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What Is Self-Respect?

According to Judith Zackson, PhD, the founder and clinical director of Zackson Psychology Group, self-respect necessitates a recognition of your unique identity, which in turn affects your beliefs, values, emotions, commitments, and behaviours.

This article discusses the value of respecting yourself and offers some tips for enhancing your self-respect.

The Advantages of Self-Respect

Dr. Zackson lists the following advantages of having a strong sense of self-respect:

Internal sense of happiness: People who respect themselves understand that they must first look inward to discover their worth, esteem, and happiness. As a result, their life is more stable and fulfilling than those who compare themselves to others or those who rely on external sources of validation.

Commitment to upholding personal values: People with self-respect have a set of morals and values by which they evaluate their character and actions. They are often willing to bet all they have on upholding these norms of behavior, as their very worth and sense of self depend on it.

Possessing the courage to set boundaries and stand up for them when they are violated is necessary for having self-respect. The ability to command the respect of others comes from respecting oneself enough to stand up for one’s values and personal boundaries.

Having a strong sense of one’s own identity and position, and upholding it at all times, is what it means to respect oneself.

Potential Consequences of Low Self-Respect

Dr. Zackson lists some of the possible drawbacks of having poor self-respect below:

  • Relying on outside approval: People with poor self-esteem let other people define them rather than doing their own defining. They frequently lead fake lives because they care more about how others view them than what matters to them. They frequently seek approval from others and tend to be people pleasers.
  • Unconcerned with their intrinsic values and the purpose of their existence, those who lack self-respect live meaningless lives. They frequently act rashly, recklessly, depend on others, and self-destructively.
  • Possessing a negative self-view: People who lack self-respect are more prone to do so, which can lead them to engage in self-defeating habits like negative self-talk.
  • Forming harmful connections: Healthy relationships require a healthy degree of self-respect as well as a balanced, holistic vision of oneself. Without it, people struggle to uphold their limits and speak out for themselves. People who lack self-respect frequently find themselves trapped in unfavorable circumstances, such as controlling or abusive relationships, over time.

Factors Affecting Self-Respect

Dr. Zackson outlines some of the elements that can affect a person’s sense of self-respect in both childhood and adulthood in the paragraphs below.

Earlier influences

Like any other enduring characteristic, self-respect mostly develops during childhood. When their parent or caregiver loves and values them for who they are, children learn that it is okay for them to love themselves.

The first step in teaching a child to be confident with themselves is to give them all of your love and attention. They will be far less inclined to set artificial boundaries on these feelings for themselves if they realize that they don’t need to accomplish anything extraordinary to receive love and respect.

Children are more likely to learn these values from parents who appreciate themselves and are content with who they are. A child’s feeling of worth is shaped less by what parents do and more by who they already are. The value of self-respect is instilled in children from a young age and lasts a lifetime.

influences of adults

While variables from one’s upbringing frequently have a much greater impact on one’s sense of self-respect, impacts from adulthood also contribute. A person’s perception of self-efficacy and self-confidence can be influenced by elements such as relationships, employment, and life experiences.

How to Boost Your Own Respect

Dr. Zackson offers the following tips to help you increase your self-respect:

Determine your values: Begin by becoming aware of who you are. Imagine being suddenly stripped of all you own and having nothing left except yourself. What is important to you, consider. What values do I hold? Why do I accept less? What could make me remember my worth? ”

Keep your attention on your inner qualities: You can be tempted to believe that your value as a person is determined by things like your position, net worth, appearance, belongings, or the number of followers you have on social media. However, self-respect is about internal traits like your morals, ideals, and behaviour.

Develop self-acceptance by beginning to observe your mental processes without being sucked into them. Focus on accepting who you are, and let go of your harsh inner critic. Decide to forgive yourself and accept all of your flaws, poor habits, and other aspects of yourself that you don’t like.

Confront negative thoughts: Be aware of how negative thought patterns impact your behaviour. Recognize what makes you think negatively and rationalize such beliefs. It might be useful to understand this mental process and confront it, for example if a bad experience or a lack of a certain skill makes you instinctively feel unworthy: “Even though I’m not good at singing, I am still deserving of love and respect.”

Don’t give in to self-doubt: Focus on loosening the grip of self-doubt. If you don’t want someone to treat you disrespectfully, then don’t let them. Create a relationship with yourself and become aware of your qualities and principles. Remind yourself that we have a moral duty to respect ourselves just as much as we have to respect others.