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Naturally, we want others to respect us and can feel quite offended whenever they don’t. And while there’s a time to fight for this respect, we must remember to respect ourselves as well.

There’s some truth to the saying we teach others how to treat us.

To be sure, there’s disrespect from others that has nothing to do with us – others taking out their own hurt, pain, and sin on us. Or perhaps they’re just immature and selfish.

Either way, we’re likely faced with difficult choices when we find ourselves constantly on the receiving end of someone’s disrespect.

And how we make these choices teaches the other our boundaries and what we’re willing to tolerate in relationship with them.

But more than just setting boundaries, we teach the other by how we treat ourselves as well.

It becomes very difficult for others to respect us when we don’t respect ourselves.

Of course, those who are exceptionally mature are able to give us the dignity we deserve even when we don’t give it to ourselves.

But the average individual will likely meet the same standard of respect we give ourselves.

For instance, if we question our inherent worth and believe we have nothing meaningful to offer, we’re more likely to be treated like a doormat and lose ourselves in relationships.

And it’s not that the other is being malicious, rather the strength of our presence hasn’t taught them otherwise.

On the other hand, when we know who we are and hold on to our integrity, others must then deal with the reality of who we are. This is risky, but it also teaches.

We open the door for mutual respect in relationships by first respecting ourselves.

Seek respect from others whenever you can. But remember, this often starts with respecting yourself first.

Photo by peacemakers on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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