In our current society where we’re conditioned to feel worthless, it’s incredibly difficult to develop self-respect and experience better relationships.
Instead, we often go day to day feeling lost, sad, confused, lonely and bored. Your intimate relationships tend to be toxic.
Your life may seem to be in a constant state of chaos. Or, you can’t seem to figure out what your purpose is in life.
As a result, developing any sort of respect for yourself is virtually impossible. You’ve tried in the past. But, it’s not something you can just do over night.
Self-respect is a mindset. It is something that you must train day in and day out. It’s a way of thinking that must be habitual.
This is, of course, easier said than done. If it was easy, everybody would be happy. But, clearly most people aren’t happy these days. Relationships are more toxic today than ever before.
So, what’s going on? Why is our society so messed up?
It’s due to a lack of respect for yourself. When you don’t love and respect yourself, you won’t love and respect others. It’s a big reason why our country is more divided now than ever.
There’s just a lot of hate and anger going around these days. I strongly believe that if people in our society would learn to respect themselves more, the anger and insecurity would evaporate almost instantly.
And, our intimate relationships would be much better. Let’s talk about why.
Respecting Yourself Means Understanding Your Worth
One of the main reasons why people are extremely toxic and angry these days is due to the fact that they don’t have a lot of self-worth.
Self-worth and self-respect go hand in hand. They are both ingredients of the self-concept, a term that Brian Tracy built his entire business around.
So, instead of thinking about how you can respect yourself more, you need to start thinking about how you can achieve these other ingredients.
Self-worth is the first one I want to talk about. When you start to feel more valuable as a human being, you’ll start to feel like you’re worth something.
As a result, you’ll respect yourself more because you’ll feel like you have value to give to the world. You’ll feel good about the work you do. Getting up in the morning and living your life is more exciting.
Ultimately, you’ll focus more on yourself. Instead of trying to “fix” your partner or make your relationships better, you’ll focus on improving your own self-worth which will indirectly better all of your relationships.
It might be tough to wrap your head around this. But, this all ties into the dangers of codependency and why it’s a serious problem for relationships.
Codependency becomes your normal way of thinking when you lack self-respect. You give attention and energy to people who simply don’t deserve it. You become needy and try to control situations that are out of your control.
And, since no one respects the codependent, you are treated even worse through your “nice” actions. This kills your self-worth and self-respect even more.
It’s a painful, downward spiral. Next thing you know, you’re 40 years old and wondering why you feel sad and miserable all the time.
Shift Focus To Your Own Issues
Breaking free of this downward mindset requires a shift in thinking. The people I’ve taught this to in real-life never take this lesson seriously. They don’t realize how important it is.
So, pay attention:
You need to step back from whatever relationship you’re currently in.
This doesn’t mean you have to break up or divorce your partner. All it means is taking a step back and focusing on yourself for however long you need.
Have a talk with your partner letting him or her know that you’re going to visit your parents or friends or something for a few weeks. You need to get away for a bit.
During these next few weeks (or however long it takes), try to limit as much contact with your partner as you can. The less you talk to him or her, the better.
This will allow you to really dig deep and figure out why you don’t have much self-worth. You’ll discover, as so many of my clients have, that you’ve been putting all your time and energy in trying to make others happy.
Now it’s time to make YOU happy. It’s time for you to spend some weeks doing what YOU want to do.
Trust me when I say how important this is:
I have a family member who’s in her mid 50’s. She’s always been a quiet people-pleaser. Very nice lady. She loves her husband very much.
But, it’s always whatever he wants to do and never what she wants to do. He isn’t mean or abusive to her at all, but she always goes along with what he wants.
Lack of Self-Respect Can Lead To Mental Breakdowns
As a result, she had a massive mental breakdown a few years ago. No one could figure out why except for me. It was completely obvious to me what was going on.
Decades of always putting others first has resulted in her mind breaking down once or twice per year since. She just suffered from another mental breakdown a few weeks ago in the middle of vacation.
You may be thinking: why would she break down in the middle of vacation? Isn’t that what she wants? To leave her environment and have a fun time traveling?
Well, the problem is that every time they travel, it’s by her husband’s terms. She has her say, but ultimately he makes the final decision.
They were traveling with a big pack of people, which is not what she has wanted to do. All she has wanted to do for years is to travel just him and her. No friends, no groups. Just her and her husband.
Because her husband is hard-headed, he never listens to her say. He just overrules her and doesn’t think anything of it.
Because she can’t get her words across to him. She is too much of a pleaser and doesn’t stand her ground. She doesn’t respect herself enough to be firm.
Do you see what I mean here? Because she is such a pleaser, she cannot muster the inner-strength required to state what she wants and stick with it.
But, the human mind is an amazing thing. It has found a way to get what she wants through a mental breakdown. It’s the only way she can get her point across.
After this recent episode, he asked her what she wanted to do while she was in the hospital. She told him that she wants to stay somewhere just him and her with zero distractions.
So, they did that. They hopped on a plane and flew to a city in Europe all by themselves. She said it was the most amazing thing and all she’s wanted to do for years and years.
I don’t know if the husband had fun. He’s a super extrovert which is why he always wants to travel with groups of friends. But, she is more of an introvert and wants to travel alone with her husband.
Why This Story Is Important For Self-Respect
I tell this story because it’s significant. As you get older with this type of passive, fearful mentality, your risk of experiencing mental breakdowns and high levels of depression increases significantly.
It’s important to understand that my family member would have never experienced any of these issues if she could develop more inner core strength.
But, she’s never been taught this stuff. She never learned how to develop self-worth and self-respect. She’s a very nice person who wants to please others, which is the trademark of codependent individuals.
There’s nothing wrong with being nice, but there needs to be a balance. You must always take care of yourself before you take care of others.
The best way my family member could start getting what she wants is to state what she wants and stand firm with it. Her mental breakdowns would disappear completely once she starts living through her core.
If you’re in a relationship where you feel like you’re constantly going out of your way for your partner, it’s important that you take this lesson seriously.
You need to start living for yourself. Stand up for what you want and stick with it. DO NOT waver no matter what your partner says.
If this means taking a break from your partner for the time being, then so be it. No one will respect you if you don’t start respecting your own wants and needs.