Do any of you find it's hard to have self respect?

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catpiecakebutter
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02 Nov 2022, 8:34 pm

I know I find self respect difficult because I have low self esteem. How do any of you work on self respect? My former psychiatrist and former psych nurse told me I should have self respect. How do any of you try to respect yourselves?



ToughDiamond
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03 Nov 2022, 12:05 am

Sorry to say, I don't know how anybody would cultivate self-respect. Maybe raise the matter with a good therapist? If your psychiatrist or psych nurse says you need to acquire more self-respect, maybe it would be a good idea to ask them how, if you're still in touch with them.

First, what is self-respect anyway? I gather there's some difference between self-respect and self-esteem, though I don't think there's much consensus on exactly what that difference is. I'd have trouble defining those terms precisely, but it's possible that self-respect is more of an acceptance of oneself as a person, while self-esteem may be more to do with being reasonably proud of one's skills and achievements. But the two terms are often taken to mean the same thing, and I'm not convinced that's a wrong view.

So I can't even be sure that I have self-respect. According to one source, people with low self-respect get bullied and ridiculed a lot. I've not been bullied or ridiculed very much at all, so by that standard I'm pretty much in the clear. If anybody tries to put me down I either get angry and tend to fight back, or I see them as inferiors whose views aren't important, or if I'm feeling generous I might try to figure out why they've made such a mistake and try to set them straight without losing my respect for them. Other pointers may be that I'm not what might be called a humble type of person, and I'm not readily made to feel ashamed of myself. I'm aware that I have weaknesses but I don't see myself as a weak person. So I guess I do have self-respect, but I'm afraid I've no idea how I would cultivate it if I needed to.



SendInTheClowns
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03 Nov 2022, 3:15 am

I sometimes find it hard to set boundaries with people who disrespect me. Especially when I get blindsided by people i don't know well, who make inappropriate comments or are intrusive in some way. And these failures to assert my own boundaries diminish my confidence in me. Sometimes I'm surprised at how severely quite minor disrepectful behaviour can trigger painful events of disrespect that are decades past, which I didn't even recognise as disrespect in my young years. I normalised poor treatment, and built some tendrils of self regard from personal achievements, but I didn't have a concept of self respect (as regarding myself as a person of intrinsic value).

Years pass. Decades pass. I can respect myself for kindnesses I did to others, though kindness to myself was a very elusive target. I can sometimes respect my personal and academic achievements, but that can also trigger painful memories of failures. So I find this topic very complicated, and trauma from the past winds its way into the mix.

The best I can manage - true or not - is to remind myself that I've strived to be a good person. In that endeavour I had failures and successes. As we all have.

I think women do tend to be more reluctant to give themselves due credit for what they do well, quicker to beat themselves up emotionally for failures. This can limit the sense of self respect.

The biggest enemy of self respect, perhaps, is feeling worthless. And - sadly - AS people are still stigmatised as being of less worth. I know this is morally wrong, fundamentally untrue, stems from ignorance and bigotry; but it is the social sea we swim in, inducing shame. Internalising shame that is not truly ours is a huge barrrier to self respect. Which is why boundaries are so important.

I think I lack confidence rather more than self respect. There's a connection between the two, obscured to me right now. Its complicated.



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03 Nov 2022, 5:08 am

For me, it was the combination of experience and very late diagnoses, and surviving a medical condition that my doctor said should have killed me.

I am a pessimist by nature always expecting the worst-case scenario. By now at age 65 the worst has not happened to me enough times and worse things have happened to others whose lives were going great to notice a pattern. As younger adults, all a lot of us know is that our peers are accomplishing and experiencing things we seemingly will never have.

People do not think about and recognize enough that just surviving to this point is a really big deal. Our 24/7 multitasking, sensory bombardment world makes it too easy to forget this.


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03 Nov 2022, 6:10 am

I have no respect towards a version of me who struggles with executive dysfunction.
Because that version of me is not a reliable person who can be trusted with anything.


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shortfatbalduglyman
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03 Nov 2022, 8:01 am

You can't measure "respect" or "self esteem"

Quite frankly I think that a lot more people have way too much self esteem, than too little self esteem.

Also, I feel like "respect" is a slippery slope and trump card (Trump card). In that anyone could (correctly) claim that *anything* is "disrespectful", because you can't measure "respect". Then they go ahead and label anything they don't like as "disrespectful". They assume that every time they are not happy, someone must have violated their "rights". They fail to recognize that nobody has a "right" to be happy.

Also, I feel like self righteous people that keep overusing the word "respect" have small vocabularies and unsophisticated critical thinking and problem solving skills. They tend to fail to "pick your battles". They pick all the battles

Having said that, what I think your nurse and psychiatrist meant by "have self respect" was set boundaries and adhere to them. But based on your description, not enough information to determine what they meant. (Out of context and too ambiguous)



klanka
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03 Nov 2022, 8:01 am

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klanka
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03 Nov 2022, 10:51 am

Sorry,I've been watching Rodney Dangerfield so the thread title triggered me.

I do find it hard to have self respect when I can't live up to what society respects.



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03 Nov 2022, 11:53 am

Being "different" lead to being treated "different"...and not in a good way. NTs want everyone to be like them.

There was a time the message I inferred was that I am defective.

But, as my professional and academic records progressed (and I joined Mensa) my self-image improved. I figured I had objective evidence that I was doing well, that I was not inferior.

...except in the areas of socializing and romance. :roll:


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03 Nov 2022, 10:40 pm

Is lacking self-respect the same as feeling worthless? Then yes. I cycle through various life disasters that I think will hit me. My therapist suggests I switch the channel and watch a movie where something good happens to me. I can’t seem to stick with it, it seems very unrealistic as a movie.

I try to meditate and medicate but it’s all set dressing for the same basic stage.

I hate that I haven’t been more successful in life, that I’ve let down everyone, that I could have done so much more for people. I feel like I can’t do basic things, that I can’t accomplish things, that I am the biggest fraud imaginable.



ToughDiamond
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04 Nov 2022, 8:36 am

^
That sounds very much like me when I'm at my lowest ebb, apart from the medicating and feeling like a fraud. It happens when I've been alone for too long.



kuze
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02 Dec 2022, 12:52 am

catpiecakebutter wrote:
I know I find self respect difficult because I have low self esteem. How do any of you work on self respect? My former psychiatrist and former psych nurse told me I should have self respect. How do any of you try to respect yourselves?



Hi catpiecakebutter

Rule #1: Stand up straight with your shoulders back
By Jordan Peterson

He's not for everyone, but for me, he definitely has some interesting perspectives.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMcjxSThD54

kuze


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usagibryan
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02 Dec 2022, 7:37 am

What helps me is to think of myself as a stranger. Try writing something, in a journal or whatever, then read it as if it were written by someone else and see how you feel about it. When I do this I find I have more empathy for this imagined other self than I normally do for myself, and I see it with fresh eyes. It's kind of like how some people are better at giving advice to others than taking your own advice, it's easier to be harder on yourself than others.

The point of this is to, what was described to me by a Zen teacher, "be kind to yourself." This exercise is my own trick. I don't know if this is the same as having self-respect, I guess it depends on what you mean by respect. But I think in the sense of having respect for other people's feelings, their boundries, etc, it applies. I hope that helps.


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