You know those people you meet at work, college, or at a party – and you instantly get the “ick” about them?
They do something and you immediately decide that this person isn’t your type of person. They aren’t to be trusted and they certainly aren’t to be respected.
Well, there are only certain behaviors that can make you feel this way about someone. Which means there are certain behaviors you have to avoid if you don’t want people to think this about you!
Keep reading to learn the 11 behaviors that can instantly make someone lose respect for you – to the point you may never get it back…
1) Taking credit for things you didn’t do
Imagine you’re in a meeting. The boss congratulates a guy for his hard work on a project. He accepts the compliment and tells the boss how hard he worked.
The thing is, he didn’t work on that project at all. Someone else did. He’s just taking credit for their work because he’s been given the opportunity to do it.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t ever respect people who do this! I value it way more when they step up and correct the boss – giving the person who actually did the work the credit instead.
Even though you think you might be getting away with it if you do this, you probably aren’t. Chances are, someone will know the truth.
There’s even more chance that your boss will find out the truth eventually, too. And they probably won’t be happy that you lied. They won’t have much respect for you, either…
2) Changing your mind because someone else changed theirs
I hate it when people do this! They think and believe one thing at one moment. In fact, they’re adamant about it! Then someone else changes their mind, so they immediately change theirs, too.
Genuinely changing your mind is a good thing. It’s actually very respectable to stand up, admit you were wrong, and say you don’t believe in that anymore.
But when you do it just because someone else does – especially when the person who’s changed their mind is your crush, teacher, boss, or someone you’re trying to impress – you probably aren’t impressing anyone.
You’re just losing the respect of the people who can see exactly what you’re doing!
3) Being unfaithful to your partner
There’s no excuse for cheating and being unfaithful. I knew a guy in college once and we were all good friends with him. We always rooted for him when he was flirting with our classmates.
Until his girlfriend came up to visit him unexpectedly one weekend and we realized he’d been cheating on her the entire time…
People are unfaithful in relationships for lots of different reasons. And (sadly) it’s becoming pretty common to be cheated on at some point in your life.
But that doesn’t mean it’s respectable behavior. And if anyone finds out that you’re being unfaithful to your partner, they’ll probably lose any respect they had for you.
4) Criticizing someone “as a joke”
Everyone has a different sense of humor, but most people love a good joke or sarcastic remark!
But you can take a joke too far if you’re not careful. I.e., if you start criticizing their personality, job, or their appearance for no real reason. Or if you start picking on someone’s insecurities…
An old boss of mine did this once. He was always cracking jokes and trying to make us laugh. Until he criticized someone’s weight… He made a “joke” about the fact that they were dieting (something they’d told him in casual conversation).
The joke went down like a lead balloon. And most people in the office struggled to maintain the respect they had for him after that.
5) Taking advantage of someone else
Another behavior that is sure to make you unlikable is taking advantage of someone else. No one finds this behavior attractive or alluring.
It actually makes them highly suspicious of you – because if you’re taking advantage of this person, what’s stopping you from taking advantage of them, too?
An old coworker of mine dated a woman once because she had a car, and he didn’t. He was pretty open about the fact that he was only with her because she gave him rides everywhere and he needed them.
It was like he was gloating about it by telling us – like he thought it made him look cool. When it really, really didn’t…
6) Treating your parents/grandparents badly
If there’s anything high school movies have taught us, it’s that treating your parents or grandparents badly isn’t a good look!
There’s nothing cool about mocking your parents or disrespecting them. If you do this in public or in front of your friends, people aren’t going to respect you for it.
Even if you do it one-on-one and someone you know finds out about it, they probably aren’t going to like it. Because any decent person knows it isn’t cool to be rude to your family or act embarrassed by them.
7) Mocking someone who doesn’t have what you have
Speaking of high school movies, I think we’ve all seen the scenes where a kid with everything bullies a kid without anything.
And we all know those people aren’t the most liked – or the ones who end up as the “hero” at the end!
In real life, people aren’t so obvious about their bullying. They might look someone up and down, stare for too long at their shoes, gossip behind their back, or snigger when they think they aren’t looking.
But the thing is, someone might be looking. And whoever you’re gossiping to might not appreciate you mocking someone for materialistic reasons…
8) Disappearing when people need you
Some friends are truly there for you. When things are looking up in your life, they’re there at the other end of the phone. And when things feel like they’re crumbling down, you still get a text from them and an offer to meet up.
But some friends aren’t like this at all. When you’re feeling good and happy, they’re all here for it. They love to meet up in a group for a good time.
Yet when times get rough, they disappear. They don’t answer your calls, respond to your texts, or even meet up with you when you ask them to.
Everyone gets busy with their own life sometimes. But you still need to be there for your friends when they need you.
If you always take a step back and let someone else deal with a friend in crisis, people might secretly lack respect for you because of it…
9) Only ever talking about yourself
We all enjoy talking about ourselves. It’s why asking questions is the best way to make someone instantly like you!
But the thing is, if you’re the one being asked all the questions, and all you do is answer them, this doesn’t make you very likable.
I had a friend in college who only ever talked about herself. You’d meet her for coffee, and she’d spend the whole time talking about her own life.
She’d never ask you a question or take an interest in what you had to say. I respected her as a person, but I didn’t respect her quite as much as a friend.
10) Breaking your promises
Another quick way to lose someone’s respect is to break your promises to them. If you say you’re going to do something, you should really do it.
Even if you apologize or ask for a raincheck, people are going to lose faith in you pretty quickly if you cancel on them too often.
Say you tell your partner you’ll be home in time to drop them off at the airport. If you stay out late drinking with your friends and don’t show up at their house when you said you would, this isn’t a very respectable thing to do.
If you apologize for it, but do it again, they’ll probably never respect what you say ever again. Or trust you…
The same rules apply at work, in college, with your friends, when dating, and any other time, really. If you say you’re going to text, call, or lend a hand, you should do it if you want people to respect you.
11) Talking down to staff members
It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the supermarket, theatre, or a restaurant – if you talk down to the staff who work there, people will instantly lose respect for you!
Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, regardless of their profession. Thinking someone is “less” than you because you’re the customer and they work there isn’t a good look.
And making it obvious that you don’t care for them (by being rude, criticizing their uniform, or acting entitled) isn’t something a decent person would do.
It’s actually pretty easy to gain the respect of others. All you really need to do is be a decent person, show up for others, and treat people with compassion. And, of course, avoid these behaviors at all costs!
If you do both of these things, you’ll probably find that people respect you a whole lot more for it. And you’ll probably gain more genuine friendships and a more fulfilling career because of it.
Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.
Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.
Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.
With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.
Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.