One of the subtle themes in the story Go Ask the Dead is self-respect. The main character Mandy Mannon lost herself a bit when her stepfather Ted Basker dated her and made love with her. When she discovered that her mother Aurelia was murdered by Ted, she was devastated. Worse, Ted revealed that he only wanted her mother’s properties and cared nothing about Mandy. Eventually Mandy realized that Ted only used her for his advantage. During their heated exchange of words, Ted strangled Mandy so Mandy had to defend herself and protect her heirloom. She was able to free herself from Ted by hitting his head with a gun.

So what is self-respect?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, self-respect has two definitions: (1) a proper respect for oneself as a human being; and (2) regard for one’s own standing or position. In other words, self-respect means maintaining one’s respect of himself regardless of his point-of-view in any aspect, his status, and his rank in his job, whatsoever. Having self-respect entails protecting yourself from intolerable advantage by others without being narcissistic, egoistic and self-centered.

So, why does you need to have self-respect?

Ultimately, having self-respect is essential because it affects every aspect of your life. So here are 13 helpful pointers why having self-respect is so essential:

  1. Others will treat you with dignity and worth.
  2. You will attract and receive as much respect and love as you give yourself.
  3. You deserve being held in high esteem by oneself and by others.
  4. You are empowered with a sense of trust, competence and confidence.
  5. You no longer need to compare yourself from others.
  6. Self-respect makes you a better person and partner.
  7. You value your needs, desires, and values.
  8. You are enabled to say “no” and create boundaries.
  9. You decide who are the better friends, partners, and workplaces.
  10. You feel happiness and fulfillment in your romantic life.
  11. You feel happiness and fulfillment in your business life.
  12. You feel great and have a sense of control over your life.
  13. You can master the skill of self-love and self-care.

Now that you have gained insights on valuing yourself more, recognizing red flags of low self-respect could prove informative. You may be unaware that you have done these matters, so you better avoid doing these.

  1. Granting too much favor from others without getting in return. Giving without expecting in return is a good deed, but always giving without receiving in return becomes toxic. When you are in a relationship, giving should be a two-way action. If you always give too much without receiving just one, then it’s time to build yourself up some love.
  2. Losing yourself in a relationship. You always approve your partner’s decisions even if the consequences are not good. Or worse, your partner decides without your approval. Too trusting and overly permitting to your partner because you are afraid taking part of that decision angers him/her. You need to take part in your relationship and take control of the plans that you and your partner created. Two heads are better than one.
  3. Seeking attention from others. You’re dying to gain approval from others in which your own self cannot give. Being an attention-seeker is deadly because the standards you set for yourself is always not the same standard for others. Maintain your individuality and keep a sense of humility as you go about your routine.
  4. Tolerating verbal, mental, or physical abuse. You allow your partner or other people beat you and hurl insults against you. This one is very deadly you might end up sleeping at a mental institution because this creates not only physical scars but psychological scars as well. Don’t let that happen to you. You need to set boundaries from an abusive partner or friend to prevent undesired occurrences.
  5. Allowing others to control you. Your partner tells you to change your clothes because they are too revealing even if your skirt falls below your knees and your sleeves reach beyond your elbows. Your boss tells you every day that you need to modify your statements in the same report. Although control is acceptable, chronic control is dreadful. You need to assert yourself that your ideas are noble and your individuality is remarkable. No need for you to become a person they ought you to be. Or else, you might be in a wrong environment. Find a place or a group of people where you can celebrate the real you and where they can appreciate your individuality.
  6. Pampering yourself too much. Rewarding yourself may be good but indulging in too much of those rewards is awful. You may be eating several slices of cakes in a day, drinking bottles after bottles of alcohol, or even harming yourself. Food, alcohol, drugs and weapons shouldn’t be an outlet for your frustrations. Pampering too much or overindulging is a red flag for low self-respect. Going to a beach and taking a dip at a pool are very relaxing activity and they help you ease your anxiety.
  7. Becoming clumsy. You dress sloppily. Your room is messy and smelly. You haven’t cleaned the common area and didn’t wash the dishes. These are obvious signs that you really don’t care about yourself at all. Muster up your courage and take good care of yourself. Remember, your outward appearance reflects what is inside of you. So, you better clean up your mess and you will see a big leap in your decency and health.

Photo by Ioana Casapu on Unsplash