Self-respect and self-esteem are two similar concepts that often confuse people.
They add up to one’s self and even one’s relationship with other people.
Because of this, they are often used interchangeably and the line between them has blurred.
So, how do you differentiate self-respect and self-esteem?
Let’s take a closer look at these two concepts regarding the self.
Let’s dive right into it.
Although having some kind of similarity, self-esteem and self-respect are two different concepts.
Self-esteem stems from how you think and feel about yourself. It is how you value your abilities and skills.
When you feel like you aren’t doing up to standards, you might have problems with your self-esteem.
Basically, you get self-esteem when you feel satisfied after completing or finishing a challenge.
It is based on how you conduct yourself after an activity. However, it can be easily damaged by what other people say especially when they challenge your own skills.
Self-respect is a component of self-esteem and it has to do with the positive values you attribute to yourself such as honesty, confidence, humility, and having dignity and integrity.
In other words, it is self-love.
With self-respect, you live by your morals and the opinions of others will not easily sway you.
It is not contingent on external factors such as success because you know that there will always be failures or people who are more knowledgeable.
If you have self-respect, it can also help boost your self-esteem.
To summarize, self-esteem is how you evaluate yourself and it can be negative or positive depending on your outlook. On the other hand, self-respect is when you learn to accept both and free yourself from the expectations of other people.
Self-respect is about loving yourself wholeheartedly and having dignity and honor with your own behavior, decisions, and choices.
When you have self-respect, you will also treat other people the same kind of respect you have for yourself even if they do not show it back. It makes you feel good and allows you to have a more positive outlook on life.
Self-respect is important because even when people look down on you, you can’t be put down because you already know your worth.
However, it does not mean that you should not take into consideration of what others are saying. Having respect for yourself means you can also take criticisms and reflect upon them.
This makes you open to any changes so that you will become a better person. You also know when to say “no” to things you know that are not good for you mentally, emotionally, physically, and even financially.
The main difference between pride and self-respect is that pride is an excessive form of self-worth which can be destructive while self-respect encompasses all feelings of self-worth but still having honor and dignity.
Pride is when you are looking for gratification for your actions and accomplishments. Having excessive pride borders on egotism and pompousness.
Basically, without having self-respect, you can’t love yourself or other people. Self-respect allows you to be more confident about yourself and if you have it, you know how to decide for yourself and give your partner the respect they also deserve.
When you have self-respect or you highly value yourself, you also regard other people with the same respect.
It helps in having a great relationship and better communication with them. Another advantage is that you have high confidence which will lead to achieving your dreams in life.
With self-respect, you also get to establish your boundaries. You know when to agree or when to say “no” to things that are not aligned with your morals.
Contemporary moral philosopher Stephen L. Darwall distinguished two kinds of respect: recognition respect and appraisal respect.
Recognition respect is the disposition to give the appropriate regard to one’s being in terms of objects such as laws, rights, feelings, social institutions, and nature.
This type of respect is a moral attitude if the object is regarded from a moral point of view, such as if it has moral worth.
On the other hand, appraisal respect is the attitude of a positive assessment of people for their achievements or qualities. The objects of appraisal respect can be an individual, an individual’s merits, or those who are occupying some role.
Self-esteem is what one refers to as his own worth or value. It is heavily influenced by the feelings one musters from their own views of worthiness or unworthiness.
Why is self-esteem important?
Because it affects your confidence and your belief in yourself. Having high self-esteem can motivate you to do better and strive for your goals and dreams.
If you have low self-esteem, you always look down on yourself and give up on any efforts towards progress.
Despite having similarities, self-esteem is different from ego.
Self-esteem is having the confidence and knowledge to do something while the ego is usually accompanied by seeking attention and boastfulness.
It is self-serving and is not based on any knowledge.
With self-esteem, you know who you truly are without being proud of it.
When you have high self-esteem, you feel secure and have a healthy relationship with the people around you.
You are more open to feedback which lets you acquire and master new skills. Some other advantages of self-esteem are:
- Confident in making decisions
- Assertive in your opinions
- Have a better handle with stress and problems
- Clearly expressing your needs
- Be less critical of yourself and other people
Self-esteem and self-respect are related in terms of your opinion of yourself.
How you value or respect yourself adds to your self-esteem.
If you think lowly of yourself, then your self-esteem also goes down. But if you regard yourself with the highest respect, your self-esteem goes up, making you an overall better person.
There are many ways to have self-respect. One of the best ways to have self-respect is being honest with yourself. We are not all perfect human beings as we all have our own flaws.
The first thing in having respect for yourself is to be honest about who you are. You should not live like someone else and be true to yourself.
However, it does not mean that when there are criticisms, you shouldn’t hear them.
Having self-respect also means that you can change things within you that are worth changing.
One of the best examples of self-esteem is having to communicate clearly and easily with the others around you.
Self-esteem allows you to be assertive of your opinions and needs. When you try to hide your thoughts rather than voicing them out, it does not contribute to your well-being.
.When you do not feel worthy of yourself, this may cause low self-esteem. We already know that self-esteem can be affected by external factors and here are some reasons which might lead to low self-esteem:
- Unhappy childhood with unsupportive parents
- Stressful life
- Poor academic performance
- Mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression
- Trauma or abuse
- Bad influences
Do you have any doubts about your own abilities?
People who have low self-esteem usually look down on themselves.
If you suspect someone who has low or poor self-esteem, check out the following signs if they are exhibiting them:
- Sensitive to criticism
- Often avoids conflict with others
- Always feeling ashamed after failure
- Social withdrawal
- Quick to give up
Our self-respect begins at birth and will constantly develop as we grow up.
The factors for having self-respect are stemmed from how we are treated and taught.
When we have low respect for ourselves, it can lead to problems for yourself and for other people. But what causes the lack of self-respect? Here are some of the reasons:
- Letting the opinion of others control you
- Lack of knowledge
- Always under pressure
- Bullying or humiliation
- Not self-aware
- No belief in yourself and no boundaries
Self-respect is important for our overall well being. If we want to value ourselves, we should protect our self-respect by doing the following:
- Accept yourself completely
- Forgive yourself for your mistakes
- Learn how to handle criticism
- Take care of your mind and body
- Take responsibility for your own actions
- Honor your morals and values
Being a woman can be hard in a world which is dominated by men, which is why it is even more important for a woman to have respect for herself.
If you are a woman who feels a little bit insecure, learn how to respect yourself by doing the following:
- Be confident of your own body
- Don’t put down other women
- Accept compliments and criticisms
- Strive to better every single day
- Stand up for yourself if needed
- Look after yourself
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