No one can give you self-respect, and you can’t buy it.
Learning to appreciate yourself and assert your needs is a major step milestone in your self-development.
It’s not an easy task; those of us with low self-esteem might not know what self-respect looks like, or how to demand better treatment from those around us.
Watching role models is a great place to start.
Think of the most confident, assertive person you know.
They probably have high expectations of themselves and others, and isn’t afraid to hold others to account for bad behavior.
Here are 8 things a self-respecting individual refuses to tolerate:
1. Staying in the same place for too long
Self-respecting people don’t remain in the same relationship, job, or city if they feel it’s time for a change.
They don’t necessarily find it easy to push themselves into unchartered territory, but they are happy to take risks because they know it’s a sure path to personal growth.
Staying stagnant is a risk factor for anxiety and depression, whereas change is empowering.
2. Letting your job grind you down
Most of us have to work, and it’s not always possible to land the job of your dreams.
Nevertheless, self-respecting people don’t shrug their shoulders and accept that they are destined to work in a job that erodes their mental or physical health.
If you hate your job, it’s time to formulate a plan of action and look for something better.
This might mean accepting an entry level position in a new field, or retraining for a new occupation.
Life isn’t all sunshine and roses, but whining about the state of the world is seldom helpful.
Self-respecting people simply don’t have time to listen to someone moan, and neither do they engage in toxic self-criticism.
Instead, they focus their efforts on using positive self-talk, and they pride themselves on being able to find the positive side of every situation.
4. People pleasing
Self-respecting people know the value of helping others, but they are not people pleasers.
They understand that it’s a good idea to seek out advice from time to time, but ultimately, they listen to their gut and decide for themselves what they want to do next.
They know that everyone must walk their own path in life.
A self-respecting person believes in themselves, and they know that their memories and opinions are just as valid as those of anyone else.
When someone tries to convince them otherwise, they call them out on their behavior.
6. Laziness and procrastination
No self-respecting person lets themselves delay important tasks, dodge responsibility, or delegate their work just because they can’t be bothered.
Likewise, they have similar standards for other people in their life.
They always do their share, but don’t allow others to take advantage of their work ethic.
7. Unhealthy or controlling relationships
If someone wants to date you or build a friendship, they need to win your trust.
Inconsistent behavior and flakiness are poor foundations for a relationship, and suggest a lack of respect. Self-respecting people have no time for those who waste their time.
They also refuse to tolerate any kind of abuse or poor treatment.
8. An unhealthy lifestyle
Your health is your most important asset.
You cannot live up to your full potential or fully enjoy life if you don’t exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and learn how to cope with stress.
Self-respecting people make their wellbeing a top priority.
How to grow your self-respect
Self-respect isn’t magic.
Anyone can cultivate it, and it builds over time. Start by addressing your everyday routine. Could you make adjustments to your diet and exercise habits?
Challenge yourself to drink more water, eat more fruit and vegetables, and get in a few workouts every week.
Next, examine how you think about, and speak to, yourself.
Do you tend to assume that you are a competent and worthy individual, or do you spend a lot of time engaged in negative self-talk?
It may be time to do some journaling or even start therapy if you need to identify and replace your most destructive thoughts.
The final piece of the puzzle is your broader goals and the state of your relationships.
Take an inventory of your career, social circle, and close relationships. Are they nourishing your mind and soul, or are they dragging you down?
It might be time to make some changes that allow you to live a life that better fits with your values and long term goals.