Gain Respect in Relationships

  • Posted By: on June 26th, 2007
  • 69 Comments

When someone mentions the term “healthy relationship”, what words come to mind? Trust? Love? Affection? Gifts? Sex?

Okay, okay. Maybe A LOT of sex.

But what about respect? Perhaps the most important component of a relationship, yet the most overlooked, a lack of respect is usually the reason why many relationships fail.

The Reality of Respect

We live our lives in constant interaction with those around us. Whether in a business, school, or social setting, we always aim to earn the respect of our co-workers, peers, and friends. Some of us may gain the respect of everyone we come into contact with, while the rest of us gain a varying level of respect from our fellow human beings. Examples of this truth are all around us. I’m sure you know at least one person who gains the respect of everyone he/she interacts with, heck; even YOU want this person to like you.

Self Respect as a Boundary

Let’s call this person John (if you’re female, call this person Julie). Whenever you greet John, you get a calm “what’s going on”, or “what’s up”? He’s not in your face seeking your approval, he doesn’t care if you approve of him or not, and he always maintains his composure. He knows what he stands for, and doesn’t need the approval of others to define his own identity. Whenever you violate one of John’s standards, he lets you know immediately. If you continue to violate his standards, he won’t hesitate to walk away.

What’s going on here? John’s self respect serves as a boundary that protects him from anything and anyone who chooses to disrespect his clearly communicated standards. This boundary is visible to people around him. When people notice this boundary through John’s body language, tone of voice, or actions, they look at their own weaker boundary and choose to respect John.

How strong is your boundary?

Personal Boundary as a Border

I like to think of my personal boundary as the foundation for my self-respect. Without it, I wouldn’t know what to stand up for or how to defend my ideas and self-esteem. Try to imagine the border between the U.S and Mexico. It’s heavily guarded, and there are only select entry points people can pass through (although there are numerous gaps in the 2,000 mile border that compromise its integrity).

Think of your personal boundary as the border between two countries. You need to guard it as well as you can, and have as few gaps as possible. The better you do this; the better protected your self-esteem and ideas, and the more respect others will give you.

Building Your Boundary

Each of us has some semblance of a personal boundary we have developed over the years. Maybe your boundary is laden with many gaps, or maybe it resembles a circle, with very few gaps.

To fill in the gaps, you need to know what you like and what you don’t like; you have to have preferences. Ever heard the saying, “to get what you want out of life, you need to first know what you want out of life”? The same applies with building a strong boundary.

To give you a simple example of what I mean, think about your preference of car brands. You may prefer Porsche, but not Hummer; or you may prefer Ford, but not Dodge. These preferences influence the way you lead your life. If you prefer Ford over Dodge, you aren’t going to go out tomorrow and buy a Dodge; you’ll buy a Ford.

Let’s extend this example to include preferences such as “I will only accept first class behavior from myself and from others; I will never tolerate second class behavior from myself or others.” This is one of my personal beliefs and I find it to be extremely empowering.

When you adopt preferences such as these, your life begins to revolve around them. Any time you come across someone who violates your standards, you won’t hesitate to walk away. I don’t waste my time on people who don’t have enough self-respect and high enough standards to hold themselves responsible for acting with first class behavior.

Know what you stand for, be picky. When you’re picky, you won’t settle for anything less than what you know you deserve. The higher you set your standards, the higher the quality of your life.

I suggest you pull out a piece of paper, or open a word document right now. Begin to list all of your preferences. Start with easy things such as “I prefer (favorite car brand here) over any other type of car”, or “I like [favorite color here’ more than any other color”. Work your way up until you begin to define your preferences having to do with your relationships with other people. Once you have clearly defined as many preferences as you can, choose to never settle for behavior or actions any less than these standards.

Respect and Relationships

For some reason, many people forget the importance of respect when starting a relationship with that “special someone”. Perhaps it’s those initial butterflies that cause you to forget; or maybe your significant other is so damn attractive that you just don’t care! Overlooking this component may be fine at first, but it will soon catch up with you and bite you in the ass. Let me demonstrate what I mean through personal experience.

When I began my first relationship, I was young, naive, inexperienced, and overwhelmed by all the feelings associated with a new relationship. I assumed these feeling meant I was in love, asked no questions, and led a happy life for nearly seven months.

Painfully, this all came tumbling down when I realized the person I was with had no sense of self respect. I’m the kind of guy who can’t respect people who have no sense of self respect (so if that’s you, stay away! :) Just kidding). I’m sure you can guess where the relationship went from here. I unconsciously began to do what I pleased, when I pleased. We fought all the time, largely because I didn’t listen to or believe anything she said, and eventually we broke up.

This is a common situation in most relationships. One person has a stronger sense of self and self respect than the other person. Sooner or later, the stronger person realizes this is the case, and either unconsciously takes advantage of the weaker person, or decides to pack up and leave.

