15 Solid Signs You Respect Yourself And How It Shows

When it comes to respect, the first person you’ve got to square things with is the one in the mirror. It’s not about arrogance or thinking you’re better than anyone else. It’s about knowing your worth, owning your space, and treating yourself with the same dignity you offer others. This isn’t a topic we mull over every day, but maybe we should because how you respect yourself sets the tone for how you interact with the world. And let’s be real, that inner dialogue—how you talk to yourself when no one else is around—matters. With that in mind, here are some clear signs you respect yourself — just as you should!

1. You give yourself grace when you mess up.

Everyone trips up now and then; it’s part of being human. If you can shrug it off, learn from it, and not beat yourself up, that’s a big sign of self-respect. You understand that perfection is impossible and that mistakes are just detours, not dead ends. Giving yourself grace is about acknowledging the slip-up, then moving on with the wisdom you’ve gained.

2. You know how to express your wants and needs.

Being clear about what you want and need is a form of self-respect. It shows you value your satisfaction and well-being as much as you do others’. You’re not afraid to voice your desires, and you do it with confidence, not aggression. It’s about being honest with yourself and others about what it takes to make you happy and fulfilled.

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4. You set boundaries and are unapologetic about it.

Setting boundaries is like building a fence around your personal space; it keeps the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. When you lay down the law on what’s okay and what’s not, and you stick to it without making excuses, that’s self-respect in action. You’re saying your peace of mind isn’t up for negotiation.

5. You say no without feeling guilty.

Saying no can be tough, but it’s necessary. You can’t do everything, and you definitely can’t please everyone. Turning things down without a side of guilt shows you respect your limits. It’s understanding that your time and energy are valuable, and you get to decide how to spend them. That’s a healthy dose of self-respect right there.

6. You don’t let anyone belittle you or condescend to you.

When you respect yourself, you don’t stand for anyone treating you like a doormat. It doesn’t matter who they are or what they mean to you. If they’re dishing out disrespect, you’re not having it. You carry yourself with dignity and expect to be treated with the same level of respect you give out.

7. You do what you think is right, no matter what people think.

Following the crowd? Not your style. You’ve got your own compass, and you stick to it. Peer pressure bounces off you like water off a duck’s back. Whether it’s popular or not, you’re all about doing what you believe in. That kind of integrity is a surefire sign of self-respect.

8. You accept compliments rather than brushing them off.

Ever downplayed a compliment by saying it was nothing or that anyone could’ve done it? Not you. When someone gives you props, you take it with a smile and a thank you. It’s not about being boastful; it’s about acknowledging your strengths and achievements, and that’s something someone with self-respect does.

9. You know how to forgive.

Holding grudges? That’s too heavy a burden to carry. You understand that forgiveness isn’t about letting someone else off the hook; it’s about not letting their actions weigh you down. You forgive because you respect yourself enough to move on and live unburdened by anger and resentment.

10. You never settle for the sake of not being alone.

Being alone? Sure, it can be tough, but it’s better than being in bad company. You value yourself too much to settle for less than you deserve, whether that’s in relationships, jobs, or any other aspect of life. You know that being solo is leagues better than being with someone who doesn’t value you. That self-assurance is self-respect at its best.

11. You know that hard work is just as important as luck.

You get that sitting around waiting for a stroke of luck isn’t how things get done. Rolling up your sleeves and putting in the effort is where it’s at. You respect yourself enough to know that your success is a direct result of your own hard work, not just random chance or good fortune.

12. You look after your physical, mental, and emotional health.

Taking care of yourself is a top priority for you because you understand that your well-being is the foundation of everything else in your life. It’s not just about hitting the gym or eating right; it’s also about giving yourself mental health days and making time for self-reflection. This holistic approach to health is a big indicator that you respect your needs.

13. You know when to walk away from people or situations that are no longer serving you.

Not all paths are meant to be walked till the end, and not all relationships are meant to last forever. You’ve got the strength to cut ties when you need to, and that’s okay. Staying in a negative situation doesn’t do you any favors. Walking away takes courage, and it’s a profound form of self-respect.

14. You’re accountable for your own decisions and your life as a whole.

Blaming others for where you are in life? That’s not in your playbook. You own your choices and their outcomes, good or bad. You understand that accountability is about taking control of your life and steering it in the direction you want to go. That level of responsibility is a clear sign you respect yourself and your ability to shape your future.

15. You take pride in your work, whatever it is you’re doing.

Whether you’re nailing a presentation at work, perfecting your sourdough at home, or just tidying up your living space, you do it with a sense of pride. You’re not half-hearted about the tasks you take on. Your work is a reflection of you, and you respect yourself enough to give everything your best shot. That pride in your work is a telltale sign you respect the person doing it—you.

16. You’ve cemented your sense of self-worth.

Your self-worth isn’t up for debate—it’s as solid as concrete. You don’t need external validation to feel good about yourself because you know exactly what you bring to the table. This isn’t about ego; it’s about a deep-seated understanding of your own value as a person. And once you’ve got that figured out, it changes the game. It’s the ultimate form of self-respect because it means you’re not swayed by every wind of opinion.

Sinead Cafferty is a writer who has authored four collections of poetry: "Dust Settling" (2012); "The Space Between" (2014); "Under, Under, Over" (2016); and "What You Can't Have" (2020). She's currently working on her first novel, a dystopian romance set in the 22nd Century, that's due out in 2024.

Sinead has an MFA in creative writing from NYU and has had residencies with the Vermont Studio Center and the National Center for Writing.