In a perfect world, respect is a common courtesy that every person practices. In reality, however, there are moments when respect is disregarded. The reasons for disrespect may be unintentional such as cultural differences or simple misunderstanding. It could also be intentional as the result of jealousy, revenge, or enmity.
Whatever the case, moments of disrespect leave us reeling, doubting, angry, vengeful, and feeling powerless. But you have the choice to respond, reclaim your worth, and fight back. These empowering words and quotes help you cope with disrespect in the workplace or life.
- Disrespect Quotes
- Disrespect Quotes for Him
- Disrespect Quotes for Her
- Disrespect in Relationship Quotes
- Quotes About Being Disrespected at Work
- Studies about Disrespect
- Should You Tolerate Being Disrespected?
- What can you say or do to someone that disrespects you?
Let’s begin with some quotes about the negative effects of disrespect from actors, politicians, and other notable public figures.
- “Disrespect invites disrespect.” – Meryl Streep
- “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” – Elie Wiesel
- “The greatest cruelty is our casual blindness to the despair of others.” – John Fowles
- “Respect is a two-way street; if you want to get it, you’ve got to give it.” – R.G. Risch
- “The world is populated in the main by people who should not exist.” – George Bernard Shaw
- “Never judge someone by the way he looks or a book by the way it’s covered; for inside those tattered pages, there’s a lot to be discovered.” – Stephen Cosgrove
- “Disrespect is tired. Shade is old.” – Grace Gealey
“Disrespect cannot be commanded; it must be earned.” – Mark Twain
- “Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.” – Albert Einstein
- “Disrespect is the weapon of the weak.” – Aly Khan
- “We don’t need to share the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful.” – Taylor Swift
- “If we lose love and self-respect for each other, this is how we finally die.” – Maya Angelou
- “I cannot conceive of a greater loss than the loss of one’s self-respect.” – Mahatma Gandhi
- “Respect begins with this attitude: I acknowledge that you are a creature of extreme worth.” – Gary Chapman
- “Lack of respect is the root of most evil.” – Dr. Phil McGraw
- “You can demand courtesy but you have to earn respect.” – Lawrence Goldstone
- “Disrespect also rises out of the fear that one’s contributions will not be acknowledged.” – Deborah Tannen
- “Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.” – Laurence Sterne
- “Treat others how you want to be treated.” – The Golden Rule
- Disrespect is like a broken mirror; it reflects ugliness even in the most beautiful souls.
- Disrespect is the rust that tarnishes the silver of trust and respect.
- Kindness can bridge the gap of misunderstanding, but disrespect only widens it.
- In the theater of life, disrespect is the act that always gets booed.
Where disrespect resides, harmony cannot make its home.
- Disrespect is the graffiti that defaces the walls of dignity.
- A seed of disrespect, when sown, grows into a tree of bitterness.
- Disrespect is a thief; it steals the beauty from a conversation.
- True strength is in respect, for disrespect is the refuge of the weak.
- Disrespect doesn’t distinguish between king and pauper; it diminishes both equally.
- A single act of disrespect can undo years of goodwill.
- Disrespect is like a storm that leaves no relationship unscathed.
- Where disrespect leads, regret inevitably follows.
- Disrespect is a poison that turns hearts into stone.
- Disrespect can turn a palace into a prison, a friend into a foe
- In the garden of communication, disrespect is the weed that strangles growth.
Disrespect Quotes for Him
- “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.” – Eric Hoffer
- “The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” – Samuel Johnson
- “Yet in his private heart no man much respects himself.” – Mark Twain
- “Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?” – Confucius
- “A real man will respect a woman because he knows the feeling if someone would disrespect his mother.” – Unknown
- “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway
“Real men despise battle, but will never run from it.” – George Washington
- “A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature.” – Antoine François Prévost
- “He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.” – Elbert Hubbard
- “A man’s manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- “A man is judged by his deeds, not by his words.” – Russian proverb
- “A man is not defined by his education, wealth, or skills. He is defined by his manners and the respect he gives to others.” – Unknown
- “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.” – Mario Puzo
- “A man should never disrespect the mother of his child.” – Bernajoy Vaal
- In the book of manhood, disrespect is the chapter best left unread.
