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Should you cut him off if he disrespects you? 13 things to know

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Like you, I’ve had experience with disrespectful men. I was determined to cut him off from my life.

However, I decided to do a double-take first. And yes, it helped me a lot:

So before you make a decision, I suggest you reflect on these things first before you cut him off once and for all:

1) Ask yourself: does he have issues?

If a man is disrespectful, it does not necessarily mean that he’s a douche. More often than not, he may have underlying issues that explain why he’s extremely rude to you.

As one report puts it:

“Disrespectful behavior is often “survival” behavior gone awry…

“Characteristics of the individual, such as insecurity, anxiety, depression, aggressiveness, and narcissism, can kick in and serve as a form of self-protection against feelings of inadequacy.

“Cultural, generational, and gender biases, and current events influencing mood, attitude, and actions, also contribute to disrespectful behavior.”

Let’s say your partner is anxious. Whenever he is scared or worried about something, he could turn to disrespect – or anger – to feel more in control of their situation.

Likewise, he may also start an argument – oftentimes on purpose – just so he could get out of the situation.

These hidden issues may be tricky to catch, but doing so will help you decide if you should (or shouldn’t) cut him off from your life.

2) If so, don’t take it personally

I know this statement is passe, but it’s not because of you – it’s because of him. So don’t blame yourself if you’re being disrespected by your man.

As I’ve mentioned, he could have any of the hang-ups above.

Granted that it’s hard not to take things personally, John Amodeo, Ph.D. has this to say in his Psych Central article:

“Not being so quick to accept blame gives us some space from a situation. We remain engaged with our partner, listening openly…

“We maintain our personal boundaries…

“We hold the situation, our own feelings, and the other’s feelings with more spaciousness. We can explore together what just happened without instinctually denying or accepting responsibility.”

3) Is the disrespect consistent?

Is the disrespect a one-time thing, or is it as ‘constant’ as the sun rises and sets?

If it’s the former, then you have to consider what I’ve discussed above. Maybe he’s got issues – such as anxiety or depression – that boiled up right about that time.

As long as he doesn’t act up again, then I believe you shouldn’t cut him off yet.

But if the disrespect and rudeness have become part of his routine, then I suggest doing something better: and that’s to get advice from the professionals over at Relationship Hero.

This site is home to expert relationship coaches who could help you get through this issue (among many other love problems.)

And, I’ve got to say, they’re very effective cause I tried the service myself.

As I’ve mentioned, I too experienced the same thing. A guy I was going out with was very disrespectful towards me, and I wasn’t really sure if I should cut him off from my life.

Good thing my coach was there to make me realize that I deserve someone better – someone who would treat me like a princess – and not like trash.

Needless to say, I ended things with this disrespectful guy. And before I knew it, I met the guy who would eventually become my husband.

What I’m trying to say here is you’ll benefit a lot from the help of the coaches over at Relationship Hero. I know I did!

Click here to get started.

4) Don’t dwell on it

As the Frozen characters have used to sing: Let it go. Don’t dwell on the disrespect.

In his interview with NBC, Professor Michael D. Leiter, Ph.D. explained that  “When someone does something rude and you internalize it, negativity festers, which can lead to resentment.”

Just remember what I told you ago –

Maybe he had a bad day at work.

Maybe his anxiety has crept up again.

There are many reasons why he may be feeling disdainful right now, so take his contempt with a grain of salt.

Always be the bigger person, I say.

5) Take a pause before you say anything

It’s human nature to react badly towards someone who’s being disrespectful. But it doesn’t do anyone good, really.

When you retaliate right away, you may end up using a snarky tone. Worse, you may say something you’ll end up regretting soon.

See, these are just some of the reasons why you just keep on arguing. That’s why you need to take a breather before you respond to your disdainful man.

As Amodeo explains in his Psychology Today article:

When we “practice pausing when our blood is boiling, we turn down the heat and allow a chance for things to cool down before we open our mouths. Practicing pausing before we speak is a powerful way to create a safer climate for heart-to-heart communication.”

True enough, when we pause before we speak, “we have some control over our choice of words, which is important, and also our tone of voice, which may be even more important.”

