It's almost impossible to know someone's true character, just because there's so many layers to a person. Everyone is a complex person, and sometimes what's seen on the surface is not accurate to their character. Sometimes, there can be a part of person no one likes.
People on Quora who lost respect for someone else share the reasons why. Content has been edited for clarity.
"I dated a guy who was by all accounts 'dreamy.' Tall, handsome, well-groomed, solid career, well-paid, never married, no children, commonly spoken favorably of, you name it. He opened doors, listened, bought me flowers 'just because,' was proactive in planning our dates and did everything women complain most men don’t.
One evening, we had planned to have dinner at 8 pm at a restaurant I really liked in his neighborhood. Around 7:45pm, he called to say that his sister had needed him to pick her son (his 8 year old nephew) up from school at 6 pm, because something had come up at work. She’d told him she would be there around 7 pm, but it was now approaching 7:45pm, and 'he's still here.' I remember the tone he said it in, and thinking it sounded oddly dismissive of a child, especially one’s own nephew.
I told him no big deal, and I would head out over his way. I was thinking she probably wouldn’t be much longer. I pulled up to the restaurant a little after 8 and called to check if he was there yet. He said he was still home, and I should just come upstairs and wait with him. Okay, I thought. No big deal. I hadn’t met anyone in his family, so thought it would be interesting.
When I walked in, the child was sitting on the couch with his book bag laying next to his feet. He appeared to have been sitting there for some time, but stood up and greeted me very mannerly when I entered. I smiled broadly at him, and made small talk appropriate for an 8 yr old. He was strangely cautious, speaking low, and looking towards his uncle before most responses. Not uncommon for children to be raised to wait for adults permission to talk, so again, I didn’t dwell on it.
I asked what he’d done for homework, and he said 'I have to do math and science.'
I was surprised, and asked him, 'You haven’t done your homework yet?'
He quietly said no. I looked over at my beau, but he said nothing. He came over and sat next to me, ignoring the topic and asking about my day. He apologized again about 'this,' and went over to the fridge asking me if I wanted a snack or something to hold me until we could go. His kitchen was full of food; a left over 1/2 rotisserie chicken in the frig, cold cuts, breads, fruit, etc. He happened to step into the bedroom right when I asked the child if he’d eaten. He said no. I asked him if he was hungry and he nodded yes, again, cautiously. I jumped up and told him to follow me into the kitchen.
It then occurred to me he might have some allergies so I better check with my beau. I went to ask him, and after asking why I wanted to know, his tone became slightly contemptuous and he said 'He can eat when he gets home.'
I mentioned it was after 8pm and the child was hungry and probably had not eaten since lunch time. I walked back into the kitchen and could see nervousness in the child's face. I became unsettled.
I asked him if he wanted a turkey sandwich and he nodded, saying 'Yes please.'
My beau walked into the kitchen and I could see the child became tense.
My beau said very harshly to him, 'Your mother can buy you something to eat on your way home,' and waved him back over to the couch.
Speechless. Disbelief. I was shaking. What the heck?
My beau looked at me with an expression on his face that suggested he believed his behavior was warranted by his annoyance with his sister. There was a moment where I could see he assumed I sympathized with him. This was even more horrifying. How did I miss this part of him?
In that same moment, I instantly lost all attraction and interest in him.
I made the child and myself a sandwich, and sat with him while we ate. I asked if I could see his homework and we went over it together. He was so excited about this project on ocean conservation his class was working on. His mother arrived and apologized profusely. She seemed like she had a rough day, and I tried to lighten her load by expressing how impressed I was with her son. He smiled and lit up at the sight of his mother and the whole time, my beau acted as if he was ‘uncle of the year’. I was disgusted to the point of nausea. I could not believe he would treat a child, and his own nephew at that, like that. All the merits of this man evaporated in an instant.
Left shortly after his sister & nephew did, cancelling our dinner date on the grounds that 'I really should get to bed early' that night.
A couple days later, I told him my workload had exploded and I would be unavailable for some time, effectively un-beau-ing him. He kept calling and every time I saw his number pop up on my phone, I thought about that child.
Considered telling him that his conduct towards his 8 year old nephew repelled me, but didn’t want to risk any backlash toward the child."
"I'm still exasperated by what this person said to me. I'll never understand it.
She was beautiful, smart, and one of the nicest people I had ever met. Until she said this, and never again could I call her these things.
I was riding the bus with her. Let's call her 'Heather.' Heather and I had known each other for a long time. Oddly we were friends, she was a very popular girl. A cheerleader. She was later nominated for homecoming queen. And I of course was an odd, dorky, insecure nerd before it became the norm for media.
