The true meaning of self-respect

So, there are many ideas out there on what self-respect is supposed to mean. And I know how a lot of the time, it can feel like people think self-respect only applies to women. But the truth is that it doesn’t, Choma. It’s very common for people to use false ideas of self-respect to shame people for choices that they are allowed to make, so let’s break down what it really means.

What is respect?

Respect means to acknowledge (recognise and accept) the feelings, traditions or rights of others. This is important part of how we as people live together in society.

What is self-respect?

Self respect means to acknowledge your own feelings, traditions and rights, and to live with pride and confidence in yourself. It’s all about how you feel about your relationship with yourself.

It’s called “self” respect for a reason, it’s not determined how much other people respect you, it’s not even about what other people think is respectful. It’s all about you- how much you value yourself and how you feel about the decisions you make.

Self-respect means that you get to choose what you value and what you don’t. Its important to remember that other people’s idea of self-respect might be different to yours, but that doesn’t mean anyone is more “correct” than the other. For example, one person might believe that not wearing revealing clothing makes them feel more comfortable, but you might enjoy wearing revealing clothing because it makes you feel confident and comfortable- both of these are perfectly okay. But what isn’t okay is judging someone based on what we feel is respectable.

Knowing your worth

Self-respect is also about knowing that not everyone will treat you well, but still choosing to respect everyone else regardless of that, because it’s the right thing to do. But this doesn’t mean you should accept less than your worth, it only means that you learn to forgive and let go of anger towards others because you want to live a more free, positive life.

At the end of the day, it’s comes down to being the kind of person that you are proud of. Sure, we all make mistakes in our lives that we aren’t proud of, but self-respect is choosing not to let those mistakes define you, and working towards being better in your life.

Here are more articles related to respect:

How to respect the rights of others

5 ways you might be disrespecting your partner’s boundaries

The importance of respecting those who are different to me

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).