A good friend treats you with respect.
Unfortunately, bad friends can be good at making you question whether they’re actually being disrespectful.
Manipulative and toxic friends might tell you that you’re being “oversensitive” or that you are overreacting.
Remember that you decide whether you are OK with being treated in a particular way.
If your friend does something that you find disrespectful it’s worth talking to them about it, even if you haven’t read it in a list.
Also, keep in mind that some signs of disrespect might have other explanations. Ask for an outside opinion if you’re unsure.
Here are 4 subtle signs of disrespect:
1. They tell you what you think
Someone who respects you also respects your right to be an individual. Someone who tries to tell you who you are or what you think isn’t treating you with respect.
This is often also combined with saying something demeaning or belittling. For example, if you were to talk about liking jazz, they might say, “You don’t like jazz. You never like anything cultured.”
Sometimes, people will contradict you without meaning to be disrespectful. If you describe yourself as shy, they might try to “encourage” you by saying, “You’re not shy. You just like to think before you say things.” Other times, they might be trying to show others how well they know you. If you talk about being a cat person, they might say, “She’s just saying that to sound cool. Secretly, she prefers dogs.”
Even if they don’t mean to be, contradicting someone who is trying to express their identity is rude and disrespectful.
2. They don’t trust you
Someone who respects you will typically give you the benefit of the doubt. Consistently assuming that you have bad intentions, even though you have consistently demonstrated that you are a good friend, is actually disrespectful.
For example, if you had plans to go out but had to cancel because of a migraine, they might assume that you are lying and that you never actually wanted to go. If they make similar assumptions repeatedly despite you being reliable and trustworthy, this is a sign of underlying disrespect.
People who make these kinds of assumptions will often explain it as a symptom of their own low self-esteem. Whilst that might be a part of the problem, if you have consistently shown that you act in good faith, it is both disrespectful and hurtful to assume that you are selfish or cruel.
3. They don’t respect your time
Being late, canceling at the last minute, or asking you to help them with things they could easily do themselves might seem like trivial issues, but they can reflect an underlying lack of respect.
When someone doesn’t respect your time, they are telling you that they just don’t think that whatever you are doing is as important as what they want.
4. They always get what they want
Friendships are about give and take. If you find that you are always following the other person’s plans, it is possible that they simply aren’t respecting your wishes.
Check whether you’re actually communicating what you would like to do. Remember that the other person isn’t a mind-reader. If you are making suggestions and expressing preferences, but you still end up always doing what the other person wants, this may be a sign of disrespect.
Keep in mind that because these signs are so subtle, they can sometimes be explained in other ways than disrespect. Ask a trusted friend or even a therapist if you’re unsure.