Respect: 12 Common Habits that Make People Lose Respect for You

  • March 20, 2024
Reading Time: 10 minutes

Learn the 12 common actions that can cause someone to lose respect for you. Maintaining solid relationships and professional credibility involves an understanding of and avoidance of these habits.


In a world where respect is highly valued, certain habits can unknowingly reduce individuals’ regard for us. Understanding these behaviors is crucial for maintaining positive relationships and professional reputation.


People and Respect

Habits That Undermine Respect

Ignoring Boundaries

Respect can often depend on mutual understanding and consideration. Ignoring personal or professional boundaries can swiftly reduce respect. Neglect to respect boundaries, whether by breaking someone’s personal space or disrespecting their time, can strain relationships.

Professional Boundaries

Examples of poor Professional Boundaries


Professional Boundary

  1. Sharing Personal Information: Discussing sensitive data with colleagues or customers that is unrelated to the company, such as financial difficulties, relationship problems, or health issues.
  2. Crossing Hierarchical Boundaries: Aiming to connect or socialize with subordinates or superiors outside of proper work settings, such as asking them to personal gatherings or engaging in too-familiar talks.
  3. Inappropriate Touching: Physical contact that isn’t necessary for job-related responsibilities, such as hugs, shoulder massages, or long handshakes, without consent.
  4. Invading Privacy: Unauthorized access to colleagues’ items, emails, or files, as well as the sharing of confidential information with unknown individuals.
  5. Excessive Personalization: Bringing personal difficulties or issues into the office, such as discussing personal grievances with coworkers during meetings or allowing emotions to cause problems with working habits.
  6. Poor Time Management: Being late for meetings regularly, missing deadlines without warning, or disrespecting other people’s time by dominating conversations or extending out meetings are examples of carelessness.
  7. Failure to Maintain Professional Distance: Not acting professionally by getting unnecessarily involved in the personal lives or emotional problems of colleagues, giving not wanted advice, or behaving as a confidante or counselor.
  8. Inappropriate Use of Technology: Using the company’s assets for personal tasks, sending personal messages browsing websites irrelevant to work during working hours, or taking part in online conduct that could reflect negatively on the company.
  9. Ignoring Feedback or Boundaries Set by Others: Rejecting requests from customers or colleagues for privacy, personal space, or professional boundaries; skipping to honor their expectations or requirements over interactions.

Personal Boundaries

Examples of poor Personal Boundaries


Say No

  1. Oversharing: Giving private or sensitive data about oneself without taking the listener’s comfort or relevance of the situation into account.
  2. Ignoring Physical Boundaries: Breaking someone else’s personal space by stepping too close, touching them without their permission, or engaging in unwanted physical contact
  3. Overdependence: Excessive dependency on individuals for financial support, emotional support, or decision-making without accepting accountability for one’s well-being.
  4. Accepting Disrespectful Behavior: Allowing others to treat you poorly, abusively, or disrespectfully without drawing boundaries or speaking for yourself.
  5. Lack of Assertiveness: In relationships or encounters, not standing up for one’s needs, preferences, or rules can leave one feeling resentful, frustrated, or useless.
  6. People-Pleasing: Placing other people’s requirements and desires ahead of one’s own at the expense of one’s well-being, which can result in burnout, anger, or a feeling of being taken advantage of.
  7. Poor Time Management: Overcommitting oneself or allowing other people to take up too much of one’s time or energy without setting limits or setting oneself first.
  8. Inability to Say No: Accepting requests, favors, or invitations even when doing so puts one’s own needs or ideals at risk because of guilt, rejection anxiety, or a need to avoid controversy.
  9. Emotional Fusion: Having unduly connected or dependent on other people for recognition, emotional stability, or validation, hiding personal boundaries and identities.
  10. Unhealthy Relationships: Engagement in interactions marked by dependency on others, manipulation, or control, in which regular violations or disregarding of one’s boundaries occur.

Lack of Integrity

Respect is built on the foundation of integrity. Those who consistently cheat, deceive, or break trust lose the respect of others. To gain and keep respect, one must uphold moral and ethical standards.

Poor Communication Skills


Bad Communication

Building respect requires effective communication. Respect is frequently lost by those who dominate conversations, interrupt frequently, or don’t listen intently. Communication that is kind and clear is essential in all relationships.

Effective communication is essential to managerial success; it is not merely a soft skill. However, research shows that workers are irritated by their managers’ unclear communication. Undoubtedly, the more isolated communication environment that remote and hybrid work creates is the source of some of these issues. Teams may lose concentration as a result of uncertain communication from management, which lowers the standard of their work as a whole. Supervisors must understand that having regular, transparent communication is essential; it is not an alternative. Here’s how to communicate more effectively.


