12 Common Habits That Make People Lose Respect For You

12 Common Habits That Make People Lose Respect For You

Respect forms the foundation for constructive relationships, yet certain negative habits can knowingly or unknowingly erode the goodwill we extend to associates, strangers, and even loved ones. Though often cultivated unconsciously over many years, these behaviors communicate dismissal and even contempt of others that increasingly close open doors to cooperation and fulfillment, from acting entitled and superior or blaming everyone else to lacking basic manners and self-control, a pattern of egotism and lack of consideration strains one of life’s most precious commodities: respect.

1. Being Rude and Inconsiderate

Displaying rude behaviors like interrupting others when they are speaking, ignoring people’s reasonable needs and requests, or speaking in a harsh, condescending tone conveys a lack of respect. When you don’t show basic courtesy and consideration for those around you, it understandably causes them to lose respect for you in return. For example, interrupting a coworker while explaining their idea during a meeting shows you don’t value their contribution. Similarly, if you blast music without regard for dorm mates trying to study or sleep, the disruption exhibits inconsideration that erodes mutual respect.

2. Having No Personal Integrity

Your reliability and personal integrity are questioned when you lie, cheat, steal, or demonstrate shady ethics that contradict your stated values. For instance, if you spread unfounded gossip and rumors behind people’s backs but present yourself as an upright friend, the deception suggests a lack of integrity that diminishes respect in relationships. Alternatively, if you firmly advocate for upholding ethical business practices but then defend misrepresenting sales data to clients when profits are down, people see the hypocrisy between your words and actions.

3. Acting Entitled and Superior

Habits that demand special privileges cut lines, abuse positions of status or power, or talk down to others as inferior all exhibit an attitude of entitlement and superiority. Such behaviors create unhealthy social dynamics that inevitably erode respect over time. For example, a CEO who berates subordinates publicly, demands others work weekends while she goes on vacation, or takes credit for the team wins builds resentment, not respect. Similarly, celebrities who expect VIP treatment at restaurants or stores quickly tarnish public respect.

4. Being Closed-Minded and Judgmental

When you refuse to consider perspectives other than your own, stereotype groups of people, quickly reject ideas without thoughtful consideration, or allow preconceptions to color your understanding of a person or situation, it conveys a closed-minded and judgmental disposition. This earns disrespect over time by limiting your capacity to connect with, understand, and learn from others around you. For instance, dismissing a local custom or traditional belief as “primitive” or “backward” based only on outside appearance exhibits ignorance and disrespect for that culture. Similarly, rejecting a colleague’s proposal out of hand because you assume the ideas of younger team members lack merit will discourage innovative contributions.

5. Lying, Exaggerating, and Deceiving

Lying, embellishing the truth, or deceiving people erodes trust that forms the basis of respect in any relationship. When others can no longer take you at your word, doubt casts a shadow over your character and the reliability of your future statements. For example, claiming expertise or connections you lack wastes people’s time and breeds resentment when the truth emerges. Similarly, making promises without follow-through or excuses that don’t add up erodes confidence in your accountability. Once lost, trust and respect require effort to regain.

6. Blaming Others for Your Mistakes

Habitually blaming coworkers, subordinates, systems, or external circumstances for errors or oversights suggests an inability to take responsibility for your actions. Accountability earns respect, while finger-pointing and excuse-making diminish it. For example, continually blaming the accounting software, your secretary, or “communications breakdowns” when reporting errors surface will not mask your inadequate oversight and due diligence. True leaders stand accountable for organizational performance and work to address root issues transparently, regardless of blame.

7. Breaking Promises and Commitments

When you make firm commitments to meet deadlines, attend events, finish projects, or otherwise deliver on your word yet fail to follow through time and again, people understandably question your reliability and how much you respect others’ time and plans. Missing deadlines with weak explanations, being perpetually late to meetings you commit to attending, or frequently canceling arrangements at the last minute all demonstrate a flippant disregard for others you interact with. Making a habit of letting people down, even in small ways, chips away at earned respect.

8. Procrastinating and Making Excuses

When you chronically put things off until the last minute, let tasks lag indefinitely, or serve up transparent justifications to explain your foot-dragging, it conveys lackluster motivation and disrespect for team members counting on you to deliver. For instance, letting your share of work pile up until colleagues are forced to jump in to save a project from missing its deadline leaves the impression you don’t respect their time. Similarly, excuses that “slipped your mind” or “wasn’t made clear” reflect poor accountability, gradually diminishing respect.