It was the first year of high school. One of my best friends, let's call her 'Mary,' had started dating a guy. I thought it was so great. Mary found someone who adored her, and she him. In fact they are still together to this day, about six years later.
Heather mentioned Mary that day on the bus. I said I was so happy for them, and I thought they were great together. Heather said that she didn't think Mary was 'like that'. And she said she wasn't sure she wanted to associate with her anymore.
Okay, I thought. That's a little strange. Heather had a boyfriend, so she couldn't be talking about how it was off that my friend had a boyfriend now. Was there a rumor that they had had made love already? (Yes this would have been news, I mean we were 14 after all) What could it possibly be?
I racked my brain trying to figure out what Heather's problem was. She could see the gears turning in my head, but not quite clicking. She started to look embarrassed, and started fidgeting.
'It's just that I don't agree with it. It's not right, and Mary will understand that one day. And if she doesn't, then she doesn't truly understand how the world should work. And I don't want to be around someone like that. Things are meant to be a certain way, and that is not what nature says. It's disgusting and she's better than that.'
Heather said these words to me, and then it clicked.
You see, Mary's boyfriend was black.
I was in complete shock that Heather said that. This girl, this sweet, sweet girl, was a blatant bigot, and she didn’t even realize it.
'I don’t have a problem with them,' she said as she tried to make it not seem so bad. 'It is just not what happens in nature.'
Not so bad. Like anything could have made what she said any better. But this only made it worse. I was sick to my stomach.
I was hurt, saddened, and I lost hope for society that day. Heather displayed the prejudice that represented the Southern, conservative town that I grew up in. I was in shock. I had never heard such a blatantly ignorant remark before.
I looked at her and tried to keep my composure. I told her that no, red birds and blue birds don’t mix. But this is because they are two different kinds of animals. A red bird that happens to have spots does not discriminate against a red bird without spots. We are all the same species regardless of what location our ancestors are from. Heather seemed to take my words in, but the damage already was done.
I lose respect for someone instantly when they reveal themselves to be a bigot. It can be gained back if they abandon this way of thinking, and pursue true acceptance and equality. But a lot of irreparable damage is already done."
"I used to work downtown near where many homeless folks would hang out.
One extremely cold winter day, an elderly lady wandered into the lobby where I work. I could tell by looking at her she had to be at least 80 years old. I watched her slowly make her way to a bench in our lobby. She said nothing and she asked for nothing. She was wearing a heavy, but very dirty coat. She had her hood up and tightened her scarf around her neck and rubbed her hands together for warmth. I looked at her and felt compelled to do something. I knew we kept coffee and some snacks in our kitchen, so I went in there and brought her a hot cup of coffee and handed her a few snacks.
As I was doing this, I turned to see a few of my co-workers giving me a look of disapproval. I said nothing. Her eyes lit up when I handed her a hot cup of coffee and told me that she just came in and only planned to stay a few minutes.
'I just need a few more minutes to warm my hands before going back into the cold,' she said.
I told her to stay as long as she needed. I returned to my desk and began my day’s work. A few minutes later, the little old lady got up and thanked me again for the coffee and snacks. We shared a smile together. I never saw her again after that day.
The next day my boss, known for being a witch heard what I had done and said to me, 'Don’t you ever give food, water, coffee or anything to any homeless person! They are like cats! They will keep coming back! Do you want that?!'
To which I replied, 'When I saw her, I didn’t see a homeless person. I saw my mother, your mother, somebody’s mother…that could be me one day. And if that happens, I would hope they would give me a cup of coffee on a cold winter’s morning.'
After that incident, I lost all respect for my boss. I could not respect anyone that would be so insensitive to people less fortunate."
"When my daughter was quite young, in early grade school, she had befriended a little girl I shall call 'A.' Inevitably my daughter wanted A, to come home after school and play. Sure! A, let’s call your mom and make sure she is okay, and exchange addresses, etc.
Next thing I know A is ringing my doorbell, I open to see a woman speeding off. No call? No phone number? Nothing, just a little girl. I invited her in, and asked what happened to contact with her mom?
A said 'My mom said yes, and she has missionary work.'
Seemingly it’s customary to meet the parents of the kid you just dumped? The girls played, I never heard a word from her mom. Finally around 8 p.m., I asked A when her mom was coming back. A called her mom over and over, leaving messages. Sending her texts. No response. I didn’t quite know how to process what was happening, but assumed mom was simply tied up with her 'missionary' work. I gave A a bath, washed her hair, put her in some PJ’s and sat down to power call her mom till she answered.
