Do you always find yourself feeling unappreciated, unnoticed and even belittled by those around you? Usually, your first instinct may be to point the finger at them. After all, their not-so-nice words and actions hurt—shouldn’t they know better than to treat others the way they do?
However, you may, completely innocently, be encouraging others to disregard you without even realizing it. If you take a moment to think about your daily interactions with those around you, you may discover that you’re actually the key to gaining the respect you deserve. Here are five behaviors you may be engaging in that lead to disrespect.
1. You Allow Others to Walk All Over You
When people take advantage of you, and you let them, you send a strong message that you don’t believe that you are worthy of other people’s respect. Whether you give in to pressure from a coworker, a lover or even your mother-in-law to do something that just doesn’t sit right with you, you not only compromise your own integrity, you also send a clear message that you’re easily manipulated.
2. You Always Put Their Needs Before Your Own
While it’s great to think of others, especially those you love, you shouldn’t put other people first when doing so becomes detrimental to your well-being. Even little habits like always letting your friends decide where to go for happy hour—no matter if that means you have to travel across town—or constantly allowing your mother to dictate your family’s get-togethers—especially when you have limited free time—can compromise the degree to which others regard you. Doing nice things for others is one thing, but constantly sacrificing your time and happiness for others will only make you miserable and less worthy of admiration in other people’s eyes.
3. You Put Yourself Down in Front of Others
You set the tone for how others perceive you. If you’re constantly putting yourself down—talking negatively about your intelligence, body, career, love life and so on—you unknowingly encourage other people to see you the way you do, which is not in a very good light. Other people won’t respect you if you don’t have anything nice to say about yourself.
4. You Never Stand Up for Yourself
Allowing yourself to be a punching bag for other people puts you on the fast-track to being disrespected. When others disregard your feelings and you don’t correct them or make a case for yourself, you show other people that you don’t think you are worth fighting for. And why would people show you respect if you don’t believe you truly deserve it?
5. You Surround Yourself With Toxic People
Sometimes, it’s not just your actions toward others and the way you treat yourself that cause other people to disrespect you. It could also be that you surround yourself with toxic people. Users, abusers and other emotional vampires can quite literally suck the life right out of you, causing your self-respect and confidence to plummet. By spending time with people who don’t give you the regard you deserve, you leave little room for people who would respect you.