Hey, Psych2Goers! Do you often question whether someone genuinely respects you?
No matter how hard we try, not everyone can respect you. And that’s okay.
But if you see yourself making enemies out of people that you just met, perhaps there’s a blind spot that you can change for the better.
Let’s take a look at them.
Disclaimer: If you can relate to any of these signs, please do not take this feedback as an attack on your character. This article was meant to be a self-improvement guide for those of you who have been feeling a little stuck.
You make everything about you
Do you dominate the conversation, talking about everything you’ve been doing in life without leaving the other person any room to speak?
While you may feel like you’re participating in meaningful conversation, the other party might feel disinterested if they can’t relate to what you’re saying. They may feel like they’re being talked at, rather than talked to. If you feel that your conversation partner’s starting to lose interest, ask them their insights and questions every once in a while to bring them back in.
You dismiss other people’s ideas
Do you easily dismiss other people’s ideas?
By doing this, you may unknowingly drive away your acquaintance. A study conducted by Joanna Rajchert and her team showed that rejection can threaten a person’s need to belong and also further discourages helping behavior towards the excluder. This means that by constantly telling others that they’re wrong or consistently dismissing their ideas, you may also be slowly eroding your relationship with them.
Instead of criticizing their ideas, try to talk in a more supportive and empathic tone instead. Even while their idea and yours are different, how you present yourself can leave a big impression.
You try to control others
Do you try to monitor your significant other’s social media? Do you demand where someone else is at all times?
Controlling behavior is one where someone tries to take charge of someone’s life through manipulation. Controlling behavior may not be present at the start, but it could gradually escalate once a relationship starts to become more intimate. This can make the other party not just lose their respect for you but fear you as well.
If you exhibit controlling behavior upon others, it’s something that should be addressed by both parties and a professional, like a therapist.
You don’t maintain boundaries
Do you let things slide way too often?
It can be difficult setting boundaries if you’ve never been accustomed to it. But it’s incredibly important since the purpose of boundaries is to protect you mentally and emotionally. When you lack boundaries, you’re giving the wrong impression that your identity is at the will of other people. With the wrong company, this can be something that can be taken advantage of.
To set boundaries, you have to define and communicate your boundary. You don’t have to overexplain it. Then, detail the consequences if they don’t follow. This way, your relationships can be healthy.
You apologize too often
Do you say “sorry”, even when you don’t mean it?
Why do we over-apologize in the first place?
Oftentimes, you may apologize when you feel uncomfortable, insecure, and in fear of not wanting to disappoint the other person. You could also be doing it for so long, that it’s ingrained as a subconscious habit that loses its meaning.
Whichever the case, over apologizing signals to others that you’re to blame for things that aren’t even your fault — which may be a sign of low-self esteem. If you want people to respect you, you’ll have to be more careful with the language you choose, and that entails being sorry only when you think an apology is warranted, rather than a fallback phrase.
You break promises
Do you say you’re going to arrive in a few minutes, but haven’t even left the house yet? Or have you told your boss/classmates you’d submit an assignment by the deadline, but fail to meet these expectations?
Before contracts were established, a verbal promise is one of the oldest human behaviors that show your trust and cooperation with another person.
Even if you expose only a little glimpse of that secret to someone else, the intention can already tarnish the relationship you have with the promise-teller. If you show that you’re not reliable enough to confide in, then you could be showing others that you’re not trustworthy and disrespect you in return.
Do you do any of the things above? Are you planning to change them?
Everyone’s unique. There’s no 100% way of pleasing others — but as long as you practice genuine kindness and empathy to yourself and others, you can naturally become someone people will like.
That’s all for now, Psych2Goers.
Rajchert, Joanna et al. (2019) Frontiers in Psychology: Effects of Rejection by a Friend for Someone Else on Emotions and Behavior. Retrieved at https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00764
Huizen, J. (July 14, 2020) How to deal with controlling people. Retrieved at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/controlling-people
Selva, J. (June 13, 2021) How to Set Healthy Boundaries: 10 Examples + PDF Worksheets Retrieved at https://positivepsychology.com/great-self-care-setting-healthy-boundaries/
Martin, S. (nd) Why You Over-Apologize and How to Stop. Retrieved at https://www.livewellwithsharonmartin.com/why-you-over-apologize-and-how-to-stop/
University of Zurich. “Brain activity exposes those who break promises.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091209121156.htm>.