How to learn to respect yourself?

How to start to respect yourself

Contributor(s): Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a licensed psychotherapist in Wisconsin, specializing in addictions and mental health. She provides therapy for people struggling with addictions, mental health issues, and the effects of trauma, both in health care settings and in private practice settings. She received her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Marquette University in 2011.

Number of sources used in this article: 11. You will find a list of them at the bottom of the page.

Number of views of this article: 86 894.

Develop self-esteem to realize what you want, build relationships with people, and gain respect from those around you. Do you want to learn self-esteem? Accept yourself for who you really are and become the person you dream of being. Make an effort to come to terms with your inner self and have those around you treat you the way you deserve.

  • Write down all the things that are important to you – people’s names, feelings, activities, and interests. That way you’ll know what you like and what you want to dedicate your life to. [1] X
  • Engage in a variety of activities, and you’ll find out what appeals to you and what doesn’t. [2] X Source of information
  • Take notes in a journal. Imagine that you are an old man – ask him for advice on how you should live your life. To be honest with yourself, start an entry with the phrase, “I don’t want to write about . [3] X Source of Information
  • Spend time alone with yourself. For example, go to a restaurant that you have long wanted to visit. [4] X Source of information This way you can focus on your own feelings and thoughts.

Learn to forgive yourself if you want to increase your self-esteem. Forgive yourself for what you have done in the past. If necessary, admit your mistakes and ask for forgiveness from others. If you blame yourself for hurtful words or wrong actions and decisions, you will have a hard time living. Remember that all people make mistakes and learn from them, so forgive yourself and others. [5] X Source of Information

  • Planning to love yourself only after you’ve lost 20 pounds? That’s a bad approach. Love yourself the way you are at the moment.

  • Watch your posture, smile more and think of yourself in a positive way at least three times an hour.
  • Say “Thank you” to the person who complimented you.

  • For example, when you go to a job interview, don’t think you will fail because there are stronger candidates. Tell yourself that you are proud of yourself already for getting that interview.

Don’t live someone else’s life. Often the main reason for low self-esteem is negative thoughts about your life compared to other people’s lives. For example, you may be unhappy with yourself because you earn less than your friends. Set goals without looking back at other people and achieve them. Don’t waste time on something that will wow your Facebook friends. Do what you want to do, not what’s trendy or prestigious. [7] X Source of Information

Don’t be jealous of anyone. Do what you can to achieve your goals. Envy accompanies bitterness and resentment, and these feelings destroy your self-respect and make you strive to be like others. Do what will make you happy. [8] X Source of Information

Self-respect (psychology): how to start respecting yourself

Self-respect is the ability to see your own merits and personal boundaries, understand your needs, and appreciate yourself. Self-respect is a person’s attitude toward himself or herself. If he does not respect himself, he considers himself unworthy of love, attention, happiness, and respect from other people. Such a person becomes a hostage of dependent relationships and cannot be realized in life. Let’s break down in more detail what self-respect means.

What does it mean to respect yourself

What does it mean to respect yourself? In psychology, to respect yourself means to love, appreciate and praise yourself, to take care of yourself. People are used to thinking that respect has to be earned. However, in psychology it is considered correct to respect oneself as well as to love – unconditionally.

At the same time, we must not forget that self-respect is closely connected with self-esteem, and it is formed on the basis of assessment by other people and on the basis of introspection. If people around for a long time convinced the person that he is unworthy, and most of his actions he and other people assessed as bad, then we cannot speak about unconditional self-respect – a lack of respect for oneself is formed.

Important! Respect for oneself is formed in childhood on the basis of the attitude of others toward the child. If he was told that he was bad and unworthy, then the person grows up with a sense of disrespect for himself.

Signs of Self-Disrespect

Signs of disrespect for yourself:

  1. You are afraid to express yourself, to show the real you. You depend on the opinion of others and all the time adapting to other people, trying to please everyone.
  2. You focus on your shortcomings and failures, you do not know how to accept compliments and praise. You are afraid to talk about their abilities, strengths and victories, as you consider it bragging.
  3. You are constantly sacrificing yourself, please others, take care of others.
  4. You used to look for the cause of the failures in themselves. And if something good happens, you say that you just got lucky.
  5. You are haunted by shame and guilt, you are prone to self-injury, self-deprecation and self-punishment.
  6. You are afraid to show your emotions and constantly suppress them. To you, emotions are a sign of weakness. You are afraid that other people will despise you for it.
  7. You tolerate disrespectful treatment in your address, do not know how to respond to insults, to defend themselves. You find it easier to keep silent, to leave, to put up with.
  8. You find it difficult to make decisions. If you are trying to do something on the dictates of your heart, you are filled with guilt.
  9. You expect approval and support from others, but you are constantly in touch with those who insult and humiliate you.
  10. You are insecure and fixated on negativity.
  11. You are constantly apologizing and making excuses.
  12. Despite all the suffering, you don’t try to change your life.