Around 10 p.m., her mom picked up. 'Oh, I was in Mexico, missionary work. I will pick her up in the morning.'
What the heck! No apology no introduction? I had work in the a.m. This was a huge deal. (As a frame of reference we lived 30 miles from the border)
Morning comes, no Mom. Mind you I work, Mom is jobless. I gave A some clothes, packed her a lunch and sent her to school with my daughter. She seemed unfazed.
A was picked up at school by her mom. All was well. Next day my doorbell rang again; there is A at my door with a younger sibling I will call 'the baby.' I only see a mess of blond hair speeding away. As a parent it’s difficult to turn away kids, but something was terribly wrong - I just couldn’t figure out what or why. Mind you I have not met this woman!
Well, the baby was a couple of years younger, and super needy, whining, crying, complaining. I instantly start calling the mom, no answer. I asked the girls what was going on in the home and how was it possible mom could simply deposit them on my doorstep no questions asked.
A: 'Mom is doing missionary work, she loves Jesus.'
I immediately call their mom, but she doesn’t answer. The girls ended up at my house for a WEEK! Meanwhile I’m tracking down their mom. I’m cooking, cleaning, buying clothing, bathing. The girls seem unfazed. 'The baby' is a handful. I know something is way off. I call the local police and file a missing person report. I contact the school, called child protection services. A case worker showed up and said they would look for the dad. I agreed to keep them until everything was sorted out.
Child protective services locates dad, he calls to say he is very busy. They are divorced and ask if the kids stay with me. Again… what the heck! I asked where their mom was; he said mom has a new boyfriend and they like to travel.
Three weeks later, mom was outside on the curb, honking the horn for A, and 'the baby.' As if nothing happened. I walked out, introduced myself and told her she needs to come inside so we can have a discussion. She says she is way too busy. I’m livid, I tell her I’m not giving up the kids until I have a solid explanation. I deserve one!
Mom speeds off (I kid you not) I have 0, I mean 0 respect for this nut job! No mother can simply dump off kids at total stranger's home for weeks!
Next thing I know the police are at my door. With mom! The saving grace was I knew one of the officers - he had taken the report on missing mom. Oh! And busy Dad was in tow. (guess his schedule freed up)
The mom files a police report I had kidnapped her kids! She then has the unmitigated gall to suggest I have poisoned her girls against Jesus with my Jew-like ways - and Jews killed Jesus.
Had my daughter not been at my side crying her eyes out, I may have behaved in a less than admirable fashion.
I find out some time later Mom is a very talented scam artist: strange men take her on trips, she hustles ‘em for cash, drops the kids wherever."
"Early in my career as a Texas peace officer, I worked as a deputy constable. The constable was a big guy, about 6'4" and 350 pounds. The guy was a legend in his own mind. And he was a bully. He bullied defendants on minor criminal charges ('You better find a rock to hide under, 'cause I'm coming after you!', he'd scream on the phone, and then tell the deputies to go and arrest them), and he bullied his staff.
I put up with his behavior, mostly because I didn't have a choice, but partly because he was the one to give me my first job as a peace officer, and I figured that I owed him.
I was the department administrative officer, taking care of running the office and doing the data entry. One day he came out of his office and completely unloaded on me over an incredibly minor issue. He basically called me everything but a human being. Unfortunately, he did this in front of not only the entire staff, but in front of three citizens who came into the office. I just sat there and took his abuse.
Needless to say, the other deputies blew out of the office as quickly as they could, and the citizens completed their business and departed. This left me alone with the constable.
I got up, walked into his office, jammed my finger into his chest, and said, 'Don't you EVER talk to me like that again! If I've got a butt-chewing coming I'll stand there and take it like a man. But don't ever talk to me like that in front of my coworkers or the public again, or you'll rue the day we ever met!'
I turned on my heels, and went back to my desk. I was fuming!
He left the office shortly afterward with a migraine.
He never apologized for his tirade. But he also never raised his voice at me again.
So yeah, I totally lost all respect for him. He's the only person I know whose funeral I would attend simply to make sure that good-for-nothing prick was really dead."
"I was in an Uber one night. My girlfriend and I were going to a bar to meet friends for drinks and celebrate a birthday. The guy pulls up, and my girlfriend is finishing her drink and says to him, 'Don’t worry. It’s empty.'
He smiles and says, 'Don’t worry, it’s Vegas. You’re allowed to have fun!'
We get in the car and he starts driving.