Looking back, I realize I made a number of mistakes while leading this relationship. First of all, if my boundary was strong enough, and I had higher standards, I would’ve never settled for this person in the first place. Secondly, if I did have a strong boundary, my actions would have demonstrated this fact from the get-go, and the girl would have either been too intimidated to talk to me, or would have constantly been striving to meet my standards.

Using Your Boundary in Relationships

How do you utilize your boundary in a relationship? You utilize it to build respect. And how exactly do you do that? Well, since your boundary is a “wall” which represents your standards and preferences, you must allow only certain things to permeate this “wall”. If you have a solid wall of preferences, and have no ability to let certain things in, then you will be unable to compromise. I’m not advising you to be a stubborn, uncompromising person. I’m suggesting that you live your life by certain standards, and never settle for anything less than the highest quality of behavior from the people in your life.

Any time you come across someone who does meet your standards, let them in and out of your “wall” selectively as long as they act in accordance with your standards. Make sure that you do not tolerate too many violations of your standards; otherwise the other person may begin to lose respect for you, and may think you just talk the talk and can’t walk the walk. To instill respect, your partner must understand that you will not stick around no matter what.

Demonstrate Your Standards

It is important to lay out your standards in plain view for your partner to see from the beginning. Take as many opportunities as you can to demonstrate your standards to your partner. If this means telling them a story of someone who previously violated one of your standards, go ahead. For example, one of my pet peeves is people telling me they will call me back, but then never calling back.

I view this as second class behavior. So I would tell my partner a story that goes something like this. “Yeah you know, I hate it when people don’t call me back. A few weeks ago, Johnny said he was going to call me back but then he never did. I told him I didn’t like it, but he still did it again. After the second time, I never spoke to him again.” This is a true story (the person’s name wasn’t Johnny), and it demonstrates one of my many standards. You can be sure that whoever hears this story early on in our relationship will never fail to call me back.

Another way to demonstrate your standards from the get-go is to be particularly picky. When the person of interest suggests something that isn’t in line with what you want to do or what you believe in, tell them “no” and suggest another idea.

This is what you should be doing anyways if you have a strong, well-defined boundary. Would you be wasting your time doing things you don’t like to do and tolerating second class behavior when you expect more? No, you wouldn’t be. Instill respect in others by standing up for yourself. Hold people to the highest standards, and you will find that they will always be working to meet these standards.

Summing it All Up

Remember, when you are looking to start a relationship with that special someone, it is important they respect you and your boundary. If you have well-defined preferences and standards, your actions and words will demonstrate these standards. Your special someone will understand violating this boundary will lead to your disapproval, and eventually will lead to you walking away. Assuming all of the other elements of a relationship are in place (attraction, connection, trust, etc.), the last thing they would want is for you to leave.

If you have absorbed this entire article, you will become more conscious of the strength of your own boundary. I have spent a lot of time defining my own preferences, and I keep defining them more clearly every day. If you make a commitment to yourself to consciously and actively define your preferences, while choosing to never tolerate any behavior out of line with these preferences, you will notice the quality of your life will improve drastically.

Photo by fazen

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  1. louise said on May 17th, 2008 at 2:10 am

    This was a lovely enlightenment, something I’ve not really thought much about before today. I recently broke up with my boyfriend as I knew in my heart of hearts that he wasn’t giving me the respect I deserve. I realise now that this was my own fault for allowing it to happen in the first place. I was upset breaking up with him but I know I have done the right thing and that I will allow no one to disrespect me again in the future.

    Great page

    Louise

  2. Rahul Bhambhani said on June 8th, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Louise,

    I’m glad you found the post helpful :) You did the courageous thing in breaking up with him, and for that you should be proud of yourself.

    - Rahul

  3. David said on September 29th, 2008 at 11:33 am

    I don’t understand why the author had to gratuitously say “Maybe a LOT of sex” in the beginning. I didn’t get the joke if there was meant to be one, and fail to understand it. Rahul talks about ‘boundaries’ yet says ‘lots of sex’ like ‘hey everyone else is doing it so it must be cool to write that’ – a lot of people have high values and believe waiting before having sex. It is an honorable quality in a person.

  4. Rahul Bhambhani said on September 30th, 2008 at 11:26 am

    David,

    What I meant is that many people associate A LOT of sex with a “healthy relationship.” In no way am I saying that A LOT of sex is required in order for a relationship to be considered healthy. Of course many people like to wait due to their high standards, and yes, it can be an honorable quality in a person.

    - Rahul

  5. Joe said on January 23rd, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Wow my friend. I had a few relationship snags this week and I must say this article was right on time. I allowed my self respect to be compromised and it is definitely not like me to allow that. This whole article really just wonderful. You insight is well recieved. Have an absolutely awesome day!

  6. steffy said on April 8th, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    I love this article. I just broke up with my boyfriend of a year because of the lack of respect. I compromised so much when that is not EVEN in my character. I just simply wanted it to work. Enough is enough!

