26 Definite Signs Your Friend Doesn’t Respect You (2021)

10 min read

Below, you’ll find my list of signs that your friend doesn’t respect you.

In my role as a certified life coach, I encounter many people who are being consistently dragged down by toxic friendships.

Yet, oftentimes, these people aren’t even aware of what’s happening to them. 

That’s why I was so keen to share this list. 

Let’s dive right into it.

Signs Your Friend Doesn’t Respect You
Photo by loly galina on Unsplash

How Do You Know If Your Friend Doesn’t Respect You?

If your friend is consistently displaying several of these behaviors, it may be worth questioning the net impact of their friendship. Is it mostly positive or mostly negative? If it’s the latter, it’s time to deal with it, either by confronting your friend or cutting them out of your life altogether.

With that in mind, here’s my list:

1. Everything Is On Their Terms  

Friendship is about compromise. Sometimes you go to see their favourite movie. Sometimes, you hang out at your favorite club. Sometimes you drive, sometimes they do.

If you’re only doing things their way, that’s called a one-sided friendship. A true friend would notice this, feel guilty and  try to even things out.

If they’re not even addressing this obvious imbalance, that’s one of the clearest signs your friend doesn’t respect you.  

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2. They Break Promises

This is one of the clearest signs of disrespect.

Trust is a huge aspect of friendship. If you can’t trust a friend to keep to their word, that’s a huge indicator that respect is lacking between the two of you.

Even when making small promises, a real friend will be bending over backwards to try and keep them.

3. They Don’t Have Your Back  

Having each other’s back is another staple of a solid friendship.

So, what happens when you’re receiving criticism or being made fun of? Do they come to your aid, or do they stand and let you fend for yourself?

What would happen if you were in desperate need of a favor? Would they drop everything to help you out? Or search for a reason to not to do it?

Real friends who respect each other support each other in times of need. A friend who doesn’t respect you is less likely to be there when you need them. 

4. They Dismiss Your Feelings

Maybe you’ve told them how certain actions upset you?

If they still partake in such actions anyway, that shows they really don’t care about your feelings.

It’s disrespectful to completely disregard the feelings of a friend, especially when they’ve told you about them. 

5. They Don’t Apologize

It’s one thing to constantly upset someone and apolgise. That could still be considered disrespectful, especially if it seems like they don’t mean it. 

It’s a whole new level of disrespect to not apologize at all!

Don’t brush this off as stubbornness or independence. This is a straight-up failure to consider your feelings. 

6. They Belittle You In Public

Yes, there is such a thing as friendly ribbing between mates. In male friendships, this can be particularly harsh while still remaining fun and light-hearted.

But don’t be mistaken. If one person is constantly taking jabs that hurt you, that’s blatantly disrespectful, especially if you’ve told them to stop. 

Any jokes related to serious topics should be off-limits, or at least handled with sensitivity. 

A lot of people with low self-esteem do this to feel better about themselves. That’s no reason to accept it. 

7. They’re Rude About Your Life Choices

Sometimes, a friend will passionately warn you about a decision you’re making from a place of love. They care enough to say something, rather than letting you make what they think is a mistake. Even if they’re not too careful with their words, this is actually a sign of a strong friendship.

But what if this friend is still talking badly about your life choices, even after you’ve made them and you are clearly happy? That’s now crossing the line into disrespect.

8. They’re Jealous Of Your Success

This often goes hand in hand with being rude about your life choices.

If your so-called ‘friend’ is jealous of your big wins, how can they even define themselves as a friend? This is how enemies feel. Enemies with low-self-esteem. 

To actively show symptoms of this jealousy – or to make you feel guilty for stepping up in life – is no act of friendship either.  

9. They’re Talking Trash Behind Your Back

This is arguably even worse than delivering criticism to your face. A person who does this is not only rude, they’re a coward and they’re making an effort to turn others against you.

You might find it difficult to respect a friend who acts like this, because they’re showing no absolutely no respect to you!    

10. They’re A Bad Influence (And They Know It)

It’s one thing if you’re consciously choosing friends who do drugs every day, for example. That’s their choice and it’s not disrespectful to you, even if you don’t like it.

But, what if a friend is constantly convincing you to do something they KNOW you don’t want to do?

These certainly aren’t the actions of a good friend – and it’s arguably disrespectful towards the lifestyle you’re trying to live. 

11. They’re Always Interrupting You

Yes, interruptions occasionally happen by accident.

Some people have the habit of interrupting everyone. Perhaps they believe they have to be the centre of attention. This signals a lack of respect for other people in general.

But what if they only seem to interrupt you?

This would suggest they think your words don’t matter. Or they’re trying to prove they’re better than you. Either way, it’s clear evidence that your friend doesn’t respect you. 

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12. They Guilt-Trip You

Perhaps you’re not enough of a doormat to always do things their way. 

In this case, a toxic friend might try and get around this by guilt-tripping you into their way of doing things.  

This emotional manipulation fails to take your wants, desires or feelings into account.

Friends don’t do this to each other. 

13. They Have No Concept Of Commitment

This can harm friendships in a number of ways.

Let’s say one of your friends committed to dropping you off at the airport. You believe they’re going to take you, so you don’t book yourself a cheap train ticket in advance. 

It would be wrong of your friend to back out at the last minute. Yet, this is common when a friend doesn’t respect you.

Now, let’s say a group of friends signed up to take part in a dodgeball tournament every Sunday. The team has to pay a fee for the whole season upfront. A respectful friend would understand the commitment made by the team, and do everything within reason to try and play every game. A friend who doesn’t respect you might quit the team just because they don’t feel like playing.  

