The True Meaning Of Self Respect

The True Meaning Of Self Respect

The importance of dignity and worth, and why respecting yourself involves respecting others.
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Respect is one of the most important qualities in your relationship with anyone, and there is no exception when it comes to your relationship with yourself. Self-respect encompasses a multitude of ideals, but it comes down to being the kind of person you are satisfied with showing the world and being someone that you and the people you care about are proud of. Self-respect is about having a sense of honor and dignity about yourself, your choices, and your life. It is about treating others well and knowing that by doing so, others will treat you well in return. Lastly, self-respect is knowing that not everyone will treat you well and choosing to respect everyone nonetheless, but still knowing that you deserve to be surrounded by great people. Having respect for yourself is vital in maintaining a positive self-image by allowing yourself to feel confident in who you are and content with the person you are becoming.

Self-respect is about having the courage to stand up for yourself when you are being treated in a manner that is less than what you deserve. It is about knowing your worth and having the ability to adjust your life and remove people from it if they are treating you poorly. If you have respect for yourself, you will naturally demand respect from others without having to do much of anything. People who have self-respect treat everyone else with respect, but acknowledge that not everyone else will do the same. Rather than stooping to their level and disrespecting them, you should simply not interact with them because you should respect yourself enough to know that they are a waste of your time that could be spent on better people.

Self-respect is about being the kind of person that you are proud of and the kind of person that pleases the people you care about. If you reflect on your life and the things you have done and feel a strong sense of dignity, you likely possess a great deal of self-respect. The ability to have pride in yourself is the paramount aspect of self-respect. If you are not proud of who you are or what you’ve done in your life, then you could be selling yourself short or compromising your values. If your friends, family, and mentors are proud of you and respect you, that’s a great indicator that you are respecting yourself because people you know will view you as dignified. Respecting yourself is not limited to how you feel about yourself. Just as other people are valuable assets to your life, their opinions of you can be just as valuable as your own. If people who have your best interests at heart don’t see that you are fulfilling your potential to be a great person and make good decisions, then it may be necessary to adjust your life choices. That does not necessarily mean that you need to turn your life around just because a friend or family member disapproves. However, if several people who care about you are not proud of you or your actions, you should take their opinions into consideration and decide whether or not they are correct. Self-respect is about making the decisions that make yourself feel a sense of pride and worth, but it involves being the kind of person others can be proud of, too. If you respect yourself enough, you will respect the people who care about you and be humble enough to realize that they want what’s best for you and may have valuable advice to give.

Ultimately, if you are confident in yourself and proud of who you are, you are respecting yourself by being the person you wish to show the world. Treat others with the same respect you are giving to yourself, and most people will treat you well in return. Have enough respect for others to never treat people poorly, but have enough respect for yourself to know that you deserve to be surrounded by good people. Self-respect is the basis of a good relationship with yourself and eventually others, so it is imperative to build a strong foundation capable of withstanding anything.

Cover Image Credit: storiesbyjb.com

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Freshman Year Of College Taught Me Important Lessons That I'll Never Forget

What people don't tell you about your first year of college.

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Everyone looks forward to the day he or she walks across a stage and receives a high school diploma. The unlimited possibilities that college will hold for you and the new people you will meet are exciting. Going into college, I didn't know what to expect. I had heard stories on how to make friends, what to do to maintain a social and academic life, and how to not allow the new environment to overwhelm me. However, this did not make my transition into college any easier.

I believe the most important thing l learned that no one told me was the fact that not everyone is going to have the same heart as you, and that's okay. There will be people who will make you question if you made the right decision or if you are doing something wrong. I transitioned from being surrounded by people who had similar qualities as me to people surrounded by people who could not be more different. That is part of the college experience.

Everyone comes from somewhere different and think and act in various ways. College has made me more open to different ideas and allowed me to realize that not everyone will always be kind to you. How other people treat you is not always a reflection of how you treat them. College has taught me to let the little things that bother me go because there is no point to waste time on something that is not going to impact you in a positive manner.

The next lesson I've learned since I started college is that it's okay to be alone; it's even okay to want to be alone. One of the things stressed to me before I started college was to put myself out there and do everything I can do to meet new people. Which I did, and am so glad because I have met some people who I couldn't live without now.

However, that does not mean I never want alone time. For me, I have noticed that in order to focus on myself mentally I need a day or two away from all the commotion that is college. Being alone helps me clear my head and focus on what I need to do in order to be my bests self. I came to the conclusion that being alone and being lonely are two entirely different things, something I did not realize in high school.

Overall, the first semester of college helped me understand myself more. I know that in order to succeed you need to make yourself happy first, not anyone else. No matter how important they are to you. College is a tough transition for anyone, no matter how prepared you think you are. And by putting your needs first, it makes the transition a little easier.

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