- A true man measures his words carefully, knowing disrespect leaves a longer shadow than kindness.
- Respect is the currency in the market of manhood; disrespect is the bankruptcy.
- Being a man isn’t about power, it’s about the respect you show and earn.
- The mark of a real man isn’t the strength of his muscles, but the depth of his respect.
- A man’s wisdom isn’t shown in his knowledge but in his ability to respect those who differ from him.
- In the language of men, respect is the word that echoes the loudest.
- Manhood begins where disrespect ends.
- Manhood is not a license to disrespect, but a responsibility to respect.
- Disrespect is a shadow that dims the light of our better nature.
Disrespect Quotes for Her
Women ought to be respected, not disrespected. Any form of disrespect towards women is disgusting and unacceptable.
- “It is not grey hair that makes one respectable but character.” – Rana Ayyub
- “The disrespect for women and girls is too often ingrained in our cultures, and it must be stopped.” – Ban Ki-moon
- “The mark of a real man is a man who can allow himself to fall deeply in love with a woman.”
- “When a man gives his opinion, he’s a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she’s a bitch.” – Bette Davis
- “No matter how mad you are, always remember, she’s doing whatever she can to provide, protect, love, and feed your child as no one else will. Especially when you ain’t helping or barely giving a helping hand.” – Bernajoy Vaal
- “A woman is human. She is not better, wiser, stronger, more intelligent, more creative, or more responsible than a man. Likewise, she is never less.” – Vera Nazarian
- “Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” – G.D. Anderson
- It’s not my responsibility to be beautiful. My existence is not about how desirable you find me.” – Warsan Shire
- “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker
- “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” – Virginia Woolf
- “The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.” – Roseanne Barr
- “No woman should be told she can’t make decisions about her own body.” – Kamala Harris
- “When women’s rights are under attack, we fight back.” – Kamala Harris
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa
- “There is no occasion for women to consider themselves subordinate or inferior to men.” – Mahatma Gandhi
- “The abuse of women and girls is the most pervasive and unaddressed human rights violation on earth.” – Jimmy Carter
- “I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.” – Mary Wollstonecraft
- When you disrespect a woman, you disrespect the world that birthed you.
- A woman’s worth isn’t determined by the respect of others but by her own.
- A woman’s strength is not in tolerating disrespect, but in demanding respect.
- Respect for a woman is the soil where equality grows.
- When a woman is disrespected, humanity loses its dignity.
- Disrespecting a woman is an assault on the dignity of life itself.
- A strong woman turns the stones of disrespect into the stepping stones to success.
- Every woman carries within her the power to reshape the world.
- A woman’s resilience is her silent retort to disrespect.
- A woman, like the sun, doesn’t cease to shine just because some eyes cannot bear her light.
Disrespect in Relationship Quotes
Disrespect is one of the main reasons relationships fall apart. We humans are sensitive creatures and we don’t like when our feelings are hurt.
- “A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone.” – Billy Graham
- “When people do not respect us we are sharply offended” – Mark Twain
- “I firmly believe that respect is a lot more important, and a lot greater, than popularity.” – Julius Erving
- “In a controversy, the instant we feel anger, we have already ceased striving for truth and have begun striving for ourselves.” – Abraham J. Heschel
- “When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it.” – Stephen Covey
- Respect is a language understood by all, yet, sadly, not spoken by all.
- Disrespect is the quickest way to turn a friend into a stranger.
- In the symphony of human interaction, disrespect is the discordant note.
- A relationship marred by disrespect is like a garden infested with weeds, choking the blossoms of affection.
- In the dance of relationships, disrespect is the misstep that breaks the rhythm of love.
Quotes About Being Disrespected at Work
In a workplace setting, disrespect can result in productivity issues, absenteeism, and turnover of your best employees.
