How to Stop People from Disrespecting You

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Do you want to be liked or respected by others? Sometimes you have to choose between being liked and respected. A lot of people tolerate disrespect and never object, just because they don’t want other people to stop liking them. The question is, if someone disrespects you or your choices, how much they really liked you in the first place. It is a social thing. People, who don’t respect you, just pretend to like you so they can keep using you. Where to draw the line? When to stop being meek or pushover?

7 Tips to Earn Respect from Others-

1) Apply The Dr. Fox Effect-

You need to apply Dr. Fox Effect carefully. It is extremely effective technique if used properly. People have the tendency to trust the words of an orator who is known for expressing his/her views confidently and clearly. By developing powerful vocabulary and strong communication skills you can command the respect you deserve. The words of an eloquent speaker are of much more importance than of a person with weak communication skills. Dr. Fox effect is directly tied to your confidence and charisma.

2) Apply Halo Effect-

The Halo effect is similar to Dr. Fox effect. The halo effect stems from a cognitive bias in which people perceive attractive looking people as powerful and smart. Dressing up for the occasion or donning professional attire will automatically boost your confidence and garner respect. It helps you to assert yourself and be absolutely self assured. Even a grizzly bear would back off and question its own ability when met with an unwavering frame through strong body language, locked pupils and unrelenting aura.

3) Avoid The Crab Bucket Effect-

Society is like a bucket filled with crabs. When a crab wants to get out of the bucket, other crabs pull it down. People do the same, when they see someone around them trying to make his/her life better. They subconsciously don’t want someone around them to succeed because it will make them feel bad by comparison. They would look for an opportunity to pull the person down.

Being “offended” or “discouraged” is a choice. The most reasonable thing to do is to ignore. If people think you are weak and cannot stand up for yourself self, in those cases you need to call them out on their insulting or childish behavior.

People are very quick to judge a person by the mistake he/she makes. Everyone makes mistake. It’s a part and parcel of life. However, don’t allow people to disrespect you for the mistake you have made. You don’t have to beat yourself up for making mistakes.  Mistakes are part of learning process. People will try to cast you aside for your recent mistake, but don’t let it discourage you. Also, never be condescending to yourself for making mistakes, or talk bad about yourself to gain sympathy. It never works. You don’t want people to pity you. It is bad idea in long run, which you will regret later.

For example if you are late for a meeting (for genuine reason). You are supposed to be meek and accept everything everyone else wants you to do as a compensatory good behavior. It’s like they have got the license to be rude to you and you should just accept the disrespect because you were late. Ridiculing you saying “You were late so your opinion isn’t important today” is unreasonable rationalization, yet it is very pervasive line of thought for many people. It is important to not let people walk all over you after you have made a mistake. You should not let people guilt trip you into submissive behavior. You should be able to compensate for your mistake in your own way. The main purpose of guilt tripping you for your recent mistakes is to get a reaction out of you and discourage you while validating others up by comparison. You have the choice to take that away by being assertive.

4) Know Your Blind Spots and Truth Bias-

Self evaluation is important. Before you accuse someone of being critical towards you, make a quick self evaluation. Are you in the wrong? Are you being realistic? Is your demand preposterous? Is your attitude socially appropriate? Make sure the problem isn’t with you. The worst thing you can do is not realize your own short comings. You can bounce from one organization/ social group to another and the problem will persist.

Each one of us encounters Blind Spot effect. It is the inability to see cognitive biases in ourselves. People tend to point fingers at other’s behavioral issues while being completely oblivious to their own most obvious short comings.

For example, if you identify yourself as vegetarian, you will tend to agree more with research supporting benefits of being vegetarian than research supporting non-vegetarianism. The bias will persist even when the research is presented in an identical way, and only the outcomes are varied. Even though on some level we are aware of our bias, our instinct would be to find flaws in the idea with which we don’t agree. It is our bias blind spot.

