Rodney Dangerfield will forever be known for saying that and sharing funny stories about just how much respect he didn’t get. But for many, feeling disrespected is a common occurrence that makes living a happy life difficult. Respect is something everyone wants, but not everyone receives.
Recently, I was working with a client who was frustrated with everyone because he felt no one respected him. His boss didn’t, his co-workers didn’t, his family didn’t – apparently, everyone in his life lacked respect for him. Regardless of whether or not he truly didn’t get the respect he wanted from others, the bigger question he needed to answer was whether or not he respected himself.
Do You Respect Yourself?
Without respect for yourself you aren’t likely to respect anyone else. And, when you don’t respect yourself or others, you can’t expect them to respect you. When I first asked if he respected himself he started with, “Sure I do. Of course.” So, I asked more questions:
As we went through each of these it became obvious that he didn’t fully respect himself. In fact, he didn’t even seem to like himself at all. Then, once we started talking about his life and how he related to his family, friends, and colleagues it became even more apparent. He felt shame and guilt for things he did, didn’t do, and wanted to do. And this was stopping him from having self-respect.
When you have self-respect you don’t worry as much about what people think of you. You know internally what you have to offer and are confident within yourself. That confidence allows you to let negative comments roll off you without affecting you. To respect yourself, start by asking yourself “What do I need or not need so that I can truly like and respect myself? Your answers may surprise you, and they can often be goals to set and work on. To respect yourself you must:
Whether you want to develop your self-respect or earn the respect of others, there are some things you can do to help build the respect you desire:
The more you give of yourself, without expecting anything back in return, the more value you will see in yourself and that will bring respect into your life. Respect is about recognizing, acknowledging, and building on the positive qualities that are present. Figure out what that means to you personally, and then start making changes to live a life that exemplifies those qualities. You’ll respect yourself for it, and others will, too.