Respect is one of the greatest gifts we could give ourselves. People spend lifetimes learning how to appreciate and value their own skills, opinions, and sense of self.
Many times we find ourselves questioning our own abilities and strengths.
How can we demand respect from others, if we often lack respect for ourselves? Let’s explore how we can change that for good, and go down the path of self-respect.
What It Means to Respect Yourself
Having self-respect impacts every aspect of your life. It means you are proud of who you are and accept your flaws or imperfections.
You don’t feel as if you have to be perfect, and you can forgive yourself for mistakes made in the past.
You know how to set healthy boundaries for yourself and others, and you stay true to those boundaries.
You don’t accept bad behavior from others and have a high expectation of how you want to be treated.
The truth is, there are many different types of people in this world, some of whom may try to take advantage of others, manipulate others, and treat others badly.
We simply cannot tolerate such behavior when we have a healthy level of self-respect for ourselves.
Let’s explore how you can respect yourself more and improve your life :
17 Ways to Respect Yourself
1. Take time for self-care
Society puts busy people on a pedestal. It’s good to be busy, but what’s better is allowing yourself the opportunity to not be busy at all. You are not a robot and can’t be productive 150% of the time.
The brain needs time to decompress so it can function at full capacity. Take that bubble bath or read for leisure. You owe it to yourself to relax!
2. Surround yourself with positive influences
You are who you surround yourself with. According to Psychology Today, the people you choose to surround yourself with largely impacts your self-image and decisions. It’s important to respect yourself in this way because your time is limited.
Every day has 24 hours, so choose your daily influences wisely. The more you surround yourself with positive people, the more inspired and motivated you’ll be.
3. Love yourself endlessly
Being in love with someone comes with no strings attached. Love comes unconditionally. It’s necessary to apply the same mentality to your self-image.
Every part of your past and part of your body is a part of you.
All of your flaws and imperfections make up the wonderful person you are today. Everyone deserves love and respect, so dole out what’s due.
4. Express how you feel when you’re hurt
People can’t give you the respect you deserve if you don’t demand it of yourself.
It’s not pleasant to tell someone you care about that they hurt you, but in doing so you respect yourself.
The people that actually matter will care about your feelings. Drop the people who don’t. Speaking up about disrespect stops people from doing it in the future.
5. Know your worth
Your time is important. You are important! Never downplay your worth to yourself or anyone else. For example, you’re a skilled professional at what you do.
By knowing your worth, you can command negotiations with employers and shut down anyone who says otherwise.
This is an important notion that can carry over to any relationship in life.
6. Stay active
You only have one body. It will carry you through the best and worst times. That being said, you can respect yourself by respecting your body.
Staying active has benefits like releasing happy chemicals called endorphins. It also just makes you feel good in general because you’ll feel fit.
7. Stay true to who you are
Never water down who you are. Working on yourself is great because everyone can always improve, but not if it means changing your identity completely.
Since everyone deserves respect, that means your true self deserves respect.
Not everyone will love you, but you will love yourself. People will love you for who you really are.
8. Follow your heart and dreams
The only thing that separates people from what they really want in this life is drive. Hard work beats out talent any day of the week.
As long as you know what you want and what will make you happy, you can work towards it.
The universe may present challenges to you, but you can overcome anything with the right mentality.
Respect what your heart wants and the dreams that come with it.
9. Don’t accept toxicity from anyone
People only get away with as much as you let them. Whether someone is a family member or childhood friend, you deserve respect at all times.
If someone doesn’t recognize your worth, then they are not worth your time. Cut out negative people from your life and quick. You owe that to yourself.
10. Define your values
You owe yourself respect more than anything else. A way to respect yourself is by knowing who you are as a person and what you stand for.
By taking the time to really reflect on what is important to you, it becomes easier to know what violates your schema.
Take the time to figure out your values in order to honor them.
11. Learn how to set boundaries
It’s not always easy to say no. When a friend is being pushy about making you go out when you’d rather read or force you into a favor, it can be uncomfortable to set boundaries.
The fact is that a part of self-respect is the ability to set guidelines about how you feel and want to be treated.
Respect yourself by being completely comfortable with the idea of only doing what makes you feel comfortable. People will respect you more for it.
12. Don’t downplay emotions
A part of respecting yourself is acknowledging that your feelings are valid. If you are sad about something, let yourself feel that way. The same goes for being angry.
Bottling up your emotions is unhealthy in the long-term. It only hurts you as time goes on.
13. Learn from mistakes without beating yourself up
The only mistake you can really make in life is not learning from them. Every mistake is a lesson. If you really respect yourself, you will take notes on these lessons.
It doesn’t help your self-worth by demonizing your actions. Just pick yourself up and move on with your life.
14. Get comfortable with alone time
Respecting yourself is the most important thing you can do because at the end of the day, you are all you have.
Of course, that’s not to say that you don’t have friends and family that adore you. Yet, when you’re alone in a room by yourself it is just you.
Being comfortable spending time alone and being happy with it is essential to honor yourself. You need to love yourself first before loving anyone else.
15. Spend money on happiness
McDonald’s burgers may make you happy temporarily, but memories will make you the happiest. Save money, but also spend it on experiences.
Travel to a foreign land or just a neighboring city. Go to concerts and dance with your friends. Spending money on frivolous things is just a disservice to yourself.
16. Make sure you go outside regularly
Humans are animals, although we’re a lot smarter than most. Naturally, most animals can’t be cooped up in cage all day. The same applies to you!
Science says that exploring nature has a multitude of benefits from preventing disorders to beating out pain medication in some scenarios.
Honor yourself by giving into mother nature more often. Vitamin D is essential!
17. Approach life with curiosity
Instead of dreading a decision, trust yourself to make it. Don’t be afraid of turning the next page in the chapter of your life.
Think about how interesting it would be to make a certain decision, or follow a different path.
Your mentality of how you approach life changes how you lead your life. Respect yourself enough to trust your path fully.
Always remember that respect is given, and it’s a gift that we must give ourselves each and every day. Share your thoughts in the comments below: