Relationship Help: I Feel Like People Don’t Respect Me

Gaining Respect in Relationships

It can feel hard to navigate life and its challenges if you feel disrespected. Sometimes, people come to me for relationship help with a tough question: Is there anything I can do if people don’t respect me? 

People respect you when you act with kindness, integrity, and honesty. But it’s a process, and it can take time. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming, especially when we are grappling with past choices, we’re not proud of.

There are steps you can take, but what you do depends on the reason you are being treated with disrespect. Different situations call for different responses. Let’s look at a few of the most common.

Disrespect and Poor Reputation

You might be disrespected because of the choices that you’ve made in the past or situations you’ve been in that damaged your reputation. A poor reputation and disrespect often go hand in hand. People we hurt by our choices sometimes feel that we need to earn their trust or respect again. 

If this is the case, it is valuable to let them know you want to work on the relationship and make whatever efforts you’re able to support them and share quality time. 

Be careful not to get caught in a cycle of guilt and shame when working through respect issues connected to improving your reputation. 

Everyone makes mistakes and everyone goes through a period of feeling bad about their choices. But it’s important to remember that God sees us in a kind and compassionate way. You are loved and forgiven by God for your past mistakes, and He can strengthen you as your relationships heal and recover.

Disrespect and Bullying

Sometimes the disrespect you’re getting has absolutely nothing to do with your mistakes or poor choices.
If you’re being bullied by someone who is disrespectful to you, let someone you trust know what is happening. Make a plan to distance yourself from the bully and get extra support from people trained to help you heal from bullying.

Disrespect and Toxic Relationships

If the person disrespecting you is in a close relationship with you, pay attention to how and when it happens. Did it only happen once when they got angry? If so, you should let them know why you were hurt and how they can show you greater respect in the future.

But if it’s a pattern, and they don’t seem to be responding to your needs, it may have developed into a toxic relationship. If that’s the case, you may need to dig deeper with someone who can help you work through this relationship. 

Support to Feel More Respected

Who can help? There are lots of options when it comes to finding special support to feel more respected. 

A therapist or counselor can help you dig deep and deal with the emotions behind the struggle for greater respect. A faith leader can give you spiritual encouragement. And here at TheHopeLine, we offer chat and email mentoring to help with respect and reputation. 

Talk to a HopeCoach today to learn why you feel disrespected, and what you can do to turn things around. I have no doubt that you will learn and grow along the way. We are here to listen and support you, and we will treat you with respect.

Maybe you've made some bad choices and the gossipers are now using them against you. Read my blog on how to rebuild a bad reputation.

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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