#280- Respect From Others Starts With You

It’s amazing how many people seek respect from others, yet don’t know how to respect themselves. This happens in relationships of all sorts: romantic, friends, parents, kids, colleagues, etc. In these cases, a fear of loss is at play. When you’re afraid of losing the relationship, you might walk on eggshells, stay quietly angry (then explode into a rage) or become a doormat. In each case you feel powerless because that fear of loss supersedes everything else.

If your mother always talked to you in a demeaning manner, like there was something wrong with you, you might feel the only way to get respect from her is to lash out from time to time. Most of the time you swallow your feelings and take the punches, but every now and then you feel the need to “stand up to her” and say she’s a horrible mother. As long as you keep focusing on her behavior and trying to get her to change, you’ll continue in this pattern of hurt and blame. The only way to get respect from others is to respect yourself first.

In an interesting twist, people disrespect themselves because they’re afraid of losing the relationship, but end up losing the relationship BECAUSE they’ve disrespected themselves. They end up creating what they fear. When you start valuing yourself, you’ll attract people who value and respect you. When you catch yourself seeking respect from someone, ask what you want for yourself. Where are you not taking care of you? Respect isn’t something you can force on another person, either through bullying or subservience. It always starts with you.

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