Giving someone a dirty look: by that I mean the kind of look that stops people in their tracks when they’re doing something or saying something disrespectful to you.
Dirty looks are a natural response to being disrespected
Lately, I’ve been noticing people allowing themselves to be diminished or invalidated – meaning walked on like a doormat – by others.
I find that upsetting.
Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile.
The trouble is, when you let someone get away with treating you that way once, they do it over and over again.
It’s so easily handled when you know how to throw a dirty look effectively. Dirty looks require practice, good timing and the willingness to back up your look with strong words, if necessary.
Really effective dirty looks require no words at all because people recognize their error and back down. Isn’t that how it works when someone throws you a dirty look?
- a feeling or attitude of admiration and deference toward somebody or something
- to pay attention to and refrain from violating something
- to show consideration or thoughtfulness in relation to somebody or something
- to value, have reverence for or hold a high opinion of
- to admire
Removing people from my life who are disrespectful to me has been one of the most difficult and most rewarding habits I’ve taken on in my quest to “Stay Young – from the Inside Out”. It takes something to stand up to people.
Habit #38: Say NO, when you mean NO.
Here’s an example of being disrespected from dumbemployed.com
“At work today, I was watering the office plants when I looked inside the dirt pot. I found a key ring, a piece of gum, an empty Mountain Dew bottle and a business card inside. It was my business card. I’m dumbemployed.”
How is respect earned?
Consider the following list for examples of how respect is earned.
- vanquishing foes
- losing bravely
- getting the job done well
- overcoming the odds
- doing your best
- being responsible for putting your best foot forward
- fighting for what you believe in
- NOT tolerating being dishonored or shamed
Are you disrespecting yourself?
Do you make promises that you fail to keep? Do you say you’ll do something and then fail to perform – no show or accidentally forget? You reap what you sow.
Start with yourself. Where’s your pride? Self-respect is honoring to yourself and to the people around you. If you want respect, be the person “we can set a clock by”.
Introducing the Experts
Here’s the good news and the bad news. The good news is that it’s not hard to set good boundaries. The bad news is the responsibility for setting boundaries rests entirely with you. No one is going to do it for you.
When you respect yourself, other people will respect you too. When you stand up for yourself, other people will stand up for you too.
More bad news – like attracts like – if you disrespect others, others will disrespect you too. Hey, what goes around, comes around.
Not sure what to do when someone is being disrespectful?
Practice setting and maintaining good boundaries.
Every person in the world has a version of a dirty look. Discover your own. When it works beautifully – you won’t have to say a word.
It’s not a special trick. In fact, you already know how to throw effective dirty looks. Some of you have just forgotten how to do it. I brought in a team of experts (the kids in the images on this page) to demonstrate and help you remember how to throw effective dirty looks.
When I feel respected, I’m able to let my guard down.
I notice who’s around when I feel the need to keep my guard up and where I feel comfortable taking it down. That might sound strange to you, but I’ve only recently learned to recognize that I had an option.
Try it! You’ll be happier. Everyone will know where they stand with you. You’ll feel more balanced, more solid, more grounded.
What you believe about yourself shows up on your face. Make sure yours is communicating the right message at the right time.
Be respectful to people. Life works better that way. No Respect. No Yo-Yo.
How have you been standing up for yourself lately?
Interrupt the pattern, change the game.
Yes, today is a great day to start standing up for yourself. Take on that task or conversation you’ve been putting off.
Life is short. Get on with it.