    Thanks Rahul

  7. Danette Moser said on May 28th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I think the article hits the nail on the head in terms of “demanding” that others treat you with respect and honor your personal boundaries. However; many times we haven’t demonstrated that same amount of respect to ourselves. Especially people who have been in unhealthy relationships for a long time- or perhaps were raised in a dysfunctional (yes, I know it’s overused, but still accurate) home where self-respect isn’t modeled. Some of us need to develop SELF respect before we can demand it of others.

  8. agathos said on June 16th, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Hey! Awesome article, wish I had so much knowledge about all this before I landed in marriage. The thing is I do not want to leave the person but I want to gain respect that I deserve and demonstrate the boundaries now! I do not know if this would be effective since he somehow knew how all this works and already showed me his boundary and our standards definitely do not match as such. It has to be one or the other compromising. And at some point this gets to either one of us and we land up in frustration!
    People may wonder why one would want to continue in such a relationship for which theres lot more to say which i do not prefer to here.
    Any suggestions for the mess that I am in? Thanks!

  9. Rahul Bhambhani said on June 16th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Agathos,

    It’s definitely tough to establish boundaries and respect in the midst of a relationship. The person you’re with has already subconsciously learned your tendencies, preferences, weaknesses, etc. I don’t really have any experience in establishing respect in the middle of relationships, I always look to start things out on the right foot in that sense. I can suggest that you sit down and talk to your spouse about how you feel about the respect in the relationship, and let him/her know that you are going to be making some changes to that aspect of your relationship. Once you’ve talked about it, then start implementing right away. Refuse to settle for anything less than 1st class behavior in every sense of the word. I hope this helps! Best of luck to you!

  10. Rahul Bhambhani said on June 16th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Danette – Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment! I totally agree with your comment about self-respect, and I truly believe it is the fundamental pillar of mutual respect in relationships. If there is no self-respect, any expectations of respect from your spouse will be flimsy expectations indeed.

  11. agathos said on June 23rd, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Thanks! am trying to make these feelings of mine conveyed. Right now I feel its just not being understood correctly! I guess first few months of a relationship are most important for setting the tone for the rest of the life! Changing it at some later point seems so taxing and foolish to me…

  12. Jessica said on June 25th, 2009 at 5:53 am

    Wow! I have to this article is very helpful and enlightening! You are just 21, and you have such perception, that’s great ! I appreciate this most “instill respect in others by standing up for oneself”, this means self-respect is for the first, for any successful relationship!

  13. Arg said on June 29th, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    I find this article very usefull… Can any one help me to understand how to handle this scenario ?

    You throw a suggestion in a common discussion at your office and no one has accepted it even though you find it to be correct. This has happened quite a number of times…. This scenario is purely against your standards and letting you down some times… You really like to walk away from such places and discussions but you cannot do as you need to stick on to that job/ relationship…

    Help me to understand how you handle this scenario

  14. Rahul Bhambhani said on June 30th, 2009 at 12:29 am

    @ Jessica – Thank you for stopping by, and thank you for the compliment!

    @ Arg – I believe the solution to your scenario is that you voice your suggestion in a firmer way. The way you’ve described it makes it sound like you kind of slipped the suggestion in there, but didn’t really make it known that it was very important to you. Pull the person (or people) aside that you want to talk to about this, and then let them know how important your concern is to you.

  15. Arg said on July 2nd, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Rahul – Thanks alot for your suggestion….

    I have some what if questions… I always have many questions like this :)

    What if one cannot justify or convince the opponent on his thoughts? or what if opponent has some lame reasons or alternative that makes you to stop pursuing your approach and goes by other way. There are some cases which I have seen that the opponent accepts our thoughts when it is explained when he is alone but the same individual denies them in a common meeting.

    Too many questions/ raising flag against higher level people in official life will never help any one to get a good impression on them. And any valid questions that gets denied and forces people to work in way against their thoughts will reduce the confidence level of that individual.

    Your Suggestions ???

  16. Rahul Bhambhani said on July 8th, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    @ Arg – You’ve posed a tough “what if” situation for sure! Whenever handling situations like this, I think the best approach you can take is the one with your “opponent’s” needs in mind. Instead of taking the traditional “how can I get what I want out of this person” approach, think about what your opponent wants in your particular situation. Then, present your opponent with a solution that gives him/her exactly what he/she wants, while at the same time appeasing your concerns and giving you exactly what you want also. It’s just a matter of angling it the right way!

    I learned this approach from Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, and I recommend you get a copy of the book. It’s awesome at detailing how to handle situations just like these, and if you can master all of the principles Carnegie discusses in the book, you’ll truly be a master of social interaction. Check it out. You can find a link to the book in my Library section.

