Self-respect- it sounds good- it’s so pleasing to the ears. But! It’s hard as heck to master and sometimes takes a lifetime to develop, especially if you’ve ever been a target of bullying and abuse.
When we’re bullied, abused, and gaslighted, it can often compel us to seek approval and do some pretty drastic things to get that approval.
Sadly, many people never attain that golden prize because they’re under the presumption that life’s all about having a truckload of friends, having huge wads of cash, getting all the girls, and having power. They think life’s all about being popular, or pretty, the king of the mountain, or the baddest mother on the block.
These are the bullies- the people who are constantly trying to prove themselves to others. That’s not self-respect. Not even close.
When you have self-respect, none of that stuff interests you and. You don’t feel the need to perform cartwheels and showboat just to prove to the rest of the world that you’re worthy because you could care less what anyone else thinks.
Self-respect means treating yourself like you want others to treat you. Your treatment of yourself is determined by how you allow others to behave toward you and by what you will and will not accept. And it means not settling for anything less than what you know you want and deserve.
Self-respect means taking care of yourself, mind, body, and spirit.
It means know who you are, what you want, what heights you’re capable of, and never doubting what you can achieve. It means refusing to allow bullies and abusers to convince you that you should hate yourself or that you should feel desperate to please, appease, and impress others. It means that the only person you seek approval from is God Himself.
Self-respect means knowing your worth and the value you bring to the lives of others regardless of what a few toxic people may think or have to say. It means holding true to your values, beliefs, and convictions, regardless of whether they’re popular.
It means accepting and embracing everything that is you- your age, sex, race, nationality, creed, body composition, weight, height, looks, quirks, and idiosyncrasies.
Self-respect also means understanding the following:
1.Respect is earned, not freely given. It is not an entitlement! No! Respect is something you must give to get. Understand that everyone has a space to fill, even you. Respect is either mutual or none at all- there’s no in-between. It’s a two-way street. Always!
2. Never show respect that’s not reciprocated. Never respect anyone who doesn’t respect you back because when you do, it’s not self-respect. What it is, is self-abuse.
Anytime you give unreturned respect, it only reeks of desperation and you allow yourself to be a slave, a prisoner, a whipping boy. To put it bluntly, you make yourself somebody’s bitch. You put your value in someone else’s hands and that’s no way to live.
3. Never take the respect you get for granted. Again, respect isn’t something you’re entitled to. It’s not automatic, and to think you’re owed such a commodity without earning it is arrogance. It means you’re a pompous, self-serving, narcissistic turd who’s full of yourself.
4. Just like love, respect is something money can’t buy. It doesn’t matter how much money, power, and prestige you have. If you’re a piece of scum, you’re a piece of scum. And your money is something you can never take with you when you go. Neither can you take your power nor your prestige. We all come into this world naked and naked will we leave it.
5. Know the purpose of respect. Respect has a purpose. It’s there to ensure that humans can live together in safety, peace, and harmony. It isn’t self-serving. It’s meant for the good of all living creatures.
6. Respect is not to be demanded nor afforded through bullying and instilling fear in others. Only gangs and mobsters demand respect- all while giving none in return. These people steal, kill, and destroy the lives of others, then have the chutzpah to demand respect from the very people they harm.
What they don’t realize is this: people may act like they respect them to their faces, but you can bet that once they’re away and out of earshot, people will gather and talk mad trash about them behind their backs. The truth will be known that they’re only self-satisfied pieces of crap who think they’re entitled. And people will call them exactly what they are and laugh at them in secret.
7. Sometimes, respect is something you must stand up and fight for. There are toxic people everywhere- users, abusers, bullies, and people who think they’re superior and that you’re their personal property. They will try to manipulate you, disrespect you, harass you, and violate your boundaries. They will especially do this if you’re young and aren’t experienced enough to know how the world operates. It’s imperative that you set firm boundaries and walk away from such people.
8. Respect isn’t something you should ever have to ask nor (gasp!) beg for. If you’ve earned it and already give respect, it should come back to you naturally, and if you must ask or beg for it, you’re with the wrong people. Ditch them without looking back. Respect yourself enough to walk away and find people who will value and respect you.
Remember that respect is a give and take. No one is entitled to it, it must be earned. In order to get respect, you must give it, and that includes giving it to yourself too.
With knowledge comes empowerment!