By: Hagit Hoffman
To take notice of, to regard with special attention, to regard as worthy of special consideration, hence, to care for, to heed. -Webster dictionary
What is “Respect?
Ordinarily, we see that respect is a giving special consideration to someone outside of ourselves who is older, wiser and/or held in high esteem – like parents, teachers, rabbis or ministers. The act of respect comes through judging a person so favorably that we decide to give them extra consideration and esteem. Very rarely we think about giving ourselves respect as we look at it in a arrogant way as stroking our ego and not humbling ourselves. Self Respect however is an inward action that projects outwardly. Self Respect is an affirmation of self that can gives us confidence to continue with our ambitions and goals in life.
To render weak or ineffective, as an argument. –Webster Dictionary
Many times we are inviting into ourself an inner critic that makes us feel weak and unworthy. By doing so we feel disrespected and invalidated. Sometimes we take actions that contribute to making us unworthy and weak, for example by not listening to our instincts, by not eating right or by choosing an environment that does not support us or encourage us to grow and learn. Sometimes, we find ourselves hungry, angry, lonely or tired – aka by the acronym H.A.L.T. We need to learn to be alert to these signals or we may find ourselves weak and vulnerable to invalidating our self worth.
Reflections on Respect
Write down the extra consideration and esteem that you would be willing to give to a person that you admire.
What are the characteristics of these favorable judgments?
Now check and see if you would like to apply these favorable judgements to yourself.
Notice that the list you are putting together comes through the eyes of a judge.
Also notice that the Respect you give yourself could be very different from what other people give you. Knowing this, you will find that you may need to make adjustments to your judgment of yourself.
So as you can see Judgement and Respect are actions that are intertwined.
After you wrote the list of judgements, what action would you like to take to show that you are working on becoming self-respecting? You may want to think the following: “I made an intentional decision that everything I am going to do is with the aim of building high self regard.”
Here are some self respect building attributes to reflect on:
- On time
- Don’t gossip
- Pay attention and be a good listener
- Affirms and complement others
Reflection on Invalidation
The first step to determining if someone in our life is worthless is to decide if we are worthless. The way we judge others is the way we judge ourselves. If we value ourselves we value others. It is that simple. We invalidate ourselves by the language we use when we talk about ourselves both in our own thoughts and in our speech with others. We invalidate ourselves by the actions we take. Others can not invalidate us. It is our choice if we will allow others to invalidate us. If your self respect is low then you may be more vulnerable to accepting a invalidating comment or action.
Tools – Ask yourself these questions:
Are you letting your inner critic have “free rent” in your head?
Are you demanding respect from others?
Do you find yourself that you don’t follow up on what you say or do?
Do you eat poorly?
Do you exercise?
Do you live in an environment that does not support you?
Do you associate with people that don’t treat you well?
Do you avoid pursuing you dreams?
Are you reluctant to ask for what you want?
Do you have a messy room?
Action taken – As a Coach to my client
When my client is seeking advice on how to gain self respect, we begin with the Questioner. Utilizing truly present listening to the what the client is sharing, I can give them confirmation that what they proceeding properly in the process or ideas how to make adjustments. Our next step is to reflect on those positive judgements on their list. We then pick four statements that they would like to work on and write their personal
goals. It’s my job to help them remove any self doubt and disbelief thru support and positive validation.
We proceed to write down a list of people that can give them support during this journey. As I listen to the comments they use, I will write them down and ask them to read them back to me. I will ask them if they heard themselves say this? I will ask them what was their belief about themselves when they said that? I will work with the client to describe a person that they really respect and ask them to outline the behaviors of this person that they can see how they model self respect (what we admire in others is useful to help us improve the way we value ourselves). I will invite them to close their eyes and see themselves validated and respected within. Finally, I ask them to keep a journal that shows them taking action of self respect and validation on a daily basis.