14. They Never Reach Out

Is it always you arranging plans to hang out? Do they never call you first?

Perhaps you get the feeling you’d never see this friend again if you stopped making the effort to call them?

While this might not necessarily be due to a lack of respect, it definitely shows they don’t value the friendship.

15. They Forget The Important Things You Told Them

Some people are naturally forgetful. It’s a flaw, but not necessarily a slight on you. 

But if they never remember important facts about your life, that’s a sign they just don’t care. 

16. They’re Too Blunt

Some people are naturally blunt in their communication. Again, this might not be related to your relationship with them 

But what if you call a friend out on their rudeness and they still  don’t alter the way they talk?

It would be wrong of them to not at least try and adjust. 

A common rebuttal in such situations is: “This is who I am, and I can’t change.” 

Don’t fall for this. The truth is: they would make an effort to change if they cared about how much it hurt you.  

17. They’re Not Present In Your Conversations

Ever started talking to someone, only to realize they can’t bring themselves to listen?

Sometimes, you can see in their eyes that they’re not present.  

Other times, perhaps in a group situation, they’re playing on their phone instead of listening to you talk. 

Sadly, this lack of presence seems to be increasingly prevalent in today’s society. In some cases, it’s a symptom of anxiety in another area of their lives. In others, it’s a blatant sign of disrespect.

Either way, don’t be afraid to call your friend out when you spot this.    

18. They Try And Sleep With Your Ex 

It would seem to be the #1 rule in every edition of the ‘bro code’ I’ve read to NOT do this. The ‘girl code’ too, I’m sure. 

A real friend would never disrespect the relationship you two had. They’d understand how difficult it would be to see your ex dating someone else.

Sure, there are some scenarios where your ex might be ‘fair game’, but not many. In most cases, this is a 10/10 scummy move. 

This is surely one of the most hurtful signs your friend doesn’t respect you, other than perhaps trying to sleep with your current partner behind your back.  

19. Everything Is A Competition

Does it seem like this person wants to beat you at everything?

Ever notice that they try to overshadow you whenever you announce some good news in front of others, either by changing the subject, belittling your announcement or talking about something they did. 

That’s disrespectful behavior, for sure. Friends are supposed to build each other up in such moments.

Yes, friendly competition is fine. But if they’re aggressively trying to one-up you or dump on your achievements, perhaps you’re not such good friends after all. 

Friends should never be jealous of each other’s success! 

20. They’re Not Honest 

Honesty is another essential ingredient of a strong friendship. Who doesn’t want an honest friend? 

A respectful friend will be honest even to his own detriment. They could never dream of lying.  

Yet, a friend who doesn’t respect you will lie without thinking twice. This is perhaps one of the most disappointing signs your friend doesn’t respect you.  

21. They Have No Concept Of Boundaries

This is another of the biggest signs your friend doesn’t respect you.

Everyone has personal boundaries that they expect others around them to meet. If one of your friends continues to break these boundaries, even after you’ve made the effort to point out their behavior, that shows they have no respect for you.   

22. They Go Out of Their Way to Make You Feel Bad

Does your friend knowingly do things that upset you?

Are they constantly pushing your buttons?

Do they always do things you consider pet peeves?

Such a friend doesn’t respect.

If a friend respects you, they should work to avoid upsetting you every time. A friend who respects you will never be deliberately insensitive to you. And when they sense they were cruel, they apologize immediately and never repeat the action.

23. The Friendship is Too One-Sided

Are you the one who always does favors for your friend? Is your friend always busy whenever you need their help?

If your friend is always asking for your help but is conveniently busy when you ask for favors, such a friend doesn’t respect you.

Don’t be part of a one-sided friendship. Don’t take the disrespect.

24. They Use you as An Emotional Punching Bag

Do you have a friend who’s always negative? Does your friend always pile up all their issues on you?

Such a friend is using you as an emotional punching bag. And if you have someone in your life who does this for you, that person doesn’t respect.

You’re a friend, not an emotional punching bag.

25. They’re Critical About Your Life Choices

I once had a friend who never found anything nice about my life choices.

Whether it was my decision to become a coach, my relationships, or my choice of hobbies, this friend always had something critical to say.

Do you have such a person in your life?

If you have a friend who constantly criticizes your life choices, such a friend doesn’t respect you. They don’t deserve you.

26. Always Gaslighting You

Do you have a friend who’s constantly pushing you to question your choices, memories, and experiences?

Do they always pretend not to understand what you’re talking about in a bid to avoid a tough conversation?

Such a friend doesn’t respect you.

While it may not seem as much at first, gaslighting may lead to you questioning your sanity. So, avoid such friends. Keep away from people who consistently undervalue your experiences.

How Do You Confront A Friend About Their Behavior?

Before you make the decision to confront or ditch your friend, use this list to evaluate how well you’re treating them!

Maybe you haven’t been the best friend in recent times, and that’s why they’re treating you as they are.

Or perhaps there’s something else going on that’s led to a change in how they act around you. Most people aren’t hurtful to their friends for no reason!

In most cases, the best step is to address how you feel from a place of empathy. Tell your friend you’ve noticed certain behaviors within them, and ask if there’s anything you can do to help. 

This will nearly always lead to a better resolution than ghosting someone or aggressively accusing them of being a bad friend.

It’s never easy to deal with a toxic friendship or relationship, but it does need to be addressed. Surrounding yourself with negative people can impact your mental health more than you realize.

Best of luck! 

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Any Questions About These Signs Your Friend Doesn’t Respect You?

Thanks for reading my guide on the signs your friend doesn’t respect you enough.

If you have a question on this topic, feel free to leave a comment below. 

It would be great to hear from you – and I’ll do my best to provide some support.

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