12 signs your friend doesn’t respect you much at all (and it’s time to ‘defriend’ them)

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We’ve all got that one friend who we love but who sometimes just seems… a bit off.

Ever get the feeling they don’t really like you, or that you’re never a priority to them?

You might start to notice a few different behavioral habits that leave you questioning whether or not you’re actually friends, which is a pretty rubbish way to feel about someone you love!

If you’re wondering if your friend doesn’t respect you, we’ve got a few signs you can look out for…

1. You always do what they want.

If you’re someone who’s pretty laid back, it might not feel like an issue that your friend is the one calling all the shots.

Sometimes it’s nice to have someone make decisions for you, especially if you’re not that fussy.

However, if your friend is making the decisions all the time and not listening to your input, there’s a chance they don’t have much respect for you.

Friendships should be balanced, and you should feel comfortable expressing what you want/need from each other, within reason, of course!

You can go with the flow and do things they enjoy, but a sign of respect within a friendship is ensuring it’s a two-way street and things work for you both equally.

2. They dismiss your feelings.

Some friends just don’t respect how you really feel. They might tell you that your feelings in general are silly or unnecessary, or they might make you feel like you’re ‘too dramatic’ or making a big deal of small things for no reason.

Equally, they might tell you that your feelings around their actions are invalid. They’ll do this because they don’t want it pointed out to them that they’re in the wrong at all.

3. They’re jealous of your success.

It’s normal to be a little bit envious of others’ success, but only to a degree. Even if they are living the life you wish you had for yourself (they got a new boyfriend/girlfriend/promotion, etc.), you would be supportive of your friends and happy for them.

You can feel a bit down and a bit jealous in private, but you should respect and love your friends enough that you can celebrate with them and praise them for their successes!

A big sign your friend doesn’t respect you very much is that they won’t be able to celebrate with you – because they’ll be too busy being very envious of you.

4. They knowingly upset you.

We’ve all upset our loved ones at some point – it’s part of being human! However, if your friend goes out of their way to make you feel bad, or is aware of how they make you feel and carries on anyway, they don’t respect you enough.

True friendship involves caring about each other and wanting the best for each other (even if there are a few blips at times!), so anyone who can’t see that or hurts you intentionally is not a good friend and doesn’t have respect for you.

5. Everything is on their terms.

You only ever seem to hang out at places they want to go to, and they’re the ones choosing when you spend time together.

You hang out when they’re free and you’re often left hanging when they find something better to do.

It might start to feel like you’re only their friend when it’s convenient for them, and like they don’t respect or value you very much. This is probably because they don’t…

6. They belittle you in public.

Being belittled is just how it sounds – ‘be-little’ – it’s about making you feel small and inferior.

Belittling can look like someone dismissing your opinions, all the way through to humiliating you and putting you down, often in public.

If your friend makes you feel silly or small in front of other people, it’s a sign they don’t respect you. They wouldn’t do this if they did!

They may be trying to make you look stupid or inferior because of their own insecurities, but it’s unfair on you and you deserve much better than being treated this way.

7. They break their promises to you.

We’ve all bailed on stuff or made mistakes that have hurt people we love, but they tend to be one-offs.

If you’re starting to realize that your friend consistently lets you down or breaks promises that they’ve made to you, they’re not a great friend.

Of course, this is okay if there are valid reasons, but if it’s becoming a habit and they don’t show remorse or make an effort to change, it’s unlikely that they hold much respect for you.

8. They’re rude about your life choices.

Most of us have watched a friend make choices that we don’t 100% agree with, but we’ll show up and support them either way.

If your friend is being critical of choices you make in life, they aren’t showing you the respect you deserve.

They might belittle your new job and tell you that it’s not that great or you should start in a lower position as you’re not great at what you do.

They might tell you how awful your partner is and how they don’t like them.

Whatever it is, if your friend tries to make you feel bad about decisions you make, they’re not a great friend.

They should respect you enough to support your decisions, and understand that you’re doing what you feel is right for you.

Sure, they can step in if you need advice or if you’re making choices that aren’t healthy or safe – but they should also trust you and love you enough to be there to support the choices you make in life. 

9. They’re mean behind your back.

This is such a rubbish one, as I’m sure everyone has been through something similar with a friend at some point…

You find out that a friend has been talking badly about you, is spreading rumors about you, or is complaining about you to other people who know you.

Now, we all need to vent at some point, however much we love our friends! But we normally choose to do this with someone who is outside that specific friendship group, because it’s not fair to make someone feel uncomfortable about their own friendship with the person being talked about!

If you feel like this friend is going too far and genuinely being mean about you, rather than just letting off a little steam every now and then, they really don’t respect you and you deserve better.

10. They never reach out.

You might feel like you’re the one to check in with your friend. Maybe you’ve heard they’re having a hard time and want to make sure they’re okay. Maybe you haven’t seen them for a while and want to reach out and suggest hanging out soon.

Either way, it’s always coming from you – and they never seem to do the same thing for you.

It’s upsetting to feel like you care about someone more than they care about you. It can feel as though they don’t really see the true value in your friendship, and as though they don’t really care about or respect you very much.

11. They guilt-trip you.

If your friend tries to emotionally manipulate you into things, it’s a sign they don’t respect you and your feelings.

Friends should take each other’s emotions into account and act accordingly (to a healthy extent, of course) and being guilt-tripped into something is a clear sign that that is not what is happening.

If you feel like you’re pushed into decisions you don’t really agree with, your friend has no respect for you and clearly doesn’t care enough to take your true feelings on-board or moderate their actions to be more compassionate toward you.

12. They have no concept of boundaries – or commitment.

They’re either way too demanding of you and don’t respect that you have your own life outside the friendship – or they can’t understand that you have some boundaries when it comes to friendships.

They might take it personally and not respect that you need time alone, or that you aren’t always available to spend time with them.

They might pick you up and drop you, and not understand that you want a friend who is committed to you in some way.

Friends should be loyal and dependable, and they might not understand that you need that from them, or might not be willing to provide it when it doesn’t suit them.

Either way, they just don’t respect that you are… a human being!


Sadly, most of us will go through a ‘weird phase’ with a friend where we feel a bit neglected and disrespected.

It might feel like our friends don’t really value us or want to spend time with us. Or it might go the other way and we may feel smothered by a friend who can’t understand that we have boundaries and need some space every so often.

Either way, we’ll all go through feeling like a friend doesn’t respect us very much – it’s totally normal, it sucks, but it’s often just a phase.

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About The Author

Lucy is a travel and wellness writer currently based in Gili Air, a tiny Indonesian island. After over a year of traveling, she’s settled in paradise and spends her days wandering around barefoot, practicing yoga and exploring new ways to work on her wellbeing.