- “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.” – Albert Einstein
- “One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- “People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” – John C. Maxwell
- “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” – Socrates
- “Don’t find fault, find a remedy.” – Henry Ford
- “Toxic workplaces are not the norm and they’re not healthy.” – Dr. Alok Trivedi
- “The best companies in the world create an environment that promotes less stress and more engagement.” – Dr. Alok Trivedi
- “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
- “When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.” – Betty Bender
- “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” – Michael Jordan
- “Disrespect under a veil of professionalism is still disrespect.” – Alex Elle
- A culture of respect is the lifeblood of a thriving workplace; disrespect is the poison that can bring it down.
- Workplace disrespect repeats itself and spoils harmony.
- Disrespect in the workplace is the enemy of cooperation and teamwork.
- A workplace where disrespect is tolerated is a breeding ground for dissatisfaction.
- When you allow disrespect in the workplace, you’re planting seeds of discontent that will grow into unproductivity.
- Disrespect is the silent killer of workplace morale.
- When disrespect infiltrates a business, it’s like a leak in a boat, eventually sinking the ship.
- Disrespect at work is like a crack in a mirror; it distorts the reflection of professionalism and trust.
- Disrespect is the silent thief in the night, stealing away the essence of trust in a relationship.
Should You Tolerate Being Disrespected?
Regardless of context or reason, disrespecting someone should not be tolerated. Every person has the right to be treated with kindness, respect, and dignity.
It’s important to remember, however, not everyone has similar awareness and understanding of respectful behavior. This can happens when a person experiences a different culture. A seemingly innocent or respectful gesture may not be considered respectful in that particular place or culture. One example of this is with tipping.
This may be surprising because it feels like everyone in the United States wants a tip. But in many countries, tipping is not expected or might even be considered rude. In some cases, it is even illegal. Japan is one country where it is considered rude to tip.
Thus, it’s best to be open and tell the person how you feel if you’ve been disrespected. This provides the person a chance to adjust their behavior. In many cases, the person who wronged you may not even realize it.
In professional settings such as the workplace, it’s important to observe a respectful and professional demeanor to foster a positive, inspiring, safe, and productize environment.
What can you say or do to someone that disrespects you?
Respond to disrespect depends on the context, your relationship with the person, and the severity of the disrespect. Here are a few general suggestions:
- Stay calm and maintain your composure. Take a deep breath and try not to react emotionally to a situation. Many of the best leaders train hard to control their emotions in stressful situations. Some of the best ways to maintain composure is to take a deep breath, root out unhelpful patterns of though, and label feelings.
- Assess the situation. The person may have disrespected you unintentionally due to cultural differences, personal stress, the difference in upbringing, or simple misunderstanding.
- Communicate assertively. Express your feelings clearly but not aggressively. For example, you might tell the person, “I felt disrespected when you said X. Please don’t say that in the future because it really impacts my mental health.”
- Establish boundaries. Make it clear what behavior you consider disrespectful. One simple example of a boundary you can establish is meeting times. You shouldn’t be expected to meet after hours or early in the morning as an employee.
- Report disrespectful behavior to another party such like the HR department, department head, or supervisor. Make sure these examples are documented in writing or email so you have a paper trail.
- Walk away. Distance yourself from the situation or person. You can take actions like ending the conversation, leaving the premises, or limiting the relationship as much as possible. You could also inform your supervisor that you need some physical distance between you and a coworker to help foster a better working environment.
If you run a business, disrespecting customers, clients, or employees can hurt your bottom line. According to Harvard Business Review, incivility, which is a form of disrespect, negatively affects customer relationships and increases employee resignations and turnovers. These disrespectful actions might include teasing in the office or finger pointing by the boss.
In a journal published by the National Library of Medicine, “civility interventions” that reduce disrespect in the workplace help improve coworker relationships, employee satisfaction, and overall work culture. Interventions may include civility meetings, punishments for disrespectful employees, and even termination.