For example if you are in a relationship. The man tells you to update him or tell him everytime you leave the house and go home. Yet he doesn't do it. He doesn't update. He expects you to do the things he want yet he doesn't do it. Is that hypocricy?? Thanks:)

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    It's spelled: hypocrisy and I doubt you'd find a better answer than that. You could describe the man's behaviour as being possessive and disrespectful, too.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 9, 2016 at 6:11
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    also, what do you mean by can't do it. Is it out of their abilities or they don't want to do it? Jun 9, 2016 at 6:34
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    A manager. No, seriously. Jun 9, 2016 at 6:55
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    Do you want a word that could apply to a wheelchair-bound person who asks you to get something from a high shelf? Or are you specifically looking for a term that implies the person in question is acting as they do through choice rather than necessity?
    – user867
    Jun 9, 2016 at 7:13
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    Not really: the word "coach" comes to mind immediately. Jun 9, 2016 at 14:02

3 Answers 3


Is that hypocricy??

That is hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy noun (pl.hypocrisies) [ mass noun ]

The practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case.

His target was the hypocrisy of suburban life.

She was irritated to be accused of hypocrisy.

Oxford Dictionary of English

What do you call a person who tells you to do something but they can't do it?

A person who engages in hypocrisy is a hypocrite.

Hypocrite noun A hypocritical person.

Hypocritical adjective

Behaving in a way that suggests one has higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case.

Oxford Dictionary of English

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    but they can't do it? - worth noting in this case that it may not be hypocrisy if they literally cannot do it. For example, a quadriplegic person telling you that you need to stand up every 15 minutes at work. That's not hypocrisy.
    – SGR
    Jun 9, 2016 at 8:23
  • That didn't cross my mind, though you are right that in that case, it would not be hypocrisy.
    – leo
    Jun 9, 2016 at 8:33

When people behave the way you described I use the negative of the phrase practise what you preach, as in

He doesn't practise what he preaches.

Cambridge dictionary

to do the things that you advise others to do

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    One thing you need to note is no editor is perfect and there is nothing that prevents you from editing any post including yours as you have gained trust on ELU. Please don't hesitate to edit / roll back any post if you find anything wrong.
    – user140086
    Jun 9, 2016 at 7:52

In bird culture that is considered a d*ck move... But in all seriousness OP, your example just sounds like 'double standards'.

dou·ble stand·ard(noun) or double standards (plural noun): a rule or principle that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups. EXAMPLE:"During snack time, Jane always received 3 cookies while Tim received none."


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