Social Question

Hibernate's avatar

Why do some show a clear disrespect for everyone around them ?

Asked by Hibernate (9058points) July 15th, 2011

First things first: this has nothing to do with Fluther. I managed to get the idea for this question observing a few people and paying attention to what they were discussing. In this particular situation two of them were really rude.
I believe people show disrespect toward others a lot. Why does one feel the need to constantly do it?

Discuss please.

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27 Answers

abysmalbeauty's avatar

Some people do not have the same social filter as others in the same social setting as them and do not realize they are being disrespectful. My boyfriend was born in another country and grew up in a completely different culture. Sometimes hes just downright rude without even realizing it because where he is from its not considered rude.

Other people are just jerks and don’t care.

woodcutter's avatar

Shit Happens.There are people who believe passionately about things and they are sensitive about them therefore making them get their backs up. Some questions, I believe, are asked for just that reason. It’s easy to call names while on line when in real life they would probably behave better.

woodcutter's avatar

@abysmalbeauty Your boyfriend wouldn’t be Egyptian would he?

tom_g's avatar

It completely depends on the situation, and it’s difficult to answer such a broad question. However, I am reminded that there are situations in which 2 people can appear to be treating each other with disrespect, but completely respect each other. I have friends who I can argue with to the point it almost comes to blows (well, at least when we were younger). The entire exercise was intellectual, and we knew we could feel safe engaging in such an argument because we respected each other to the core. Sometimes, we would be aggressively supporting a position that we didn’t particularly believe just to play it out and see where it goes.

Of course, I suppose you aren’t discussing freak relationships like my friend and I. You are probably referring to acquaintances treating each other as though their ideas and beliefs are crap. That, is a tricky thing.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

@woodcutter no hes Cape Verdean

woodcutter's avatar

@abysmalbeauty I was just curious. Our new family doc. is Egyptian and he’s sort of a tool.

marinelife's avatar

People have become very me-oriented during this time of social media. They think that their lives and selves are more important than others.

It leads to disrespect.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

@woodcutter Its quite likely hes just a tool…. but it could be the culture I suppose :)

abysmalbeauty's avatar

New theory….

Kids are not beat nearly as much as they were in the days of old thus allowing them (them being us since I’m one of those non beaten children) to be more twerp-like during adolescence translating over to pure lack of respect for others in adulthood.

woodcutter's avatar

I think it’s the culture. He recommended a specialist for my wife to see and this guy was from Lebanon…also a tool.

whitenoise's avatar


Are you implying that people from Sweden and Denmark are less respectful than for instance people from Morocco, Egypt, or the US?

flutherother's avatar

People who have respect for themselves find it easier to show respect for others.

intrepidium's avatar

I’m thinking disrespect might mean different things to different people too. For me at least, someone who gets over-familiar too soon [being over presumptuous or trying to be humorous by poking fun at me when they don’t know me] would be considered disrespectful, even if they might seem polite while doing so. Beyond the cultural aspect, I guess some people may not have as keen a sense of social boundaries as others…

Now thinking on it, I still feel rather miffed and disrespected by the behavior of a fellow dinner party guest [I posted about this a week or so ago] who felt at liberty to spin wild tales all night long about being genetically modified at birth etc. Maybe it’s just me but I found that disrespectful (even though it wasn’t directed at me specifically) because she showed disregard for other guests’ space to mingle and share about themselves – we were literally stuck at the dinner table having to listen to her hogging the conversation and she was rather loud and dramatic. Not only were we forced to be polite in that context but we were also dead tired when she finally finished around 3am!

abysmalbeauty's avatar

@whitenoise absolutely not! I’m suggesting that people from different cultures may find each others behaviors disrespectful, irregardless of where they come from.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Usually, in my experience, this sort of arrogance has one of two sources: either a supposed superiority over other people, or it is an overcompensation for feelings of inferiority. Sometimes it’s very difficult to tell the difference.

