What To Do When You Feel Disrespected In A Relationship

There’s nothing worse than realizing you feel disrespected in a relationship, whether it’s romantic or platonic. You deserve to feel welcome and valid in your identity. No matter how other people treat you, it’s never too late to get out of a bad situation. Here’s how to take back control of your life once and for all.

  1. Unpack how you feel. List off the emotions that this person has made you feel. Untangle them from each other and try to find the source or crux point. Being able to look your hurt in the eye will make you stronger and equip you with the skills to overcome them. While your partner is concerned with tearing you down, you will be maturing. Have your thoughts and feelings articulated ready to express yourself. Don’t bottle these feelings up or internalize them. Claim them. You feel disrespected in this relationship and that’s valid.
  2. Consult friends and family. This will help you feel less alone. Even if someone hasn’t necessarily meant to make you feel less than, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t hurt you. Furthermore, talking to other people with similar experiences will stop you from gaslighting yourself. You didn’t “let” this happen. It wasn’t some inherent weakness on your part that meant you were disrespected or misinterpreting things. You’re not being dramatic, and your friends will validate this, and you.
  3. Identify whether he can change this behavior. There’s no point staying with people that don’t serve you, let alone someone that disrespects you. That said, if you communicate your feelings and they listen and resolve to change, you can salvage a troubled relationship. Keep an eye out in case they return to their old ways. However, if they’re willing to make good on their promise, give them a chance if you feel comfortable doing so.
  4. Tell them that they hurt you. Tell them straight up that you feel disrespected in your relationship. Don’t let these people get away scot-free. If you were hurt, communicate that. Be clear and think about how you want to phrase it. Be firm and indicate how their actions impacted you. Maybe they didn’t think anything of it at the time, but this is as much a chance for closure for you as it is an opportunity to change for them.
  5. Have an open forum. Maybe they disrespected you out of a misplaced frustration within the relationship. Think about your own role in the relationship and how the toxicity might have been mutual. It might not be, of course, and don’t let yourself be tricked. However, it is worthwhile for both parties to listen to each other and have their say.
  6. Don’t be afraid to leave a toxic relationship. Don’t let the sunk cost of precious time and money spent in a relationship stop you from leaving it. You don’t owe yourself anything more than your present and future. The past shouldn’t stop you from doing new things. Let go of people and relationships that disrespect you. Defend your personality, and don’t change for anyone.
  7. Have a plan if things escalate. If at any point you feel like things are escalating or you’re confronting him and they’re getting angry, stay safe. Think about ways you can protect yourself and always have an exit strategy. Don’t put yourself at risk.
  8. Trust your gut. A lot of the time, we want to try and give the people in our lives second chances. However, this second chance syndrome often results in a lot of wasted time. You don’t have to wait until you’re definitively proven wrong. Leave when you first get the urge, because it won’t go away until you do.
  9. Reclaim your hobbies. Remind yourself how cool and interesting you are, no matter what opinion or judgments they might have made about how you live your life. There’s no such thing as guilty pleasures or things that you feel like you have to hide. You are wonderful just as you are.
  10. Ignore them if they judge you. Don’t give them the time of day if they make you feel ashamed for being you. The right person won’t make you doubt yourself. Believe me. You will want to share yourself and not hide away. It speaks to a bigger issue of them not respecting you, and you’re better off getting free from that toxicity.

There you have it, a few hints and tips to defend yourself and maintain your personality when you are disrespected. You don’t have to accept the bare minimum, so trust your gut and you will be more likely to find lasting love.

Hannah has a Masters degree in Romantic and Victorian literature in Scotland and spends her spare time writing anything from essays to short fiction about the life and times of the frogs in her local pond! She loves musical theatre, football, anything with potatoes, and remains a firm believer that most of the problems in this world can be solved by dancing around the kitchen to ABBA. You can find her on Instagram at @_hannahvic.