trust in any relationship. Don’t let anyone undermine that with their dishonesty. Stand up for your right to truth.

9) Dismissal of your feelings

Feelings are a fundamental part of our humanity. They give us insight into our needs, desires, and boundaries.

If someone consistently dismisses or invalidates your feelings – telling you that you’re overreacting or that your feelings are wrong – it can be deeply hurtful.

This behavior is an act of disrespect, showing a lack of consideration for your emotions and experiences.

If you’re tolerating this, it may signify a lack of self-respect.

Your feelings are valid and important. Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise. Stand up for your right to feel and express your emotions.

10) Tolerance of physical abuse

Physical abuse is a clear violation of your personal boundaries and safety. It’s an extremely harmful form of disrespect that can leave lasting physical and emotional scars.

Under no circumstances should physical abuse be tolerated.

You have the right to safety, respect, and dignity. No relationship or situation warrants the acceptance of physical harm. Stand up for yourself, seek help, and protect your well-being. It’s not just an act of self-respect; it’s a matter of basic human rights.

Final thoughts: It’s about self-love

The journey towards self-respect is deeply entwined with the journey towards self-love. They are two sides of the same coin.

Dr. Kristin Neff, a renowned psychologist and self-compassion researcher, asserts that self-compassion – a critical component of self-love – involves treating ourselves kindly, recognizing our common humanity, and maintaining a balanced awareness of our emotions.

When we truly embrace self-love and self-compassion, we naturally develop a higher sense of self-respect. We understand our worth and refuse to accept behaviors that undermine it.

Whether it’s enduring constant criticism, dismissal of your feelings, or any other disrespectful behavior, tolerating such actions is not a testament to your strength or patience. It’s a signal that you’re not giving yourself the love and respect you deserve.

So as you reflect on these points, remember: You are worthy of respect, kindness, and love. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Stand up for yourself, because you matter.


Contributed by Tina Fey

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