He asks us questions about ourselves- how our night is going, what our plans are, whether we’re married. We’re in a great mood, so we take it in stride. We start having a full on conversation with the guy, getting to know each other. He tells us about his smoking hot wife who he loves very much and all about his kids and the new life they’re starting.
We have great conversation for about 15 minutes before he starts talking about how many hours he’s been working, and how hard it’s been on his life at home. We feel for the guy. Driving Uber at midnight on a Saturday is not the ideal situation for anybody. Before long he’s talking about how easy his wife has it, how all she has to do is cook, do laundry, wash dishes, kick back, and enjoy the vacations. He starts talking about what God’s intentions are for man and the reasons why he made men stronger than women. He tells us how a woman could not possibly work the hours a man could, and how they’re too weak to put up with the stressful situations that men do.
There was no coming back from that sort of comment. All jovial vibes went out the window. My girlfriend and I sat there in shock, not knowing what to say. Luckily we were close to our destination so there wouldn’t be much of an opportunity to argue. Before we left, though, I made sure to mention to him that I watched my own mother work those two jobs my entire life, waking up at 6 am and not getting back until 8 or 9 at night. I told him how I never saw her shed a tear about our lifestyle, and how she provided for me every opportunity this world has to offer.
Yes, a woman was able to do all of that. Who knows if that meant anything to him. It likely went in one ear and out the other. Regardless, every ounce of respect I held for him in that moment vanished. He couldn’t be more wrong."
"This incident happened when I was in engineering. One day while in class, we got a circular saying one of the cleaning staff who cleans the restrooms is admitted in the hospital and needs to undergo a surgery. They needed about three people to donate blood, and the ones willing were supposed to report to one of the office staff at 11:00 am. My college had a total strength of 3,000 members. I thought I’d have to go at the earliest and report in order to be able to donate blood.
As soon as the class ended I went and reported. To my surprise, I was the first one. We waited for half an hour and nobody turned up. Waited long enough and realised it was 12:30 and was our lunch break. It was an emergency, and we needed to go to the hospital at the earliest. I decided to find people willing to donate blood. Trust me. I’ve asked every passing by student to come and donate blood. Nobody was willing. I got to hear varied reasons from my mother will scold me to I’m anaemic. It’s fine. I cannot force somebody and extract blood out of them.
There was this one student I asked next. Her reply stunned me. Her exact words -
'Why would I donate my blood to a toilet cleaner. Wonder what caste she is. Must definitely be some lower caste. I have better things to do. And I don’t understand why you’re so worried for her. You also go back to class and let her fate decide for her.'
This person was supposed to be a topper. She got selected in quite a few interviews and had many offer letters in her hand, which she was very proud of. Everybody was in awe of the fact that she had so many offer letters.
But I’ve absolutely no respect for her. Absolutely no respect. In fact I strongly believe investment in her education was a national waste. No matter what professional glories she achieves, I’ll never be able to respect her."
"My second pregnancy was tough on me; a few months after I had the baby my body still didn’t fully recover. One day, I asked my ex if he could look after the children while I went to the supermarket to buy baby’s milk. It was too hard for me to walk to the shops with a 3-year-old while pushing a stroller. I left the house thinking he’ll take good care of our children until I’m back.
Less than five minutes after leaving, I saw him drive past me alone. I felt this deep fear inside me and turned around. I went back home, the baby was asleep in the bedroom but my 3-year-old was nowhere to be found. I ran back outside, shouting her name and crying. I started walking down the streets when I finally saw her, she was unclothed and a middle-aged lady was holding her by the hand. She explained she saw her walking alone on the streets, I thanked her and went back inside.
I’ll never forget that day because I thought I lost my oldest child forever. I fed my baby expired milk because my body wasn’t well enough to walk to the shop to buy new milk, and I lied to the police when they asked why my daughter was running around unclothed on the streets.
My ex left the house because it was time for him to go to work, even though he’s self-employed and I told him I was going to buy milk for the baby. Why didn’t he offer to go instead if he was in such hurry to go to work? What decent man will leave his own children alone in the house and be okay with his baby drinking expired milk?
I instantly lost respect for him that day, he values work and money over his own family. I never forgave him for it."
"I met a woman while I was on vacation in Hawaii. She seemed almost too good to be true. Beautiful, intelligent, funny…plus she had left a corporate career to start a non-profit devoted to helping underprivileged children in the islands. Brilliant.
We got to know each other as friends and kept in touch for a couple of years. She relocated to Southern California, and I would see her and her daughter whenever I was in the area on business. I had expressed a romantic interest, but she wanted to remain just friends.