  17. Anon said on July 10th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    This was particularly useful for me as in our culture (I’m also Indian), family boundaries are so obscure. I am sick and tired of family and friends using our studio as a hotel….they come in hoardes every week. As a couple, we have no privacy in our own studio…..am definitely going to use some of your tips to combat this. Thanks

  18. Ankit said on October 15th, 2009 at 4:42 am

    Hi Rahul! My congratulations to you on the article. It’s very well written, and so relevant.
    I’m facing the same problem with my girlfriend, and i am on the receiving end.
    I would like to ask you- can this situation be overturned? As in, i feel i was like how she is right now, and she was like i am right now. And now its completely the opposite.
    Secondly- when do i know it’s time to end it? Does it always have to end? We love each other very much, but i feel the lack of respect is getting to me now. And i’ve started feeling this for the last 1 year or so, and we’ve been together for the past 4+ years, and can’t really think about breaking up.
    Please reply.
    Thanks!

  19. Rahul Bhambhani said on October 15th, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Ankit,

    Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to leave a comment!

    I actually have another friend who is in this same predicament, and I’ve been in the same predicament as you have been in before. In my experience, there’s a very slim chance you can turn this around in the middle of the relationship. It may be possible, but it would take an overwhelming amount of effort on your part, and she may not even be willing to make the changes necessary to make it work.

    If you guys feel like you love each other enough to give it a shot, then I recommend you both check out the program “Deep Inner Game” by David DeAngelo. It is an amazing program that will help both of you learn how to set strong boundaries, how to develop that sense of self-respect, and how to command it from your partner and other people in your life.

    I understand it’s hard after 4+ years of being together, but understand that this is something that is quite insidious to relationships. Over time the problem will only get worse, and in the end you both may forget all of the good times you’ve shared in the relationship because of the constant fighting that comes with the perpetual crossing of “boundaries”.

    I wish you the best of luck, and if you have any more questions shoot me a direct e-mail via the contact form in the “Contact” section of this site.

  20. Ankit said on October 15th, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Hey Rahul, thanks for the advice! You’ll definitely be hearing from me on your direct e-mail.

  21. Arg said on October 21st, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Hi Rahul,

    I went through the questions posted by many people and on reading that, I thought of highlighting a scenario to get clear picture on this.

    There are few times I felt that I need to be little open in order to get closer to any one. My experience is that initially any friendship or relationship starts very well and I can see very clearly that the other individual likes the way I talk but as the time goes on after few weeks, I have a feeling that I am being used as a point for humour and unnecessary comments from the side of other individual. I get a feeling that his respect on me has got reduced drastically. This has happened many times with whom I know well. I tried to explore the root cause for this by reading many personality development articles but still I am in the middle of dark searching for right reason. Possible reasons I figured out are being pessimistic (from my perspective “Being more practical”), revealing more abt me, my likes and dislikes etc…

    Can you shed some light on this scenario and help me to handle the same?

    Reason being, if i am going to lead a team and if I make such impression on people working under me, it is not going to fetch me good results. This is just a scenario I highlighted. Not sure if it is an issue with me or people with whom I am moving…

    Few more questions –

    – Do we really need to be open, humorous, cracking comments to get closer to any one (or) precise and absolute answers for any questions in a very formal way will help me to get closer?
    – if I am being very formal, that relation ship will end after office hours and I can never get into those people’s friend’s circle at the same time maintaining at most level of respect – is this not true ?
    – What should be one’s approach to be very close to some one irrespective of sex at the same time maintaining perfect level of respect from that individual ?

  22. Arg said on October 21st, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    One more last question for you Rahul.

    I have been in the scenarios where I have been praised for inane reasons (atleast from my perspective). How should we react for those praising words even if we know that they are not true. Even if you deny/ keep silent, the same situation continues till you speak up (either accept or shout at them). If you shout, relationship (need not be friendship but some official relationship) will get spoiled. if you accept, it will not get stopped permanently but temporarily a pause may be there. So, accepting those inane comments is not the permanent solution.

    I expect them to praise my efforts if they are true to the core. After being in above scenario many times, I am unable to take if they praise me for genuine reasons or I lost the capability for finding the genuine reason for which I need to praised.

    I hope you understand the scenario if my words have not explained them clearly

    Awaiting for your comments!!!

    About your article –

    No doubt that this is a true thought provoking article in a positive sense. I had the above questions in my mind for a long time but have never written down. But your article made me to put my thoughts into words. Atleast now I can get answers for my questions:)…

    if you wish that you can answer my questions over mail, please do share your email address with me. I have similar questions on different topics on the same lines.

    I honestly hope that your article and suggestions will help to get my thoughts structured and handle different scenarios effectively

  23. Seyi Eyitayo said on April 21st, 2010 at 7:23 am

    The information provided in this article is first class information that will help anyone gain and maintain respect in their personal relationship.

    The key word to remember is “boundaries”

    Regards

    Seyi

  24. Anna said on June 23rd, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Not sure I completely agree with your concept. If a person is taking advantage of another and not respecting them, it is more their personal issue. Women tend to be weaker, more gentle and submissive in a relationship. A decent man respects and loves this for the nature of the woman.

