If he keeps talking at you, refusing to listen to what you have to say, laughing or ridiculing you, talking about you behind your back, lying, or ignoring your boundaries, those are classic signs of disrespect. It doesn’t matter whether he’s your boyfriend, best friend, coworker, or the love of your life, you have to manage the situation before it gets out of hand. Here’s what to do when a guy treats you like this.
- Call him out on his behavior. If a guy is disrespecting you, you need to have a conversation about it. It’s possible that he might not realize that his actions are problematic. When you notice a red flag, call his attention to it. Ask him to stop. Stand up for yourself. Don’t just stay there and let him keep mistreating you. Let him know that you’re not going to put up with it. Give him a chance to apologize. If he cares about you, he’ll listen and cut it out.
- Keep your cool. Even though all you might want to do is lash out and give him a taste of his win medicine, remember that two wrongs don’t make a right. Take a deep breath and ask yourself if the situation is worth getting upset over. Understand that the disrespect probably has little to do with you and everything to do with him. Don’t come down to his level. Take a step back to quiet your mind, then examine your feelings about his behavior again. If you’re still hurt by it, then you need to let him know that what he did is wrong.
- Ask yourself if it’s a consistent pattern of behavior. How long have been feeling like he doesn’t respect you as a person? How often does he do something disrespectful? Was it a one-time thing or a regular occurrence? Has this been going on since you’ve known him or is it a recent development? If he has been acting this way continuously for a while, he’s not the kind of person you want in your life.
- Respond with kindness. I know it seems counter-intuitive to be kind to someone who is actively disrespecting you, but it actually works. When he notices that you’re calm and polite in spite of his actions, he’ll likely modify his behavior to match yours. If he doesn’t, that just goes to show that he’s not a sensible person, and showing disrespect is his way of gaining superiority over people. Stay away from his negative energy.
- Ignore him. Sometimes, a guy can disrespect you because he’s seeking attention or because he thinks that you’re okay with it. Maybe in the past, you laughed when he acted this way or made it seem like his behavior wasn’t inappropriate. Try ignoring his disrespectful actions and see what happens. If he’s not trying to hurt you intentionally, he’ll stop acting that way when he doesn’t get any reaction. If things get worse, that’s a sign he enjoys disrespecting you.
- Don’t take the disrespect personally. There are days that get the best of us. It could be that he’s just having a bad day and taking his frustrations out on you. If he doesn’t normally disrespect you, consider giving him the benefit of doubt. He probably didn’t mean to be rude or dismissive towards you. He’s just dealing with a lot at the moment. He’ll eventually come to his senses and apologize.
- Establish clear boundaries. It’s normal to take a jab at each other from time to time. I can throw snarky or sarcastic comments at my boyfriend or guy friends and they’ll roast me right back. No one is offended because we know that it’s just playful banter. We also know how to set boundaries. There are some things that just can’t be joked about. There are somethings that are flat out insulting regardless of who it’s coming from. You need to make it clear what you can stomach and what you consider disrespectful.
- Show a little empathy. Try and understand why he’s disrespecting you. Is he under a lot of stress or going dealing with issues in his personal life? Disrespect often comes because the person is angry with themselves or the circumstances around them. By showing that you understand what they’re going through, that you care about them, and are here to help, they’ll feel less alone and try to not take their irritations on you.
- Protect yourself by leaving. If you continue to stick around even as he disrespects you, he’ll consider his behavior to be appropriate. You’ll be encouraging him to treat you badly and take your feelings for granted. If you’ve tried to make him stop and he’s refused to change, put yourself first and walk away. No matter how much you care about someone you should never let them chip away at your self-worth. He clearly doesn’t deserve to be a part of your life.