Dealing with disrespectful people is quite a delicate process. These people often try to get under our skin, so it’s difficult to stay cool and be the bigger person. After all, you don’t want to stoop down to their level.
If you know that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, then you must be treating others well. Still, this doesn’t guarantee that others won’t try to walk all over you and target you with their tasteless jokes or harassment for no reason. Thankfully, there are healthy ways to deal with people who don’t show you the respect you deserve.
Today, we will provide a few tips so you can take action when someone close to you disrespects you.
4 Tips to Deal with Disrespect:
1. Keep your composure:
Maintaining your composure in the face of rude and disrespectful people is one of the best things you can do. These people are often very difficult to reason with and the issues they have with others are often baseless. As such, it’s challenging to find a way to control your anger and not feel too affected by their behavior. If you do then it could amuse them and give them a new source of entertainment.
This doesn’t mean that you should smile or brush off their acts. You should still show your discontentment but preferably without making a scene. Whenever possible, we encourage you to have a conversation with them and try to resolve your issues together. But when that can’t happen, you need to ignore them rather than entertain them more.
Every time you’re treated with disrespect, take a few steps back and a few breaths before asking yourself if this person or this situation is worth getting upset about. Getting angry won’t change anything. That’s because their disrespectful actions say a lot more about them rather than have anything to do with you, so there’s very little you can do.
2. Show some grace:
“Kill them with kindness” is often a bit of good advice and this is not an exception. Well, let’s just say that if you don’t know how to do that; all you need to do is listen to the famous ‘Kill them with kindness’ song by Selena Gomez. Jokes aside, disrespect often comes from a place of hurt, either with ourselves or the situation we’re in. So, a good way to deal with disrespectful people is to show them some grace.
Be kind, ask questions about why they’re acting the way they do, and make sure they know you’re listening. Sometimes, being heard is the only thing people need. Everyone deserves that honor and it could restore their compassion and make them instantly regretful of their actions. So ask why they’re saying or doing whatever it is that offended you and let them know that you want to understand where they’re coming from.
Even if you feel like they’re being unreasonable or unfair, allow them the space to express themselves. Falling into a blaming game or demanding them to do this or act a certain way can be counterproductive. Tread carefully and you might be able to find mutual understanding or common ground.
3. Try to meet them halfway:
When someone disrespects us or doesn’t like us, our first instinct could be to take some distance. Sometimes, that’s a good enough solution. However, if this person is someone you have to live with or deal with quite often, it might not be the most productive thing to do.
Taking distance might not be the best solution to resolve the issue that’s brewing between the two of you, in this case, because you may be bumping into one another a lot. Now, getting to the root of things means you need to take the initiative and meet them halfway. Ask for the opportunity to hash things out and try to have a productive conversation.
Listen to what they have to say to understand what went wrong and be ready to express yourself calmly. There could be an opportunity there to start over and cultivate a new relationship. If not, you can at least agree to be civil to each other and avoid as many unnecessary issues as possible.
4. Show them empathy:
Disrespectful people may be acting that way because someone else upset them or they may be lashing out at the wrong person. We all have bad days sometimes and we all go through hardships that challenge us in ways that may not bring out the best in us.
In cases like these, showing people empathy is the right thing to do. Not only are you rising above the situation by not taking things personally, but you’re also doing them a favor. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is worth it, especially if they’ve never acted that way before, and it’s a lot better than lashing out and making the situation worse.
Who knows, maybe a little empathy is exactly what they need to realize they’re out of line. Life can be quite stressful and when you answer disrespect with disrespect, it only creates a vicious cycle. Try to look at their behavior from a different perspective and it will make a big difference.
Though some people indeed use disrespect as a kind of power move or a way to make people feel small, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, there are other factors affecting their behavior.
That doesn’t excuse it, but it does help you understand and give people space to put themselves together and realize their mistake. Disrespect is not something you should ignore, but dealing with it healthily is a lot better than approaching it with a combative attitude.