  25. Tammy said on June 24th, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    One thing I didn’t like about this article was the gratuitious use of the “I’m gonna leave you” card. Sorry but I don’t know of one successful relationship where the threat of leaving was allowed as a bargaining tool. I think the first step in having someone respect your boundaries is to respect theirs – even if they are different or more flexible than yours. I am fully in support of boundaries but what’s the point of an inflexible wall when you have nobody to share your garden with?

  26. Steff said on July 14th, 2010 at 5:30 am

    Hey rahul.. Plz help me.. I m in relation with a guy since 2yrs. In begnin evrythng was fine but since past 8mths its haywire.. He dosen’t respect me, he had an affair for a month during my exms .. Whenevr i use to call he use to avoid..n stuff. When i found out at first he dint accpt later he said he was sorry and aftr that many thngs hapnd.. Now he says he loves me respects me but he hardly does. I wait all day long for his calls.. When i call he gives me sum stupid reasons.. Plz i want things to improve help me out.. If pos giv me ur cell no. So i can discuss in more detail

  27. Julian said on November 18th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    thanks

  28. maddz said on December 13th, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    hey, i really enjoy your article. i realize i evaluate my boundaries of respect more and more evryday. I have tried to be friends with ppl a edont wanna lose but i get to a point i say enough is enough. and i keep pushing ppl out of my life who dont belong there…i didnt really go in depth with it in my mind i just got tired of pl acting the way they do.

  29. Trey Devlin said on October 16th, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    This is an excellent and well written article. I was in a situation where I started dating a woman I found very attractive – yet unfortunately I discovered almost immediately that she was very needy and I believe she had low self esteem. It was all too much too soon from her. She wouldn’t give me the space to breath. I didn’t realize it at the time – but I lost alot of respect for her. I needed to be more aware and put my foot down more. Things just didn’t feel right. My “gut” was telling me – but I tried to ignore it. Walking away from her was very hard to do because of the good points she did have, her beauty, and my mind rationalising – but once I’d lost the respect for her – I just couldn’t continue the relationship. There was massive inner conflict & and this roller-coaster went on for months – with me walking and her chasing and being back together again & again. All her issues came out at the start and it had killed building a foundation. I almost lost my sanity!!
    After all was said and done I really wanted to look at why things happened they way they did. I wanted to see what I also did to contribute to the pain. For a while I’ve had regret that I didn’t have stronger boundries – so that at least either she walked and I hold my head high and the length of the drama and pain on both of us was minimal or two – she could have possibly altered her behavior early enough in reaction to my backbone and boundries to where I still could have had respect for her. Anyhow things are clearer now and I won’t repeat the same mistakes! I still care for her – but without respect there’s no foundation. It’s over.

  30. Tarran said on November 18th, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I love this post about respect. I am wondering what you would suggest for a relationship that has already passed this point… 4 years and a baby in the making. The relationship started out well, but both of us, mainly me- did things to not respect the other. Now, it seems there is very little respect on either side. We have a baby together and I would lOve to “restart” the relationship & I’m wondering if it’s possible. A response would be greatly appreciated.

  31. Rahul Bhambhani said on November 18th, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Tarran – Check out some of David Deida’s work. I recommend reading The Way of the Superior Man if you are a man, and getting your woman to read Dear Lover (or vice versa if you are the woman and he is the man). This should really help you out! Best of luck turning things around. I know how challenging that can be.

  32. Maddy said on November 27th, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Thanks for the article it was very helpful! If you are in a relationship and want to stay with that person is there a way to help them see that they are not showing you respect and are selfish?

  33. Rahul Bhambhani said on November 28th, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Maddy – Great question. You can sit the person down and talk to them about YOUR needs that are not being met (don’t play the blame game). If they don’t respond well, or you can see that they don’t get it, then you have to be willing to walk away, otherwise the person will continue to abuse you. The longer you stick around the more respect you will lose for yourself as well because you know it’s not right for you. I know it’s difficult, especially if you love the person, but when you’re able to walk away from something that you know is not good for you, you will gain SO MUCH power as a result.

  34. parul said on January 27th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    great work Rahul,, i was little upset and was looking for some inspiring words. I am loosing the respect in my relation which making me feel worse all the time. I am feeling little fine now and know what to do next. :) great!!! good work,,

  35. Rahul said on January 30th, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Parul – Glad you liked the article! Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment.

  36. relationshipdj said on April 30th, 2012 at 3:57 am

    This is a very good article. It is sad nowadays how people don’t cultivate boundaries and respect any more. The one thing that really annoys me is that people are not giving respect they are asking for it. Nice article.

  37. Kingsley said on June 4th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Wow this is a nice one indeed, cop i’ve been looking for such a an article like this, thank u so much cos its came at the right time i needed it. Now i know how to gain ma self respect.