Take note! A person who has no self-respect is afraid of error and criticism. Therefore, he prefers to “keep his head down” or do everything to please others.

Ways to show self-respect

I think most people have more or less an idea of what self-respect is. But very few people know what it means.

How to begin to respect and appreciate yourself:

  1. Healthy introspection. Think about what makes you happy and what prevents you from being happy right now. Identify your current psychological problems and get rid of them.
  2. Healthy Lifestyle. Respecting yourself involves taking care not only of your psyche, but also of your body. Make a daily routine, rearrange your diet, start exercising, rest.
  3. Be honest with yourself and others. If you’ve already figured out what gives you the strength to live and what takes it away, then continue on the path of healthy introspection. Get rid of those relationships and activities that don’t make you happier.
  4. Self-knowledge and finding your purpose. Identify your abilities and aptitudes. Do not force yourself to do what you do not feel like doing. Self-respect involves the freedom to express yourself. Together with this, learn your strengths and weaknesses, learn to learn from mistakes.
  5. Friendship with the emotions. Any emotion, especially negative, helps in self-development. Emotions and feelings help us understand our needs and values, to set priorities. Therefore, it is important not to repress their emotions, and live and learn from them. Do not limit yourself and do not let others limit you. Change, grow, try new things.
  6. An active attitude in life. Learn to say “no”, express your opinion and assert personal boundaries. If you spend your energy on what you don’t like or on recovering from dealing with toxic people, you won’t have the energy for anything else. At best, you will remain at the same level as you are now. At worst, you’ll become an even more miserable and insecure person with a bunch of psychosomatic illnesses.

A person who has respect for himself, allows himself to be himself. He knows that it is impossible for everyone to like him, that the concept of norm is relative, that no one can know better than him what is good and what is bad for him. So he does what he wants (of course, within the law and without violating the personal boundaries of other people), and is guided by his own feelings, emotions. Try different things and you’ll find out what suits you.

How to start respecting yourself – psychologist’s tips

How to learn to respect and appreciate yourself:

  1. Get to know yourself and accept yourself. You have to learn and accept all your external features, strengths and weaknesses, strengths and weaknesses. It’s also important to accept the past, if it’s the reason you don’t respect yourself. First, determine the difference between selfishness and healthy self-love. With selfishness a person wants others to obey him and live according to his desires and needs. With healthy love, a person respects the interests of others and does not infringe on them, but puts his own needs first and lives himself the way he wants to live.
  2. Develop. Remember that there is no ideal, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t strive for perfection. Do something every day that makes you a better version of yourself. Don’t compare your own and others’ achievements, analyze only your own progress.
  3. Rest and pamper yourself. What gives you pleasure? Respecting yourself is taking care of yourself and periodically satisfying your whims. Don’t you deserve to get a good night’s sleep or spend half an hour taking a bath? When was the last time you even did what you wanted to do instead of what you needed to do (usually to someone else)? The most powerful source of self-esteem is what you love to do. What do you find valuable and meaningful? Is it something you can do? Only when you do something that brings you pleasure and satisfaction will you begin to respect yourself. Of course, for maximum effect, this must resonate with society. Use the golden formula for career choice: can (abilities) + want (interests) + need (demand in society).

Pay attention! Self-respect gives a sense of confidence and a sense of stability, security.

My experience

In my case, the lack of self-respect had a complex basis. It all started with taking on a personal account of the problems in the family. It is difficult for a child to understand where his area of responsibility and where someone else’s is. He identifies with both parents, so everything that happens in the family perceives very closely. Especially if peers add fuel to the fire, reminding you that you are the daughter of an addict, or pointing out your excess weight, which you, without realizing it, were trying to protect yourself from the outside world. And every situation where you failed to stand up to your abusers further undermined your self-esteem. Then you went through a turbulent adolescence. And then you got lost in life.

The disrespect manifested itself on all levels. It’s your sloppy appearance, your inability to speak your mind, your habit of being with someone who will give at least some positive attention, your abuse of alcohol, your food, movies, and low-quality entertainment. In fact, if you don’t respect yourself, you always and everywhere choose things and people of low quality. You take what someone condescendingly offers. Or what doesn’t require much effort on your part.

Also disrespecting yourself is being surprised at those moments when someone shows that you deserve better. But the more “warts” of the past and its consequences you cut away, the less this surprise. Little by little, the realization comes that you are indeed worthy of love and attention. And soon you begin to see it as the norm.


Self-respect is about respecting your resources. What do they include? Individual psychological characteristics, experience, knowledge, skills, time. Respecting oneself means appreciating every part of one’s self, accepting oneself in any condition and always taking care of oneself. A person with self-respect will not tolerate anything that destroys or hurts him/her physically or psychologically.

Respecting yourself means doing something every day to improve the quality and level of your life and maintain your resource state. If you do not respect yourself, those around you will not respect and appreciate you.

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