Every situation has a silver lining – discover a mindset that heals and enlightens.

September 1, 2021 · 7 min read

You should never be surprised when someone treats you with respect, you should expect it. – Sarah Dessen

This topic hits me hard, because I used to be like a floormat to everyone a few years ago. A floormat that was too shy to tell anyone to mind their own business.


I truly understand what it’s like not to be respected and used by almost everyone.


That is one of the least positions where you want to be in. It destroys your personality little by little until you feel like a turtle in your own shell. Someone even finds a way to use your shell until you are fully exploited. That’s absolutely absurd!


However, if you are here to build self-respect and never be exploited ever again, then you are at the right place.


No one has the right to constantly over and over again push you wherever that person wants to.

self respect

What is self-respect?

Self-respect is a state when an individual knows his value and rights not to be taken advantage of. Self-respect is a matter of honor and dignity not to fall under everyone’s feet.


Frankly, self-respect is a trait that everyone can have. If you value yourself enough, there is no reason to be somebody’s tool.

Why self-respect takes a critical role in your life?

The biggest issue with having too little self-respect is that everyone takes advantage of you.


Some people can take psychological advantage of you to constantly pour their problems on you. It’s absolutely okay to listen to these problems once in a while but listening to them all the time is definitely not a norm.

self respect

Some people can drain you emotionally like your significant other. They’d constantly play with your feelings by using your sensitive character as a tool.


The same applies to be taken advantage of physically or financially. Don’t be someone’s toy and stand up for yourself.

10 Lack of self-respect signs

  1. You don’t value your time
  2. You try to be everyone’s pleaser
  3. You don’t want to argue with anyone
  4. You don’t take initiative
  5. You don’t value quality
  6. You forgive everyone very quickly
  7. You doubt yourself too often
  8. You accept compliments with sarcasm or irony
  9. You look for everyone’s reassurance
  10. You take everyone’s opinion as a fact
Only make decisions that support your self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth. – Oprah Winfrey

10 Self-respect signs

  1. You have your opinion and are not afraid to speak up
  2. You know when to say “no” if someone treats you with disrespect
  3. You are not afraid to argue
  4. You value quality
  5. You take initiative
  6. You always believe in yourself
  7. You don’t need anyone’s reassurance that everything is going to be fine
  8. You value your time
  9. You know your worth and seek for leadership
  10. You have firm moral beliefs

10 Ways How to gain self-respect and practice it

1. Learn to say “no”

Don’t accept everyone’s inquiry to help them or do them a favor. Also, don’t get me wrong, helping others is amazing and you should be definitely doing it.


However, you have to differentiate between who wants a genuine help and who wants to take advantage of you once again.

self respect

How to practice it:


Stand in front of the mirror. Imagine that someone is asking you again to help them to do their nails, fix a car or do an office related work. Let them know that you can’t and you have plans and your own work to do. Tell them a sweet “no” which they won’t expect.


Don’t be a sheep that everyone can push wherever they want to.

2. Take initiative

Taking initiative shows your value and self-confidence. In other words, you show them that you have self-respect and it’s unnecessary for someone to take charge of you all the time.

The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs. – Joan Didion

How to practice it:


First, take a few scenarios in your head. Perhaps your significant other or parent say that they will wash the dishes. Instead, offer and insist that you will do it. For this, you really don’t have to plan in your head. Just do it.


Now, imagine if this is a real case scenario. It goes something along like this: you and friends are having a great evening time and you offer them to go on a kayak trip. Of course, they’d accept and then you’d plan a trip. You’d search for the best local vendor to rent kayaks from and you would go on a trip.


Obviously, it would be all thanks to you. Take opportunities into your hands.

3. Value your time

If you keep on pleasing everyone, you will waste a lot of time. They will soon realize that you have nothing else to do and you are a pleaser for them. Don’t fall into this trap. You can achieve a lot of great things if you spend them somewhere else.

how to self respect

How to practice it:


Just imagine: hypothetically, if you spend at least 5-6 hours a week pleasing someone, visualize what you could do instead.


Perhaps you could go to a gym and gain muscle or lose fat. Perhaps you could learn a new musical instrument to play. Maybe you could start learning how to edit videos or start learning about photography.


Think carefully and plan your time. Learn something new instead.

4. Learn to be responsible for yourself

If you are used to that someone else does a job that you can do yourself, then stop it. Tell them thank you, but you will do it yourself this time.


This will provoke personal responsibility for yourself. To put it differently, you will not be dependent on someone else. Have some self-respect and prove at least for yourself that you can do it.


How to practice it:


If you are an adult and live with parents, find a job if you still don’t have one.


If someone else takes care to make majority of decisions, then steer the ship to your side. Instead, take the steering wheel and make a decision for you and another person (or a group of people).


These are prime examples what you could do about this problem. Adapt it to your own situation.

5. Treat yourself better

We often neglect our well-being and blame and bash ourselves for mistakes. We leave no room for failures and expect the best from ourselves. However, it’s important to keep in mind that we all are humans and nobody can make perfect decisions.


Instead, we have to treat ourselves with more compassion. Be kind to yourself and if you learn from your mistakes, it’s all that matters. Have a treat and self-care session.

Make a choice: Continue living your life feeling muddled in this abyss of self-misunderstanding, or you find your identity independent of it. – Meghan Markle

How to practice:


Whenever you achieve significant goal in your life, treat yourself. If you have had a successful week of work, go out on the weekend to a restaurant. Do something that you usually can’t find the time for.


