The most important thing a girl can have is self respect. When you treat yourself with respect others will view you and treat you accordlingly. A girl who respects herself is an ideal employee, friend and companion. You deserve all the great things that life has to offer, and that starts with treating yourself with respect.
10 Ways To Build Your Self Respect.
Learn To Say No.
This applies to every aspect of your life. Anything, and I do mean anything you don’t feel comfortable with, say No. If someone wants you to do something that you don’t want to do, say No. Don’t give up your personal time to make someone else happy – if you don’t want to go to lunch or to the movies or to the mall, just say No. When you feel like someone is taking advantage of you don’t grin and bear it. Say No.
When you are clear with yourself what your boundaries are it becomes easy to enforce them. Set boundaries that don’t let others steal your time. Set boundaries that rule how people can and cannot speak to you. Set boundaries about physical violence and verbal violence – neither are ever okay.
Set boundaries about how much overtime you will do at work. Set boundaries that you won’t answer the phone at dinner, or respond to texts during movies. Set boundaries about how late or how early others can call you.
Having a clearly defined set of boundaries is a crucial foundation in building self respect. Quietly and calmly enforcing the boundaries you have set is a sign that you are worthy and that you have a solid sense of self respect.
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Podcasts and Books.
Feed your mind with quality information. Don’t waste your life on reality TV – listen to podcasts on subjects that interest you. Read books on a variety of subjects including guides to self empowerment, to help you stay on track. The more you fill your mind with quality information the better you will feel about yourself.
Choose Who You Allow Around You.
Be very discerning about who you let around you. Don’t hang out with negative people, people who treat you unkindly, or people heading down a bad path. Instead surround yourself with positive, kind people who treat you well and are heading in a positive direction.
Treat People Kindly.
Self respect is equal parts how you treat yourself and how you treat others. Be kind. It’s easy, it feels good and it makes those around you feel good. Like attracts like, so if you are kind to others you will attract kind people to you. Treat yourself kindly too. Learn to only say nice words to yourself about yourself.
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Acknowledge your strengths.
Self respect means knowing what you are good at and acknowledging those strengths to yourself. You don’t need to broadcast them to the world – others will see for themselves. No one is good at everything, so rather than focusing on the things you are not so good at, and beating yourself up over them, put them in context and pair them with strengths. Maybe you can’t run a 3 minute mile but you are really good at conjugating verbs in another language, or baking pies or calming distressed animals. Know what you are good at and embrace those things.
Get some hobbies and pursue them. Hobbies are a way to devote quality time to something you enjoy, which is a sign of self respect in itself! Blocking off time for yourself to do things that you really enjoy is a way of showing the world that you respect yourself.
Dress With Self Respect/Dress For You.
Only ever dress for yourself. Don’t dress to try and get a guy’s attention or to make him like you. The way you dress and the way you present yourself send out a thousand silent messages that in turn tell others how to treat you and what to think of you. Are you sending out a message that says you are willing, ready and able? Are you giving a message that says you can be compromised? Or are you telling the world that you are comfortable in your own skin and know what you’ve got, but only the chosen get to see it? Dress yourself with respect.
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Raise the bar high! Set high standards for yourself and for everything in your life, and then work to achieve and maintain those standards. Set standards for behavior you will accept in others and in yourself. You will be amazed at how many people will raise themselves up to meet you, and in the process the ones that were dragging you down will drop away. The ultimate sign of healthy self respect is holding yourself to a high standard.
Do not engage in gossip.
Gossiping is the opposite of holding yourself to a high standard. Gossip is about making yourself feel good by demeaning another person. If you have self respect or if you are building your self respect, excuse yourself from any conversation that involves gossip. In fact, make a habit of shutting down any conversation that involves gossiping about other people.
“She remembered who she was and the game changed” Lalah Deliah
image from Luca Magazine, photographed by Brad Olson