“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Respect itself is not easily achievable. It is something we have to earn. We all know what self-respect is, but do we give ourselves the opportunity to really experience it?

Self-respect comes before respect for others

Sometimes it is easier to respect others. We can use the respect we have for others to inspire us if we really want to. Events happen in life which make us question our worth, thus affecting our self-respect.

There may be other people you admire or look up to. What do they have that is worthy of your admiration? Try to emulate these admirable qualities.

One example of the worst kind of scenario for losing your self-respect is when you are involved with someone in a bad relationship. You get treated badly, yet you find it difficult to deal with the problem or lack the courage to leave.

Respect me

How can we improve our self-respect?

  1. When we interact with others, their behaviour can influence us without our realization. For instance if you don’t like smoking but your associates all smoke, you can easily fall into the same trap. This is where you have to show respect for your own beliefs by staying away from these associates while they choose to smoke.
  2. If you are in a bad relationship, ask yourself would your partner tolerate this bad behaviour from you? When you have built the courage to stand up for yourself against the ill-treatment, you will find that your partner shows you respect. If they don’t, then perhaps it is worth considering if that person is even worthy of your respect.
  3. Think about all the things you find respectful. Are you living up to that potential? If not, ask yourself why you are compromising your self-respect. You will remain unhappy internally while you choose to compromise this aspect of your life.

The level of self-respect within us can define who we are. Self-respect gives rise to living a happier life. When you refuse to go against your value system, you are respecting yourself.

When we show ourselves that level of respect by living the life we aspire to, other people can view your commitment to yourself and chances are these same people will respect you for this instead of condemning you.

Value yourself. You are a unique and special person. Respect yourself and others will follow. Show others the type of ideal life you aspire to by living according to your value system. Respect other people’s value system as you expect yours to be respected.

Assess what your original version of self-respect was as a young person and compare it to how you have changed. If you have compromised your self-respect in any way and feel you are not worthy of something, ask yourself what happened to chip away at that original feeling of self-respect and challenge yourself to build it back up again.

What sort of factors in life can cause you to compromise your self-respect? and once self-respect is compromised, how can you rebuild it?

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