If you make a mistake and you don’t repeat it, treat yourself as well. Make a small break from your work, get a coffee or a tea and relax with yourself.


If other people don’t treat you well, then learn to ignore it and treat yourself instead. No one can take care of your well-being as good as you can. Only you know what’s the best for you. Don’t be too harsh and critical for yourself and enjoy the life.

6. Set restrictions for your dignity

If you used to be okay when someone pushes you around from corner to another corner, you shouldn’t let that happen anymore. You must have existing dignity and pride. You can’t let other people to take advantage of you whenever they find an opportunity.


People will notice that you have no pride and dignity in yourself and they will take advantage of you. They might start bullying you and improve their ego instead. Don’t let this happen. You have to set boundaries.

how to self respect

How to practice:


If it’s work related, you have to know your rights and what are you responsible of. If it’s out of your boundaries, you don’t have to do it. You don’t have to do the whole work for your co-worker. Let them kindly know that it’s not your business and you have your responsibilities to take care of.


If it’s more of an ordinary thing that happens outside your workplace, then make sure to ask yourself if it’s reasonable to do what the other person does to you. Chances are, that 90% it’s not acceptable and you shouldn’t tolerate it.


What’s the worst thing can happen if you decline the request? Probably, nothing. If the person after your declination starts to talk not politely to you, then do the same as the other person does to you.


However, keep in mind to have boundaries for replying back as well. You should never get into a real fight and use violence to solve problems and to protect your self-respect. Sometimes you just have to let it go and ignore that person.

7. Join a debate community

Another great way to increase your self-respect is to join a community where a lot of discussion is going on. Not only this will enhance your communication skills, but it will also boost your confidence.


The reason why it’s so beneficial is because you learn to express your thoughts in a more concise and clear way. This boosts your self-worth and confidence through the roof. Learning to communicate effectively is one of the most important skills you can learn in life.

Some people have so much respect for their superiors they have none left for themselves. – Peter McArthur

How to practice:


Simply, join a debate club or community. Find local communities that discuss about interesting or relevant topics for you. It can range anywhere from gardening community to even town/city council. You could even join hobbies communities.


Do some research beforehand about the communities. Try to find any reviews about them and see if they are any good.


When you decide which community to join, do some research again. This time, do regarding the topics that are relevant to the community. Be prepared to have at least a basic background of knowledge, so it would be less intimidating at first.


After a while, you’ll feel like at home at you’ll discuss like it’s a breeze. Remember, that to improve you have to practice and not to be afraid to express your thoughts verbally.

8. Stop caring what everyone else thinks

Too many people are conscious about how they look and what other people might think about them. Some other people might be afraid to be judged based on their opinion that they want to express.


It’s a toxic mindset that slowly poisons your self-worth and self-respect. Eventually, you’ll lose your confidence and you’ll close the doors to everyone.


Keep in mind that a lot of people suffer from this condition and they usually don’t think a lot about other people. They think what other people will think about them.

how to self respect

How to practice:


There is no secret sauce to this. You’ll have to beat your fears and start acting instead of hiding. I always think to myself: “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”. In most cases, NOTHING.


In worst cases, other people might criticize your opinion that you’ve just said, but it’s okay to have a discussion and understand what the other person thinks.


If you have strong beliefs and strong background of knowledge, chances are that the other person will be wrong and you’ll be right. Don’t be afraid to express yourself and stop caring what other people think about you.

9. Track your accomplishments

We are often on autopilot and just rush things through. We don’t have enough time to look back and enjoy our accomplishments. Humans are goals driven creatures and always want to continue doing something.


We neglect our hard-achieved accomplishments and don’t take time to appreciate them. If you’ll just stop for a minute, you’ll understand what a long way you’ve come and how much you’ve achieved. It will give you a sense of self-worth and more confidence. Thus, it will increase your self-respect.

Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect. – Marcus Aurelius

How to practice:


Get a journal. Write down a date of the achievement and write a short description about it. Write what it took you to achieve it and how do you feel now.


Later, after a few years, you’ll be able to open this journal and reminisce your achievements. This will remind you of your accomplishments and your self-worth.


Be mindful and try to find positive things out of your achieved goals. Even if you think that it’s not a big deal to finish high school, it’s actually a big thing to achieve. We’ve all dreamed how long and how hard it is to finish it, but eventually we did.


When we finish our goal, we sometimes don’t value the hard work that was put in. We forget how long it took to achieve.


So, be mindful of your achievements and really have a good thought what value it has to you.

10. Give back

Giving back to people is an immense deed to do. Chances are, that when you achieve goals, somebody helped you. Without certain people, whether they are on youtube or they are your relatives, friends, you wouldn’t have achieved it (or it would’ve taken longer time).


Giving back brings a lot of satisfaction to you and to the other person. You’ll be able to appreciate your knowledge and it will increase your self-respect to you and you’ll also gain respect from other people.

how to self respect

How to practice:


We all can something share with other people. Whether it’s our success story or failure story, there’s a lot of things to learn from.  While you might think that it’s common sense, the other person might be hearing it for the first time.


So, get in contact with your friends, relatives that need help, or even create a youtube channel to help other people. Share your knowledge with others and spread the positivity around. The world needs more people like you.

Final Words

Acquiring self-respect might not be that easy in some cases, but it’s achievable for every person. Life is too short to live in a cubicle of your negative thoughts. Instead, let the positivity go out and start your self-improvement journey.


Self-respect is essential for every part of your life: relationships, financials, mental and physical health and others. Don’t neglect this significant trait (self-respect) and show it some love. Your life will become much happier and more fulfilling.