Another example, your company received Christmas gifts from clients. You will claim that the gifts do not affect the decisions and priority level your company gives to your clients. However, when asked if the gifts unconsciously bias the decisions of your competitor company, you might agree that other companies are unconsciously biased by the gifts, while continuing to believe that your company’s decisions are not. This incongruity is the bias blind spot.

These bias blind spots affect our decisions and self evaluations. Our perception and judgments are more than often clouded by such blind spots which make us revolt against the perceived aggression, though that might not be the case.

Another bias we encounter is truth bias. We tend to believe something, when we hear it for the first time.  We hear the idea of which we have no prior knowledge for the first time and accept it at the same time.  Only after careful considerations and giving the idea some time, we adjust our views in favor or against the idea.

For example, you have recently joined a company. Your colleague tells you that your immediate boss is very rude and unkind. You will tend to believe it. Later on after few interactions you will realize that your boss is an introvert and likes to focus on work instead of social niceties. You will realize you have fallen victim to truth bias.

5) Stay Clear of Dunning–Kruger Effect-

When we learn something new our self esteem inflates, our idea of our own competence and talent becomes biased. The overestimation of our competence is Dunning-Kruger Effect. When we dig deeper into the subject, we realize how little we know about it. With experience and self realization our self-perception of competence changes to negative. Corollary to Dunning-Kruger Effect is the underestimation of our own competence. It happens when we assume the task which is easy for us, must be easy for others as well.

For example, you are moved to another department at work. In the new department it is assumed that you should let more competent person in the department lead and direct you without much fuss. Now, you are someone’s slave just because they have worked in the department longer than you. You might find it disrespectful. Don’t let your self-perception of competence cloud your judgment. Allow some amount of time to pass, follow their instructions. Let others take some control, especially in the beginning for the dust to settle. Let their ego get massaged. Learn your job well. If you don’t know how to do something, take command, ask to be shown. When the moment is right, stand your ground and don’t let others disrespect you.

6) Take advantage of Scarcity Effect-

Know your worth. Each one of us has something valuable. We give ourselves to the world in our own unique ways. Make yourself scarce, let people earn your time, attention and affection. Respect and value yourself before you give out your energy to others. If something is given away easily and freely, people don’t value it. It is human tendency to feel more excited, when we have to wait for something. We want the things which are scarce, not easily attainable. We subconsciously like the chase. People unwittingly start taking us for granted when we are nice to people all the time or make ourselves available to them all the time.

7) Be a Free Spirit-

Don’t run the mental tally of who is doing what. Sometimes not caring is winning. You won’t have any anxiety when you stop caring what people think about you. Free spirits are people who don’t keep grudges. They just let go. They believe they don’t owe anyone anything, even after committing a social faux-pas. Free spirits have learned that it’s much better to live life without keeping track of who’s being bad and who’s being nice for every micro-interaction throughout their day. Being free spirit is good unless someone goes overboard with it (e.g. farting in public, shouting like maniacs or being inconsiderate of other people), free spirits within social bounds get what they want, without caring much about being respected.

For example, someone in your office is habitual abuser of tear glands. That person cries all the time. For issues ranging from the death of a fictional character in the novel they read to the little discomfort in their stomach after eating 20 crab cakes last night. Absurdly, the societal convention dictates that you are supposed to be extra nice to them or you are horrible human being. Society expects you to bend over, and comfort the person, no matter how unreasonable or downright manipulative the person is. You are supposed to cover their duties, until they are finished crying over the mosquito bite.

Free spirits are not bothered by such norms. They can choose to give people what they need and not what they want. They see the merit of the situation and don’t shy away to call the sympathy seeking person out on their manipulative behavior. Free spirits are not necessary powerful people, they just don’t care to be nice and politically correct all the time.

Professor Xavier of the X-Men can read minds. Being normal humans we can’t. This means there is always going to be a social friction. We would never know what is going on other people’s mind and subsequently can never act in a completely harmonious manner. We are bound to get frustrated, feel neglected and disrespected by other members of the social system. How we react to such social frictions differentiates us from others.