Examples of poor Communication Skills in the workplace

  1. Lack of Active Listening: During meetings, discussions, or one-on-one conversations, failing to pay attention or demonstrate an interest in what others are saying.
  2. Interrupting Others: Constantly cutting off colleagues or dominating conversations without allowing them to express their thoughts or ideas fully.
  3. Failure to Provide Clear Instructions: Providing unclear instructions or expectations can result in miscommunication, misunderstandings, and execution problems.
  4. Avoiding Difficult Conversations: Avoiding or postponing talks regarding conflicts, performance problems, or delicate subjects rather than dealing with them honestly and constructively
  5. Nonverbal Communication Misalignment: Sending conflicting messages through tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language, which breeds mistrust or uncertainty.
  6. Ignoring Feedback: Ignoring or disregarding criticism from coworkers or superiors without taking into account its applicability or truth, which interferes with one’s ability to grow personally and professionally
  7. Ineffective Presentation Skills: Delivering reports or presentations in a disorganized, confusing, or unorganized way, failing to hold the audience’s attention or successfully communicate important points.
  8. Not Seeking Clarification: Failing to explain instructions, expectations, or facts by asking questions, can cause mistakes, hold-ups, or misunderstandings.


Examples of poor Communication Skills in personal relationships

  1. Lack of Active Listening: Taking brief breaks from a conversation to check on technology, not paying close attention to the speaker, and so on.
  2. Ineffective Expression of Feelings: Having trouble putting sentiments into words, holding them inside, or expressing them unpleasantly or aggressively.
  3. Poor Nonverbal Communication: Giving conflicting messages by defensively crossing arms, avoiding eye contact, or expressing disinterest with facial gestures.
  4. Defensiveness: Reacting defensively to feedback or criticism, denying responsibility, or shifting blame instead of engaging in constructive dialogue.
  5. Passive-Aggressive Behavior: Indirectly expressing negative feelings or grievances through sarcasm, backhanded compliments, or subtle digs, rather than addressing issues directly.
  6. Ignoring Boundaries: Disregarding personal boundaries or invading privacy by prying into sensitive topics, pressuring others to disclose information, or violating their trust.
  7. Overreacting or Shutting Down: Responding to conflicts or disagreements with emotional outbursts, stonewalling, or withdrawing from communication altogether, instead of engaging in healthy dialogue.


Regularity fosters respect and trust. When people act suspiciously or break their promises, they lose their credibility. Being consistent in your words and behavior is how you win respect.


Arrogance repels you, rather than gaining you respect. They don’t like people who make excuses for their mistakes, criticize other people, or boast all the time. Respect is far more effectively developed via humility and an open mind.


Being surrounded by negativity all the time can be draining and unpleasant. If the person is often pointing out flaws, criticizing others, or focusing on the negative aspects of things, they risk losing respect. Respect can only be earned by maintaining an optimistic outlook and a helpful demeanor.

Lack of Empathy

Empathy serves as a base for deep connections. People often lose the respect of others when they consistently disregard their needs, feelings, or opinions. The development of empathy and compassion strengthens relationships and fosters respect.


A strong foundation of respect and goodwill is built by gratitude. Respect can be damaged by not appreciating the work, assistance, or contributions of others. Respectful relationships must be fostered by showing thanks and admiration.

Disrespecting Others

Mutual respect is a given. Individuals who consistently treat others with disrespect—whether by being impolite, making derogatory comments, or adopting a dismissive attitude—often experience a loss of respect in return. To get respect, one must treat people with love and decency.

Rudeness at workplace

Rude Team member
  1. Stay Calm and Composed: Reacting hastily or violently when someone treats you disrespectfully can exacerbate the situation. Instead, take a deep breath and remain calm. Reacting coolly demonstrates maturity and composure.
  2. Set Boundaries: Make it clear to the person who is being disrespectful of your boundaries. Tell them what is inappropriate behavior and how you want it to be handled in an assertive but kind manner.
  3. Address the Behavior Directly: Approach the person without being aggressive. To convey how their actions affect you and why you find them unacceptable, use “I” statements. For example, “I feel disrespected when you interrupt me during meetings.”
  4. Focus on Solutions, Not Blame: Find a solution to the current problem rather than being pulled into blaming others or having a power struggle. Maintain a positive and goal-oriented dialogue.
  5. Seek Support if Necessary: Consider requesting assistance from a manager, the human resources division, a reliable friend, or a coworker if the disrespect continues or gets worse. Having a support network might help you deal with the issue by offering direction and affirmation.

