Self-respect is the cornerstone of all virtue. – Sir John Herschel
If you do not possess qualities and behaviours that are respectable, you will most likely find yourself with broken relationships, extreme bitterness, negativity, loneliness, and a very low self esteem.
We all have our egos. We expect others to respect us, we speak of dignity and pride, and we like to see ourselves in that respectable light. We possess an insatiable desire for love, and importance especially from those we care about in our lives. But seldom we ask ourselves if we behave and earn the much sought after love and respect. Instead we often demand it as an absolute reciprocal gesture in return from others just because we love and respect them. And when we do not get this respect we are too quick to blame the other person as opposed to asking ourselves what we have done to lose this, much needed ego booster. We need to get into the habit of earning the respect we desire for. If we behave, speak, express our opnions and conduct ourselves in a manner that others lose respect for us, then we need to blame ourselves first and make the changes necessary as opposed to blaming others for not respecting us.
Majority of the relationships fail because one looses the respect for the other. And they fail to realize that it is “respect” than nurtures and builds love. Love has been notoriously blind to seek for respect first. But once the love has been gained it is the lack for mutual respect that kills the love.
So, how does one gain respect? For this one first has to possess a strong sense of self respect. This is the basic fundamental process how you respect and view yourself for who you truly are. It is one’s respect for oneself, one’s own conduct, values, and character. It is the dignity for your own character. And this is built upon four simple and fundamental facts.
- Your values and how do you uphold them. You need to possess good values based on good moral behaviour and conduct. And one needs to strive to uphold these values and build them without prejudice, arrogance and bias. If you begin to sacrifice your values for momentary gains and things that are not important in life, you will soon find yourself losing respect for yourself and begin killing many more things that are important to you in life.
- Arrogance and Pride. This has often been the greatest of all evils that causes more harm than most. If you are proud and arrogant, ask yourself what have you truly achieved or “earned” for others to respect you and put up with your arrogance. Even if you have done something that you are this proud about why should it be important for the other to respect you? What does it mean to them? Especially when you act, speak and do things that loose one’s respect for you, how could you still demand them by your arrogance and pride?
- Fair Living. Are you a fair and upright individual? Do you stand by what is right without prejudice or bias? More so, do you respect all regardless of their religion, color, culture or race? If you are a person who ridicules others constantly over something or the other, take advantage of their ignorance, or use someone for your advantage you will soon develop a strong sense of burdensome guilt which often hits you too late to undo the damage.
- Lies and deception. The funny thing about telling lies is that it is often quickly identified by anyone with some basic intelligence and yet they do not call the liar on it due to civil norms or to avoid creating any unpleasantness. Yet the person who lies assumes that they are doing a good job in fooling the world. Lying about yourself where you perhaps do it to gain sympathy or respect, you soon will lose lot more than that when the truth finds it way out. You begin to cover one lie with another and soon lose tract of your chain and fail. The most despicable act is to lie in a relationship and deceive someone in love. This does almost always end up with some severe consequences that will damage your own self respect to a great extent.
If one doesn’t possess these simple characteristics they soon lose their respect in society and relationships which will eventually lead to loosing love, dignity and happiness. We are all imperfect beings. Every one of us can do a lot to become better beings and build characteristics to gain respect which is perhaps the foundation for better living and happiness amongst many things. Commonly many lose their respect by indulging in one or many of these behaviours:
- False Pride and telling lies to make yourself appear better than you truly are.
- Fake Identity. Pretending to be someone you aren’t and desperately trying to create an identity that is usually not conducive to your own factual self, society or culture.
- Being two faced and deceiving people with a false behaviour.
- Disrespecting others for their caste, creed or religion.
- Disrespecting yourself, your elders, and loved ones in front of others.
- Holding a false sense of self entitlement where you believe you deserve things, love, importance and respect for noting your have done to earn them based by moral and righteous means.
- Lack of appreciation to things and people. Especially when one shows little regard to those who do things for them based on love and relationships and expecting nothing much in return.
- Lack of humility. This is typically when one can’t stop gloating over who they are and what they have done with a single aim of showing off. This is the standard greater than thou characters. A perfect show of someone with low self esteem and the desperate need to gain some identity and respect regardless of how fake it may be.
- Jack of all! When you know everything, there is nothing another can tell you. There is no room for evolution, improvement or progress. You it all and having a simple conversation with you becomes all about what you have to educate others than what they know, or who they are.
- Arrogance. How would you like to be treated the way you treat others? Can you truly respect yourself?
- Perpetual self victimizing. This is the classic character where one always feels the sorry for them and believes in the self created myth about how others are treating them regardless of how they warrant these behaviours upon themselves. Often all sensible conversations tend to fail with this individual. Only if they can look beyond them and their self pity and realize what they do to others for a change.
- Hate and bitterness. This is when you go about expressing hate and bitterness about anything and everything around you. The weather, news, politics, economy and the people in your lives. Have you ever wondered why would anyone want to be with you and your this bitter self?
All one needs to do is to avoid doing the things listed above to gain some respect. Having highlighted how one loses his or her respect and thus fails to keep their love, relationships and dignity intact, here are some basic things you can do to gain and retain respect.
- Be self-critical always in an effort to learn, improve and make yourself a better person
- Be positive and try to conduct yourself in a manner that enables you to be happy.
- Be approachable and smile. Be nice to others and dress clean and decently.
- Be honest and strive to gain a reputation as a righteous and fair person.
- Be honorable. Honor yourself, your commitments and stand by what you say and claim. If you do not honor your word no one will honor you or respect and belive anything you say, do or claim.
- Always be respectful of others and learn and educate yourself about them, their beliefs and ways.
- Do not be judgemental of others. Everyone has good and bad things about them. Identify, value respect and appreciate the good in them. The more you point out the good in an individual and appreciate them for it, the more you encourage them to do better and repeat the goodness they have in them.
- Respect and value people and their characters not their possession and social stature.
- Uphold good and sound morals and values. Make no excuse of them. Voice your option and stand by what is right.
- Try to inspire others by your character and actions rather than your words and advice. Especially the ones who look up to you.
Here are some famous quotes of respect and dignity:
When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet in his private heart no man much respects himself. – Mark Twain
Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them. – Aristotle
The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself. – Mark Twain
Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts? – Confucius
Relationships based on obligation lack dignity. – Wayne Dyer
When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.- Lao Tzu
Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself. – Abraham Heschel
A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone.- Billy Graham
Self-respect is the cornerstone of all virtue. – Sir John Herschel
Men are respectable only as they respect. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners. – Laurence Sterne