10/13/2014 11:32 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Could You Be A Bitch And Not Know It?

Justin Horrocks via Getty Images

Chances are you either know one or are one … which is why Dr. Phil is talking about bitches! Some women may think that freely speaking their mind and having an over-the-top attitude benefits them (they’re probably wrong), while others simply may not realize the vibe they’re giving off. Time for a reality check! Ask yourself these questions and take a close look at your behavior. Are you leaving the wrong impression?

  • Do you say "please" and "thank you" with sincerity?
  • When you're in social situations, do you introduce yourself to others, or do you wait for them to introduce themselves to you?
  • Do you think it’s OK for you to always freely speak your mind, and make it a policy not to take crap from anyone?
  • Do you think it's important to make the first step in being kind to someone, or does someone have to be kind to you first?
  • How are you at making small talk? Does it pain you to make flattering comments to your acquaintances? Would you rather skip the niceties and cut to the chase?
  • Is being “right” more important to you than developing personal bonds with the people in your life? Even if you're wrong about something, do you defend your position to the death?
  • When you walk down the street, do you force people to yield, or do you step aside and allow pedestrians to pass?
  • When you walk around town, do people smile and call you by name? Or do they shrink and appear to retreat in your presence?
  • Have you ever hung up on someone? How recently and how often?
  • When you're in your car and someone attempts to enter your lane, do you smile and signal them to proceed? Or do you give them the one-finger salute?
  • When you need something from somebody, do you issue a command or ask politely?
  • Do you talk disparagingly about people when they are not around? When they are around?
  • Are you prone to making threats? Do you threaten low-level service employees with calling their manager? If someone does you a disservice, do you lord the possibility of consequences over his or her head?
  • Is making friends easy to do, or do you struggle to keep the only one you have?
  • Do you show affection easily, or do you keep even your loved ones at an arm's length?
  • Do you think you look better than others? Do you make snide remarks about people who you feel are less attractive than you are?
  • Do you cut people off when they're talking, or ignore any input they may have?
  • Are you constantly making sarcastic and negative remarks? When you enter a room, do you instantly bring down the jovial mood? Do you always see things in a pessimistic light?
  • Would people typically describe you as rude, disrespectful and nasty?
  • Do people cower in your presence? Do people fear making you angry?
  • Do you look forward to confrontation? Do you egg people on just to start some drama? Is it always all about you?
  • Is screaming the only form of communication you use with your loved ones?
  • How much fun are you to live with? Are you constantly complaining or pointing out someone else’s flaws?
  • When you are forced to wait, are you at your wit’s end and let everyone know it?
  • Do you bear a grudge from long ago and now live with a “get them before they get me” mindset?

After honestly answering the questions above, consider Dr. Phil’s advice. “I’ve always believed that you command respect; you don’t demand it,” he says. “Because if you demand things from people, what you get is the minimum.”

If you’re scaring people away from you, keep in mind that you need other people in order to truly thrive. “I have never seen a person who I consider to be a real success, a real winner, who was a lone ranger,” says Dr. Phil.

He adds, “There’s a difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness. If you are assertive, that’s behavior that protects your rights without infringing on the rights of someone else. If you’re aggressive, you protect your rights and think, ‘To hell with who it hurts!’”

For example, someone who’s assertive might say, “You’re not going to walk on me or take advantage of me, but I’m still going to treat you with dignity and respect.” While an aggressive person thinks, “I don’t care how I treat you. I want what I want when I want it, and I want it now.”

He concludes: “Changing your attitude can absolutely change your life. The most important relationship you’ll ever have in life is the one you have with yourself. If you have a high opinion of yourself and trust yourself, you wouldn’t feel the need to act like a bitch.”

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