Why Growing Self-Respect Is Crucial
The relationship you have with yourself is the most important one you have. Self-respect forms the foundation upon which you base all your decisions and actions. It determines how you treat yourself and how others perceive you.
The question is, “Is self-respect critical for happiness?” — Yes!
Some people assume that the key to happiness lies in wealth, health, and relationships. While all these elements are important in your journey towards greater fulfillment, they only form part of the equation.
Trusting and respecting yourself are also the most crucial things you do to build your sense of worth and esteem. Online therapy can greatly help you with building healthy self-respect.
What Is Self-Respect? Defining the Concept
The concept of self-respect implies having confidence in oneself and portraying graceful, honorable, and dignified behavior. It is an essential form of self-love, where a person values their unique attitude towards life, actions, thoughts, and values.
Healthy self-respect is having a good understanding and appreciation of the traits and specialties that belong to your true self. Self-respect also means that you understand how to make life decisions and choices from an authentic position, based on your personality.
Self-respect is important because it is the reward you give yourself even when you lose motivation or feel low. Even when you don’t want to seek approval from others, you should always be motivated to live a life that is authentic to yourself and your personality.
It is also about understanding your strengths and limits, as well as how to establish boundaries for yourself. Understanding these elements is crucial for successful relationships and being happy in life.
How Is Self-Respect Different from Self-Esteem?
Self-respect should not be confused with self-esteem as they are not the same. Self-respect implies the positive regard a person has for themselves, with all the flaws and imperfections. It is what makes one act in ways that a person finds meaningful for themselves.
Unlike self-respect that focuses on you for who you are, self-esteem is related to your skills and abilities.
Note that it is possible to act as you want while having healthy self-esteem and lacking self-respect. The challenge with relying on your self-esteem is that you will be evaluating your abilities based on your performance and approval of others. The moment you get self-doubt, issues like regret, guilt, stress, and blame start to creep in.
When you lack self-respect, you risk people taking advantage of you. There is also the risk that you may lose yourself in any relationships as you forget who you are and what you stand for.
People with little self-respect also seem attention-seeking. They may be struggling to get external validation and are more likely to give unreciprocated love. All these can lead to problems in relationships and are not healthy for one’s overall well-being.
Why Is Self-Respect Important?
Here are some reasons why it is important to build self-respect:
To Nurture Confidence
Having a healthy level of self-respect is important as it allows you to have the confidence you need to maintain healthy relationships with yourself and others.
A person with healthy self-respect knows how to establish firm boundaries. You understand your values and what you stand for and follow them confidently.
To Maintain Healthy Relationships
Self-respect is the foundation on which healthy and strong relationships stand. Once you have accepted yourself as a whole person deserving of love, with all your strengths and flaws, you can influence how others perceive you.
When you understand your value and respect yourself, you will not allow others to treat you badly. You show strong character and a willingness to accept responsibility for your life and actions. You will also fight for the things you value and believe in.
To Avoid the Need to Compare
When you learn to love and respect yourself, you will not feel the urge to compare your abilities with someone else. You will learn to appreciate your talents, traits, and skills. You won’t feel jealous when those around you succeed in their pursuits.
How to Build Self-Respect
Building self-respect can be slow, but highly rewarding. To succeed, you will need to combine aspects of self-acceptance, self-love, self-worth, assertiveness, focus, spirituality, respect, and forgiveness.
Validate Your Right for Self-Respect
Showing yourself the respect you deserve does not make you arrogant or narcissistic. When you learn to love and respect yourself, you become more worthy of giving and receiving love.
Being assertive means recognizing those people that disrespect you and adopt measures to change your behavior. When you respect yourself, you will not allow others to manipulate you.
If needed, consider revising your social circle. Most importantly, learn to speak up when you feel disrespected.
Another important thing to consider when it comes to building self-respect is to accept yourself for who you are. Examine your personality and get to know yourself. This will allow you to appreciate your unique attributes, personality, values, and abilities, and even all your imperfections.
Make deliberate efforts to stop being a people pleaser and be true to yourself.
Other important insights to building your self-respect include:
- Examine and discover what makes you respect yourself
- Don’t be easily swayed by other people’s opinions of your abilities
- Be honest about your abilities and limitations
- Be kind to yourself and avoid negative self-talk
- Try to be involved in things you find interesting
- Stay true to your moral codes
- Take care of your emotional needs
- Don’t try too hard to conform to what is seen as normal
- Define your boundaries and try to stay true to them
- Choose relationships that foster mutual respect
Being honest about who you are is crucial for building a healthy sense of self and self-respect. Once you have a good understanding of what makes you feel good, make it a priority. Most importantly, learn when to say “no.”
When to Seek Help from a Professional
Self-respect means appreciating yourself and taking care of your emotional needs. Strategies like positive self-talk, self-love practices, or keeping a journal can help with building self-respect. You first need to acknowledge that you deserve to be respected and happy.
If you or someone you know is struggling with self-respect issues or any mental health problems, consider getting professional help from a therapist. The amazing thing is that you don’t need to travel or leave your home to see a therapist.
Thanks to teletherapy platforms like Calmerry, it is now possible to engage a licensed therapist at home or work. So, you may start just today.
Jennifer Walter is a psychology professor, an independent researcher, writer, and contributor. He is the guru to hundreds of students, the author of hundreds of analysis studies, and the voice behind most liked articles on content creation and strategy at privatewriting.com.