How to have Self-Respect
Updated: Jun 19, 2019
Self-respect is integral to a fulfilling life, and unfortunately not all of us have it.
I can tell you that you are worthy of respect, but the first person to tell you this needs to be you!
You’re not selfish for considering your own values, feelings, and wishes in life.
This specific post doesn’t delve into the reasons that we may not have developed self-respect, (future posts will look more at this), but is a summary of a key DBT skill to help improve the relationship with ourselves and others:
Respect yourself FAST:
1. (Be) Fair – In any relationship, it’s not all about you AND it’s not all about them. The way you feel is valid AND the way THEY feel is valid. The way you feel can never be ‘wrong’, so don’t disregard your own feelings or those of others. Remember, there’s two sides to every story.
2. Apologies- You don’t need to apologize for being you, for having your own mind and your own emotions. You don’t have to apologize for feeling something, or for being different. You don’t have to apologize for crying. Don’t invalidate your emotions. Apologizing too much even when you haven’t done anything wrong will not do anything good to your self-esteem.
3. Stick to your values- we all have values that make us who we are. Part of having self-respect is to hold your values close, and never sell out your integrity for something that is not extremely important.Stay true to yourself as much as you can.
4. (Be)Truthful- You don’t have to make up excuses or lie. If you need some time to yourself, there’s no shame in that, so why lie about it? We might feel like we need to make up excuses, but lying helps trick you into thinking you had something to hide.
People who care about you and respect you will understand that you are giving as much of yourself that you can give. Of course, in some situations you may not be able to be 100% truthful (for various reasons), but cultivating honesty in your day-to-day life as much as possible does help with developing self-respect.
Try keeping FAST in mind at times when your self-respect is slipping. It takes time and it isn't easy, but it's not too late!