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Unbroken's avatar

How do you define self respect?

Asked by Unbroken (10262 points ) December 24th, 2012

Self respect seems simple enough. However I think it is much more nuanced then we consider.

There was a couple questions in the recent past that dealt with how kind we are to others. How we treat and respect family, friends, and society at large.

A majority of answers indicated that most people felt their kindness was taken advantage of. In other words disrespected.

How do you show respect to yourself and what do you expect in terms of respect from other people?

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7 Answers

JenniferP's avatar

I like to do good for others. I have helped out a lot of family members who have proven to be ingrates. So I am more cautious now. For the most part I don’t let people take advantage of me. I have enough self respect, that I would never let anyone use me. Maybe as a teenager I let people, but not now. I think that I have a reasonable self respect at this point in my life.

blueiiznh's avatar

Self Respect is about actions or non actions. It is what you do or don’t do.. It is an ongoing effort. It doesn’t matter what you did in the past, it is about what you are doing now. It is important to know and realize that these actions are concrete things that can be measured. You don’t just think of yourself as a good person, you walk the talk. You take extra time and effort to be a good person to others.

“You think because he doesn’t love you that you are worthless. You think that because he doesn’t want you anymore that he is right—that his judgement and opinion of you are correct. If he throws you out, then you are garbage. You think he belongs to you because you want to belong to him. Don’t. It’s a bad word, ‘belong.’ Especially when you put it with somebody you love. Love shouldn’t be like that. Did you ever see the way the clouds love a mountain? They circle all around it; sometimes you can’t even see the mountain for the clouds. But you know what? You go up top and what do you see? His head. The clouds never cover the head. His head pokes through, because the clouds let him; they don’t wrap him up. They let him keep his head up high, free, with nothing to hide him or bind him. You can’t own a human being. You can’t lose what you don’t own. Suppose you did own him. Could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you? You really want somebody like that? Somebody who falls apart when you walk out the door? You don’t, do you? And neither does he. You’re turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? He can’t value you more than you value yourself.”
~Toni Morrison

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Self-respect is behaving the same way regardless of whether anyone’s watching.

Example. Some people don’t steal because they can’t get away with it. They don’t rob their employers because they can’t do so without being detected. They don’t shoplift because they fear getting caught and having a criminal record. Someone with self-respect, however, won’t steal regardless; that person is honest and has integrity.

Example. You don’t treat people according to who they are, but accordinging to who you are. Who hasn’t encountered someone who sucks-up to the boss but abuses waiters and cashiers? A self-respecting person treats everyone with decency and respect.

Example. I have a neighbor who’s clean to the outside world—she obviously bathes regularly and wears clean clothes—but her house is a pigsty. Not only is the place filthy, it literally smells like a garbage can. To me, this odd dichotomy means that something’s gone very wrong with her self-respect.

Jaxk's avatar

Self respect to me means that you apply the same rules to others that you expect from them. Treat others as you would expect them to treat you. Shakespeare said it best, “to thine own self be true”. You don’t have to be perfect, just consistent.

Shippy's avatar

My answer to this could change all the time. As I reckon most of us, not all grow into self respect. For me it’s about boundaries right now. Knowing where the line is drawn to serve my higher self. A difficult task, since I have always been in service to others. I also have an anger/rage issue so it is managing to do this, with calmness.

prasad's avatar

Self respect means giving respect to one self with respect to others as well.

I remember my teacher told me that respect = re (back/again) + specere (look). He told that when you give respect to someone you look up at him/her; you consider him/her one (or more) level up than you are. So, giving respect to one self is to consider one self superior than what one thinks about himself/herself (of course, this should not turn into disrespect to others).

SABOTEUR's avatar

Self respect: a self actualizing perspective about oneself; the ongoing process of negating, disregarding or protecting oneself against (usually negative) outside influence.

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