It’s very possible to have members of the family that disrespect you, however, knowing how to deal with family members that disrespect you is one big intelligent approach.
These people can be difficult, challenging, confrontational, and disrespectful not minding that their relationship with you is so sensitive.
They are known for their impolite, disagreeable, derogatory, offensive, authoritative, and mannerless speeches.
Disrespect from family members is usually difficult to deal with because they are related to you. But, put this at the back of your mind you can’t change how any member of your family acts or behaves.
You only have the ability to change how you react to them.
Maintaining a healthy relationship within the family is very important to you despite the disrespect from the offender, isn’t it?
In spite of that, you need to still handle this situation patiently to uphold the integrity and well-being of your relationship within the family.
The question now is how to deal with family members that disrespect you.
You can deal with the family member that disrespects you by taking the steps explained below:
How to deal with family members that disrespect you
1. Assess the case of the disrespect
Assessing the case of the disrespect will assist you in knowing how you will deal with it. You can take time to carefully examine the intention of your family member if it was done consciously, unconsciously, or due to psychological trauma.
You can ascertain the case is a sign of disrespect, if there are: disrespectful gestures and pointings, lack of respect of your time, sluggish response to your requests, public humiliation, insults, verbal abuse, verbal attack and aggression, lack of regard for your need of safety and security, constant refusal to value, recognize, acknowledge, praise your contributions and discriminatory behaviors.
Spending time to figure out what the actual form of disrespect is, is very important.
Disrespect, no matter the form it takes, always leaves the recipient feeling depressed, anxious, sad, or hopeless having low self-confidence or self-worth. These effects can be immediate or deep.
Assessing the case of disrespect from different perspectives and noting its effect on you will enable you to put appropriate measures on how to respond to your offender. This is the first step on how to deal with family members that disrespect you.
2. Stay calm and Identify the cause
When confronted with disrespectful behavior, it’s important to remain calm, self-controlled and avoid reacting hastily, impetuously, rashly, and angrily.
Taking a deep breath and maintaining your emotional balance will help you respond more effectively.
Staying calm when disrespected helps you to reflect on your inner character and the action of the offender, focus on the positives and possible outcomes if you don’t retaliate, and make the right decision.
It is the next step to take on how to deal with family members that disrespect you.
As you remain calm under the ugly situation, try to know why that particular member of the family disrespects you. It is worth noting that for every disrespectful action, there must be a reason behind it. Please, watch it!
3. Prepare Mentally to avoid escalation
This is the next step on how you can deal with family members that disrespect you. Reviewing your past experiences with the particular member(s) of the family should be a deterrent to you for upcoming ones.
Having understood their disrespectful character that provokes and upsets you will keep you alert. And this will also enable you to prepare consciously and deliberately for your utterances and mood of communication.
Preparing mentally makes you relaxed and composed, despite how you feel. It will make you refrain from responding with rudeness or aggression, as this can escalate the situation.
Instead, you’ll try to maintain a respectful tone, even if the other person is being rude and disrespectful.
4. Set personal boundaries
Boundaries help you define what you are comfortable with and how you would like to be treated by others. Setting personal boundaries should be applied when dealing with disrespectful family members.
Setting your boundaries involves defining your limits (if possible writing them down), openly communicating your boundaries with the disrespectful family member using a polite and kind approach, and reiterating and upholding your boundaries. Your family members will be aware that it’s your right to be treated with respect.
Prioritizing your well-being makes you set solid boundaries which will go a long way in lowering your levels of stress and increase your self-esteem.
But if you live with a disrespectful family member without setting boundaries, you may unintentionally allow them to take advantage of you, thereby disrespecting you the most.
5. Talk Less And Practice Active Listening
When you are always on the defensive, not minding if your actions and behaviors are instigating disrespect, watch it! Practicing active listening will help you know what you should correct and stop doing so that the other family member stops disrespecting you.
Humans see issues from their perspective most of the time. We think so deeply about our own position that we don’t think of the other family member’s perspective.
By practicing active listening and talking less, you form a basis to hear the other family member’s message and move forward towards making a firm decision.
While you may feel hurt by their behavior, try to listen to their perspective as well. Sometimes people are unaware of how their actions affect others, and a conversation can help them understand your feelings.
Talking less and practicing active listening will help you build a strong relationship with the disrespectful family member as you prevent repeating those actions that affect them.
Also, active listening encourages you to see the matter from different points of view, acknowledge other family members’ feelings, and, overall, appreciate them.
Taking this wise step will enable you to know how to deal with the family member who disrespects you. It also fosters a culture of respect within the nuclear or extended family.
6. Focus on self-care
Self-care is the process of caring for yourself so that you can be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually balanced. The act of self-care entails keeping your body, soul, and mind under control so that you can face the issue confronting you rather than allowing it to swallow you.
Dealing with disrespectful family members can be emotionally draining. These people can be very harmful to your mental health, so it’s important to spot their manner of disrespect and tackle them before they suck the life out of you.
If you feel overwhelmed, anxious, irritated, agitated, or embittered, and you experience a loss of concentration and focus after they’ve disrespected you, please take care of yourself.
At this moment, you need to pay more attention to yourself. Make sure to prioritize your well-being through activities you enjoy, such as spending time with supportive friends, eating your favorite meal, going for a walk, and engaging in any other stress-relief techniques.
7. Respect Family Members by Practicing Empathy
After you’ve focused on self-care, try to understand the possible reasons behind their disrespectful behavior, especially if it’s an unusual occurrence.
Putting yourself in that person’s shoes and being curious about the person will enable you to understand the reasons for his or her action(s) and avoid being provoked.
“Empathy means seeing the world through the eyes of the other, not seeing your world reflected in their eyes.” -Psychologist Carl Rogers. Read his biography here
Empathy requires paying rapt attention to the disrespectful family member’s words and body language, checking what transpires during those hurtful periods, and asking how they feel if given the privilege to do so. This will give you a perfect picture of that family member’s emotional experience.
Family members might be going through challenges, which could contribute to their disrespectful attitude. This doesn’t excuse the behavior, but it can help you approach the situation with empathy.
9. Withdraw Yourself (If Possible)
When you’ve tried all the points stated above and none have worked, withdraw yourself if possible. Sometimes, a member of the family might find it very difficult to understand that his or her wrongdoing and actions are disrespectful.
Even the Holy Book says that a man’s enemies are the members of his family. It is also stated in the same book that a prophet is not recognized in his own house.
Limiting your presence to that disrespectful family member so that they can’t have easy access to you will make them value you whenever they see or hear from you.
They’ll know that you are a significant figure in the family and start respecting you for who you are.
Withdrawing yourself or blocking their numbers if they disrespect you via phone calls and messages might make you feel uncomfortable at first, which is a normal feeling.
But remember that what’s paramount to you is earning your respect, and that should make you more determined to withdraw yourself as much as possible.
Other family members may frown at you for making such a decision, but you don’t owe anyone any explanation, especially if they’ve never understood your point of view in the past.
But If your family members are the ones who understand, you can narrate the reasons behind your decisions in clear terms.
A genuine transformation can lead to the reunion of both of you, but you need to discover if it is genuine or if it is not genuine before the reunion.