30 Signs Your Friend Doesn’t Respect You

I’ve always believed that good friends lift each other up and respect one another. But what if the respect seems one-sided? If you’re feeling uneasy about how a friend treats you, you’re not alone.

Today, I’ll talk about some telltale signs that might indicate your friend isn’t showing you the respect you deserve. So, keep reading to find out if it’s time for you to rethink some of your friendships and possibly make some tough decisions for your own well-being. Let’s get started.

They Won’t Apologize When Wrong

When a friend consistently avoids saying “I’m sorry” after they’ve hurt you or made a mistake, it’s a red flag. It not only shows a lack of accountability but also a disregard for your feelings. This behavior can leave you feeling unvalued and questioning the sincerity of the friendship.

Consider this: you’ve planned a special dinner, and your friend not only shows up late but also ruins the mood by being thoughtlessly blunt about something sensitive. If they brush off the incident without acknowledging their fault or its impact on you, the damage goes beyond that evening. It accumulates, straining the trust and bond you share.

They Often Unfavorably Compare You to Others

When your friend constantly compares you unfavorably to others, it’s beyond frustrating—it chips away at your confidence. It’s like, no matter what you do, you’re always one step behind in their eyes. This constant comparison can make you feel like you’re always in a competition that you didn’t sign up for.

What’s even more troubling is when these comparisons become the norm in every conversation. It can make every interaction feel like a battle rather than a mutual exchange.

They Use Your Secrets Against You

When you share something in confidence, you’re handing over a piece of your heart, believing it’s safe with them. But when a friend uses your secrets as ammunition during arguments or, worse, spills them for a laugh or to others, it’s a betrayal. This behavior not only hurts you but also shreds the trust you’ve painstakingly built.

Here are some examples of what that looks like:

  • They make your private business a topic of gossip.
  • They bring up sensitive info to put you down or to get their way.
  • They share your secrets without consent to others as a means of control or to embarrass you.

They Mock Your Ambitions

Chasing your dreams can be as scary as it is thrilling, and having a cheerleader in your corner means the world. But if you share your dreams with a friend and they laugh or make them seem unimportant, it’s like they’re dismissing a part of who you are. 

For instance, say you’re aiming to start your own business. Instead of encouragement, your friend quips, “You? Run a business? Good luck with that!” every chance they get. It’s disheartening and can make you feel like your goals are foolish when, in fact, they are anything but. 

They Insult You in Front of Others

Being insulted, especially in front of others, is downright hurtful and embarrassing. If a friend does this regularly, alarm bells should ring.

Maybe they call it “just joking” or claim they’re being “honest,” but when the remarks are consistently hurtful, it’s more than just humor or honesty; it’s disrespect.

Think of it like this: You’re out with your mates, and suddenly you’re the punchline. The “jokes” are digs at your expense—about your style, your job, or your personal life. It’s embarrassing, right? What this looks like is a bully hiding behind the mask of friendship.

They Lie or Twist the Truth Often

When the lies start piling up, trust—the glue that holds friendships together begins to crumble. Whether it’s small fibs or big fabrications, being lied to makes you question what’s real and what isn’t.

What does this dishonesty look like?

  • Shifting stories that change depending on who they’re talking to.
  • Denying they said something when you know they did.
  • Making promises, they have no intention of keeping.

They Crave Your Attention But Don’t Reciprocate

It’s pretty draining when a friend always wants your support but isn’t there when you need them. You know the type: they can talk for hours about their day, yet the moment you start sharing, they’re checking their phone or changing the subject.

This one-way street isn’t just unfair—it’s a clear sign they don’t value the give-and-take that defines a real friendship.

If you find yourself giving your all and receiving little to nothing in return, it might be time to question the balance in your relationship. Good friends support each other equally; it’s give and take, not just take.

Their Compliments Are Actually Insults

Backhanded compliments can sometimes slip by because they’re masked as praise. But let’s keep it real—genuine compliments should make you feel good, uplifted, and confident, not self-conscious or diminished.

