“R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me” ~ Aretha Franklin
Or, as defined by my dictionary
Self-respect (n): a feeling of confidence and pride in one’s own abilities and worth
(my noticeboard – pithy quote central)
The first ever blog I wrote was on confidence and self-esteem. It’s here if you want to read it. I suffer from writers fear of reading my early stuff so can’t look at it.
But confidence, self-esteem, these are still things I ponder a lot. I’ve added a new element to it now and that is self-respect. I think what happens when you get confidence and self-esteem in sync you develop this great trait known as self-respect. Self-esteem is about knowing your worth and living up to it. That’s not in a “I’m worth more/am better than you” it’s about recognising that we have worth, that we are worthy. (Please, no L’Oreal quotes – we’re all worth more than a bit of shampoo). But self-respect, that’s another level again. It’s about how your treat yourself and, more importantly, how you allow yourself to be treated.
“It’s not about being liked, it’s about self-respect”
That’s an old quote, I don’t know where from. I cut it out of a magazine ages ago and it’s on that noticeboard. I did it as it rings so true with me. I suffer enormously from wanting to be liked, to be accepted, that I have twisted and altered my personality so much at times in order to do so. And of course this never works. But it’s hard to break a habit ingrained over a lifetime. It’s hard to take a stand, just for yourself, and say yes, this is me and I’m ok.
I believe everyone is due a basic level respect. Until their behaviour causes it to be lost. It is a deserved human civility. But further respect has to be earned. And I think the same applies to ourselves. Quite a lot of people don’t give themselves the basic respect they deserve in terms of how they look after themselves or how they allow others to treat them. But also we can earn our own self-respect by being the best we can be. Being kind, doing nice things, achieving; these all seems to be something that it is chic to deride in society right now. This depresses me. Striving to achieve is an admirable thing. Being a nice person is too. And if that means standing up, being counted, and then not being liked then I guess I’m old enough, wise enough, and strong enough to deal with it. The only person I am guaranteed to be waking up with for the rest of my live is me. And I’d like to feel good about myself when I do.
And what about you guys? Do you respect yourselves? Is respect an automatic right or should it always have to be earned from scratch? And what pithy quotes do you have lying around the place? Thoughts appreciated, as always, on a comment box-shaped postcard, please.