9 Subtle Signs Your Parents Don't Respect You

by Carina Wolff

Everyone wants a good relationship with their parents, but it can be difficult when you grow older and feel like your mom and dad still treat you like a helpless child. If you have a hard time communicating with them, you may want to look out for some signs your parents don't respect you enough. Although there may not be an easy solution, acknowledging that your parents view you a certain way can help you manage your interactions moving forward — and you may even be able to work with them to remedy the problem.

"Many times, dealing with disrespectful parents make us feel like children all over again," says therapist Ana M. Aluisy, MA, LMHC, LMFT over email. "We may say or do things that reflect a younger stage of our life when confronted with disrespect from parent, no matter how old we are. We commonly see parents as authority figures, and it can be difficult to stand up to any kinds of authority, specially parents who can bring out our deepest vulnerabilities."

Relationships can be mended, but it's good to understand what's going on between you and your parents so you can take the proper steps to fix it. Here are nine subtle signs that your parents don't respect you enough.


They Show Up Unannounced


They may be family, but just because you're related doesn't mean they can come and go in your personal space as they please. Showing up unannounced even after you ask them to call you first is a sign that don't respect your wishes. "Disrespectful parents are resisting of boundaries set by their children because they believe that they have that right to do as they please because they're the parents," says Aluisy.


They Constantly Criticize You


Your parents no doubt want you to be the best version of yourself, but there's a difference between giving you guidance and advice and putting you down. "Disrespectful parents constantly criticize you and compare you with others who are not facing the same circumstances," says Aluisy. "This criticizing and comparing undervalues your struggles and will provably lead to you feeling worst."


And They Do It In Front Of Others


Parents who don't respect you will criticize you and bring out your dirty laundry out in front of others. "It's one thing that they do it to you, but when they do it in front of other people, they're disrespecting you to the world and showing others that they can treat you the same way," says Aluisy.


They Talk About You Behind Your Back


A parent who doesn't respect you won't hold back on what they have to say when you aren't around, even to people close to you. "They might talk to your friends or partner behind your back in a negative light," says Aluisy. "This sets a precedence to talk behind your back, in addition giving your friend or partner information that can be used against you during arguments."


They Talk Over You


In conversations or discussions your voice, is frequently dismissed. "You get that 'You don’t know what you’re talking about' feeling in their responses," says psychotherapist Judi Cinéas over email. "They may even attempt to explain what you mean to others using their own words to convey what they thought you should have said."


They Don't Acknowledge Your Accomplishments


Your parents are likely going to point out some parts of you they would like you to improve, but a parent who truly disrespects you will do this and ignore your positive traits. "They do not prize your accomplishments or acknowledge what's going well," says psychologist Helen Odessky over email. "If they do not congratulate you on meaningful stages in your life or your accomplishments, they may not respect you."


They Undermine Your Decisions


"A more subtle sign is the undermining or worse cases complete disregard for your choices and decisions," says Cinéas. "This can be a sign of a lack of confidence in your own ability to make your own decisions."


They Interfere In Your Life


A disrespectful parent does more than just the overbearing mom who watches your biological clock and wants to set you up with everyone. "This level of meddling interferes with any aspect of your life, including relationships and jobs, where they may feel within their rights to speak to you and others involved any way they see fit sometimes make decisions or demands that can be costly to you," says Cinéas.


They Use "Yes, But" Frequently


If all your parents sentences are followed by "but," they may not be giving you the respect you deserve. "For example, they might say, 'You look good, but if you did something about your fashion sense, you'd look even better,'" says Odessky. "This is another form of criticism."