You need to treat yourself with self-respect. You set the tone with how others will interact with you. When you respect yourself, others will respect you too. However, you might not know how to respect yourself if you’ve never been treated with respect before. Fortunately, we’re going to share what self-respect is, why it’s so hard to do, and 15 ways to respect yourself in 2021.
What is self-respect?
Self-respect is an admiration for yourself in terms of what you’re capable of, who you are, and what you can achieve.
Why should you respect yourself?
You should respect yourself because you’re a human being. All living beings are worthy of respect. Don’t let the ideas of others, failed relationships, or abusive people in your life prevent you from thinking that you’re worthy of respect. In your life, you’re the most important person you need to take care of. Before loving yourself, you need to respect yourself. There’s no such thing as self-love without self-respect.
Why is it hard to respect yourself?
It’s hard to respect yourself because we lack role models, believe we aren’t worthy of respect, and don’t always know what respect looks like.
Seeing examples of self-respect in our parents, friends, bosses, or coworkers can give us clues in how we can treat ourselves with self-respect or ask for it from others.
If we believe we aren’t worthy of respect, it’s hard to act the way a person with self-respect would. Those with a history of trauma, neglect, or strange upbringings might be more likely to feel an unworthiness of respect. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, and you do too.
If you’ve been in an unhealthy relationship for a long time or have had toxic people in your life in the past, you might not know what a healthy relationship with respect looks like. As you read through this article, look for signs of respect as hints. And work to build respect into your relationship if you think it’s salvageable. If you don’t, it’s time to cut ties with this person.
How to respect yourself
1. Set boundaries
You can respect yourself by setting boundaries around yourself. For example, if a friend wants to go out to dinner with you on Friday, however, you’re exhausted from the workweek, you can tell them no and set a different date. However, if the friend tries to convince you to hang out after you say no, that’s when your self-respect needs to come in. You once again need to tell them no, and you can explain why. Having an alternative date in mind can show that you still value this person and enjoy their company, but the activity and day don’t work for you. Don’t fall into the trap of letting someone convince you to do something you don’t feel like doing.
2. Relax your mind
You can show self-respect by relaxing your mind by following a guided meditation. Why do we torture ourselves with our thinking? Your negative thoughts shouldn’t be making you feel bad about yourself or putting you down. Aim to practice meditation to help you manage your thinking and recognize you are not your thoughts. You can download the Declutter The Mind app on your phone or tablet and choose from countless meditations for different situations. Or you can watch meditation videos on YouTube. You can try out a meditation like this loving-kindness meditation.
3. Avoid putting yourself down
If you’re constantly putting yourself down with mean-spirited remarks or self-deprecation, you’re not practicing self-respect. You don’t need to put yourself down to make someone else feel better. You’re a person who deserves to be treated with respect and kindness. So, saying, “I’m not good enough” or “what is wrong with me?” doesn’t uplift you in any way. People can always get better with time and practice. So, have a growth mindset and believe you’re capable of everything because you are.
4. Say no
Saying no is a hard thing to do, and it’s hard to listen to, too. Often, when we say no to someone’s plans, they try to convince us otherwise. They show a lack of respect with their attempts at persuasion. However, if you give in and say yes when you don’t want to do a particular activity, you’re not respecting yourself. Saying no is also about setting boundaries. You don’t have to spend time with friends constantly and do the things they like. You can also spend time doing the things you want to do, with the people you like. So, if you’re not feeling up for something, say no. And be firm about it too.
5. Manage your emotions
You can’t respect yourself if your emotions aren’t well-managed. If you react to every emotion you feel, you’re likely going to overwhelm yourself. Controlling your emotions is all about taking care of yourself. Treat yourself with kindness. Be patient with yourself. You can’t practice self-respect if you’re mistreating yourself. Emotions are fleeting; they constantly come and go. However, with a meditation practice, you can learn to watch your emotions rise and fall without giving into them. When you give in to your emotions, you lose self-control and, as a result, become disrespectful to yourself and possibly others.
6. Learn to stand up for yourself
Don’t let people push you around in life. You’re entitled to be treated with respect. However, if you don’t respect yourself publicly, people will assume they don’t need to respect you either. However, if you show self-respect, people will know that you won’t tolerate disrespect. If someone tries bullying you rather than getting into an argument, quietly build a network of people around you who will stand with you. At least as you’re still learning to show self-respect. If people stand with you when you’re being criticized, it’ll be easier for you to know how to act and what to say when people put you down. Standing up for yourself isn’t easy to do, but it’s worthwhile in the end.