  38. Lee said on July 16th, 2012 at 1:35 am

    I started to gain respect from my husband the moment I started reading the bible more and googled on how to gain respect, I discovered that I was the one who caused my mate to loose respect for me, by not considering anything he says. So the bible said: “a woman must respect the husband” and I did not so I decided to follow God’s word and that brought back joy into my life. I also googled this article! I’m now a happy considering others woman. Lol

  39. grainne said on July 29th, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    my fiancee continually disrespects me i really have allowed him to totally break all my boundaries. ive allowed this to happen up until now as his son from a previous relationship has started the exact same behavior speaking to me a if i am a slave i cook clean and do everything for him and he speaks rudely to me for example, i asked him did he want a chocolate mini cake he say no and i said really is quite nice. and then he said i dont want it in a horrible tone, i walked out of the room and told my partner i wont be soke to like that again, he defended his son and said he was just being cute. i need to get out of this relationship i feel totally taken for granted and i have a child with this man so i feel trapped what do i do? can i regain respect?

  40. grainne said on July 29th, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    i have allowed my partner to emotionally abuse me by having so little self respect for myself, i see now this is my fault for accepting his behaviour towards me.he tells me he loves me but he never recognises my feeliings. i have been very good to him and his son but he makes me feel like i am nothing unimportant and not worthy of respect. i have always had a good relationship with his son until now. i feel he is copying his fathers attitude towards me. my fiancee disagrees but with other people he is respectful and well mannered

  41. deena said on September 2nd, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Hi Rahul,
    im having a crisis in my marriage (8 yrs almost) and in the beginning of our relationship he looked up to me and respected me. After a few yrs i came to know a few “bad choices I had made in the past and since then No more respect. At first I guess i allowed it to punish myself. I think this article will help atleast set up my bounderies. We have 2 kids and i will fight for this marriage but I need to gain back the respect. Thank you for your wonderful article.

  42. Rahul said on September 2nd, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Deena – You are so welcome. I wish you luck on your journey. I recommend reading The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida, and I do mean you. If your husband would be open to reading it as well, that would be wonderful and would transform your relationship for sure. Also, check out any books written by Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks. They will help as well. Much love.

  43. Bubbles said on September 24th, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Brilliant article. I find the ‘self-respect’ thing difficult to describe and therefore it has been difficult to build. This has been a great help.
    Thank you.

  44. Le said on November 4th, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Rahul — very insightful article. I loved reading what you had to say. It was empowering and uplifting. I find that their are so many people, including family, especially family, that does not live up to my standards. I very well can’t go dropping all the family relationships in my life. Wondering what you’re thoughts are??

  45. Rahul said on November 4th, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Le – Since writing this article, my perspective has shifted a ton. I’ll share a bit of my new perspective with you here. If the disrespect you are receiving from others is “triggering you” (bothering you in any way), then I’d recommend going within and looking at that. Objectively, their behavior just Is, and your reaction to it is the result of something going on inside your own consciousness. If you can accept that responsibility, then you’ll be well on your way to dissolving whatever it is that’s causing your discontent with the way they are treating you. From this place of responsibility you will also be able to respond rather than react whenever people do treat you disrespectfully, and instead of generating more drama through your reaction, you can create a different result. Once you’ve neutralized the charge around the way these people are treating you, you will no doubt miraculously find that all of the people in your life are reflecting back to you the respect you’ve always wanted, as there will be no purpose in your reality anymore for people to be treating you disrespectfully.

  46. Sabine said on November 26th, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    My boyfriend respects me less and less and doesn’t appreciate the nice things i do for him anymore, he takes them for granted. Our sex life has also dramatically changed in the last few months… we have sex once a month now and are 18 and 19 years old and have been dating for 1 1/2 years, which is way too early to start behaving like an old married couple. He can’t tell me why exactly he doesn’t feel like it anymore, but i think i’ve found the answer. i tolerate his behaving and still jump at every opportunity to have sex with him… that’s not a very attractive thing to do. i hope we’ll work things out, and i need to set clear boundaries from now on. thanks a lot!

  47. Rahul said on November 28th, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Sabine – You’re welcome! :) Thank you for dropping by and sharing. Know that your experience, as it is right now, is a great learning mechanism that you can utilize for your expansion. Once you’ve gained the lessons this situation has to offer, you can move forward and create an even more enjoyable reality for yourself. Much love.

  48. Chad said on December 16th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Wow.. Great Article… I just walked away from a relationship with a girl that I’ve been dating for 8 months due to Boundaries she had a problem with when it comes to single male friends coming to her home without their GF’s present and her going to their homes without me our their GF’s present… I care deeply for her but if she doesnt respect me or these other guys GF’s boundaries enough to stop, then I had to finally just walk away from the relationship because it was simply too toxic for me to cope with… I dont have a problem with my partner having friendships with other guys, but I have a problem with these guys constantly calling and texting and wanting to hang out with her as if I dont exist and her allowing that to happen..Call me Jealouse, call me insecure…But those are the Boundaries that cant be crossed…thats a deal breaker!!

