If you want to be respected in life, say goodbye to these self-sabotaging behaviors

A common misconception is that respect comes with status, money, and power.

But some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful individuals are not well-respected, as they lack good character traits.

This is good news for the rest of us, though…

By building our character, we can gain more trust and respect from those around us.

Certain self-sabotaging behaviors repel respect, hinder success, and lower your reputation.

Let’s explore them!

1) Negative self-talk & self-doubt

Doubting yourself undermines confidence and projects uncertainty onto others. 

If someone notices you constantly questioning your abilities or putting yourself down, they are less likely to trust or believe in you. 

Therefore, doubting yourself too much invites skepticism from others and can lead to missed opportunities.

Moreover, allowing negative self-talk to creep into your mind is like disrespecting yourself

If your internal dialogue is not respectful, how can you expect others to show you the respect you deserve?

To combat this, practice positive self-affirmations and focus on your past successes and achievements. 

This will help you shift your focus away from your pitfalls and gradually develop a more positive self-image.

2) Constant complaining

Habitual complaining not only drains your energy but also repels others. 

Constantly focusing on the negative aspects of situations or venting about trivial issues can come across as unproductive and pessimistic. 

According to The Contemporary Psychoanalysis Group, complaining about things is a surefire way NOT to get what you want.

While it’s essential to acknowledge challenges, dwelling on them can make you lose out on opportunities for growth and collaboration. 

Instead of complaining, focus on finding solutions and maintaining a positive outlook, even amidst adversity. 

Doing so demonstrates resilience and a proactive attitude, earning you much more respect.

Remember, you earn respect through perseverance, optimism, and a willingness to tackle challenges head-on rather than succumbing to negativity.

3) Avoiding conflict

Avoiding conflict may seem like an easy way to maintain harmony, but it can actually be a self-sabotaging behavior…

Here’s why…

Not expressing how you feel to avoid conflict results in unresolved issues that lead to resentment and the breakdown of relationships.

Avoiding conflict also signals poor communication skills and a lack of courage and integrity, all of which will cause you to lose respect.  

So next time you worry you might upset someone by speaking the truth, remember that people respect those not afraid of open communication and accountability.

And on the subject of accountability…

4) Lack of accountability

Do you know what erodes trust and credibility more than not speaking your truth? 

  • Making excuses
  • Blaming others
  • Refusing to take responsibility for your actions

Think about it: the vast majority of people don’t like to admit when they are wrong. As a result, most of us encounter liars regularly.

So it’s refreshing to meet an honest person who accepts full responsibility. When you do, you instantly feel more respect towards them.

Lack of accountability is a common self-sabotaging behavior because many believe admitting a mistake is a weakness. 

So, you might have to reframe your perspective to overcome this one.

Remember, accepting accountability, even for mistakes, demonstrates maturity and integrity, which will garner much more respect from peers than lying ever will!

One specific behavior you may need to change to become more accountable is this…

5) Overcommitting

Do you agree to every request that comes your way, double-booking and overfilling your schedule to the point that you have to keep canceling on people?

If you are guilty of this self-sabotaging behavior, you need to stop before your peers lose all respect for you!

When you take on too many responsibilities, you spread yourself thin and can’t stay true to your word.

As a result, you gain a reputation for being flaky, unreliable, and untrustworthy.

Eventually, people stop considering you for opportunities, hindering your potential success.

Moreover, there is also the risk of canceling the most important meetings and commitments to deliver on favors or unimportant requests.

Now, let’s talk further about the main cause of overcommitting…

6) People-pleasing

There is a thin line between being accommodating and people-pleasing.

Helping and assisting others will earn you respect, but prioritizing others’ needs over your own will not.

Sure, pleasing others may make you feel needed and valuable. 

But according to Harvard-trained psychologist Debbie Sorensen, an inability to set boundaries makes you prone to exploitation. This is because others take advantage of your kindness.

This is why striving for a healthy balance between accommodating others and asserting your own boundaries is essential. 

Many psychologists, including Juli Fraga, agree that people respect you more when you’re honest and say no than when you agree to do something you don’t want to do.

However, this is not to say you should go to the extreme and say no to everyone and everything, as that can lead to the following self-sabotaging behavior…

7) Taking more than you give

The basis of mutual respect in any relationship (whether business or personal) is a balance of giving and receiving. 

But the truth is many people are only out for themselves. 

They are only concerned about what they can gain from others, not paying any attention to how they can help them in return.

This is such a typical behavior, so it is easy to spot.

And as soon as someone realizes you are consistently taking more than they give, they lose all respect for you.

So, to avoid this self-sabotaging behavior, cultivate a mindset of generosity and reciprocity. 

Actively seek opportunities to contribute, support, and uplift others without expecting anything in return.

Moreover, practice active listening, show appreciation for others’ contributions, and be willing to offer help and support when needed. 

Giving a little bit more goes a long way when it comes to earning respect! 

8) Inconsistency

Inconsistency breeds uncertainty and distrust. 

If you frequently change your stance on issues, others are likelier to see you as unreliable. 

This often happens when your values are misaligned with your actions. For example, you may say one thing but do the opposite.

Inconsistent behavior can also occur if you are trying to fit in. In this situation, you will act or speak in a way that is not congruent with your inner beliefs. 

So, to be more respected in life, strive for consistency in your actions, values, and communication.

9) Indecisiveness 

Similar to inconsistency, avoiding decision-making or taking too long to make decisions can sabotage your success.

Indecisiveness screams uncertainty, and an uncertain person is one you would feel apprehensive about trusting.

It also signals a lack of confidence and competence, which undermines respect.

I recently listened to a podcast interview between Mel Robbins and Steve Bartlett. 

Steve was explaining how a dad and a son each owned a business. The son would make quick decisions while the dad would ruminate on each thing.

The result?

The son’s business skyrocketed while the dad struggled to keep his afloat.

When we let the fear of making a decision paralyze us, we stall momentum and impede progress.

We appear uncertain, unconfident, and incompetent to others, so they are more likely to think twice about giving us an opportunity again.

And talking about fear, here’s something else that can lose you respect…

10) Fear of taking risks

Playing it safe may seem prudent, but it limits personal growth and opportunities for success. 

If you allow fear of failure or rejection to take control, it can hold you back from taking risks and pursuing your goals, ultimately hindering your ability to earn respect from others. 

Embracing challenges and stepping out of your comfort zone will help you feel more in control of your life and the direction it is going in.

It will also demonstrate courage and ambition, which are admirable and respectful character traits.

Final thoughts

Earning respect in life is not about talent or intelligence but rather character.

Possessing desirable traits like self-awareness, integrity, consistency, and honesty are respect magnets.

And the good news is you can build these traits. 

Identifying and eliminating the above self-sabotaging behaviors can help you pave a new path toward trust and respect.

Gemma Clarke

I am a certified yoga and mindfulness teacher and an experienced content writer in the spirituality and personal growth space.
I’m passionate about sharing my expertise through the power of
words to inspire and guide others along the path of personal and spiritual development.

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