Friendship, like every relationship, has some cornerstones that hold it in place – respect, love, humor, understanding, etc. These are like the glue that holds it all together – you take the glue off, and the relationship falls apart. Hence, when the fine line between humor and respect is meddled with, then, we’re afraid, it is one of the signs your friend doesn’t respect you. 

It is not for nothing that friends are called the family that you choose. After all, it is a friend that stays put by your side through thick and thin, irrespective of what you are going through.

Friends are the ones who hype you up, celebrate your success, give you a shoulder to cry on, and help you come out of that self-restraining citadel of sorrows. But, if you are stuck on the other side of the spectrum with a controlling and mean ‘friend’ then you immediately need to take that ‘friend’ label off them. 

We understand how difficult it can be to identify a toxic friend from an invaluable one. So here we have listed some red flags that you need to watch out for. Go through the signals of a disrespecting friend, and if you sniff your friend smacking of any of these, ditch them at the earliest!

What Are The Signs Of Disrespect In Friendship?

There might not necessarily be tell-tale signs your friend doesn’t respect you; these can be insidious or too subtle to be noticed on the surface. At first glance, you might even laugh them off as your friends’ eccentricities, but you know it’s time to take some action when someone doesn’t respect your boundaries.

So, to tip you off, here is a list of a few signs that might otherwise go unnoticed, until you figure out the schema at work here.

1. Your friend doesn’t value your time

Picture this– you are planning a night out with your ‘bestie’ whom you haven’t met for a month, and are all geared up to gossip and dance the night away with them. You schedule your entire day accordingly, and cancel your other commitments to keep this as your priority, only to realise that your friend had to call off the meeting for apparently no valid reason just when you were about to leave your home. 

Had it been a one off thing, we could have understood. But, why is there a pattern? You need to ask yourself:

  • Does this happen quite too often? 
  • Why do they suddenly seem too busy to take some time out for you? 
  • Is it only you who take the effort to keep the friendship going?
  • Do they value your time and efforts? 
  • Do you feel undervalued and unimportant when they back off at the last moment?

If your answer to these is a ‘yes’, then remember, there is no harm in dumping disrespectful friends. 

2. Your friend talks behind your back

Now, this is akin to blasphemy in a friendship. If there has to be one deal-breaker, then it has got to be mean and toxic friends talking behind your back.

Having a friend ought to mean someone who says, “I’ve got your back, girl. You can count on me.”

But if you find them gossiping behind your back, this clearly shows that they don’t respect you. It is also one of the signs your friend doesn’t like you or is jealous of you. You must get rid of a disrespectful friend such as this who, instead of defending you, makes offensive statements about you. 

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Lily makes negative comments about her friend Mike’s appearance and intelligence, behind his back. When one of their common friends incidentally mentioned how rude and sarcastic her remarks for Mike have been, he was shocked beyond words. Not only did he feel disrespected and unimportant, but it also felt as if he has been cheated.

3. They cross their boundaries

Every relationship– be it with a sibling, parent, spouse, friend, or colleague– thrives on respecting each other’s boundaries. Boundaries are essential in any relationship, and it’s crucial to communicate them.

A friend that intentionally oversteps your boundaries, is a friend that doesn’t respect you. 

Knowing and respecting the limits of friendship is something that cannot be compromised. When someone doesn’t respect your boundaries, it becomes essential for you to have a conversation with them about how their behaviour is affecting you and your friendship.

Signs you have a-narcissist friend

4. They are too demanding

We’ve all been taught in our schools, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” We all know only a true friend steps in during the direst of times, holding and piecing together your soul.

Likewise, it is natural for your friend to rely on you for support, as and when they need it the most. Having said that, it must also be remembered that your friend’s dependence on you should not exceed its limits. 

If your friend comes to you only when they need you, you know it is time to draw a line. Be wary of your friends’:

  • Unwarranted calls for help
  • Attempts to use you
  • Emotionally draining behaviour
  • Extreme dependence on you- emotional, financial or both

Such imposing and controlling behaviour can drain you of your energy. It will feel like a one-sided relationship with only you making the effort, and so, now, you need to learn to say ‘no’ to them.

5. They are jealous of your achievements

This one is a no-brainer. Are they even your friend, leave alone your bestie, if they are jealous of who you are and what you have achieved?

When Lucy got promoted to a higher post, the first person whom she called up to share the good news was her ‘BFF’ Amanda. Contrary to her expectations, Amanda’s response to Lucy’s elation was a cold congratulation.

Not only was she taken aback by this indifference, but it also hurt her feelings to the point that she was no longer excited about the promotion. 

If your friend is not happy for you on your feats, they are enveloped in insecurity–one of the primary signs your friend doesn’t like you. Instead of participating in the celebratory euphoria, you will find them aloof, indifferent, and even withdrawn from you. 

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6. They are fake/dishonest

No relationship can stand firm when slapped with dishonesty or sham. Trust is what holds a relationship together, and friendship is no exception.

How can one invest their trust in someone who is not worthy of being relied on?

Deception, lies, treachery, and disloyalty can strike at the root of your friendship, weakening it with every blow. 