  49. Lisa said on December 28th, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I think the article was very helpful, and true you should have boundaries.As well as stick to your standards. I have followed all of the steps mentioned in the relationship area, and no change; now it was time for me to take the next step. I am currently putting my live in lover out because I have expressed myself plenty of times that I don’t appreciate him disrespecting me and staying out days at a time. To return to my home as if he’s done nothing wrong. I find that to be rude and disrespectful! Especially when he came to me to help him through his situation while dating, but obviously he had other intentions of me and others. Therefore his others need to help him and I need to continue moving on.

  50. Tom said on January 1st, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Thank you for this article, it was very useful. I found it whilst searching the internet for some information to help make sense of the relationship I recently called off. I had been dating this girl for 3 months. I began to notice that some of my wishes (boundaries) were not being respected. It started out with things like phoning me at 5am when she knew I would be asleep. It grew into more significant things and I soon began to lose a bit of trust in her. Inside me, I felt a bit smaller as a person, that since I was not being listened to, then I mustn’t have her respect. I think I did the right thing by showing growing disapproval with her breaking my boundaries. I’m not perfect, and I gave her some latitude as I’d hope others would give my foibles too. But people can go one of two ways: take advantage of the latitude given, or use it to make improvements. I soon came to my limit and I guess my boundary was crossed one too many times (the straw that broke the camel’s back). I tried to have a mature discussion with her about it, but she just didn’t seem to “get it”. So I called it off. Right now, my heart is heavy. But I think it was best for the longterm. I think this article is very empowering not just for relationship dynamics but in every area of my life. Thanks again. Tom, Australia.

  51. umahgod said on January 14th, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    thank you so much for this wonderful post. its really helpful. in my own case i dont know if its too late. because my girl doesn’t respect me at all. she knows that i care for her a lot . and because of that, she uses it against me. we have been dating for a year now and she causes problem all the time and she never apologize first for her mistakes. I wish to find a true love. t skype (umahgod)

  52. Rahul said on January 31st, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Umahgod – You are welcome. Thank you for dropping by and leaving your comment! Much love.

  53. asdf said on February 27th, 2013 at 1:26 am

    What if their sense of self respect was relinquished for you? Like, they gave up their self respect for you? Or was she just all around disrespectful of herself? Is there a difference? Help.

  54. Charcoal said on March 9th, 2013 at 6:04 am

    I think that perhaps you are too full of yourself and how special you are. It is not acceptable to start treating someone badly because they have low self esteem or allow you to do it. Unless your ex was acting like a total puppy dog, doing everything for you and more, you should have shown respect for her adoration of you. Rather than taking advantage. Perhaps you need a session with a counsellor to consider how easily you step over other people’s barriers. It’s necessary to let down your barriers in close relationships, and perhaps that is something you are unable to do successfully and with due respect for your partner.

  55. Nao said on March 29th, 2013 at 7:32 am

    hi rahul tnxs for d article but i have some questions…my boyfriend nd i hv bin dating for close to two years nw at d vry beginnin he wz vry much in love wit me i didnt realy love him as at den nd he always pleaded wit me to love him bck as time went on i fell in love wit him nd tins went on wel bt rite now his out of d country to study nd am realy havin a difficult tym copin bcos he doesnt send me money nd also he doesnt cal nd care as often as i want him to am really worried pls help me out…i tink dis al started d moment i started showing interest in him..thanks

  56. nkulesh said on April 4th, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Now what do you do when you’ve been maried to that person for 10 years, you just a house wife with no education, no where to go with 4 kids who needs their family
    but the problem is the lack of respect and it hard to tell if he loves me or just his
    doar mat think you can help? I love him to dearth and i respect him so much after
    all his my husband and a father to my kids

  57. Sophie said on May 6th, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Rahul im pleased to have read ur article, it is quite interesting. ive been dating for a while now and I never did set any boundaries nor accorded myself any respect. am an African n I felt I should just carry on in the relationship as long as I was happy in it. but my boyfriend disrespects me in the presence of his friends, and talks down at me. it doesn’t happen often, but I never really liked it. I blamed myself for it cus I felt maybe I was the problem and never rilly wanted to leave him cuz of the love I have for him. now ive read your article and I feel like the only option I have is to leave him, which im still scared of doing. please advice

  58. term Life insurance with No exam said on May 10th, 2013 at 10:52 pm

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  59. Meli said on May 30th, 2013 at 4:30 am

    I read this article in its entirety and just wanted to say this was a fabulous article and I am so happy to come across this! Many thanks for your words of wisdom!

  60. Jason said on June 29th, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Thanks for this piece. You rocked it! And I truly appreciated reading this article. Me and my partner have been challenged with our relationship lately, and I’ve been curious as to why, seeming we’re both very creative, smart and upwardly mobile types. This article shed some real insight into what is possibly the issue – we have different standards when it comes to respect, life, and reverence. He disrespects his family (typical spoiled and privilege type) so he’s never truly had to grow up or work for anything. Anyway, I won’t rant and carry on. Thanks!

