Did you know that when you suffer from depression, that you are being robbed? Robbed of what? So many things, big and small, subtle and bold, but the most precious thing stolen from me: self-respect.
Now that I’m healing and reflecting on my behavior, thoughts and actions, I’m rediscovering my self-respect, even going so far as to put it above my fear of rejection and need for approval (yay me!). And I didn’t realize that it was gone till it was re-emerging, which kinda ticks me off, but also lights a fire of sorts…
I’m having a tough time putting all this into words, so I have found someone else’s that seems to capture my thoughts.
Respect is one of the most important qualities in your relationship with anyone, and there is no exception when it comes to your relationship with yourself. Self-respect encompasses a multitude of ideals, but it comes down to being the kind of person you are satisfied with showing the world and being someone that you and the people you care about are proud of. Self-respect is about having a sense of honor and dignity about yourself, your choices, and your life. It is about treating others well and knowing that by doing so, others will treat you well in return. Lastly, self-respect is knowing that not everyone will treat you well and choosing to respect everyone nonetheless, but still knowing that you deserve to be surrounded by great people. Having respect for yourself is vital in maintaining a positive self-image by allowing yourself to feel confident in who you are and content with the person you are becoming.
Self-respect is about having the courage to stand up for yourself when you are being treated in a manner that is less than what you deserve. It is about knowing your worth and having the ability to adjust your life and remove people from it if they are treating you poorly. If you have respect for yourself, you will naturally demand respect from others without having to do much of anything. People who have self-respect treat everyone else with respect, but acknowledge that not everyone else will do the same. Rather than stooping to their level and disrespecting them, you should simply not interact with them because you should respect yourself enough to know that they are a waste of your time that could be spent on better people.
Self-respect is about being the kind of person that you are proud of and the kind of person that pleases the people you care about. If you reflect on your life and the things you have done and feel a strong sense of dignity, you likely possess a great deal of self-respect. The ability to have pride in yourself is the paramount aspect of self-respect. If you are not proud of who you are or what you’ve done in your life, then you could be selling yourself short or compromising your values. If your friends, family, and mentors are proud of you and respect you, that’s a great indicator that you are respecting yourself because people you know will view you as dignified. Respecting yourself is not limited to how you feel about yourself. Just as other people are valuable assets to your life, their opinions of you can be just as valuable as your own. If people who have your best interests at heart don’t see that you are fulfilling your potential to be a great person and make good decisions, then it may be necessary to adjust your life choices. That does not necessarily mean that you need to turn your life around just because a friend or family member disapproves. However, if several people who care about you are not proud of you or your actions, you should take their opinions into consideration and decide whether or not they are correct. Self-respect is about making the decisions that make yourself feel a sense of pride and worth, but it involves being the kind of person others can be proud of, too. If you respect yourself enough, you will respect the people who care about you and be humble enough to realize that they want what’s best for you and may have valuable advice to give.
Ultimately, if you are confident in yourself and proud of who you are, you are respecting yourself by being the person you wish to show the world. Treat others with the same respect you are giving to yourself, and most people will treat you well in return. Have enough respect for others to never treat people poorly, but have enough respect for yourself to know that you deserve to be surrounded by good people. Self-respect is the basis of a good relationship with yourself and eventually others, so it is imperative to build a strong foundation capable of withstanding anything.
-Amanda Mina, The Odyssey Online