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21 ways to recognize disrespect in a relationship

It is natural to be offended by someone who is disrespectful. There are those who affirm that they are not disturbed and some really do not, but they are in the minority. Those affected cover their pain with moralistic anger to justify lashing out at the culprit (most do not).

People generally do not confront these rude people. It is as if they are afraid to admit that they feel ignored and forgotten. Therefore, they save and nurture the negative feelings engendered by these encounters to vent to someone close to them.

Consistent kindness can go a long way. As the sun melts the ice, kindness causes misunderstandings, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate. Dr. Albert Schweitzer


From observation and experience, lack of respect results from the absence of social education; people who have a bad day and an innocent passerby becomes a victim; or the deliberate and outright disregard of another person’s feelings that developed in childhood.

This last point is particularly pervasive in dysfunctional families and people who migrate from such groups and form their own families continue to perpetrate this behavior. I grew up in such a family, so I know it first hand.


No matter how you look at it, disrespect is abnormal in any way. At times I have been guilty of this and no doubt so have you. When you go off the rails like people do, you apologize immediately or when you have a firmer grip on your emotions. Anyone who feels too “big” to do so shows just how small they really are.

I’m not saying “be a good two shoes”; just act like a responsible adult and treat others the way you want to be treated.

I was filled with self-righteous anger for decades, from my teens to my early forties, and thought that apologizing was putting me down. Happily, I passed that stage and now it is easy to recognize when I am wrong, regardless of the circumstances, and to apologize. And you?

I don’t care whether I like you or not … All I ask is that you respect me as a human being. Jackie Robinson


Couples express their lack of respect for each other verbally and non-verbally, both of which are detrimental to the growth and longevity of their relationship. Believe it or not, it is their mutual denigration that brought them together. They call it love, but Eckhart Tolle says it’s his pain body that attracted each other.

When you recognize and are attracted to the Presence in another, that is love.

A man who does not respect women tends to be attracted to and associate with a woman who has a similar lack of respect for herself.

The first duty of love is to listen. Paul tillich

At the same time, she despises the man (men) and the society she lives in, as it dictates that she has no needs and even if she does, they must be relegated to the end of the line until the man is satisfied. After all, she’s just a walking womb, plus the head cook and bottle washer in the relationship!

Unfortunately, the reverse is also true, namely women who are financially and therefore emotionally dominant in relationships. I have had the equally unpleasant experience of witnessing a female relative exhibiting the same negative qualities listed below. Therefore, it is not a rare occurrence!

Therefore, 21 ways to acknowledge disrespect in a relationship are not based on gender.

  1. Their discussions often have conflicting purposes, which opens the way for misunderstandings and arguments.
  2. You are visibly impatient with the reasons given for incomplete activity.
  3. Ignore your partner / relative’s demand for attention / discussion.
  4. You are not clear when you want something done.
  5. You micromanage the activities.
  6. When you see that a required job isn’t what you want it to be, you don’t say anything until the job is done.
  7. He speaks dismissively to his partner / relative when he gives clarification.
  8. He is dismissive or grudgingly accepts efforts made to please him.
  9. He makes excuses for not fulfilling his stated responsibility.
  10. You blame others for your lack of follow-through.
  11. Individuals in this family group overeat to ease their emotional cravings or have another addiction for the same purpose.
  12. You think of your partner / relative as manual labor and yourself as the “brain”.
  13. You are the “heavyweight” of the family and your wishes / demands rule.
  14. You control the finances in the relationship.
  15. You ignore the real financial needs of your partner.
  16. Distribute money at your convenience.
  17. You feel superior to your partner / relative, but you will vigorously defend them if someone crosses your “territory”.
  18. Discuss your life plans with your partner / relative, but you rarely ask for information.
  19. You project an air of benevolent complacency when your partner / relative makes a verbal contribution of any kind.
  20. Their arguments generally concern everything other than their life together.
  21. Your partner seems to be an appendix in your life.

Make no mistake, all parties are aware of your dysfunctional relationship. They feed off the negative qualities of the other. They both want to have their cake and ice cream without making the slightest effort to create a nurturing and loving relationship.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. The Dalai Lama

The only way for these destructive cycles to short-circuit is for each party to recognize that the problem lies with them, their upbringing, and the ensuing beliefs. Admitting this is the first step to healing.

Meditation and therapy are a good combination to help them accept who they are as (valuable) individuals.

Self love, compassion for oneself is key here.

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