So tune in to how you feel after receiving these ‘compliments’. If you’re often left confused or deflated, there might be more lurking behind those words.

Consider these compliments that are really not compliments at all:

  • You actually look good for a change!
  • I’m surprised you got the job, but good for you!
  • That dress is so nice; it hardly shows your tummy.”

They Dismiss Your Feelings

Whether it’s joy, sadness, or anger, your friend should respect your feelings, not dismiss them. It’s a fundamental part of being human, connecting, and I’d say, just plain manners to acknowledge how someone feels.

So what can you do? Start by expressing how being dismissed makes you feel. If they care about the friendship, they’ll work on being more supportive and will make the effort to listen and understand, not dismiss.

They Cancel Plans With No Solid Reason

We’ve all been there—you’re all excited about the plans you’ve made with a friend, and out of the blue, they cancel. No explanation, just a casual “can’t make it” text. If this happens more often than not, you might start feeling like a backup option rather than a priority.

Remember, reliable friends will honor commitments or at least provide a legitimate reason if they can’t stick to the plan. It’s about having the courtesy to value your time as much as their own.

They Talk Over You

Conversation is about back and forth, a dance of words where each person gets their turn, their moment to shine. But if you find yourself constantly being talked over by a friend, it can feel like you’re being muted and pushed aside. It’s as if your thoughts and contributions are being overshadowed by theirs—cue the feelings of frustration.

Consider these examples:

  • In group settings, they drown out your voice with theirs.
  • When you’re sharing something important, they interrupt with their own story.
  • They answer questions directed at you, taking over the conversation.

They Dismiss Your Ideas

Dismissing your thoughts and proposals is another way friends might show they don’t really respect you. Think about it—you’re excitedly sharing your weekend plan idea, but they shut it down without much thought:

  1. That doesn’t sound fun at all.”
  2. We’ve tried something like that before, it didn’t work.
  3. I don’t think anyone would go for that.

A friend who values you will take the time to listen and give thoughtful feedback, even if they don’t agree with every suggestion. And though it’s fine to disagree, how they handle the disagreement matters a lot.

They Guilt-Trip You for Seeing Others

If your friend often acts offended or hurt when you have plans that don’t include them, it’s a classic case of guilt-tripping. This approach manipulates your emotions to make you feel guilty for having a life outside of the friendship, and that’s a big red flag.

For example, you’re catching up with a colleague over coffee and your phone explodes with messages like, “I see you’re too busy for me,” or “Wow, must be nice to have so many friends.” This isn’t endearing; it’s clingy and crosses a line.

Sure, we all want to feel special, but not at the expense of your freedom to mingle and mix with all your peeps.

They Downplay Your Successes

When your accomplishments are met with indifference or even negativity instead of celebration, it can be disheartening. This behavior doesn’t just dampen your joy—it may also subtly signal that they see your success as a threat.

Here’s what they might say:

  • Oh, you got a promotion? You’re just lucky, I guess.
  • Nice new car, but it’s not exactly a luxury brand, is it?
  • You won the award? Well, the competition wasn’t that tough this year.

They Pressure You Into Discomfort

Whether your friend insisted you go to a party, you weren’t up for, or they pushed you to share personal info in a public setting, such coercion isn’t just disrespectful—it’s manipulative.

Even in friendship, “no” should mean “no.” If what’s fun for them puts you in a tight spot, it’s okay to stand firm and decline. You can say, “I know you enjoy this, but it’s really not for me.” Remember, a good friend will respect your choices and won’t push you into actions that make you uncomfortable.

They Overshadow Your Experiences

We all know that one-upping can be pretty annoying. You’re excited to share a personal story, only to have your friend jump in and dominate the conversation with their own tales, making yours seem smaller or less important. It’s as if they always need to be in the spotlight, leaving your experiences overshadowed and minimized.

Of course, it’s natural to want to share, but there’s a time to listen and a time to speak. A friendship should be a supportive space where everyone’s experiences are listened to and valued equally.

They Try to Control Your Social Circle

When a friend tries to dictate who you can hang out with, it can feel pretty suffocating. It’s like they want to be the director of your social life, deciding who gets a role and who doesn’t.