7. Do the right thing
When you have self-respect, you always try to do the right thing. That doesn’t mean you’re perfect or even a perfectionist. It means that you aim to have good habits and values to be a trustworthy person. You tell people the truth when something isn’t right. You might even make moral choices that are hard– especially those with harsh consequences. Doing the right thing means you have a consistent and reliable character. People earn respect by consistently behaving positively. To have self-respect, you’ll need to be a morally good person who strives to make good decisions.
8. Find someone you look up to
You might truly care about respecting yourself, but maybe you don’t know how to embody it. Look for people in your life that you admire, such as leaders. If you don’t know them personally, consider reading articles about them if they’re highly successful. Watch their interviews on YouTube. Look for patterns of people being true to themselves, standing up for themselves, calling people out for interrupting them, and being honest. These are all traits of people who have self-respect. The more you look for role models you can model yourself after, the better you’ll understand which of your behaviors should align to gain more self-respect and respect from others.
9. Be yourself
It’s easy to be yourself when you fit in. However, it’s much more challenging to be yourself when your personality isn’t “socially accepted.” However, being yourself is a vital part of self-respect. You’re going to have interests, hobbies, successes, and personality traits that will offend or bother people. You’ve known for a long time who you are, so don’t shy away from it. Allow yourself to be yourself at your best. There’s only one you, and if the world doesn’t get to experience the real you, it’s a loss for everyone who’s looking for exactly everything you are.
10. Choose honesty
Being honest with yourself and with others is a crucial component of self-respect. Liars aren’t trustworthy and are often not respected either. So, if you’re going to show self-respect you’ll need to be honest all the time. That’s no easy feat. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell people the truth, particularly if we don’t want to start a fight or create chaos. Yet, sometimes you have to have those hard conversations, even if they temporarily cause pain. You can’t spend your whole life sugar-coating things and never saying what needs to be said. To respect yourself, you’ll need to lay out the messy truth with heart and compassion.
11. Beat your own drum
A person with self-respect beats their own drum. You should live your life on your terms. Don’t follow someone’s path just because that’s what people expect you to do. Everyone’s path is different. Your path will align with different people throughout your life, and somewhere along the way, your paths will diverge again. This is a normal experience. And while it can be uncomfortable to lose friendships or relationships along the way, sometimes that’s exactly what’s involved in beating your own drum. When things fall apart, there’s room for you to grow in a higher or new direction. Celebrate the realness you offer the world; beat your own drum and respect yourself.
12. Date people who respect you
Before embarking on a relationship with someone, tell them that you value respect in your relationships. Don’t be afraid to lose someone you barely know by not being upfront about this. Directly tell them that without respect, you won’t stick around. And you aren’t afraid to walk away from something disrespectful. Setting the tone early on shows the other person that you have self-respect and require respect from them too. Making this known will make your journey of respecting yourself much easier because the line has been drawn, with expectations laid out.
13. You can change any time
If you don’t like something about yourself, change it. You control how you present yourself, who you are and who you become, and how you’ll evolve throughout your life. You can change aspects of yourself at any time, providing that it’ll help bring you to the next version of yourself. Respecting yourself also means letting go of traits and habits that don’t serve you. You’re the master of your life; if something about you brings you down instead of uplifting you, it’s time to cut ties with that aspect of yourself. But only if you don’t like it. Don’t change yourself to accommodate other people.
14. Shut down your inner critic
Your thoughts have a mind of their own. You don’t need to identify with them. When you go through a bad period or have a disappointing setback again, it’s easy for your thoughts to rip you to shreds. That’s your inner critic. Your inner critic isn’t you. It’s merely thoughts that surface themselves. Sometimes, those thoughts motivate you into action, and other times they deflate you. To respect yourself, recognize that your inner critic isn’t you thinking those things but thoughts that randomly surface up. So, ignore them, and you’ll be on your way to being a person with self-respect.
15. Practice self-care
Self-respect and self-care go together. When you take care of yourself, you show that you respect yourself. Setting out time to get pampered, massages, finding a therapist to chat out problems, reading books to educate yourself, and so many other things all add up as acts of kindness towards yourself. Investing in your own care shows that you love and respect yourself. So, treat yourself to something special today– something just for you. And relish in the fact that you’re alive in this experience. Life’s too short not to do things just for you. Make the most of being alive.
Are you feeling confident in your ability to show yourself some self-respect? You can do it. You’re such an amazing person, and we’re all so lucky to have you in this world with us. Clear out the junk in your mind that holds you back with a bit of meditation. Pamper yourself with some self-care to show others you respect yourself. Stand up for yourself when people put you down or try to add self-limiting beliefs in your mind. When you respect yourself, others follow suit to respect you too. So, lead by example and show others what self-respect is all about.