Self-respect is loving yourself and treating yourself with care. It’s the result of staying true to your values and not being willing to compromise. The more you engage in behaviours consistent with your beliefs and values, the more you’ll feel loved, fulfilled and confident.
It is defined as a positive evaluation of combinations of one’s strengths, weaknesses, and values. It is a fundamental aspect of psychological well-being which plays a major role in devising individuals’ thoughts, emotions, and behaviours.
The person with self-respect simply likes oneself.
This is not dependent on success because there are always failures, neither is it a result of comparing ourselves with others because there is always someone better. These are methods usually employed to increase self-esteem.
Self-respect and its psychological connection
1) Self-esteem and self-worth:
It is linked with an individual’s self-esteem and self-worth. Self-esteem refers to the overall evaluation of oneself, whereas self-worth is the belief in one’s inherent value as a human being. High self-esteem and a strong sense of self-worth are often connected with each other with a greater sense of self-respect.
2) Developmental factors:
It is influenced by early childhood experiences, which include the quality of relationships with caregivers, parental modeling of self-respect, and the valued support received during the initial years. Secure attachment and positive reinforcement is also major factor that is responsible for contributing to a healthy sense of self-respect.
3) Self-concept and self-identity:
It is also associated with an individual’s self-concept and self-identity. Self-concept involves having a clear and realistic understanding of one’s strengths and weaknesses, whereas a strong self-identity means exploring yourself
4) Social and cultural influences:
Social and cultural factors also impacts self-respect. Societal standards and norms, as well as the opinions and judgments of others, also contribute to enhancing or diminishing self-respect.
It is also linked with self-compassion. Self-compassion includes treating oneself with utmost kindness and understanding, especially in times of failure and difficulty. People with self-respect are ,more likely to be more self-compassionate in recognizing their mistakes.
6) Autonomy and boundaries:
It is also linked to an individual’s ability to establish and maintain strong and healthy boundaries. It majorly involves knowing one’s personal limits, both physically and emotionally, and also asserting them when necessary.
7) Coping mechanisms:
People with self-respect are more likely to use adaptive coping mechanisms when faced with adverse conditions. They are better equipped to handle stress, rejection, and criticism in ways that do not undermine their self-esteem and self-worth.
8) Personal values and ethics:
Having a set of personal values and ethical principles is a very important aspect of self-respect. When individuals act along with their values and ethics, they mostly experience a sense of integrity and self-respect.
9) Emotional regulation:
It is also associated with effective emotional regulation. People who have a strong and healthy level of self-respect can acknowledge and process their emotions without being overwhelmed by them, ultimately leading to more sophisticated, balanced, and adaptive responses to their life’s challenges.
10) Self-acceptance and self-love:
It deeply involves self-acceptance and self-love. That means accepting one’s flaws and all, and loving self despite imperfections. Hence, positive self-regard is essential for maintaining self-respect.
Benefits of Self-respect
People with high self-respect enjoy a number of benefits, including:
- Improved mental health: People with high self-respect are less likely to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
- Stronger relationships: People with high self-respect are more likely to have healthy and satisfying relationships with others.
- Internal sense of happiness: People who respect themselves also tend to have their lives more stable and fulfilling than those who always keep comparing themselves to others.
- Upholding personal values and commitment: People with self-respect have a strong set of morals and values by which they judge character and actions.
- Greater success: People with high self-respect are more likely to set and achieve goals, and to be successful in their careers.
- Overall well-being: People with high self-respect are more likely to feel happy and fulfilled in their lives.
- Strong sense of dignity: It means having a strong sense of dignity towards one’s position and honour.
Problems of low self-respect
People with low self-respect experience a number of problems, including:
- Increased chances of mental health problems: People with low self-respect have more chances to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
- Unhealthy relationships: People with low self-respect are also prone to being in abusive or unhealthy relationships.
- Difficulty achieving goals: People with low self-respect are less likely to set and have difficulty achieving goals.
- Decreased overall well-being: People with low self-respect are more likely to feel unhappy and unfulfilled in their lives.
There are many ways that people can do to improve their self-respect, including:
- Focus on strengths: It is very important to focus on one’s strengths which, in turn, can boost self-esteem and self-respect.
- Achieve goals: Achieving goals and setting them also helps to boost self-confidence and self-respect. It is also important to set realistic goals that are achievable and to enjoy success.