6) Ask the right questions

In case your guy hasn’t realized he’s being disrespectful – yet – then it’s time to ask him the right questions, such as:

  • I’m not sure you understand what you said. Do you mean that…?
  • Do you know how your statement comes across?
  • Did you mean everything you said?

According to the Science of People, asking these questions will help him “understand why their words or actions towards you are hurtful.”

At the same time, this helps him “learn and grow in that moment.”

7) Call him out…appropriately

Calling a person out has become prevalent in this age of ‘cancel culture.’  But more often than not, it comes “with a lot of righteous indignation, and inviting others to participate in a public shaming exercise.”

Now to prevent this from happening, you need to analyze your own motivations first.

See, you’re calling him out because he’s disrespectful, and not because you want to shame him in front of everybody.

He may not be aware that he’s being contemptuous.

Reminds Kitty Stryker in a Guardian article: Calling out his actions “shouldn’t be about punishing someone for something they have done, rather it should be about establishing a new pattern of behavior.”

8) Tell him how you feel – in a non-threatening way.

His disrespect will get the best of you if you don’t express how you feel. As Dr. Leiter puts it, “It’s more risky, but it’s a powerful thing to do.”

According to Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., the best approach is to “Use statements with ‘I,’ like ‘I felt this say when this happened’ or ‘I’m not sure if you’re aware how I felt when…’”

For the professor, it can help renegotiate “a better way of getting along.”

And when you do talk to him, remember to take a non-threatening posture. According to the Science of People report I mentioned above, it’s all about:

  • Relaxing your jaw
  • Giving them space (aka taking a step back)
  • Standing up tall with your hands out and your palms up (this is what you call a confident, neutralizing stance)

9) Show empathy – and sympathy

As I’ve mentioned a few times, your guy may have some issues that are causing him to be disrespectful. If this is the case, then you must show both empathy and sympathy.

Empathy is all about understanding him and why he’s been that way.

Sympathy, on the other hand, is more than just showing pity. It’s also about showing just support.

As I keep on saying, maybe he’s had a bad day (or a bad life, even.)

10) Kill him with kindness

You know what they always say: don’t fight fire with fire.

Instead of engaging in a screaming match or a physical fight with him, treat him with kindness.

I know this sounds counterintuitive, for it’s easy to feel like a doormat when you respond to a disrespectful man with kindness.

It’s not. As the Mental Health Foundation puts it:

“Kindness is choosing to do something that helps others or yourself, motivated by genuine warm feelings.

“Kindness, or doing good, often means putting other people’s needs before our own.”

“For one, it may help strengthen your connection with him.

“And, if you treat him with kindness, it may convince him to do the same. In other words, it might encourage him to “repeat the good deeds” he has experienced himself.

“And in case this doesn’t stop his discourteous ways, do note that it’ll be helping you.

“Remember: “Acts of kindness are linked to increased feelings of wellbeing… When we help others, it can promote changes in the brain that are linked with happiness.”

His disrespect will keep him miserable, but your kindness towards him will keep you untroubled.

11) Humor works!

Humor him, girl. Literally.

Now I know this sounds counterintuitive as well, but injecting some humor into the situation could lighten things up.

And it could help you too!

After all, a report has shown that humor has been “linked with increased stable positive mood and decreased stable negative mood.”

Add to that, “humor and laughter (also) play an important role in the maintenance of both psychological and physiological health and wellbeing in the face of stress.”

Just remember to use the right kind of humor for the scenario, though.

According to the same report, “Detrimental humor (e.g., sarcasm and self-disparaging humor) is believed to have potentially negative ramifications such as reduced relationship quality and low self-esteem.”

So if your man is having a fit, throw in some:

  • Affiliative humor or jokes that everyone – your discourteous guy included – finds funny.
  • Self-enhancing humor or a joke you make about something bad that has happened to you.

Research, after all, shows that they’re great at improving one’s well-being.

12) Ignore him

If you can’t stomach killing him with kindness (I know, it’s hard!), then the next best thing you could do is ignore him

See, when you let him get to you, you’ll just end up dwelling on the disrespect. And, as I’ve explained earlier, it will only lead to feelings of resentment.

It’s just like treating a child who’s throwing tantrums. (If you ask me, he is being a child by throwing his disdainful tantrums.)