This desire to control can stem from their insecurities—maybe they fear losing you to others, or they feel threatened by certain friends. But friendship isn’t about owning someone; it’s about enjoying each other’s company freely.

Remember, a true friend will support your social freedom, not restrict it. If they care about you, they’ll want you to have a fulfilling social life, not limit it.

They Criticize More Than Compliment

No one is saying friends should only sing your praises. Constructive criticism from someone who cares can definitely help you grow. However, it’s about balance.

When the scales tip too much toward criticism, it might not be about helping you improve; it might be more about making you feel small.

Consider if you’re hearing any of these too often:

  • You’re going out wearing that?
  • You could do that task much faster if you did it my way.
  • Oh, anyone could have done that.”

They Feel Entitled to Your Resources

When a friend feels entitled to your time, your money, your car, or even your Netflix password without offering much in return, the give-and-take balance is thrown off. And if they get upset when you can’t or won’t provide these resources, as if it’s their right, it can be downright frustrating.

It’s important to set clear boundaries. Saying something like, “I’m happy to help when I can, but I can’t always be available,” helps to establish that your resources aren’t unlimited.

They Take Advantage of Your Kindness

If a friend constantly expects you to go out of your way for them without showing any gratitude or returning the favor, they might be taking your good nature for granted. This kind of imbalance can leave you feeling used rather than appreciated.

  • You cover lunch this time, and somehow ‘this time‘ turns into every time.
  • You’re always the one they call for a ride, but when you need one, they’re nowhere to be found.
  • Your home is their go-to spot for crashing, but your welcome mat at their place seems missing.

They’re Often Late Without Apology

If your friend keeps you waiting regularly and doesn’t even bother to apologize, it might make you feel undervalued and disrespected. After all, is it too much to ask for punctuality, or at least a sincere apology if they’re running behind?

You might find it beneficial to address this directly, maybe with a light-hearted but honest comment like, “Hey, I know time gets away from us, but it would mean a lot if you could let me know if you’re running late.” This can help set expectations and express how their punctuality (or lack thereof) impacts you.

They Ignore Your Texts and Calls

In today’s connected world, staying in touch is easier than ever. So when your texts and calls start to feel like they’re disappearing into the void, it’s understandable to feel a bit ignored. Sure, not everyone is glued to their phone, but if you’re noticing a pattern of unresponsiveness, it might signal a lack of consideration.

Consider the following situations:

  • Your message sits on “read,” but there’s no reply for days, and it’s not the first time.
  • A simple callback never comes, even though they’re active on social media.
  • You hear back only when they need something from you.
"They only respond when it’s convenient for them. They respond immediately to texts when it relates information they need or advice they’re soliciting. But when you need something, they’re radio silent or unavailable."

Dr. Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD | Clinical Psychologist

They Talk About You Behind Your Back

When a friend speaks about you to others in a way that isn’t kind or truthful, it’s a real breach of trust. This behavior can lead to feelings of betrayal and hurt. Knowing that someone you trust is sharing your personal information or making negative comments when you’re not around can shake the very foundation of your friendship.

You might hear it through the grapevine that they’ve been telling people:

  • Personal stuff you told them in confidence.
  • Little digs or jokes about things you’ve done.
  • Twisted versions of your stories that don’t represent the truth.

They Make Fun of Your Interests and Choices

Your hobbies, passions, lifestyle choices—they’re reflections of you, your personality, and what makes you tick. So when a friend makes fun of the things you’re into, it can feel like they’re poking fun at a part of you.

Whether you’re into gaming, have taken up salsa dancing, or decided to become a vegetarian, a good friend should respect your choices, even if they’re not their cup of tea.

They Don’t Pay Attention When You Speak

The act of listening to someone speaks volumes about how much you value that person. So, when you’re sharing a part of your day and your friend is clearly tuning out, it’s like they’re saying what you have to say isn’t worth their time.