9. Displaying Poor Manners and Etiquette

Exhibiting sloppy manners and unaware social etiquette communicates disengagement and carelessness rather than gracious respect for hosts, guests, or establishments. Behavior like visibly picking food from your teeth at a formal dinner, failing to RSVP for events that require accurate headcounts, or not taking hats/caps off in venues where it’s inappropriate conveys self-absorption rather than conscientiousness. Similarly, failing to open doors for struggling guests, not waiting your turn to order at busy counters, or leaving large messes demonstrates dismissiveness towards people serving you. Such habits gradually erode mutual respect.

10. Acting Immature and Reckless

When you frequently think and act impulsively without considering consequences, allow childish emotions like anger, jealousy, or excitement to override better judgment, or engage in irresponsible risk-taking, it conveys immaturity and earns people’s disrespect. We expect reasonable maturity and self-discipline from functioning adults worthy of respect. Those who react childishly when frustrated, make scenes in public, pick fights over ego, or drive recklessly put themselves and others at risk, demonstrating poor life skills. These habits communicate emotional immaturity rather than maturity worthy of equal standing.

11. Being a Hypocrite

Few qualities disturb respect more than blatant hypocrisy and double standards. Credibility and integrity suffer when your words, attitudes, and behaviors clash with your stated values or contradict the expectations you impose on others. Political leaders pleading for ethics in government while embezzling funds or famous evangelists caught in sex scandals make headlines for this reason; we instinctively despise hypocrisy. But everyday versions also breed contempt, such as managers who demand rigid punctuality yet stroll in hours late without remorse, eroding organizational respect.

12. Having No Self-Control or Discipline

At our core, we tend to offer fundamental human respect until given reasons to withdraw it, but sloppy, undisciplined, and reckless behaviors strain even this default setting. When you demonstrate an inability to control outbursts, exhibit chronic laziness and irresponsibility, make foolish decisions on addictive impulses, or cave to harmful temptations you publicly eschew, observers rightfully question whether you merit continued access to adult-level respect. Gradual loss of self-control extracts a social cost over time as others adjust their perceptions and interactions with you accordingly due to eroding confidence in your reliability.

The accumulation of such negative habits strains how much basic respect we presume all fellow adults deserve. While a few can be written off as temporary bad moods or whims, consistent patterns of disrespectful, selfish, and uncontrolled behaviors actively degrade relationships and reputations over time unless conscious steps are made to improve.

Case Study: Losing Respect Through Negative Habits

Davis is a 32-year-old sales rep stuck in stagnant job roles and has lacked advancement over the past few years. While intelligent and articulate with a solid educational background, colleagues and associates have come to view his behaviors in an increasingly negative light that reveals poor reliability, maturity, and self-control.

Specifically, Davis exhibits a pattern of routinely missing deadlines due to procrastination and excuses that “slipped his mind.” He often comes across as rude by interrupting team discussions or ignoring requests, though brushing this off as due to being “too busy.” Davis also frequently makes commitments to meet with clients that end up broken at the last minute with reasons that fail to add up.

Additionally concerning are occasional public outbursts of anger, such as punching walls if deals fall through or berating his assistant for minor slip-ups in front of others. Davis rationalizes these fits as necessary to “motivate” the team when excuses don’t cut it. He is unwilling to discuss modifying this management approach when mentors advise on curbing reactive behaviors.

Most troubling, Davis has been found falsifying sales reports and taking credit for others’ work when his numbers are short. When confronted by the ethics committee, Davis deflected responsibility by accusing the “outdated computer systems” of misreporting rather than taking accountability.

These chronic negative behaviors over time have led Davis to become generally disrespected, unable to advance to management, and sidelined on projects despite his other abilities. With awareness and courage to improve, it may not be too late to shift directions. Still, lack of self-control, maturity, integrity, and consideration for others are extracting actual workplace and social costs that hold Davis back from unlocking his potential.

Key Takeaways

  • Rude, selfish behaviors that show no courtesy for others’ needs or time cause people to question whether you merit respect.
  • Acting two-faced by deceiving people or demonstrating hypocrisy between your words and actions erodes critical pillars of trust and integrity that respect requires.
  • Blaming others for your own mistakes or habitually letting people down suggests poor accountability and reliability.
  • Closed-mindedness, childish outbursts, or lack of self-control reveal underdeveloped maturity that loses adult standing.
  • Sense of superiority, entitlement, and demanding special privileges stain social parity needed for respect.
  • Sloppy manners and unaware etiquette wear away at cultivating gracious, conscientious awareness of others.


Respect forms the backbone of cooperation and healthy relationships. But certain pervasive behaviors communicate egotism, dismissal, and even contempt of others. Misalignment between your words and actions also disturbs credibility. These habits can strain the basic respect we first grant associates and strangers until it is lost entirely. Though unconsciously cultivated over the years, conscious moderation brings lasting rewards. With awareness and discipline, replacing inconsiderate patterns with conscientiousness can redeem respect and transform relationships. The effort opens doors otherwise closed to cooperation and fulfillment.