As Charles Kronsberg explains it in the ‘Fostering Perspectives’ magazine:

“The basic principle behind ignoring is to stop a child from acting in a particular way, arrange conditions so that the child will receive no attention following the undesired act.”

“In other words, once his rudeness kicks in,  “do nothing–no yelling, no commenting, no lecturing, no eye contact, no grimacing, etc. The effect is that the undesired behavior has no impact and elicits no response from significant people in the environment.”

“And yes, there’s a huge chance that he might get ruder when you ignore him. Should this happen, “you must be prepared to stick it through and keep ignoring” him.

“That’s because if you give in, “you will actually end up reinforcing that behavior or habit–making it stronger and harder to break.”

Although it works to play the silent one in this scenario, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should ignore him forever. Similar to treating a whining child, you may begin talking to him once he acts respectfully once again.

13) Don’t forget to trigger his hero instinct

Men, by nature, need to feel loved and appreciated by their partners. This is what James Bauer calls the ‘hero instinct.’

See, one of the possible reasons why your man is being disdainful is because you haven’t triggered this instinct in him.

You don’t have to worry about this though, for you can ‘uncover’ his inner hero simply by sending a 12-word text.

Sounds too good to be true, right?

Wrong.

I’ve tried it myself, and with just one text, my hubby transformed into a full-fledged hero. Not only that, triggering his drive has also helped boost his confidence!

True enough, the hero instinct can help improve your guy – and change your relationship for the good.

All you need to do is click here to watch the free video.

So…should you cut him off from your life?

Say you’ve tried everything I’ve mentioned above.

You always took a pause before you spoke.

You called him out, and you told him how you feel.

Heck, you even showed him empathy, sympathy, and loads of kindness!

If he still continues to be a jerk, then I say – cut him off from your life! You don’t need the drama, the hurt, and the toxicity.

You deserve someone better.

And, in case you’re doubting whether it’s the best decision, here’s when you know it’s time to cut him off:

1) He’s affecting your well-being

What’s the use of being in a relationship with him if you feel bad (fearful even) when you’re together?

It’s true that “Relationship difficulties can put anyone on edge, but in some cases, they may actually contribute to full-blown anxiety.  Fraught relationships have (also) been shown to dramatically increase the risk of clinical depression.”

He may be anxious and depressed, but if he’s making you feel the same way, it’s best to cut him off.

Think about yourself, girl!

2) He’s physically harming you

Disrespect is not limited to harsh words. He may be harming you with no rhyme or reason. And let me tell you, that’s never good!

You can try everything I’ve enumerated above, but I doubt it will affect him.

There’s no sense in staying in an abusive relationship. Cut him off before it escalates any further.

3) He goes on to disrespect your family and friends

As with any relationship, it’s important to have boundaries. While you may be able to stomach his disdain, you shouldn’t let it fly if he’s doing it to your family and friends.

And, unless he has a legitimate reason for this, it’s time for you to cut him off.

I’m sure you love your family and friends, and you’ll do anything in your might to protect them. But if your contemptuous guy just goes ahead and breaches this barrier you’ve put over them, you’re better off alone.

4) He’s become completely reliant on you

We all like spoiling our guys. But if he’s become ultra-reliant on you to the point that he’s not doing anything, you’ve got to cut him off.

He’s disrespecting you because you’re letting him get away with it. Now, I tell you, it’s time to get away from him.

Final thoughts

A man who’s disrespectful towards you may have some deep-seated issues. He may be suffering from anxiety, depression, or childhood trauma.

It can be hard to address him, for it may lead to full-on drama.

To prevent this from happening, you must take a deep breath – and pause – before calling him out.

Don’t be afraid to tell him how you feel.

Show him empathy, sympathy, and kindness. And yes, humor works too!

They’d help, but if they don’t, it may be time for you to cut him off.

If he’s affecting your well-being, harming you (or your loved ones,) or relying solely on you, I dare say let him go!

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

I know this from personal experience…

A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero 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.

If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

Click here to get started.

Written by Raychel Ria Agramon

I'm Raye, a nurse licensed in both the Philippines and the US. I also have a Master's degree in Public Management.

Just like helping my patients, I like to empower & motivate readers with research-backed articles.

You can reach me at [email protected]

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