“If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect, will you compel others to respect you.” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky
In our stressful times, it is easy to let good, healthy habits slip. I thought of it this week when I was on the second hot dog for the week with the kid. Next, I thought of self-respect, in this case – of treating our bodies right. The hot dog when you are out can be somewhat defended by the other fun that was being had, but still… when does it move from good fun to a low-hanging-fruit-meal replacement…?
Self-respect is defined as holding yourself in esteem and believing that you are good and worthy of being treated well. An example of self-respect is when you know you deserve to be treated right and, as a result, you do not tolerate others lying to you or treating you unfairly.
And why does self-respect matter? Well, if we don’t have it, what do we have? Your level of self-respect determines your level of happiness, what job or mate – or life – you think you deserve to have. It affects basically – everything.
How do you then build self-respect? Research shows that you’re likely to increase your level of self-respect if you do the following on a day-to-day basis:
- Conveying the plain truth or letting others know (within reason of course) what you are feeling about any given situation, especially where it really matters to you.
- Accepting responsibility for everything that occurs in your life without seeking to blame others.
- Reading more widely, discussing deeper issues with people around you, and finding more regular time to ponder or reflect.
- Seeking to postpone judgment, listen and understand before defending or attacking or determining that what you see or hear is “wrong” or to assign fault in any way.
- Regularly checking (through reflection) whether you might be deceiving yourself or even telling yourself lies about what is happening around you.
- Questioning any limiting beliefs that you may hold and challenging your personal paradigms.
- Treating everyone with respect and patience, rather than irritation and judgment, and maintaining the larger perspective as much as possible.
- Being as humble as possible in all dealings with other people (ReadyToManage)
I may not give up treating my kid to hot dogs, but I am excited to see what would happen if I disciplined myself and did ALL of the above every day. If I could say I had checked off every single one, what would happen…? Who is with me…?