As a woman, I think that the greatest thing about living in this century is the way female empowerment has grown in leaps and bounds.
Gone are the days when we were expected to squash our ambitions and be content with falling in line. When we were told to be seen (and look pretty at that), not heard.
These days, we’re all about pushing boundaries, or shattering the proverbial glass ceiling, if you will. These days, we’ve got a lot more leeway to assert our self-respect.
And that includes not taking crap from anyone, especially from men.
In this article, I’ll lay out 10 behaviors women simply shouldn’t tolerate from a man, not if she has self-respect.
If you’re a woman who knows her worth (and I’m willing to bet you are), you’ll probably find yourself nodding along. Let’s get into it!
Let’s start with the more obvious ways men disrespect women: catcalling, sexual objectification, verbal abuse…
And how about the more subtle ones, like dismissive language/gestures, talking over, gender stereotyping, and the ever-annoying mansplaining?
I’m pretty sure there are many other ways I haven’t mentioned here, but whatever they are, a woman who knows her worth won’t take it sitting down.
If a man can’t respect her, then he’s not worth her time. Simple as that.
And let’s not forget, the way a man treats you says more about him than about you. I say this because while we may seem strong on the outside, disrespect sometimes has a way of eating away at our self-esteem, especially if it’s constant.
It’s always good to be reminded that if a man chooses to be rude, that’s on him, not you.
Here’s another one that’s related to respect, or rather a lack of it. I’ve seen one too many cases of men trying to control women, being completely dismissive of the fact that a woman is her own person.
In what ways do men try to control women? Here are several:
- Trying to cut her off from her support network
- Excessively checking up on her whereabouts and online interactions
- Making all the decisions, even those about her appearance
- Controlling her access to money if he’s the breadwinner
- Guilt-tripping, gaslighting, and other forms of emotional manipulation
Look, relationships should be about partnership, not power struggles. And a woman with self-respect is well aware of that.
She won’t tolerate a man – or anyone, for that matter – who tries to control her. She’s the author of her own story, and no one gets to take the pen from her.
Oh, this one’s quite common. Have you ever felt like an afterthought in a relationship? You know, like the man you’re with barely puts in any effort and takes you for granted practically all the time?
If you have, I hope you’ve gotten rid of him. Because a man like that has no place in your life.
See, a woman who knows her self-worth will never settle for less. Or for anyone who puts her last.
So, even if her man might be “benign” – not exactly aggressive or outright disrespectful – she won’t stay long with him anyway.
Because at its core, neglect is still about a lack of respect.
In case you need reminding: We all need someone who’ll make the time to listen to us, make us feel important, and who doesn’t just remember us when it’s convenient.
Why sit around and wait for scraps of his time and attention when you know you deserve more than that?
Neglect is a great example of what makes a relationship imbalanced. When the woman puts in more effort than her partner, that couple won’t last very long.
Not if she has any self-respect.
I was once in such a relationship. I was pulling my weight – making time in my schedule for dates, giving him thoughtful gifts, listening whenever he had something to share, thinking of activities for us to do together…
And never getting the same amount of effort in return. Heck, he couldn’t even manage to remember my birthday!
Back then, I wasn’t the confident, decisive person I am today. Back then, I was so enamored with the idea of love that I was willing to settle for crappy behavior.
It took quite some time before I saw the light with that one. Fortunately, with each relationship I’ve had since then, I learn more about myself and about what I can and can’t accept from a man.
And this is one of them – it’s got to be 50/50, or else I’m out.
Has a man ever given you lines like these?
- “You’re overreacting/being too emotional.”
- “Are you sure you can do that?”
- “That’s not very ladylike.”
- “Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.”
- You’re taking this too personally.”
And the super infuriating, “Is it that time of the month?”
The first time I heard that last line from a man, I stared at him. With a raised eyebrow. Then I said, “Tell me, were you born rude, or is it acquired?”
That shut him down faster than you could swipe left on a dating app!
For a woman who knows her worth, comments like this won’t fly. She won’t let anyone make her feel like her thoughts and emotions are insignificant or irrational.
This leads me to my next point…
6) Lack of support
Obviously, if a man can’t even acknowledge your ideas and feelings, he won’t be able to give you the support you need.
And if he can’t do that, what’s the point of being with him?
We all need someone who roots for us along the way as we reach for our dreams and goals. It’s one of the most fulfilling aspects of being in a relationship, isn’t it?
Ah, cheating. This one’s a real dealbreaker for women with a healthy amount of self-respect.
Because it’s just disrespectful on so many levels!
For one, it shows a blatant disregard for your feelings and for the relationship you have. The minute he decides to cheat, he shows how little he truly cares for how you feel.
Two, and this might sound weird, but cheating even shows how little he respects himself!
I mean, why stay with a man like that, right?
See, infidelity is such a corrosive thing. No matter how strong we are, the betrayal will create a crack in the solid core we have so painstakingly built.
That’s why, if a woman is the type who knows her worth, she won’t tolerate it. She’ll protect herself and prioritize her well-being.
She’ll prefer to be with a man who has just as strong a sense of integrity as she does.
Or…she’d rather be single!
Think it’s just cheating that’s a dealbreaker? Think again.
When it comes to relationships, even the small lies matter.
Now, I understand that not all lies are on the same level. Some do weigh heavier than others. And people may even have acceptable reasons for lying.
But the fact remains that it shatters trust, which is something so important for a woman with self-respect.
From my perspective, a lie, big or small, is a red flag. Once you catch someone lying, you’ll always be second-guessing everything they say.
So, why settle? Somewhere out there is the real deal – a guy who can be honest with you, even when it’s difficult.
What if the man doesn’t lie, but also doesn’t talk?
That’s called “stonewalling,” and it’s not something women who know their worth will stand for.
Imagine this: there’s an issue you need to talk about with your man, but he keeps avoiding it and refusing to communicate. You’ve tried all sorts of approaches, to the point that you’re practically begging him to engage.
Not a pretty sight, is it?
It’s enough to make you feel small and unimportant, as if you don’t even deserve the dignity of an honest conversation.
Once again, it pays to look at what you’ll accept in a man. Are you okay with dealing with this forever, or would you rather have someone who’s willing to have those deep, and sometimes tough, discussions with you?
In short, someone who wants the relationship to work as much as you do.
I think the answer to that is pretty clear.
Finally, we get to this last bit that’s often overlooked – unkindness.
An unkind spirit manifests across a whole range of behaviors, some of which are instantly obvious, and others, more subtle.
Consider these examples:
- Making hurtful jokes at your expense, even in front of other people
- Playing mind games and manipulative tricks
- Making rude and dismissive comments
- Withholding affection or support
- Aggression, name-calling, and insults
There’s so much more to this, but you get the gist.
And it’s not just their behavior towards you, but also towards others. Because let’s face it, a man might be on his best behavior with you (especially if the relationship’s really new), but he could be rude to the waitstaff or a colleague.
That’s a red flag, definitely something to watch out for.
Ultimately, it all comes down to one overarching thing: respect.
And, if I might add, high standards. As women, we must remember our worth and not settle for less than we deserve.
As life coach Tony Gaskins once said, we teach people how to treat us by what we allow, what we stop, and what we reinforce.