Respect is key
Respect comes from within and is not reliant upon things outside of ourselves, such as physical appearance, public image, wealth, social status, praise, accomplishments, awards or achievements. Rather than being something you “build” or “earn”, self-respect comes from no other reason than the fact that you have the right to dignity because you are a human being. It means to honor yourself as a person regardless of your life circumstances. Knowing this important difference will affect the choices you make and therefore the quality of your life.
listing what we’re grateful for in a leather-bound monogrammed notebook at the end of a shitty day; Instagramming ourselves while making sure to capture rolls of fat and dimples of flesh in the interest of realness. Sometimes, it feels like the only route to happiness.
When we think of the people we truly admire now and in history, it’s because of their self-respect and not their outside achievements. We can all name more than one celebrity who had “it all”, talent, awards, money, and fame, only to have it all come crashing down. Their self-esteem and self-confidence might have brought them to the top but their lack of self-respect brought them down.
Here we will cover 7 aspects that you can implement in order to become more respectful.
Take Care of Yourself First
While it sometimes necessary to put others needs before your own, if you continuously sacrifice your own needs in order to serve others, it becomes damaging and you are not respecting yourself. You must be able to draw a line between putting your emotional and physical needs ahead of helping and serving others.
Putting the needs of others before your own will eventually take its toll on you. Not only is it physically and emotionally draining, but it can also be time-consuming and costly. In addition, you may be feeling taken advantage of which will inevitably lead to feeling angry and resentful.
You cannot achieve self-respect by tending to everyone’s needs and neglecting your own. It’s actually the opposite that is true. The better you take care of yourself, and the more you tend to your own needs, the more you have to freely give to others.
Be True to Yourself
There is great social pressure from parents, work and society to become a certain person and to achieve certain things. It is a pressure hard to detach from. But, a real self-respect only comes from being true to our inner calling. It is important you have faith in your own values and remember what is important to you. Just because other people think you should behave in a certain way, doesn’t mean they are right. Everyone needs to follow their own path. Even if others don’t respect your decision it is important that you do.
Learn to Handle Criticism
We are sensitive beings. Nobody likes criticism and when we are criticized, either directly or indirectly, we feel bad about ourselves – even if the criticism is not justified. To maintain a sense of self-respect, we need to learn how to deal with criticism. Don’t take criticism personally. Look at it from a detached perspective. Maybe it is false, in which case we should ignore it. If there is some truth, we can use it to develop our character. However, it is important not to take criticism too personally. Just because we are not very good at a particular task, doesn’t mean we need to lose our self-respect.
The way to self-respect is not through a bloated sense of pride; this is a false type of self-respect. We may think that the praise of others boosts our self-respect, but, actually, this praise creates a vulnerable ego. If our self-respect is based on the praise of others then our self-respect will be very tenuous. Self-respect should not be dependent on the praise of others; it should be independent of others praise.
Respect reflects your inner self
Showing others respect ultimately sets an example to those who are yet to find out what it truly means to be ‘respectful’. Showing respect also reflects who we are personally. if we practice and show respect outwardly, we passively adopt what it truly means to be respectful to ourselves as well, living a life of humility will inevitably enlighten our own lives and allow us to become more respectful internally and externally.
Forgive & Respect others
If you have no respect for others, how can you have self-respect? Self-respect means we have an inner confidence and inner assurance, but this is not a confidence built on superiority. It is the wrong approach to try and feel better by putting others down. If we look for the good qualities in other people, it is easier to remember the good qualities in ourselves.
Forgive others and forgive yourself. Don’t live in the past, but, move on from past mistakes and difficult situations. If your mind is occupied with problems from the past, you will always feel guilty and unworthy. Don’t allow your self-worth to be determined by past mistakes.
Always try and consider people’s different needs and how you can accommodate them. Are you throwing a party, do you have any guests whose religion or culture requires that they don’t eat certain types of foods? Imagine how accepted they would feel knowing that you took the time to find out what they can eat and made a plan for them?
At the end of the day, the world is getting smaller and smaller and every day we’re meeting people from all over the world, people from different cultures, religions, sexual preferences, gender beliefs, and disabilities. Let’s create a world where everyone feels included, safe, and respected. Every little act counts. The change starts with you.