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Sarge

Handling Disrespect

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I have 2 short, sweet questions I'd like to ask you, my friends. 

What's your first course of action when someone clearly disrespects you? 

Is there any way that you would like to improve your handling of disrespectful people? If so, how? 

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Disrespect is a bit of an issue for me, because I'm not a confrontational person. I grew up in an environment that had lots of passive aggressive interactions, and the ones that did spill over into outright confrontation (my dad being angry during a diabetic episode) were terrifying and have led to dissociation issues for me. So someone disrespecting me, I don't handle that well. I'd be just as likely to ignore it and continue on with my day than I would be to confront it.

I will say, there have been a few instances at my job where a manager who was interested in my girlfriend disrespected me. I am fairly certain he wanted to assert authority over me to impress her and turn her away from me (obviously didn't work). I didn't know how to handle that and it made the whole situation uncomfortable. However, many people respect me at work. I'm hard working, I'm easy to talk to, I'm kind, and I'm willing to help people if they ask for it. People turn to me for help with stuff pretty often, especially the new people. So it's not often people will disrespect me because I don't put myself in many positions to have that happen to me. Even the person who is known by all of the managers and chefs to be insubordinate as hell, isn't like that with me. Still not a good worker, but he does what I ask of him. Respect begets respect. 

Those people who disrespect me though, they show their true colors. It really isn't hard to not be a piece of shit, which is why I think it reflects poorly on humanity and the society we've built that there are so many pieces of shit out there. I don't invest in them at all, and expect the bare minimum from them. I wouldn't call the aforementioned manager a piece of shit, but I was friends with him up until that point and haven't expected anything other than an entertaining conversation between the two of us since then. It's impossible to avoid disrespectful people, but I do my best to minimize the impact and presence they have in my life. 

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Depends if you have to deal with them on the regular or not. Most of the time I just ignore it, if I'm only gonna ever see this person once in my life, I'll just smile and apologize, and try to diffuse the situation. I'm never going to see this person again, they might as well be an NPC in terms of how I treat them. If I have to deal with them over and over again, like a coworker or a parent, it's best to let them know that they should stop treating you like shit. If they're total assholes, you dig up dirt on them first to make sure you have ammunition for any storm that blows over. If they're just being rude and are unaware of it, let them make amends, forgiveness is important when someone deserves it after all.

But sometimes you do just have to tell someone to fuck off, it's an important life skill to figure out when those moments are. 

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I used to let people get away with disrespecting me. I found that while I personally didn't feel bad about it, this ultra-passive behavior also lowered my esteem in the eyes of others as well. And I think it hurt my chances in getting raises at work and getting a few women I was interested in. If I don't stand up for myself in the face of disrespect, other people shouldn't trust that I will stand up for them either, right?

I recently started a new trick. I give people a compliment first before I bring up my valid complaint about their behavior. Here's a recent example with a secretary at work, with the Vice Chairman of the school board present, verbatim:

"I consider you a fair and honest person. So I'm sure you understand that I mean no offense when I ask you to please not interrupt me when I'm in the middle of a conversation." 

It worked. Due to my giving her a stellar reputation to live up to, she had no choice but to immediately and emphatically apologize. I think I earned her respect as well as a feather in my cap from the big boss. 

Edited by Sarge
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It really just depends. I don't think I could work retail like a lot of you fellas because I snap pretty easily if someone is being a dick. If someone is just talking shit I'll call them out for it, but usually that's enough to stop it. If someone is being straight up belligerent then there's a good chance I respond equally. I try to avoid getting that way because it can make me look like just as much of a dumbass as the other person, but it's just an instinctive reaction. 

 

I've just been trying to work on reining in my responses and being a lot more passive with people being shitheads. If it's that in-your-face type that is unavoidable, then it's a lot more difficult. 

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Sarge, I think you have to be careful doing what you did because it could come off as douchey rather than what you are thinking. 

That being said, I agree with your general message about handling  it at work...you just can't let it slide every time. I can be very fiery at work sometimes if I feel disrespected. But there is a fine line you walk...you want to be well-liked too.

In public, I usually just write it off or will say something if I am really mad...but I try not to. Not worth the consequences/risks if it turns physical. I will completely write people off who I feel have disrespected me though.

 

 

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I don't really care. I'm usually wittier than people who disrespect me and my burns go right over the heads.

It's a reality of life. My primary suggestion is don't take it personally because it's inevitable. Just move on and don't waste time and energy on such people. 

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21 hours ago, BJORN said:

Sarge, I think you have to be careful doing what you did because it could come off as douchey rather than what you are thinking. 

That being said, I agree with your general message about handling  it at work...you just can't let it slide every time. I can be very fiery at work sometimes if I feel disrespected. But there is a fine line you walk...you want to be well-liked too.

In public, I usually just write it off or will say something if I am really mad...but I try not to. Not worth the consequences/risks if it turns physical. I will completely write people off who I feel have disrespected me though.

 

 

 

I feel it is important to emphasize that it is not the person you have a problem with. It is their behavior. I thought in that specific scenario that my message would get through easier if I pointed out that she was a good person first. You are right that in other situations, it is better to simply state the issue. If I had only said, "I feel disrespected when people interrupt me. Please allow me to finish my conversation next time" she might have taken it the same way. 

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Disrespect at work depends on if it's intentional or not. At my job we give each other shit constantly and we all cross the line occasionally. It's most about your area, or your department, etc. Just make sure that YOU are making the decisions when and where it's up to you

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We also have to be careful of subtler forms of disrespect and aggression on the part of others. Examples: someone trying to get us to do free work/work for less than we deserve, requests that go against our values (if anyone asks, lie for me so I don't get in trouble), etc...

I wrote this recently on Facebook and wanted to share it here:

It is neither selfish nor immoral to negotiate for what we deserve. We must stop being afraid to "rock the boat" in order to "keep the peace." Why do we think being peaceful 100% of the time benefits us? It doesn't. We ought to grow some teeth and show them to the world once in a while. There is a nasty, sleeping monster inside of us. Let's feed it carefully, but let it play. Maybe then we will respect ourselves and require that others do the same. 

Being agreeable to the point of harming ourselves isn't morally righteous, nor is it going to make us "good" people . It's cowardice. Let's not use morality to excuse ourselves for being cowards! A good person is capable of anything and has the strength to use their darkness when they pursue what they want and need. 

We must not let anyone make us feel bad for looking out for ourselves. That doesn't mean be selfish. It means standing our ground in the presence of others who are. Aggressive and selfish people won't battle us if they think they can't win. They will go find the next pushover, because we can be sure that there is always a hopeless, hyper--agreeable person lining up to be abused. 

We will not let that be us any longer. Understand?

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