I invited the two of them to visit my home in Northern California many times, and one day I got a call that they were on the way. They showed up with all their belongings loaded in her Lexus SUV, and announced they had nowhere else to go. They had been evicted from her parents home. She said she was unemployed and broke. I agreed to let them stay until she figured things out.
Over the next few weeks, I began to regret that decision. Spending that much time with her allowed me to get to know her as a person, and she was a person I didn’t like very much. She was looking for a job, but only willing to accept senior level positions. When she she didn’t get them, she complained about unfairness because of her gender rather than accepting the fact she had been outside the workforce for over 5 years and would need to re-establish herself.
She was unwilling to sell her expensive car because it was 'her baby', although she could have gained enough cash to get her own place and buy a cheaper vehicle until she got back on her feet. Basically, she didn’t give me any indication she had any intention of leaving my rent-free home. She sat in my family room all day watching TV, usually Fox News, and criticizing everyone else in the world.
She clearly felt superior to most people in the world while she was unemployed and homeless and living on my kindness alone.
During that time ,she made several comments that expressed disrespect for me, my church, my race, etc. The comments were subtle, but I noticed. And I grew to resent her and her presence in my home. I had invited them for a visit, not to move in with me!
The final straw was her cat. She brought a cat to my home she liked to let outside during the day. Late one evening, she opened the door and called for the cat and it did not appear. She and her daughter went out with flashlights to look for the cat, and I had to stop them from knocking on doors to ask my neighbors, at 11 PM on a weeknight, if they had seen their stray cat.
But I felt like I had been slapped across the face when this woman who I initially admired said to me, 'I hate to ask, but would any of your neighbors steal my cat? You know, maybe they wanted to eat my cat.'
She said this as a matter of fact, not as an offensive joke. She was serious. I had no words and just stared at her.
I was stunned that any educated, intelligent person would say such a thing. I was even more shocked I had once thought so highly of this person. I knew at that moment she had to leave my home. I don’t want to be around someone like that. I worry about that child who is learning these lessons from her mother, and has no relationship with her father.
I told her the next morning they needed to leave. I gave her a couple of days, but refused to give in to her plea that they had nowhere else to go.
She stole a few things when she left, but I didn’t notice until they were gone and I haven’t heard from her since. I know I was being used, and I had to put a stop to it. But I still feel badly for the little girl. Unfortunately, her mother makes decisions for her and I can’t stop that.
It’s the only time in my life I have ever ordered someone to leave my home."
"When I was in management, one of my staff was an attractive woman in her early 20s. She was one of our most reliable employees… always on time, always courteous and friendly, and easy to train. Within six months of being hired, she went from a part-time employee to a full-time manager.
We often worked the same 10-hour shift. In the two years I worked with her, I learned a lot about her story: she was a single mother, her child’s father, who got her pregnant when she was just 15, causing her to dropout of high school, was abusive and was in prison for both beating her and for different crimes. She was living with her mother, putting her life back together.
She was doing a really good job of putting her life back together too. I wasn’t that much older than her, but I was married and had one child at that point, and I felt a kind of fatherly pride for her. I was glad she was overcoming her past. I was excited for her to put all of that behind her. She was even starting to date again, which was a big step for her.
Then her ex-boyfriend/baby daddy got paroled.
She was not legally bound to him at all. They were never married. He had no rights to their child. She’d cut him out of her life for years while he was in prison, and could have kept him out of her life for good. Instead, she gave him another chance. She and their child moved in with him (her mother refused to let him stay in her place).
That’s when I lost all respect for her.
It wasn’t long at all before her work habits changed. She started coming in late, calling off, having to leave early, etc…
When she lived with her mother, her mother took care of the kid during the day. Her baby’s father, who couldn’t get a job because of the felony record, was supposed to take care of their kid during the day when they lived together, but, instead, he complained about having to watch his own child. He would call her at work and demand that she 'come home and take care of her kid,' even though he had nothing else to do.
Then she came to work with sunglasses and heavy make-up on one day, but nothing she did was going to hide the black eye he gave her.
That happened at least three more times while I still worked there.
The downward spiral continued for her for about six more months before I took a new job and never saw her again. I know she had a lot of people who were trying to help her. She could easily have gotten out of that abusive relationship. She had gotten out of it, only to go back to it.
I hope everything worked out for her and her kid.
To be honest, once she went back to her abusive ex, I was more concerned for her kid than for her. Not that I didn’t care about her too, but she made that choice, not the kid."