Definition Of Respect

What is your definition of respect?

Is it having your dream house that everyone is envious of, or driving a fast car or maybe just the American dream.

The dictionary defines respect as meaning admiration, high opinion, esteem, value, reverence and regard. The opposite is disrespect, disregard, and contempt.

Which of these best represents how you see yourself? Do you have admiration, a high opinion and regard for yourself? Do you show this in your actions?



defintion of respect


Self respect is not about what we do, but who we are. It is about feeling valued. It is about being able to stand tall and feel proud of and for ourselves just because we exist. It is about loving ourselves for ourselves - just because we are.

Respect yourself and others will respect you ~ Confucius

Self respect is the cornerstone on which many other attributes are built such as honesty, confidence, and integrity.

Our sense of self value and respect begins at our birth and is forged throughout our childhood. It is through the loving arms of our parents and by getting our immediate needs met that we first come into contact with our sense of self value.


Along the way life impacts on us, forcing us to make decisions about how we respect ourselves. If we are treated with love and esteemed for being our authentic selves, then chances are our self respect will be great!

Our sense of self is determined by life's knocks and bruises, by our optimistic or pessimistic nature, and by our ability for resilience – that is whether we roll with the punches or get snowed under. If we harbor resentments, untruths, dishonesty and lies, it is not difficult to see that our armour of self respect will be sadly dented.

As we journey toward authenticity, reviewing our definition of respect will direct us toward those areas which need attention.

Although others may show their respect for us, we cannot get self respect from others. It comes from within us and must be known and experienced as our own truth.

Meaning of respect

defintion of respect

For many years I knew and experienced the love and respect of my family, friends, and peers – however, my own sense of self respect was low and was reflected in a lack of self care. It was always easier for me to take care of others and to see their wants and needs rather than to recognize and see my own.

During my early search for authenticity, a wise person questioned my lack of self care. She pointed out that I constantly put others before myself, often gave beloved possessions away and appeared to deprive myself of simple pleasures, rest and relaxation. Where is your self respect?, she asked.

While working with this question, I saw that as I was living for the ideals, needs and expectations of others, I therefore had little respect for my own needs, opinions and difficulty showing care for myself.

As I began the journey towards a more authentic existence, I discovered that in releasing resentments, practicing forgiveness, and recognizing and accepting my shames, I gained a clearer sense of my own self and respect for my needs.

Of course the paradox is that as we practice self respect, we gain greater respect for others too.

Sometimes our lack of self respect comes heavily disguised and is, for instance, cloaked in constant acts of kindness and service to others, inordinate attention to how we look, the need for excessive order and control in our surroundings - in other words we project out what we do not do for ourselves.

We can examine ourselves by asking these questions:
Do I respect -

authentic self
  • my values?
  • My opinions?
  • My self care?
  • My actions?
  • My intentions?
  • My motivation?
  • What is the meaning of respect in terms of my own self?

Where can I make adjustments so that I become more authentic in respect to myself?


Discover the strength of quotes about respect ~ Respect Quotes
Until you make the unconscious conscious,

it will direct your life and you will call it fate ~
Carl Jung




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