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Respect – it’s something we all feel we deserve from other people, but do we ever stop to ask ourselves whether we are respecting ourselves?
You may not even realize it, but you could be displaying some of the many signs of disrespect to the person staring at you in the mirror. Ask yourself whether you can relate to any of the following:
1. You put on an act for the outside world.
Who you really are on the inside is not who you seek to portray to the people you meet. Instead, you act out a character of your own creation because you feel that it will be deemed more acceptable and more liked by society.
In essence, you are ashamed of who you really are and rarely ever show it unless among very close friends and family.
2. You speak badly of yourself.
You are forever playing down your gifts, talents, and desirable qualities because you just can’t bring yourself to have pride in them. What’s more, you don’t just speak ill of yourself to other people, but also as part of your inner monologue and self-talk.
You always seem to be putting yourself down instead of building yourself up and it leads to you – and others – believing in your illusory shortcomings.
3. You put others ahead of yourself.
You are a kind and helpful soul, but you will always put the needs of other people ahead of your own. This can take many forms, but they all come back to the same core principle – you don’t take care of yourself anywhere near as well as you try to take care of others.
Whether it’s giving over your time, energy, money, or health, you always prioritize the other person, even if it’s to your own detriment.
4. You punish yourself for “failings.”
If anything should go wrong in your life, you are quick to lay the blame on your own doorstep. You see failure where others would see lessons, you berate yourself for not living up to expectations, and you exact punishment when you should be showing kindness.
You are so hard on yourself that even when you do succeed at something, you put it down to luck rather than persistence or ability.
5. You hide your emotions.
You see sadness, worry, and vulnerability as weaknesses that ought not to be displayed in the public forum. Likewise, you tame your happiness, joy, and excitement for fear of coming across as arrogant or boastful.
In fact, you suppress most of your emotions the majority of the time and deny yourself the benefits of feeling things deeply and truly.
6. You do not speak up when hurt.
If someone inflicts physical or emotional pain upon you, there is a good chance that you will keep quiet instead of standing up for yourself. Perhaps you think you deserve it, or maybe you just believe you’re not strong enough to exert any influence over the situation.
Either way, you allow yourself to be a doormat – letting everyone walk all over you rather than raise your voice in opposition.
7. You stay friends with people who do not respect you.
You can’t possibly respect yourself if you continually spend time with people who show you none themselves. Liars, cheaters, time wasters, manipulators; these are the types of people who, if you let them, will take and take without giving back.
If you believe that you are being dishonorable by cutting all ties with such people, just remind yourself that friendship requires respect and that this makes them no friend of yours.
You are forever looking to other people for validation and approval. Whether regarding your actions, feelings, looks, or beliefs, you are overly concerned with having the consent and agreement of others.
You find it difficult to make life decisions – both big and small – without the input of numerous friends. You want to know that your opinion is generally in line with those of others and you will actively change your mind if it is not.
9. You feel guilty for following your heart.
You really struggle to let your heart guide you through life for fear that it presents too much of a risk. Instead, you let your rational, often pessimistic mind control things in order to avoid anything that might possibly cause you pain or discomfort – even if these are signs of growth.
10. You make no attempt to change the status quo.
Regardless of how discontent you might be, you don’t take any of the steps necessary to change your situation. You’d much rather live a so-so life than imagine and create a better one for yourself because you are afraid of the unknown.
Years pass and you bemoan the static existence that you endure, but you still can’t bring yourself to try an alternative approach.
11. You take responsibility for things that are out of your control.
Despite not taking responsibility for your own life, you seem to want to take it for everything else. When a loved one fails, it’s because you didn’t help them enough; when the company you work for has a bad year, it’s you that was found lacking; when a night out with friends ends in disaster, it’s your fault for not organizing it properly.
You are so keen to take the blame for things that you have no control over, that you let others off the hook when the failing is clearly theirs.
12. You bite your tongue to avoid conflict.
If there is something said that you take issue with, you’d much rather stay silent than risk conflict by disagreeing. In this way, you let others assume your complicit agreement, and you do nothing to try and stand up for your beliefs.
You tend to assume that your views do not hold quite so much weight because maybe you aren’t as well informed on a particular matter. And you’re afraid of the pain that you may feel by having your views attacked or disregarded.
13. You betray your morals.
Not only will you keep quiet rather than arguing your point, you are even prepared to act against your morals in order to avoid potentially upsetting other people.
You will do so with a heavy heart, but you neglect your true feelings and beliefs in order not to cause trouble.
14. You try to please everybody else.
Many of the above points come back to one core desire – that of pleasing everybody you come in contact with. You are so keen to be liked, so reliant on others to shower you with praise, that you go to extraordinary lengths to make others happy.
While making others happy is a noble pursuit, if you only do so in the hope that they accept you, then it proves that you value how others view you over how you view yourself.
15. You look at others in envy.
You don’t practice gratitude for all the things you have in your life. Instead, you look at others through green eyes of envy and wish you could be more like them.
You fail to see all of the wonderful people, experiences, and emotions in your life; you overlook joy and disregard fun, believing others have what you seem to think you are lacking.
16. You judge other people.
When you’re not too busy being jealous, you find time to pour scorn over the way certain people think or behave. You happily gossip about others, questioning their choices and their lifestyle.
You judge in this way so that you may ignore your own shortcomings rather than have to face up to them.
17. You find yourself telling lies.
Instead of being true to yourself, you choose to project an image out into the world and this, by its very nature, requires you to lie in order to maintain the pretense.
Lies to other people are reflected back by the mirror of conscience and lead to a sense of great unease within.
18. You ignore your intuition.
Not only do you struggle to listen to your heart, you willfully ignore the gut feelings that are so effective at revealing how you truly feel about something or someone.
You are prepared to silence your intuition so that you may please others, avoid conflict, and resist change.
19. You dwell on the bad and overlook the good.
Your focus in life is far more weighted towards the negative than it is the positive. You wallow in self pity when things go against you, and yet times of happiness are quick to pass into memory.
You believe yourself so unworthy of good that you use the bad to remind you of this; continually mulling over all the negative events in order to punish yourself for ever feeling happy.
20. You don’t believe in yourself.
You simply don’t believe that you are capable of being a beacon of light in the world, so you fill yourself with doubt and repress your nature for fear of being ridiculed.
You simply can’t begin to realize your potential because you see yourself as less than others, somehow deficient in that which is required to stand up and stand out.
If you’re wondering what it is you can do to stop disrespecting yourself (as the title alludes to), the answer is very straightforward. Simply take each of the 20 points made here and reverse them – simply stop letting yourself act in these ways and, instead, do the opposite.
Did you recognize many of these signs in yourself? Want to learn some self-respect? Talking to someone can really help you to handle whatever life throws at you. It’s a great way to get your thoughts and your worries out of your head so you can work through them.
A therapist is often the best person you can talk to. Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours. They can help you to grow your self-esteem and tackle the specific ways that you show yourself a lack of respect.
A good place to get professional help is the website BetterHelp.com – here, you’ll be able to connect with a therapist via phone, video, or instant message.
You might not think your problems are big enough to warrant professional therapy but please don’t do yourself that disservice. Nothing is insignificant if it is affecting your mental well-being.
Too many people try to muddle through and do their best to overcome issues that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, therapy is 100% the best way forward.
Click here if you’d like to learn more about the service BetterHelp.com provide and the process of getting started.
You’ve already taken the first step just by searching for and reading this article. The worst thing you can do right now is nothing. The best thing is to speak to a therapist. The next best thing is to implement everything you’ve learned in this article by yourself. The choice is yours.
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