The True Meaning of Self-Respect + 5 Ways to Protect It

The True Meaning of Self-Respect + 5 Ways to Protect It

[Source: Bauce Magazine]

By Ebony S. Muhammad


Receiving the respect you deserve is one of the most important aspects of building and maintaining a healthy self-image. Many of us have a slanted view of ourselves, because we’ve been disrespected on various levels and, in some cases, for extended periods of time. Disrespect comes in so many forms and can catch you off guard if you haven’t been taught what to look for. And often disrespect comes from those we are the closest to or who we hold in high esteem.

I realized how much I was being disrespected once I turned the volume up on my values and saw how comfortable people were with violating them, at what looked like my approval. What I once saw as “okay” or “normal” was in fact the complete opposite.




Once I arrived at this point of clarity of how much I was being disrespected after turning up the volume on my values, I became very angry with myself. BUT I had to remember and focus on the fact that this was prior to me recognizing how to be conscious of what my values were and what honoring them meant.

This is where self-respect is born! Self-Respect is born out of not only knowing and being conscious of your values, but by practicing honoring them and standing up to protect them at all costs! Self-respect is realizing that the courage to speak up for your values will come easily the moment you decide to carry out those goals of honoring the ones that were once neglected. That courage to speak up doesn’t have to come across in a nasty way. It can simply be to exercise your right to say NO.



Be ready for people to expect you to explain yourself and your decision to honor your values.

One of the MOST liberating moments I have experienced, is that once I state my decision to honor my values, I don’t have to justify it! This was like fireworks for me! I was so used to feeling the need to explain why I did or didn’t want to do something, as if I needed to justify my own decisions. Let me be the first to tell you that:


After this epiphany, many more came, and I have been blessed to turn them into ways to protect myself and receive the respect I deserve from others.

1. Revisit Your List Of Values

If you haven’t already done so, write down your values — the intangible things YOU hold important (i.e. happiness, peace of mind, honesty, respect, etc.). Next to each value, write down your goal(s) to honor them. Always make time to revisit that list to make sure you’re not neglecting other values. This will help you to refresh your mind of what’s important to YOU while you tackle your day-to-day routine.

2. Reflect

Be sure to reflect on the feeling you had when you honored your values! Congratulate yourself for being strong and standing up for yourself! This is so encouraging and will be your fuel to continue on. I remember expressing NO sympathy for disappointing someone who asked me to do something that violated my values, whether they realized it or not – it didn’t matter. It felt so good to decline and move on, and it showed me just how strong I can be regardless of who that person was.

3. Exercise Your Right NOT to Explain

Again, when you have your core values set in writing and you’re at that point of enforcing those values, you do NOT have to justify your decision to respect yourself! You can simply say, “I won’t be able to do that”. That’s all that’s required is your decision. After that it’s on that person to deal with your decision in their own mind. Relieve yourself of the pressure to do anything more. I once heard the saying, “The word ‘No’ is a complete sentence”.





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1 Comment
Sonia Edwards January 8, 2018 at 5:25 pm Reply

Thank you it was food to my soul very encouraging

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