We understand there are some circumstances when one needs to lie, maybe a fib or a white lie that is harmless. And it’s completely okay if your friend doesn’t want to share something for the fear of being judged. In fact, oversharing is never a good habit.

However, things look worrisome when it becomes a habit. If they are repetitively lying, without any signs of remorse, they are not worth your trust. 

When a friend is disrespectful

7. They are too controlling

Why would you let anyone control you? A mean and controlling friend is an obstruction to your personal growth. When you feel sidelined by a friend who won’t let you have your way, it would be a crystal clear sign your friend doesn’t respect you. 

How do you know if your friend has been connivingly controlling you without you even realising it? 

  • Your friend calls the shots always
  • You never get a say in anything
  • They decide what you guys will do upon meeting
  • They enforce their opinion on you
  • They take your life-decisions
  • Your views are often disregarded

If you have been at the receiving end, you must stand up for yourself now and break free from the shackles of their domineering attitude.

8. They are always being rude

Stating one’s opinion is one thing, but demeaning is another. Your friend doesn’t know the difference between the two and is very harsh with their words. With a rude friend, disagreements often take the form of biting comments that pinch hard.

Your friend doesn’t care for your feelings and is instead trying to shame you with their critical remarks. 

Rob and Drake were the best of friends ever. However, over the years Drake has increasingly been getting too vocal about his dissents. What began as frank criticism, soon turned into disrespect that left Rob wondering, “I can’t believe, my best friend is being rude to me. What is wrong with me?” And soon he realised, the problem was not him; instead, it was Drake’s insolent attitude. 

9. They try to gaslight you

Possibly, the worst thing to happen in a friendship is to be manipulated and gaslighted by your friend, to the extent that you begin to doubt yourself. When your narcissist friends don’t value you or your views, you begin to question yourself.

Gaslighting is when your friend tries to make you doubt your memory or knowledge. It is not just a form of abuse but one of the deepest signs your friend doesn’t respect you.

If you are being gaslighted, you would often catch your friend saying:

  • I never said that
  • You are overreacting
  • You don’t remember it well
  • This is not what exactly happened
  • You are being forgetful
  • This never happened 

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10. Signs your friend doesn’t respect you–they laugh at you

So, the friend who is supposed to laugh with you instead chooses to laugh at you. And, you still call them your friend? If they are shaming you or belittling you in public, then you need to rethink before considering them your friend.

The urge to mock and tease you in front of others stems from their insecurity and inferiority. They wish to feel superior to you and hence they condescend to you. 

Reducing you to the butt of their jokes at the cost of your comfort is not justified. It is no less than bullying and needs to be kept in check. 

11. You don’t feel valued enough

Trust your instincts on this one. If you 

  • Feel conscious in the presence of your friend
  • Are stressed before meeting them
  • Doubt your worth and value
  • Undermine yourself because of their opinion of you
  • Feel sidelined, blamed, or manipulated by your friend 

then they might not be the right person to call a friend. 

So the next time you meet this friend of yours, take into account how they are making you feel. What vibes are they exuding? Do you feel relaxed and happy with them? Or is it anxiety and stress creeping over you? Listen to your heart and follow it, we’d say.

How To Deal With Disrespectful Friends

If you have noticed any of these signs your friend doesn’t respect you, then it becomes imperative for you to take action. Here are a few things you can do:

  1. Have an honest conversation with them. The first thing to do is to communicate your thoughts to your friend–let them know what you’re feeling about your friendship, and how their behaviour is affecting it. Talk your heart out and be receptive to their perspective as well.
  2. Define your boundaries. If you notice the disrespectful behaviour of your friend, you need to set and define some boundaries. Let them know what is and what is not tolerated in your friendship. Be firm in your approach and stand your ground. 
  3. Take a break from your friendship. When things get a little too much to handle, take a step back to reflect and work on your issues. Let your friend know that you need a break and be clear in your intentions. 
  4. Seek professional support. Dealing with toxic friends can be challenging and emotionally draining. You can reach out to your other friends or family to seek theri support. Alternatively, professional help and therapy can guide you better. Find yourself an inner circle of people who uplift and motivate you.
  5. Allow them some time to make amends. State your concerns, let them know how you want them to change their behaviour, and give them some time to adapt to it. Give them another chance to act upon the entire thing and be a better version of themselves. 
  6. Call it quits. You certainly never wanted this to happen to your friendship, but it is better to get rid of a disrespectful friend than to be burdened by the forced relationship.  Prioritize your mental health and happiness even if that means dumping disrespectful friends. End the friendship with empathy and kind words. 

It is crucial to befriend people who believe in you and respect you. However, if you notice any of these signs in your friend, then you need to make new friends who value you. Remember, true friendship is built on mutual respect, empathy, and kindness. 


1. Should you respect someone who doesn’t respect you?

Just because someone is disrespectful doesn’t mean you give them a tit-for-tat. You can let the person know how hurtful their behaviour has been and limit your interaction with them, without inflicting similar pain on them. 

When should you dump a friend?

There is no timeline for dumping disrespectful friends. You can walk away from them as and when you deem fit. If it meddles with your sanity and happiness, you are free to take a call and bid them adieu.