  61. Arijita said on July 1st, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Hi Rahul,

    This article is just awesome. I was suffering from severe problem related to self respect and this is not only limited to my partner rather it is now extending to my juniors at work as well. I have got answers of so many questions I kept on asking myself for a long time. This is very maturely written article.

    I really appreciate your effort to help others to come out of problems and lead a bright life.

    Thanks,
    Arijita

  62. Rahul said on July 11th, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    @Jason – Thank you for your comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the article!

    @Arjita – Thank you for the kind words! :) Much love.

  63. sarah said on August 2nd, 2013 at 4:59 am

    hello,
    i found all of this very intersting and read this after an argument with my partner…. is it possible to have standards too high? because i feel i would be walking away from 90% of my relationships… or am i just hanging out with a whole bunch of 2nd class citizens? somtimes when you walk away it gets too messy n you end up staying which staying is what i wanted anyways… but later when comes another argument they have no respect…. respect is somthing i long for… but i feel as though even though i am calm n collect and acting first class… i always just get inslting 2nd class responses…. ddo i need to walk away from everyone? or are my standards too high??

    this is somthing i have never done before… asking the interent.. but respect is somthing i feel strongly about… rarely recive it… and im just confused to why…

  64. FED UP said on August 27th, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Thanks Rahul!
    lToday was my first day of therapy and I told my therapist about my situation of my cheating husband that keeps coming back home and I let him after he’s gone to live with his girlfriend 5 times! So he told me that my self esteem wasn’t low but my self respect was.
    He gave me tip on how to regain the control in my relationship and now I don’t know if I even want to try to do that.
    This article was so helpful to me bc it helped me to understand me! For years any boyfriends that ever cheated on me was DUSK!
    Because I’m in the church and have been taught all my life to be submissive to your husband, I’m thinking that I’m doing right by God but at the same time I’m destroying ME!
    I’ve put up with so much hurt and pain that I just don’t know if its even worth it anymore bc he has lost respect for me. I have allowed this man to take my identity and control my happiness. And frankly I’m fed up!
    Now he’s back home for a 6th time and its all old news to me…..my only question to you is…….what do you think about this and please give your honest opinion bc nothing hurts anymore. I know you’re young but very wise and I respect your opinion.
    I’m constantly looking for approval and validation from this man and nothing’s changing. I walk,talk and act like I’m the one that cheated. I’m a prisoner in my own mind.
    Thank you in advance and I await your response. I love this article again!

  65. Bhavin said on September 4th, 2013 at 3:47 am

    Hi Rahul,

    Awesome piece of article.

    Self respect, self confidence and self esteem has always been my problem. Especially when it comes to the one I love. Let me explain you.

    I love a girl. We had a nice relationship(friendship) for few months. We both has liking for each other. Whenever I love someone.. I forget my self respect and self importance before them. I do things that will make them feel nice and better. I make mistakes and apologize 1000 times.
    The result was the moment she came to know that I had lost my self esteem and self respect.. she stopped loving me. I know the drop in ,y self respect was only for her as i love her… and not for others. But then too she stopped loving me.
    I want to regain my self respect again. I dont know whether or not i will be able to get her back to love me or not.. :(

    Thanks for your article it will help me so very much….. AWAITING YOUR REPLY

  66. Assa said on December 16th, 2013 at 6:11 am

    Enlightened! Thank you, I have realized a lot about what I went through I had a very strong wall and everyone would call me, I was an awesome chick but I let one fucker stomp me down, down until I forgot about guarding my wall. Now I understand why I am not that awesome chick I use to be. Thanks dude, and I understand your jokes unlike some people here hahahah

  67. abasifreke said on February 1st, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Hello Rahul,this came just when I needed it. I realised I was a bit too easy in my relationship(the outset) I’ve realised that I never set boundaries and with every passing day,I feel regrets! Say for instance, sex,showing up late, and all that.Please help me out! I wouldn’t mind some lessons on how to amends,if its not too late. He claims to love me,but deep down,I feel this relationship would have been better if I had implemented every word of this article. I’m in a mess right now,never felt this cheap!!

  68. 25 Qualities and Characteristics of a Good Manager CUSTOM_THESIS_TITLE_SEPARATORDr. Management, PhD said on October 19th, 2011 at 1:37 am

    [...] Respect: You need to be respectful of your workers if you are to have respect as a manager in return. It’s up to you to set the example and build relationships of respect. [...]

  69. What Makes a Good Manager? -Sustainable Business Coaching said on March 29th, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    [...] Respect: You need to be respectful of your workers if you are to have respect as a manager in return. It’s up to you to set the example and build relationships of respect. [...]

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Who's behind this blog?

Welcome to Take 20 – a Blog exposing readers to unique personal development concepts and ideas. Hi. My name is Rahul Bhambhani. I was previously a student in the Business Honors Program at The University of Texas at Austin. Somewhere in the midst of my education, I began to question whether it was contributing to […]

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