Self-respect is hard to come by. Almost no one has it as a kid, only a few find it in their teen years, and some have trouble finding it even as adults. It is an essential ingredient of real happiness, though, so we’ve put together a list of our top 10 recommendations for how to respect yourself.
10 Ways to Respect Yourself
Determine What Makes You Respect Yourself
First of all, understand that there is no one answer to how to respect yourself that fits everyone. Some people inherently value family most, and some people value work most, and others value personal well-being most.
You should look at your own values and determine how you can best respect yourself. Then go after that the best way you know-how.
That being said, the remaining items on this list are nearly universal ways to help you respect yourself.
Stand Up for Yourself
When you want something, assert yourself to the people who can give it to you! Far too many people are scared to stand up for what they want, and they miss out because of it. After the fact, they regret not making more of an effort to get their way.
In addition, you shouldn’t take flack from others if you don’t deserve it. Talk back! Be a force to be reckoned with. If you don’t, you’ll wish you had later.
RELATED: 5 Guilt-Free Ways to Say No
Never settle for less than you deserve. If you’re unhappy with the hand you’re dealt with, don’t be complacent! Use every resource you have to get to the point you think you should be at.
Once you’re happy with your position, you can look back on how you pulled yourself up by your own bootstraps and be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
Take Care of Yourself
Think of what it means to take care of a pet or a plant. It means getting them food, water, sunlight, exercise… all the things they need to thrive.
Now apply that same definition to how you treat yourself. Basically, you need to make sure you’re giving yourself access to everything you need to be happy and grow as a person. It also reminds you that you know how to respect yourself.
Every now and then, go out to a spa or a nice restaurant. Spend a few extra dollars on a new haircut. Take a weekend trip to a national park. Don’t get into the habit of doing it all the time, because that’s just overindulgent. But once in a while, it’s a good idea to remind yourself that you deserve the finer things in life.
Eat right. Get enough sleep. Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Your body is a machine, and you’ve got to keep it running at optimum performance.
You’ll notice the difference almost immediately. It will improve nearly every facet of your life, and you will be able to lie in bed at night feeling good about making such a huge positive change.
Don’t Badmouth Yourself
Never disparage yourself, even as a joke. Saying something like “I just didn’t want to do it because I’m lazy” is terrible for your psyche. Instead, try something like, “I was in a lazy mood.” Better yet, don’t mention laziness at all.
Don’t Be Untrue to Yourself for Others
You can’t be good at everything in life. You have your specialties, your unique talents. Focus on those things, because that is your niche. Let people who specialize in the things you’re not good at taking care of those areas.
That concept is called division of labor, and it’s how the world works. Accept that, and you’ll be free to focus on succeeding rather than trying in vain to complete tasks you’re not equipped to handle.
“Very narrow areas of expertise can be very productive. Develop your own profile. Develop your own niche.” — Leigh Steinberg
Stop Trying to Conform
In the same vein, you need to learn to enjoy being yourself, quirks, and all. Don’t adopt trends just because you think they will impress others.
Surround Yourself with Respectful People
Most people underestimate the effects of their choice of friends on their own self-respect. If you spend time with people who don’t respect themselves, the chances are that you won’t either.
It’s also important to be around people who respect you. When most of the people you are close to tell you that you’re not good enough, you tend to believe it yourself.
At the end of the day, you are as capable as you think you are. Because of that, knowing how to respect yourself is an essential part of happiness and success.