Self-respect simply put is, self-love. It is a state of recognition when a person realises that they are just as worthy and important as any other human being. Respect is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. It means understanding and appreciating your true self –with all your weaknesses and fears. When you gain self-respect, you learn your worth, your value and start advocating for yourself, when needed. It is the belief that you are worthy of love and appreciation and you are as good as anyone else.
But we often tend to be negative and discouraging about ourselves, whereas we may not do the same with people who are important to us. We tend to question our decisions and do not forgive our own mistakes. This in the long-term has a negative impact on our health and future.
Building and practicing self-respect has to be done consistently, every day. It can benefit your life in more than one way and help to make your relationships better. Self-respect makes you feel proud of your true self! So, let’s find out how we can go about this path of self-respect.
How to Learn to Respect Yourself and Others
- Love Yourself: When we love someone, we love them unconditionally. It’s time we do the same with ourselves. Learn to love every part of your past and every part of your body with all its flaws and imperfections. Everyone deserves to be loved and respected, but let’s first start with you!
- Express How You Feel: We usually tend to avoid telling someone we love or respect that they hurt our feelings. But the path to self-respect starts with not accepting something that does not feel right. If a job is making you miserable, then get out of it. If a relationship is making you sad, then talk to your partner. It’s important for you to tell people they hurt you or disrespected you, and honestly the people that actually matter will understand your feelings. When you speak up about disrespect, it stops people from doing it again next time.
- Self-Care: Show some love and pamper yourself every now and then. It’s something you owe yourself! Go ahead and take that bubble bath, much-needed spa, or just read for leisure. It’s really important to relax yourself every now and then and not be busy and working all the time.
- Know Your Worth: When you give your time to someone, whether it is at work or in a relationship, understand that it is valuable. You are important and so is your time! It is only when you understand your worth, you can negotiate and demand what you deserve. Knowing your worth will help you in every relationship in your life.
- Respect Your Failures and Fears: Failures are part of life. Nobody is perfect and the sooner you accept this, the better your life would be. Accept your failures and understand that they don’t define you. Fears are not something to be ashamed about, but instead use your fears to identify yourself. Acceptance is key to self-respect.
- Define and Respect Your Values: Take time out to define your values and reflect on what’s important to you. Once you know what you want to stand for, stick to them. Your values and beliefs need not change for anyone, if you do that then you will automatically let yourself down.
- Stay Away from Toxicity: Negativity and toxicity in any form is not good for you. Stay away from toxic relationships and workplaces. Make sure to surround yourself with positive vibes and people that help you grow along with them.
- Follow Your Dreams and Your Heart: Lastly, follow you heart! As long as you know what you want in life, and what makes you happy, you can work towards it. Respect what you want in life. Life will have its own set of challenges but hard work always pays off!
Apart from this, there are many steps that you can take like controlling your emotions, keeping yourself fit, learning from your mistakes, staying true to yourself, being accountable and so many more. Start working on one small step a day. Self-respect cannot be achieved overnight, it is like a marathon, that takes time. But you will reach the end, one step at a time.
Only when you learn to truly embrace and respect yourself, can you give respect to someone else. When you respect others, you value and make them feel good about themselves. It is a feeling of self-worth that you give someone. Only when you give respect to other people and yourself, you develop a better understanding of people around you. And there are 4 simple ways of respecting others:
- Listen: Everyone wants someone who would listen to them! Whenever someone has something important to say, give them your time and listen. By giving your time to someone, we make them understand that they are important to us, in turn respecting them.
- Support: When you go out and support someone, you make them realise that they matter. You make them feel valued. Simply notice the positives of a person and tell them about it. This will show that you support and respect them.
- Be Kind: When you are kind to someone, you make them feel better instantly. Kindness is nothing but an expression of respect.
4. Be Polite: Being polite is a behavioural trait that is a must in everyone. When we are polite to others, it leaves us feeling positive and respected. It is in fact the easiest way to show someone respect.
But remember that it's okay to feel that not everyone deserves your respect. You may or may not respect someone depending on how they made you feel. Also, it's possible that you might respect someone more than others and that’s absolutely fine as well. Do what you feel is right and what makes you happy.
The Importance of Respect
Respecting yourself and others is important to have a happy life. When you have self-respect, you are confident, strong and learn to respect others as well. This is what helps shape your life and future. Respect has a big impact on our relationships as well. The more you respect your loved ones, the more you feel connected to each other.
At the end of the day happiness is the key to life and happiness comes when we learn self-respect.