8 Unassuming Behaviors That Instantly Lose You Respect

Photo: FlyMint Agency | Canva 
A man getting impatient

Watching people around me in everyday life is like peering into a continually running documentary on human behavior.

It’s fascinating how simple behavior shifts can profoundly influence how others perceive us.

Taking an interest in this may seem superficial, but many can struggle unnecessarily without at least a basic awareness of the signals we transmit.

Here are 8 unassuming behaviors that instantly lose you respect:

1. Impatience

Respectable people aren’t in a hurry.

If they were, something in their life is out of whack.

You may hurry in an emergency, and that’s fine, but if this becomes your normal, this signals to others, and yourself, that you’re out of control. You need not be rushed.

You know that you’re far more efficient when you move at the speed of life.

You are comfortable in your being able to handle what life throws at you with a relaxed sense of ownership.



2. Interrupting

I see this happening at a seemingly increasing rate in the modern, distracted age.

This is frustrating if I’m speaking and you can’t wait to interject with your opinion as I’m talking.

Yet this appears to be tolerated by many. The speaker might allow you to trample all over their comments, but deep down, they don’t respect you for this. Let others finish their thought, and be ok with some silence in a conversation. Cutting in demonstrates we lack faith in our own words.


Because we are continually compelled to prove ourselves, rather than relaxing and giving the other space, which is a leadership move.

RELATED: 6 Assertive Ways To Get The Respect You Deserve

3. Buckling on stance.

There’s nothing wrong with occasionally changing your mind and allowing your viewpoints to shift.

If you are willing to admit you got something wrong and that a change of mind was warranted — even better. But you will lose respect if your opinions or decisions are quickly and repeatedly swayed by others.

If you’re quick to agree and nod along without pause, this signals weakness and a lack of faith in your views. People are surprisingly accommodating to even the most controversial opinions or decisions when you state what you mean, don’t apologize, and boldly commit to what you say.

4. Arguing.

There’s a difference between arguing and engaging in healthy debate on a topic — albeit subtle.

Arguing reflects a need to prove oneself, with an approach that is combative and lacking in a willingness to listen to the opposing view. Discussion or debate comes from a healthier state, demonstrating a clear interest and openness to the opposite view.

Arguments are like two bulls locking horns, and respectable people know to avoid these. Stepping into the ring instantly lowers yourself because it is unconscious and undermines your peace.

Discuss calmly, or keep quiet — don’t argue.

Photo: Antoni Shkraba/Pexels

RELATED: 12 Low-Quality Relationship Behaviors Self-Respecting People Never Put Up With

5. Complaining

If you’re moaning, I’m not interested. Plain and simple.

I may be interested if you’re sharing details about a potentially solvable problem.

Judging something as an issue and raising awareness about it is not an unnecessary complaint. Whining about something you can’t change is, and it lowers my respect for you. Why?

Because if something can’t be changed, your bringing it up pollutes the vibe with a heaviness that could have been avoided.

Lift others. Give us solutions; don’t moan about what’s wrong with everything.

6. Showing little interest in others

There’s a balance between being overly and forcefully interested in others and not being a teacher's pet.

But respect will fade if we hear about you more than you’re asking about us.

Though I am not a fan of being the center of attention, I often feel deflated with little interest in reconnecting if the conversation I just had with you lacked any interest in me.

Few people will complain about this, but it gets noticed. True leaders are at least curious about those they are with — not because they are feigning niceness to be liked. It’s about developing consciousness about those around them. It’s about learning.

It’s always a win-win, and if all we hear is you you you, you lose us.

RELATED: 6 Things Highly Respectable People Don’t Do

7. Devaluing your time

If you’re quick to drop everything to help us, you might be pleasing, but what else does it say about you?

Pleasing others is not the same as maintaining self-respect. This is a hard lesson for many to learn.

We all grew up knowing the rewards of pleasing parents and teachers. This doesn’t apply in the adult world.

Pleasing others at the expense of your integrity and freedom is not empowering. Instead, honor yourself first. If you do decide to help others, make sure you both gain in the process: i.e. you do it out of a genuine desire to help, not to impress.



8. Being a buzzkill

I struggled with this for a good stretch of my life because I can take things too seriously.

But blocking yourself off from light-heartedness pushes people away.

Again, there are nuances to this, and often, when the situation warrants it, being aggressive and assertive can be empowering and uplifting. But when we take things too seriously, we show that we can’t be flexible.

We all have the power to change our perspective to become more resourceful. This is vital if you intend to inspire people around you.

And we know you can.

RELATED: Why Mutual Respect Is So Important In Relationships — And What It Means To Be Respectful

Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient. 

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.