Self-respect and self-confidence go hand in hand. Self-respect is all about how you perceive yourself, while self-confidence deals with how you feel about yourself. If you have very low self-respect, your confidence is likely to suffer as well. In this time and age, we need to be more mindful in gaining a healthy dose of self-respect so we can feel good about ourselves in general and develop a more positive outlook that can help us get through the ups and downs of life. What we have to do is to be aware of signs and actions that would lead us to lose our self-respect. Here are some examples.
- Totally disregarding respect, honesty, and courtesy when dealing with other people. People of all races and nationalities, and even beliefs have their own set of moral codes. And we all know that the most basic of these include respect, honesty, and courtesy towards fellow human beings. If you yourself have total disregard for these basic qualities, or have crossed the line, how would you even gain self-respect? If you steal from, lie, insult, and harm other people, what does that say about yourself? If you do these things, then chances are you will remain in the dark and get the same treatment in return.
- Letting other people trample or step on you. One clear sign of having low self-respect is tolerating other people in treating you badly. In a relationship setting in particular, a person loses self-respect when he or she lets the other person continue with an abusive treatment—either physical, sexual, verbal, emotional abuse, etc. The first time a person does this to you should give you a warning of what other potential harm that person can do. If you let this happen a second, third, or many times afterward, you might find it very difficult to get out of that unhealthy relationship. If you make excuses for that person, or even ignore the blatant signs of abuse, not only are you killing your self-respect, you are letting the other person completely take control of your life.
- Not sticking up with your own values, beliefs, goals, and ideals. A person without self-respect is a person without roots. He lets himself be easily swayed by other people or other factors in his environment. If you do not define your own values, beliefs, goals, and ideals, and stand up to them no matter what happens, it’s like not having your own identity. If you let yourself be pressured by what other people tell you that you should do or be, gaining self-respect and self-confidence would be very elusive for you.
- Putting yourself into harm’s way and compromising situations. A person with self-respect knows how to act when faced with situations and choices that may cause harm to himself. He steers clear from anything that would put him in shame or danger. He knows that he should always make the best decisions to avoid putting himself in conflict scenarios. A person with no self-respect is incapable of handling conflict and compromising situations he may be involved in.
- Not taking care of your own body. Another sign of having low self-respect is having total disregard for your own body and well-being. If you don’t look after your own health, and don’t make conscious attempts in basic hygiene and grooming, then people will surely notice how little respect you have for yourself. It is a fact that people judge others the first time based from how they look. And if you look like you haven’t cleaned up after yourself, people will judge you based on that.
- Not making attempts in understanding yourself. A person who doesn’t know himself from the inside out will continue to go about life like someone who is lost and confused. Only you can unlock the mysteries of yourself—your likes, dislikes, ambitions, goals, personality, characteristics, qualities, talents, abilities. Every single day that you’re alive gives you an opportunity to do this. If you don’t make the effort, self-respect and self-confidence won’t come naturally to you.
To lose self-respect is easy. To develop it demands that you make a conscious effort and work on it every single day of your life. Take note of these examples and be careful not to fall prey to them.