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If You Don’t Respect Yourself, Who Will?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARespect. Love. Kindness. Dignity.

For most of us, these are concepts that translate into actions. We know we should treat others with respect, love, kindness, and dignity.

But it is really hard to connect with another person’s humanity if you can’t connect with your own.

Three events happened recently which gave me some insight into the importance of understanding what it means to respect yourself. I witnessed someone berating someone else. I heard a complaint from someone else about a painful encounter with someone who disrespected him. And I, myself, lost my patience with someone.

When we truly value what it means to be a human being, and for me, this means a creature with a soul, then we find it easier to treat ourselves—our body, our mind, and our soul—with love and respect.

But how do we get to that point? For me this means believing wholeheartedly that there is a Heavenly source for the human soul and that each soul, every soul, is here in this world, in this lifetime, for a purpose.

That purpose may be hard to discern. There may even be multiple purposes. But, since the soul (or self, if you prefer) is the most sublime, tender and sensitive part of ourselves, linked by an umbilical cord to Purpose and even Eternality, treating it and its residence, this body we live in, with some measure of awareness of it’s existence, is a vital part of recognizing and respecting each human being.

This is why it is so important to learn how to love and respect yourself, seeking and finding the very best part of you and becoming familiar with your true, highest self.

With practice, you can not only begin to spot what your soul needs in order to thrive, you may able to recognize this essence in many or most people you encounter.

And, when you are aware of the absolute beauty of who you are really, you’ll treat yourself with respect, too.

So, Do You Respect Yourself?

If you answer yes to many of the following, you probably do respect yourself, and others, too.

1. Do you respect your physical health, eating right, getting enough sleep, not engaging in risky behaviors, trying to live and work in comfortable, safe environments, following health-care protocols, being in relationships that are physically safe?

2. Do you respect your mental health, getting mental health support when necessary, doing activities that stimulate your mind, such as reading and learning something new every day, enjoying the company of people who engage you intellectually, seeking joyful activities to keep your mind sharp and your mood uplifted, volunteering to help others in need?

3. Do you respect your emotional health, finding joy in your every day life, working on having healthy relationships, seeking support and care when necessary, listening to uplifting music, not putting yourself down, volunteering to help others in need, and so on?

4. Do you respect your spiritual health, spending uplifting time alone in meditation and prayer, seeking the company of those who support your deepest beliefs, learning about uplifting, positive spirituality, asking meaningful questions and seeking meaningful answers, finding beauty in your world, volunteering to help others in need (great for mental, emotional and spiritual growth)?

If You Don’t Respect Yourself, Who Will?

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC is the author of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money and is licensed in addiction and psychotherapy with over 25 years experience as well as a consultant to organizations and companies in the fields of mental health and addiction. He is the executive director of an outpatient behavioral health program. Learn more about Richard here.

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APA Reference
& C.R. Zwolinski, R. (2014). If You Don’t Respect Yourself, Who Will?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 28 Apr 2014
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