Although you may not be aware of this in your everyday life, how you take care of yourself is critical to your quality of life. Self-respect is indicative of how you view yourself. And showing self-respect keeps your positive feelings about you flowing and growing.
Feeling good about yourself and demonstrating self-respect are a chicken and egg situation: it can be difficult to tell which comes first. Do positive emotions and thoughts about yourself lead to self-respect or is it the other way around? Your experience will tell you which of these feels true to you.
Follow these 8 tips to help you increase your self-respect:
1. Consider your own feelings. Your emotions are at least as important as everyone else’s. So, if you’re uncomfortable, act on that information. Take your own feelings into account in your everyday life and the decisions you make.
2. Avoid making self-deprecating comments. Such remarks are often used as humor, which can build rapport between people. However, if you’re uncertain about whether you treat yourself with the respect you deserve, avoid making them until you’re more sure of yourself. What you say about yourself over and over becomes what you believe.
3. Take care of your emotional needs. Self-respect is apparent through the things you do to make yourself comfortable, content, and happy. If a relationship constantly makes you feel emotionally upset or out of balance, perhaps it’s time to do something about it. You are the only person you can be absolutely sure will be there to take care of yourself emotionally.
4. Acknowledge to yourself that you deserve respectful treatment. This is as simple as it gets: because you’re a human being, you deserve to be treated with fundamental human courtesies, including respect. Recognize your own value.
5. Avoid allowing anyone to treat you disrespectfully. Be clear that you expect to be treated with kindness and care, whether you’re interacting with a co-worker, partner, or your child. Sometimes, you might think you’re giving someone a break by not insisting on being treated well. However, when you allow others to treat you poorly, you’re slacking on your own self-care and enabling them to practice negative interpersonal habits as well.
6. Behave in ways that show you care. How you conduct yourself sends a strong message to the world. Taking care of your body, watching the language you use, and refraining from engaging in socially unacceptable behaviors (such as eating or drinking too much, losing your temper, and speaking inappropriately) show that you have a certain measure of respect for yourself.
7. Think of someone you admire and respect. What is it about the person that earns your respect? Strive to emulate this person. You’ll be amazed how your self-respect will grow.
8. Treat others with respect. In order to treat others with respect, you need to have a clear idea about how to act in respectful ways. Then, you can turn those same responses toward yourself. Make showing respect a way of life.
Try out some of these strategies for practicing self-respect today. As you make these practices habitual, you’ll automatically treat yourself and others in respectful ways. You’ll be amazed at how much your quality of life will increase!
© 2012, Nicholas Dillon. All rights reserved.