Self-respect is precious. You may take it for granted, even be unaware of it, until you lose it. Having little or no self-respect can be a downward spiral, leading to self-abuse and depression. You may believe you can do nothing about this, but you can.
Self-respect is value for yourself. It isn’t quite the same as self-esteem, although it is very closely connected. Self-esteem gives you confidence and the conviction that you are worthwhile, able to achieve your ambitions. Self-respect goes a tad deeper. It is the realization there is something sacred within you that deserves to be protected. Self-respect makes you shrink from anything that would degrade you – it is a great defence against drug abuse, unhealthy sexual relationships and also against doing harm to others. With good self-respect you realize certain behaviours are beneath you. It makes it easier to respect other people, animals and the planet itself. It’s very important to build it, but experience can damage it.
Like most things, self-respect begins in childhood. If those looking after you appreciated your value and encouraged you to do the same, there is every chance that your self-esteem has healthy roots, even if it has taken some knocks along the way. Bullying can injure it however, for bullying is worse than failure. ‘Failure’ can be recognized as a learning curve and while it may temporarily dent your self-esteem, that self-respect remains. On the other hand, bullies do their best to humiliate and at their worst take away a part of your humanity. During your teens you will probably have met some challenges to self-respect, as peer pressure can drive you to do drugs and alcohol and have bad relationships. Mostly you can put this down to experience, but it can sometimes be the start of something more serious. Even in adult life your self-respect may not be safe, for you may be drawn into a partnership that seems lovely on the surface, only to realize that your self-respect has been slowly eroded. Without self-esteem you may lack confidence to move on but without self-respect even the belief that you could move on can disappear.
Probably you will need some help to set you on track. This can be through counseling or by contacting one of our supportive and insightful readers at The Circle. There are several ways you can help yourself.
• Develop your spirituality. This does not have to be through organized religion, unless you want it to. You may find it through meditation and mindfulness, also by being out in nature. Be aware of the sensation that you are part of something much greater – it may be so fleeting you miss it, forget it or dismiss it. Learn to value this and seek it out.
• Choose to be with people who have sound self-respect. You can recognize them by the fact, firstly, that they have consideration for others. They will also have dignity, and a responsible life-style. Self-respect doesn’t mean being conventional and following all the rules but it does mean an awareness there are some rules we all need to recognise, and follow.
• Being kind can build self-respect. The danger here is that you could become a doormat, but you can avoid this if you’re careful. When you help people you can expect to feel uplifted – if you don’t, you’re being exploited. Doing good deeds for those who are vulnerable builds up your self-respect account.
• Stop the behavior that comes from lack of self-respect. This could be something as serious as hard drugs to something minor like being with a friend who persuades you to do things that are mean or stupid. If your self-esteem has shrunk, making you powerless, get support. Once you are free of the behavior your self-esteem will grow again.
• Keep a record of all you’ve done that’s worthy of respect. It’s easy to forget these and focus on the negative.
• Forgive yourself. Whatever you have done in the past, that’s over and carrying the weight of it on your back can never do anyone any good.
• Have pets. Simple and innocent, animals can give you the love and value that you’ve lost. If you can’t yet trust yourself to care for an animal, share someone else’s pets, or have back-up. Let your heart be warmed.
If regaining your self-respect seems impossible, don’t struggle alone. At The Circle you can always contact a psychic or medium who can help you. Benefit from a psychic reading, check your horoscope, have advice, insight and support. A clairvoyant reading is a big step in the right direction, so make contact with us without delay.
PUBLISHED: 6 January 2015