This especially rings true when:

  • You often have to repeat things because they weren’t paying attention the first time.
  • They’re quick to change the subject back to themselves or something else.
  • You can tell they’re just waiting for their turn to talk rather than truly engaging with your words.
"When you speak to your friend and they are constantly looking around, glancing at their phone, and won’t make eye contact with you, then they are not being present enough to listen to what you are saying. Not listening to someone shows a lack of respect."

— Lynell Ross | Psychology-Trained Certified Health and Wellness Coach | Resource Director, Test Prep Insight

They Don’t Return Borrowed Items

It might seem small, but when a friend repeatedly borrows your things and doesn’t return them, it can be more than just annoying—it shows a lack of respect for your belongings.

Whether it’s books, clothes, or money, items that you loan should be returned without you having to ask repeatedly. This type of disregard can create unnecessary tension in a friendship.

Sometimes people genuinely forget, and a little nudge is all it takes. However, if this behavior is a pattern, it might be necessary to stop lending things out to this friend.

They Give You the Silent Treatment

When a friend ignores you or refuses to speak to you as a way of expressing their displeasure, it can feel manipulative and hurtful. This form of communication is far from productive—it doesn’t resolve the problem but rather builds more walls between you.

When they’re upset:

  • They leave you out in the cold, not speaking to you, sometimes for days.
  • They refuse to discuss what’s bothering them, making resolution impossible.
  • They use silence as a punishment, which is pretty unfair.

They Often Try to Control What You Do

You’re your own person, with your own mind and decisions—that’s what makes you, you. But when a friend tries to dictate your every move, it’s smothering.

It might be subtle at first, but this pattern can escalate, and before you know it, they’re calling the shots more often than not.

  • They insist on decisions that should be yours, like where to go on your night out or what to wear.
  • They get upset if you make choices without consulting them first.
  • They express disdain or disappointment when you don’t follow their advice.

They Hardly Ever Thank You

When a friend rarely shows gratitude, whether it’s for a thoughtful gift, a favor, or your time, it can leave you feeling underappreciated. This lack of acknowledgment can make your efforts feel unnoticed and undervalued.

A genuine thank you can really make all the difference:

  • It acknowledges the time and energy you’ve invested.
  • It shows respect for your willingness to help out.
  • It creates an environment of mutual appreciation and reinforces the bond you share.

They Disregard Your Boundaries

We all have our lines in the sand, our set of personal rules that we expect others to respect. When a friend ignores your boundaries, it can feel like they’re not acknowledging your needs or, worse, ignoring your voice.

Here are some examples:

  • Pressing you for personal information that you’re not willing to share.
  • Frequently touching you in ways or spaces that make you uncomfortable, even after you’ve asked them to stop.
  • Insisting on making plans that you don’t feel okay with without considering your feelings.

Excerpt from an Expert:

“When I first moved to the US, I needed a place to stay until I settled in. A friend I went to school with offered me to stay in her house rent-free. Since I wasn’t paying any rent and couldn’t work until my work permit was ready, I took it upon myself to clean the house, cook for my friend and her family, and helped her with her newborn.

I noticed that she would only be nice and friendly to me if everything in the house was taken care of and that she would give me an attitude or stop talking to me if I didn’t do the things she wanted. When I moved out of her house, she was furious and said that I only used her. For a while, I excused her behavior because I always remembered how close we were in school. I refused to believe that she had changed.

We stopped being friends because I realized that she didn’t value or appreciate my friendship. She needed a nanny and a housekeeper and was only my “friend” when it was convenient for her. She put her needs above mine and dismissed my feelings when I shared how hurtful her actions were.”

— Jessica Ulloa | Community Manager, MyPerfectResume

Final Thoughts

Remember, true friends should make you feel valued and respected, not overlooked or undervalued.

Take steps to address the issues or consider setting boundaries that protect your emotional well-being. Everyone deserves friendships that bring joy and support, not stress and doubt. Don’t be afraid to make changes that prioritize your happiness.

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Bea is an editor and writer with a passion for literature and self-improvement. Her ability to combine these two interests enables her to write informative and thought-provoking articles that positively impact society. She enjoys reading stories and listening to music in her spare time.