Unfortunate Signs Your Friends Don’t Respect You

Unfortunate Signs Your Friends Don’t Respect You

Healthy friendships are built on mutual respect. Do your friends truly value you, or are there hidden signs of disrespect? These 16 subtle behaviors will help you evaluate your friendships and ensure you’re getting the support and respect you deserve.

1. They constantly flake.

Canceling plans last minute, always showing up late… their time seems more valuable than yours. Respect means valuing someone’s time and following through on commitments. If they consistently act like your time is disposable, it’s a sign they don’t respect you enough to prioritize the friendship.

2. It’s all about them.

They talk AT you, not WITH you. They’re uninterested in your life but expect you to be their therapist/cheerleader 24/7. A good friendship is a two-way street, not a one-person monologue. Mutual interest and support are crucial for any healthy friendship to thrive.

3. They never, ever compliment you.

They never celebrate your wins, big or small. It’s a mix of jealousy and not genuinely caring enough to acknowledge your successes. Friends should be your hype crew, not drag you down. When friends don’t celebrate your triumphs, it reveals more about their own insecurities than your worth.

4. The teasing is borderline mean.

two men laughing and chatting on city street

They mock your passions, downplay your accomplishments, and disguise insults as “jokes.” True friends tease playfully, but they know your boundaries and support you unconditionally. Friends who consistently tear you down instead of building you up are likely struggling with their own self-esteem issues.

5. They disappear when you need them.

three men talking outside

Bad day? Relationship problems? They’re MIA. Friends should be there when life seriously sucks for you, not just for the fun times. Real support looks like a listening ear and practical help if needed. If a friend can’t be bothered to show up when things get tough, the friendship may be more superficial than you thought.

6. They break your trust.

Spreading your secrets, gossiping behind your back, the list goes on and on. They don’t respect your privacy or the vulnerability you shared with them. True friendship is built on a foundation of trust. If you have to constantly censor yourself around them, it’s a red flag that they lack the respect essential for a true friendship.

7. Constructive criticism is their love language.

They’re constantly nitpicking your choices, and they always have some unsolicited advice at the ready. There’s a difference between offering support and trying to control your every move. While friends can provide valuable insights, those who constantly try to micromanage your life likely don’t respect your autonomy.

8. They make subtle digs masked as “honesty.”

Happy multi-ethnic male friends walking outdoors

Backhanded compliments, sarcastic jabs, a constant attempt to knock you down a peg. It’s not “brutal honesty,” it’s thinly veiled disrespect. Friends should make you feel good about yourself, not subtly ridicule you. Don’t mistake someone’s unkindness for “just being real.”

9. You feel drained around them.

two women chatting at cafe

Spending time with them leaves you exhausted, not energized. Interactions feel emotionally taxing, filled with negativity and subtle put-downs. Good friendships should be a source of joy and support, not leave you feeling depleted. If they suck the life out of you, it’s time to re-evaluate whether this friendship is worth the cost.

10. You hide the good stuff.

three male friends chatting on bench

You avoid sharing exciting news because you anticipate jealousy or a dismissive response. You downplay your successes because you don’t want to put a target on your back. If you constantly feel like you have to censor yourself or minimize your happiness around them, something’s off. True friends genuinely celebrate your wins, no matter how big or small.

11. You’re always the one adjusting.

two male friends walking and talking in the park

You’re the one changing your plans, making compromises, and going out of your way to accommodate them. They rarely reciprocate or meet you halfway. A strong friendship should feel balanced, not like you’re constantly bending over backwards to please them. Reciprocity is crucial, and repeatedly putting their needs above your own is a recipe for resentment.

12. They guilt-trip you.

guy on his phone at a party

They make you feel bad for hanging out with other friends or prioritizing your needs. They play the victim card to manipulate you into agreeing with them or dropping your own plans to appease them. Friends who value you shouldn’t try to control who you spend time with or make you feel guilty for healthy boundaries. Don’t be afraid to put your foot down and protect your time and energy.

13. They don’t respect your boundaries.

unhappy female friends sitting on couches

You express a need, they ignore it. You set a boundary, they steamroll right over it. They show a pattern of disregarding your feelings and pushing your limits. This lack of consideration demonstrates a fundamental lack of respect. Remember, your boundaries matter, and true friends respect them without question.

14. They don’t apologize, EVER.

two women having a conversation on park bench

Even when clearly in the wrong, they deflect blame, make excuses, or minimize the hurt they caused. An inability to apologize indicates they believe they’re above reproach, which is a major sign of disrespect. Everyone messes up, but friends should be willing to own their mistakes and make amends.

15. They gaslight you.

man looking at woman on the couch

They deny things they said, twist the truth, and try to make you question your own memory. This is a form of emotional manipulation designed to maintain control and avoid responsibility. If they’re constantly making you doubt your reality, it’s a sign they don’t respect your experiences or perceptions. Don’t let anyone twist your understanding of your experiences – what you felt matters.

16. Your gut says “run.”

woman walking with attitude through city

Something feels off, even if you can’t pinpoint why. You feel anxious before hanging out, a vague sense of dread after. Intuition matters! If your deep-down sense is screaming this isn’t good for you, listen to it. Trusting your gut can protect you from relationships that ultimately drain you more than uplift you.

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Jeff graduated from NYU with a degree in Political Science and moved to Australia for a year before eventually settling back in Brooklyn with his yellow lab, Sunny, and his girlfriend, Mia. He works in IT during the day and writes at night. In the future, he hopes to publish his own novel.