dogkittycat's avatar

Some believe their view is the only true, correct or important one. My one boyfriend came from an extremely loud, strong willed family. He couldn’t stand being proved wrong, his opinion was the only opinion. He snapped a lot and had dangerous driving habits,(he would speed on wooded bend when raining) needless to say when we almost went off the road into the lovely pine trees I yelled at him because he never listened. He then said he didn’t need a backseat driver, I pointed out I was in the front and he almost killed us. He refused to believe he did anything wrong and wanted me to apologize. That’s just the way some people are, they can’t admit a fault on their part so they try to tear the person whose opinion differs from theirs apart. If people are arrogant and believe they are right, it can turn into a blood bath. And they make arsses out of themselves to everyone else around them.

snowberry's avatar

@dogkittycat sounds like he’s not your favorite person anymore…

MilkyWay's avatar

Because they think they’re always right.

whitenoise's avatar


Well I was actually offering to your new theory:
New theory….
Kids are not beat nearly as much as they were in the days of old thus allowing them (them being us since I’m one of those non beaten children) to be more twerp-like during adolescence translating over to pure lack of respect for others in adulthood.

If that were true then the Danish and the Swedes should be really rude people since The far majority of them don’t hit their children there, at all. Ever.

filmfann's avatar

Wow. You guys are all full of shit.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

@whitenoise You may have a point, I don’t know that I have ever met a Dane or Swede to test that theory. And for the record, i’m one of the least disrespectful people I know :).... I think

But if we were to debate the theory we would also have to consider variables such as the other methods employed to teach manners and whatnot

CaptainHarley's avatar


Actually, we’ve always thought that about YOU! Mwahahahaha! : ))

linguaphile's avatar

@whitenoise Danes and Swedes don’t spank their kids, but they are very, very good at the cold, silent treatment. There’s another thread for that discussion already.

For the 18 and unders… I really, honestly think the Nick and Disney channels have a lot to do with it. A vast majority of their shows portray adults as total idiots, kids talk back to adults and it’s funny, the ‘mean girl’ is a main character and rarely gets repercussions for her actions, the show revolves around characters treating each other with disrespect, and it’s humorous. I LOVE Disney, but really am disgusted with the path they took with these shows. I’m even more shocked that parents just blindly trust Disney to know what to put on family TV.

If you haven’t watched Disney or Nick lately… check it out. Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, Suite Life, A Pair of Kings, iCarly—all have that mean girl/dumb adult/dumb friend/tolerant person formula.

Sher_King's avatar

Disrepsect comes in different shapes and forms. Everyone has their own definition of what is in relation to them. But i keep in mind that the minute i feel threatened, thats enough for me to walk away.

Hibernate's avatar

@linguaphile there are tv channels that have good old cartoons and offer nice old tv shows like “The Cosby Show” where a kid can learn a lot about how they need to act around the parents.

Sinqer's avatar

I would require your definition or idea of disrespect/respect. It has taken on a very fuzzy subjective meaning in the last twenty years or so.
I only have one clear understanding of the concept, the same I was raised with (and not hit by my parents if that somewhere factors into to something). Disrespect was the ignoring of some truth about the subject one was acting in respect to (i.e. serving a bowl of dog food to a human being would be disrespectful of the fact that the subject is a human being). I have asked more people than I care to count what they mean by respect, and only one has offered a reasonably definitive concept. He is a psychology/philosophy PHD friend of mine.

From what I have gathered, it appears to me that most define respect as being treated as desired. And I don’t think it can get anymore subjective than that.

To answer your question based on my educated guess as to what you mean by disrespect, I would guess: lack of consequences (be it punishment by a parent during early years or immediate negative response to the act), too many laws restricting public disapproval (no hate speech or confronting the disrespectful by telling them to shut the F up when being loud enough to intrude on others), lack of consideration of those they are being disrespectful to, and/or willingness to shoulder the responsibility for their disrespectful actions (usually because the consequences are minor or nil).

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