Dealing with a Rude Boss

  1. Remain Professional: Continually act professionally, regardless of how your employer acts. Refrain from acting disrespectfully or exhibiting emotional reactions yourself. Rather, concentrate on doing your job as well as possible.
  2. Communicate Assertively: Address the matter politely and directly if your boss’s rudeness is affecting your work or well-being. Select a quiet moment and location for a confidential, calm discussion with your supervisor. Make use of “I” sentences to explain how their actions impact you and offer possible remedies.
  3. Seek Feedback: Ask your supervisor for helpful criticism on how you performed and what you could have done better. Actively seeking feedback can help you and your supervisor get along better because it shows that you’re willing to learn and develop.
  4. Document Incidents: Note any situations in which your supervisor has acted impolitely or inappropriately. Make a note of the incident’s date, time, and specifics, as well as any witnesses who were present. If you ever need to bring the matter up with HR or senior management, documentation can be useful.

Key Points

Being rude can be an attempt to assert power, obtain what you want, or elicit an emotional response. It might also be a reaction to pressure, stress, annoyance, or another type of sadness. It might even result in hostile and bullying conduct. It can negatively affect team morale and productivity.

Being a good role model for your team members, dealing with the offender head-on, listening to both sides and following up on any abusers are all important ways to combat workplace rudeness.

If it’s your boss who is being impolite, try to understand why he is acting that way, try to be understanding, find a solution, and if things don’t change, ask HR for assistance.


Respect is built on a foundation of reliability. Individuals who frequently break promises, forget deadlines or fabricate justifications lose respect and credibility. Respect is based on trust, and trust is built through consistency.


A respectable person is adaptable and flexible. Respect is frequently withheld from those who reject change, hold obstinately to their beliefs, or ignore other points of view. Respect is developed by being flexible and willing to make adjustments.

Lack of Accountability

To be respected, one must accept accountability for one’s deeds. Credibility and trust are damaged by those who frequently place blame, offer justifications, or decline to take responsibility. Remaining respectful requires taking responsibility for one’s mistakes and growing from them.


  1. Eroded Trust: Reliability and integrity are viewed with less trust when people refuse to accept accountability for their deeds or results. Colleagues and team members may grow reluctant to work together or rely on those who habitually avoid accountability if there is no accountability.
  2. Decreased Productivity: A culture of complacency when deadlines are missed, activities go incomplete, and quality declines might result from a lack of accountability. When people aren’t held responsible for their actions, they are less inclined to live up to expectations and pursue greatness.
  3. Escalation of Problems: Issues and faults could be ignored or not addressed if there is no accountability. Unresolved issues have the potential to worsen relationships and initiatives over time by increasing disturbances, disputes, and other negative outcomes.
  4. Stifled Growth and Improvement: An environment that values learning and ongoing development must be built on accountability. Without it, people might be less likely to own up to their mistakes, ask for help, or take the initiative to improve their weaknesses and acquire new abilities. Growth, both personally and professionally, may stall as a result.


In summary, integrity, empathy, and self-awareness are necessary for developing respect. People can improve their reputations both personally and professionally and build stronger relationships and trust by abstaining from these 12 frequent behaviors that erode respect.

External References:

  1. Pitfalls of Lack of Accountability in the Workplace
  2. Ways to Deal With Rudeness in the Workplace


How can I rebuild respect if I’ve already lost it?

Rebuilding respect requires introspection, accountability, and consistent effort. Start by acknowledging past mistakes, demonstrating sincerity, and making amends where possible. Focus on consistent, respectful behavior and communication to rebuild trust over time.

Can someone regain respect after being labeled as unreliable?

Yes, rebuilding respect after being perceived as unreliable is possible but it requires demonstrating consistent reliability over time. Make a concerted effort to fulfill commitments, communicate openly about expectations, and prioritize accountability in all interactions.

Is it possible to earn respect without being assertive?

 Assertiveness can be a valuable trait in earning respect, but it’s not the only factor. Respect is also influenced by integrity, empathy, communication skills, and other interpersonal qualities. Strive to cultivate a balanced approach that prioritizes assertiveness alongside empathy and respect for others.

How can I avoid coming across as arrogant?

 Avoid arrogance by practicing humility, actively listening to others, and acknowledging your limitations. Be open to feedback, admit when you’re wrong, and celebrate others’ successes. Cultivate a mindset of continuous learning and growth rather than a sense of superiority.

What role does consistency play in earning respect?

 Consistency is essential in building trust and credibility. By demonstrating reliability, honesty, and integrity consistently over time, individuals establish a reputation for dependability and earn respect from others.

How can I handle criticism without losing respect?

Handling criticism gracefully is key to maintaining respect. Instead of becoming defensive or dismissive, listen actively, consider the feedback objectively, and respond respectfully. Use criticism as an opportunity for growth and self-improvement rather than taking it personally.

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