Author: Justin Mckibben
Who among us has not been warned in our lifetime that we should treat others how we want to be treated, and that in every relationship the way we behave with others is a subconscious but very realistic reflection of how we treat ourselves. Self-esteem and self-respect have a lot to do with the conversations we have with ourselves, and those thoughts and emotions translate easily into the way we communicate in all relationships. Self-disrespect can easily cloud our interactions with others as we project those feelings of inadequacy, distrust and negativity outward for the hurt we are pouring inward.
When we listen to ourselves with love and acceptance, it becomes acutely more organic and authentic with others. And when we respect ourselves, the lives we lead become more fulfilling and less deprecating.
Here are 5 symptoms of self-disrespect you should stop now to be happier and have healthier relationships.
- You get angry a lot
Some would say that anger is a chaotic expression of our ego, typically boiling up beyond our control in the face of being dissatisfied with a current situation.
Anger comes from the ego getting fed up with the fact its needs are not being met, emotionally or psychologically, and your mind is either imploding on itself or erupting onto others in unhealthy ways. Letting go of being angry can seem impossible at times, but in order to stop disrespecting your worth and better serve yourself you have to stop being so angry with the circumstances and take responsibility for what you can do to change them.
- You seek outside validation
When we feel like something is missing in us, we often look to external elements to fill this void. With some of us that became drugs and alcohol, gambling or other addictions; people do the same with other people. Seeking validation from others constantly is self-disrespect because it is almost another way of saying you and your own standards aren’t good enough.
Seeing this form of self-disrespect for what it is we realize we are the cause and effect; we are both sides of the coin. Seeking the validation from within lets you love yourself. Believe that how you measure your worth is the only gratification you need.
- You pass a lot of judgment
People who judge are often people who are deflecting something about themselves that makes them uncomfortable. I can’t be the only one who has ever heard that expression that we often judge others harshly when they remind us of things we resent about ourselves.
We all have darker shades of the self, and sometimes we lash out at others because we can catch a peak of our own shady side when we see someone do something we oppose. Accepting that we are all flawed and taking notice of the issue as an aspect of your own humanity can help you heal. Don’t feed into self-disrespect and the disrespect of others by looking down on anyone, including yourself.
- You let others make your decisions
This one almost goes hand in hand with seeking outside validation. Needing the approval of others in the choices you make in your life is another form of self-disrespect that we have to overcome in order to honor ourselves more in life.
It’s ok to get advice from friends, family and professional peers. We need to be inspired and educated at times. But the point is you cannot let the opinions and perspectives of others dictate your life. Be mindful of your own intuition and experience in your decisions and, again, accept that they are valuable. Stop doing thing you don’t believe in or don’t like- be it in professional or in your relationships or whatever- and start making decisions that break the cycle.
- You don’t live from the heart
Your heart is the most remarkable and powerful muscle in your body. It pumps all the life-force into the rest of you and fuels the feelings that set fire to every nerve in the conscious mind for what you want in your life. The issue of self-disrespect comes when you bury that fire out of fear, doubt or simply neglect.
Give yourself the healthy space to evaluate what you feel, because feelings can often distort and hinder what it is you truly want. But the inner knowing of who you are in your heart and what you want should be trusted. This intrinsic expression isn’t there to hurt you; it is there to show you the best of yourself, even when you see those darker shades in the reflection.
Whatever you do in life, don’t let it lead to self-disrespect. It is ok to question your feelings and your thoughts, and it is ok to get help and appreciation from others, but do not lose sight of your own worth. Do not let the negative ego deter you from knowing who you really are, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Part of self-respect is to make better choices in order to change your life. For some that means getting help. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135