1. The Golden Rule Won’t Switch
You’ve probably heard of “The Golden Rule.” The rule, which states “Treat others as you would like to be treated” is meant to help you to tell whether you are treating others with respect. However, it can also be used to determine whether others are treating you respect. Just flip it on its head: “Others should treat you no worse than you would treat them.”
So, what do you do if someone is not treating you so well? The best thing to do is to point it out to them. People are raised differently and have different understandings of how to appropriately interact with others.
Chances are, if someone is mistreating you, they aren’t doing so to be mean or because they don’t care but because they have different understandings on how to interact with others. Chances are, if you tell them that you don’t like the way that they are treating you, they will treat you better in the future.
2. Resources Are Being Withheld from You
Another way to tell that someone is not treating you with respect is that they are withholding necessary resources from you. Resources could be material resources, like objects, funding, or labor resources. They could also be immaterial things like support or information.
If you are a student and your teacher, professor, or instructor is withholding information or material resources that you need to achieve learning goals, it may be a form of disrespect. If you are a worker and your boss is withholding funding, workers, or information, it may be a form of disrespect.
Once again, the best thing to do about this problem is to bring it to someone’s attention. When you bring it to the attention of the person carrying out the potential disrespect, be careful of your phrasing.
The odds are they are withholding resources to keep you out of trouble, not because they don’t like you. If you let them know that you think that you could do more with more resources, they may be understanding. If they let you know that they are worried about your abilities to handle more responsibilities or resources, ask them for help in managing them. Most of the time, they would like nothing more than to see you succeed.
3. Talking to them Doesn’t Work
In the uncomfortable event that talking to the individual doesn’t work, it could be for a number of reasons. It could be that the resources simply don’t exist. This is often the case with small and middle-sized companies, or with schools and corner departments in universities. On the other hand, the individual may actually just not like you. If this is the case, consider going above your head and explain that your teacher, manager, &c. is stifling your potential by withholding resources.
4. They Don’t Interact with You
Another form of disrespect is avoidance. If there are individuals that you work closely with but that don’t interact with you, it could be a form of disrespect. It is important, however, to be sure that it is personal. Some people are just shut-off and don’t interact much with anyone. However, if they interact with others and seem to be avoiding you, it may be a respect problem.
Once again, the best thing to do may be to reach out to them. It could be a misunderstanding and by addressing it you may lighten the tension as well as make a friend – or at least a better colleague.
5. The Outright Disrespect You
So far, the things in this article have been very subtle. However, sometimes people directly treat you poorly. Talking to these people directly may be a waste of time and energy. Instead, consider trying to go above their heads and alert someone who can do something about the problem as discussed in paragraph 3.
If you feel like you are in a dangerous situation, whether that is a relationship, a workplace, or a social setting, establishing that you deserve respect and reaching out should always take a back seat to establishing your safety, even if that means leaving potential problems unaddressed.
Identifying when you are being treated with disrespect is important because it is often a misunderstanding rather than an outright act. Identifying deliberate acts of disrespect can help you to address the issue in a healthy and productive way.