You probably wouldn’t allow anyone to disrespect you, so why do you do it to yourself? The way you treat yourself is a testament to what you’ll accept from other people. In other words, you can’t expect people to show the courtesy, consideration, and kindness you deserve when you’re not offering yourself the same things. Below are some behaviors that double as signs that you’re disrespecting yourself as well as some simple ways to switch things up because you deserve so much better.
1. You’re not being your authentic self.
Whatever the motivation, being an inauthentic person will always come back to bite you in the end. Whether you’re pretending to be someone you’re not to secure a job, get a date, or even in an effort to be well-liked by a social group, this is not the way to go. The real you is incredible and has so much to offer the world — why disrespect yourself by hiding it or pretending it doesn’t exist? Learn to embrace the qualities about yourself that might be more eccentric or as easily digestible and take pride in them rather than feeling shame. Not only is this freeing for you, but you might find that people prefer this genuine version of you, after all.
2. You neglect your own needs to put others first.
When you’re a sympathetic and empathetic person, it makes sense that you want to ensure the people you care about are happy and healthy and well taken care of. Occasionally, this means putting your own needs on the back burner to make it happen. However, if this is your default mode rather than the exception to the rule, it’s a major sign you’re disrespecting yourself. Your needs matter too, and you need to act accordingly (especially since many not-so-nice people will take advantage of your kindness without hesitation). Remain open to helping others when you can, but not to the detriment of our own well-being.
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4. You always put yourself down.
Being self-deprecating can be funny, sure, but when it’s constant and isn’t really a joke anymore, you’ve crossed the line into dangerous territory. Negative self-talk has a major effect on self-image and self-worth, meaning the more you talk down about yourself, the more you start to believe it’s true. That’s not it, bud! You wouldn’t let anyone else call you ugly, tell you you’re stupid, or any other insult, so why is it acceptable coming from you? Replace the negativity with some positive affirmations even if you feel kinda silly at first. Eventually, those thoughts will begin to take root and overtake the bad stuff.
5. You hide or compartmentalize your feelings.
You want to be seen as strong, capable, and totally together, so when bad things happen, you don’t allow yourself to react to them or even feel your emotions fully. Instead, you pretend you’re totally cool and everything is no big deal and you just get on with it. This is fine in the moment, but compartmentalizing rather than processing your feelings is doing you a major disservice. Not only does it prevent you from growing and evolving since you can never learn the lessons you’re meant to, but it also turns you into an emotionally unavailable shell. When something bad happens or you have a strong emotional reaction, validate those feelings and let yourself experience them. It’s okay to be a human rather than a machine — in fact, it’s preferable.
6. You’re envious of what other people have.
If you scroll through social media and wish you had all the clothes/cars/cash that your favorite influencer does, that’s normal. However, spending your life in a constant state of envy and dissatisfaction with your own life while putting everyone else’s life on a pedestal is reductive and kinda silly. Not only are you constantly being exposed to everyone’s highlight reels in life — that’s both online and off — but you’re undercutting the value of your own life and all the things you have to be grateful for. Put down your phone, take a walk outside, and begin to practice gratitude.
7. You’re a people pleaser.
If people-pleasing is your go-to way of trying to be liked, it’s a huge sign you’re disrespecting yourself. Again, it’s nice to make other people’s lives easier/better, but if you’re always going out of your way to be the perfect friend, colleague, sister, teammate, whatever, then you’re going to burn out extremely quickly. Plus, you’re going to open the door for people to walk all over you because they know you won’t speak up for yourself. Learn to accept that it’s okay for other people to be disappointed or for you to not meet everyone’s needs. They’ll live. Promise.
8. You ignore your gut.
Listening to your gut is something so many of us forget the value of in life. Your intuition will rarely lead you astray. In fact, it’s the basest, most honest part of you that wants to tell you the truth even if your head and heart are trying to convince you otherwise. One of the most obvious signs you’re disrespecting yourself is when you totally ignore your gut and keep trudging forward with something you know is a bad idea. Why?!
9. You punish yourself for anything less than perfection.
Nobody in this world is perfect and you know it, yet you still hold yourself to unrealistic standards and insist on berating yourself any time you mess up or something doesn’t work out. Obviously, this is a normal part of life and is what allows us to grow as people, but if you can’t accept that, you’ll never experience that enrichment and you’ll end up stunted as a result. Give yourself the grace to mess up and instead of seeing it as a failure, learn to appreciate the opportunity it provides. This will not only help you feel way less negative but will also take the pressure off your shoulders.
10. You keep toxic people in your life.
This is a biggie, and one that way too many of us are guilty of, sadly. Keeping toxic people around, whether because you’ve been friends since you were kids or because it’s your cousin (or whatever), is never okay. You’re not obliged to let anyone remain in your life who puts you down, disrespects you, or makes you feel bad about yourself. In fact, putting up with that kind of behavior is a sign you’re disrespecting yourself and need to make a change. Cut them off. See ya!
11. You put up with BS to avoid conflict.
No one likes confrontation (okay, most people don’t), but sometimes it’s necessary in order to resolve an issue. If you swallow your frustration/anger/hurt and act like everything’s totally fine when someone does you wrong rather than calling them out on it, it’s time to change the game. That’s not to say you have to go at them with aggression or accusations, but you do need to stand up for yourself and demand better. This is really hard, especially if you’re not used to it, but learning to confront awkward people/situations head-on will make you so much happier in the long run.
12. You take the blame for things that are definitely not your fault.
This is a big ol’ nope, and one of the most obvious signs you’re disrespecting yourself. Women especially are often guilty of apologizing for stuff that simply isn’t our fault, and it needs to stop. You might think that saying “I’m sorry” even when someone else is in the wrong is a quick way to restore peace and eliminate awkwardness, but forget that. If you didn’t do it, don’t feel bad about it — and certainly don’t cop to it. People need to be accountable for their own behavior.
13. You lie to make yourself look better.
Embellishing a story or outright making one up to look better in whatever say is doing yourself a massive disservice. It implies that the truth is somehow less impressive or makes you less worthy of respect, and that’s ridiculous. No matter what the real story is, tell that version. How people react to that is up to them — and has nothing to do with you. You’ll sleep peacefully at night knowing you’re being the real you and are living in your truth.
14. You don’t back yourself.
It’s great to have a support network around you, but if you’re not your own biggest cheerleader, you’re really missing out. You have so much potential to discover in life, and it’s so important that you remember and believe that. Cement your self-worth and don’t let anyone sway it. If you have a solid foundation of self-belief, absolutely no one will be able to take that away from you, and that’s a gift.