There’s no denying that self-respect can be a heavy and touchy topic. Many of us go straight into defensive mode when we hear it or we immediately start blaming others for not respecting us. But in reality, self-respect is a self-explanatory word. It doesn’t always have to be with regards to personal relationships, because it is applicable throughout our lives in all our relationships. Self-respect is really a matter of principles and the wisdom to know when to apply these principles. Especially, when the line between thinking, feeling and just BEing, is blurred. 

1.  Creating a distance between our thoughts and our Self.

When it comes to self-respect it is first important to understand that our Self is not what we are thinking or feeling. Thoughts happen, and feelings arise, but these are transient. They are not us. They happen to us. We can take a deep breath and witness our thoughts and feelings.  This helps us create a bit of a distance between our thoughts and feelings and the real ‘US’.  Our mind does the thinking, but we always have a choice. We can either accept the thought suggestions of our mind or simply reject them. 

2. Being clear about the behaviour we are willing to accept.

I know. I know! The above doesn’t make much sense. Of course it doesn’t! How can we distinguish between what to accept and what to reject if we don’t even know what we stand for and what we want? So, to understand what it takes for our own self-respect, we must first be clear about what we want.
Do you know what kind of behaviour you want from the world? In other words, what makes you feel good and what kind of behaviour would be ideal? I am sure no one likes to be shouted at. Some of us may enjoy being pampered with love, whilst others rejoice in solitude. Some of us may prefer brutal honesty whilst others would prefer sugar-coated truth. If we don’t define the limits, then no one can do it for us. To put this in perspective, if you dislike hearing harsh words or you don’t want anyone to raise their voice with you, then the behaviour you’d ideally accept would be gentle and mature conversations. If you get what I mean.

So, have you ever defined what behaviour you would or would not accept from the world?

3. Are we giving out the behaviour we want from others?

As they say, we get what we give. We may well want a certain behaviour from others but ultimately, the world is our mirror. When we have established what we want, we ought to figure out whether we are also giving out what we want. If we want respect, gentleness, love or space, are we offering others the same? 

4. What’s our back-up plan?

However, it helps to also be informed about our backup plan. Sometimes we may well want things a certain way, but we receive something else from the world. That’s when we out to have something to fall back on. When you are giving them what you would like to receive yet they are not giving you what you want, what is you fall back plan?!

5. Being willing to protect ourselves by saying ‘No’.

Ultimately, being clear about what we want, and knowing what to do if we fail to receive the behaviour we expect, will help us define our own standards of self-respect. This clarity is our ticket to freedom and help in getting closer towards ourselves. In my opinion, a back up plan is saying NO to any behaviour which doesn’t align with our principle. If we refuse to accept such behaviour, we are accepting ourselves and respecting ourselves. 

The above may help us understand self-respect better. Self respect is caring for how we want to be to the world and what we are willing to accept.

Self respect is to be able to say NO to the offerings of the world with pride and without any self-doubt. If someone or certain situations go against our principles, it is our duty towards ourselves to walk away and say NO.

Agreed that feelings and emotions may get in the way and we feel attached to others, but ultimately, we are the only ones there for ourselves. So to all ladies and gents out there, if you feel that your principles and values are being violated constantly but you still put up with unacceptable behaviours, self-respect may need some major reviewing.

I realised that if we don’t respect ourselves, and choose us when it gets too much, others may not respect us either. And, any behaviour we accept is encouraged.

We are complete in ourselves and when we understand our value, we make it easier for ourselves to convey what we want and accept from others. And from ourselves too.

But of course, as much as it’s me, me and myself, offering the world what we’d also like to receive is paramount to happy relationships.

So, my beautiful friend, love that Self enough to stand up for it. If we could look at ourselves as we see those whom we love the most, our perception of ourselves and our self-respect would increase so much.

Go on! Love that beautiful YOU, and respect him/her:)

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