He that respects himself is safe from others;
he wears a coat of mail that none can pierce.
The manner in which you take care of yourself is critical to your quality of life. Self-respect is a very strong indication 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 kind of a chicken and egg situation; it is hard to know which comes first. Do positive emotions and thoughts about yourself lead to you to increased self-respect or, does heightened self-respect cause you to have more positive feeling about yourself? Your personal experience will tell you which of these feels most true to you.
Here are a few tips about how to increase your level of self-respect.
1. Assess 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 in all of the decisions that you make.
2. Stop putting yourself down. Avoid making self-deprecating comments. Such remarks are often used as as a form of humor which can help build rapport between people. However, if you are uncertain about whether you treat yourself with the respect you deserve, avoid making them until you are feeling more sure of yourself. What you say about yourself over and over becomes what you believe.
3. Emotionally support… yourself. Take care of your own emotional needs. Self-respect is apparent through the things that you do to make yourself comfortable, content, and happy. If you find yourself in a relationship that constantly makes you feel emotionally upset or out of balance, maybe, just maybe, it’s time to do something about it. You are the only person that you can be absolutely assured will be there to take care of you emotionally.
4. Expect and accept nothing less than respect. Acknowledge to yourself that you deserve respectful treatment. This is as simple as it gets. Because you are a human being, you deserve to be treated with fundamental human courtesies, including respect. Recognize your own value. 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 are cutting someone a little slack by not insisting on being treated well. However, when you allow others to treat you poorly, you are slacking on your own self-care and enabling them to practice negative interpersonal habits as well.
5. Act like you care. Behave in ways that show that you care about yourself. How you conduct yourself sends a strong message to the rest of the world.
Taking care of your body, watching the language you use, and refraining from engaging in socially unacceptable behaviors (such as drinking too much, losing your temper, or speaking inappropriately) show that you have a certain measure of respect for yourself.
6. Model behavior. Look at your role models. Think of someone you admire and respect. What is it about the person that earns your respect? Strive to emulate this person. You will be amazed how your self-respect will grow.
7. Show respect, always. 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.
If you have not been treating yourself very well, try out a few of these strategies for practicing self-respect today. As you make these practices habitual, you will automatically begin to treat yourself and others in more respectful ways. You will be amazed at how much your quality of life will improve!
Read more: Improve Your Quality of Life