What Is Self-Respect, And Why Is It So Important?

by • July 6, 2021 • PsychologyComments (0)1202

Self-Respect: Definition, Importance, & 10 Effective Practice Tips

Self-respect determines all the decisions you make, how you treat yourself, and how others treat you. A healthy level of self-respect gives you the confidence to set firm boundaries and helps you understand your values, strengths, and weaknesses and follow them. 

If you want to improve your self-respect, this article offers 10 great practice strategies you can implement right away.

But before that, we tell you what self-respect refers to, why it is important, and how it differs from self-esteem. We’ll also tell you how online therapy can help you if you have self-respect issues. Let’s get started.

What Is Self-Respect? 

Simply put, self-respect means having confidence in what you do and carrying yourself with dignity, honor, and grace. It is an inner power that you must take ample time to develop, given that it comes from experiencing life’s setbacks and failures and learning how to rebuild. 

Self-esteem enables you to focus on what’s important to you and not on pleasing others. 

Why Is Self-Respect Important for You? 

Self-respect is key to your happiness in the world. If you lack it, it becomes difficult to enjoy life and other experiences. It gives you courage, which goes a long way in helping you express yourself in society. 

Self-respect also gives you clarity on yourself, what you wish to do, and the tools you can use to achieve your goals. It is a unique personal attribute that gives you confidence, compassion, understanding, and fulfillment.

Self-Respect Vs. Self-Esteem: How Are They Different?

Self-respect is connected with self-love and has to do with the positive values you attribute to yourself, like honesty, confidence, humility, and having dignity, and integrity. When you have self-respect, you lead life on your beliefs, and what others think or want will not sway you. You embrace yourself fully, regardless of imperfections.

On the other hand, self-esteem refers to how you feel and think about yourself. You get self-esteem when you feel that you are meeting your standards or expectations in any aspect of life. 

It’s important to note that you can have healthy self-esteem while having little self-respect.

10 Strategies for Practicing Self-Respect

Want to work on your self-respect?

When you practice self-respect, you’ll become more positive about your thoughts and emotions. You can start practicing self-respect right away with these 10 effective strategies.

+ Add New Category Choose Self-Respect

The first step to take if you want to respect yourself is to commit to change. Choose to practice self-care, self-worth, and self-respect every day. 

Identify What Makes You Respect Yourself

Do some self-analysis to know what things make you feel good about yourself. After that, prioritize them every day. For instance, if exercise makes you revere yourself, you can incorporate it into your daily life.

Mind Your Feelings

What you feel is as important as everyone else’s. Given this, if something makes you uncomfortable, it’s sensible to pay attention to that, respect that, and act accordingly. Consider your emotions every day when making various decisions.

Minding your feelings is essential, especially since many of us tend to seek the approval of people around us. By respecting other people’s opinions, you show that you disrespect your own needs, desires, feelings, and beliefs. Essentially, you are saying that others are worthier than you.

Refrain from Self-Deprecation

Self-deprecation is the habit of reprimanding yourself by belittling, undervaluing, or disparaging yourself. It also entails being unrealistically modest about your abilities, achievements, etc.

If you are keen on building self-respect, you should refrain from making self-deprecating statements. After all, what you say about yourself over time could turn into what you believe, which can further hurt your self-confidence. 

So, make a point of avoiding any self-deprecation until you can understand the thin line between it and making fun of your abilities, beliefs, and so on.

Start Journaling

Journaling is one of the best ways to practice self-care and keep your mental health in check. A journal gives you a private space to express yourself and deal with different emotional problems:

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings, etc.

In this case, you can use your journal to note when you disrespect yourself and your thoughts during these moments. By keeping a record of these events, you can easily identify a pattern and the triggers.

Be Honest to Yourself

Being honest with yourself means accepting who you are as a person and who you are not. Build self-respect by knowing your interests and talents, likes and dislikes, and doing things that align with these attributes. 

For example, carrying on with job positions, friendships, and hobbies you don’t like disrespects yourself. Instead, prioritize what gives you satisfaction to live a more fulfilled life.  

Take Action on Things You Want

Dreamt of owning your own business? Take the leap and start it. Always thought about being a medic? It’s not too late for you to apply to medical school. Practice self-respect by going for the things you want.

If you have self-confidence, it doesn’t matter if no one else believes in you. Think of successful entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Sam Walton, and Bill Gates. They founded startups that later became large corporations.   

Prioritize Your Emotional Needs

Practice self-love by doing things that make you feel content, happy, and comfortable. If anything, say a friendship or relationship, makes you feel sad, discontent, or mad at yourself, it’s probably time to assess it. 

Every person has their own emotional needs, and it’s your responsibility to take care of your own. So, know what your needs are and make sure they are fulfilled. Don’t wait for someone else to come and meet them for you.

Recognize That Your Deserve to Be Treated Respectfully

In most cases, other people treat you exactly how you show them you want to be treated. When people don’t treat you with respect, it’s often a reflection of your own self-image. Remember, you deserve respect for the simple reason that you are human. 

Also, be aware of your own values and stand up for yourself when you feel disrespected. People will treat you better when you start demanding respect. 

Learn to Say “No”

One of the best things you can do when building your self-worth is saying no when you’re not okay with something. It can be hard to say no to people close to you as you don’t want to hurt them or look like a horrible person. 

However, saying no when something isn’t alright with you means that you’re confident and respect yourself. Here are some polite ways to say “no”:

  • “Unfortunately, now is not a good time as I’m in the middle of something.”
  • “I’m sorry, I’m not able to fit this one in at the moment.” 
  • “I can’t commit myself at the moment as I have other priorities.”
  • “No, thank you, maybe next time.” 
  • “Thanks for thinking of me, but I’m not available right now.” 

When you stop saying “yes” to things to please others, you’ll be surprised at how much freedom you’ll have. You will have time, mental energy, and peace of mind to concentrate on the things that actually matter to you. 


Self-respect is about treating yourself the same way you would like other people to treat you. If you’re constantly self-judging and devaluing yourself, others will also treat you the same. 

Building self-respect, especially when you’re struggling with low esteem and confidence, will take some time. However, these tips should help you get a healthy level of self-respect. 

Sometimes, lack of self-respect is associated with mental health issues or inability to cope with life’s challenges alone. So, to work through it, you might need to try therapy and start a path to a better life. You can start online therapy at home with Calmerry and work towards building a more confident self.



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