Self-Respect: Prerequisite for Respecting Others

The scouts' salute demonstrates self-respect, and respect for others.  Photo by Viktor Gurniak
The scouts' salute demonstrates self-respect, and respect for others. Photo by Viktor Gurniak | Source

The teen slams the door as he walks away.

The employer insults the employee.

The pedestrian curses at the slow driver.

Individuals who engage in these disrespectful behaviors may not consider that their lack of self-control portrays them negatively; that their disrespect is likely to boomerang.

When it comes to respect--the “high or special regard,” (Merriam Webster), a person must own it for himself, in order to share it with others.

This article promotes self-respect as a prerequisite for respecting others in general, with a specific look at:

(1) Parents
(2) Other Seniors
(3) Friends
(4) God

Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.

— Laurence Sterne (novelist and clergyman)

First, Respect for Self

Tejvan Pettinger in an online article, How to Develop R E S P E C T for Yourself writes, “Self-respect is a fundamental for a great life. If we lack self-respect we will be insecure and strive to be someone we are not.”

Respect for self includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • (1) Know and believe in who you are.
  • (2) Let your conversation and deportment correspond with your mental image of who you are.
  • (3) Stand up for your convictions; don't be influenced by other people's opinions.
  • (4) Keep company with people who support the principles you live by.
  • (5) Learn from your teachers; don’t try to become them.
  • (6) Practice zero tolerance for any kind of abuse: verbal, emotional, physical including sexual.
  • (7) Evaluate your worth, and don't offer discounts on your value.
  • (8) Live as though someone is always watching; your conscience is.


(1) Respect for Parents

Parents who recognize the importance of respect, feel obligated it to teach it. Besides, no matter how many and what rank of people respect the parent, the parent will feel deprived without respect from the child. Also, there's the benefit it provides outside the home.

"It is most important that a child respect his parents . . . because the child's relationship with his parents provides the basis for his attitude toward all other people” (Our Civilisation).

Parents influence respect in the child by the following methods:

  • (1) Model respect in your relationship with your child. For example, don't scold in company
  • (2) Teach it intentionally with regard to good manners: "Please," Thank you," "May I?" etc.
  • (3) Demand respect and take the time to make sure the child follows through.
  • (4) Praise respect when the child demonstrates it.

Children are obligated to respect the parent as the authority figure in the home. That includes communication concerning their whereabouts. Children are expected to be respectful in the home until or unless:

  • The children choose to trade their parent’s authority for total independence, including their own residence
  • The parents’ laws become harmful to them.


(2) Respect for Other Seniors

Students working with a teacher at Albany Senior High School, New Zealand. -  Photo by Mosborne01
Students working with a teacher at Albany Senior High School, New Zealand. - Photo by Mosborne01 | Source

In some cultures, it is permissible for a child to address an adult without using a title. Still, there are many people who believe that there is a correlation between respect and the way children address older people.

Children who are respectful like to please. If they are told that the adults prefer to called by a title, they will comply. It is mostly the adults who are responsible for dismissing this gesture of respect when:

  • An adult introduces himself to a child by his first name.
  • An adult says to a child, “Please drop the title; just call me by my first name.” (Per Etiquette Daily, tell the child that this is a preference, not the general rule).
  • A parent hears a child call an adult by the first name, and says nothing about it.
  • An adult refuses the title in an effort to seem friendly; even though respect does not hinder friendship.

The reason some give for wanting to be called by their first names, is that the title makes them feel old. In cultures where the form of address shows respect, it is more meaningful to feel respected than to feel a certain age.


(3) Respect for Friends

Photo by Jorge Royan
Photo by Jorge Royan | Source

When a young man talks with a young woman several times without staring at her bosom; when they go for a walk and he does not try to kiss her; when he insists on talking with her parents before he invites her to his house; he is being respectful. It has to do with his sense of self-respect as well as what he thinks about her.

  • (1) He values his mind as well as his body; he respects her mind as much as he admires her body.
  • (2) He cares whether the attraction is mutual; he respects her opinion.
  • (3) He cares about her reputation as well as his.
  • (4) He wants a good woman; he wants her to have a good man.

It also has to do with the woman's self-respect:

  • (1) She has to be the type of woman who attracts the type of man she wants.
  • (2) She must know beforehand how she wants to be treated.


(4) Respect for God

First, a believer values himself as a creature and responds to the Creator with respect. He respects God's name, house of worship and those who minister of His behalf. He also respects his own body, and keeps it fit for God to dwell in.

He does not participate in the irreverent use of God's name. He does not laugh when comedians make Him the object of their laughter or He is blasphemed in sitcoms. He does not check on his communication device during prayer, nor interrupt the worship service to answer trivial phone calls.

Respect for God inspires reverence for Him and respect for all His creatures. It convinces the believer live by the principles He teaches, for his own good:

  • Show great respect for your mother and father (Leviticus 19: 3).
  • Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged (Leviticus 19:32).
  • Give respect and honor to those who are in authority (Romans 13: 7).
  • Respect everyone (1 Peter 2: 17).


Scripture quotations are from the New Living Translation.

© August 20, 2013 by Dora Isaac Weithers. Click on MORE for other articles by MsDora.

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36 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

During my lifetime I have seen a gradual erosion of respect in this country. I would be hard-pressed to give a specific reason for it, but it covers the entire spectrum of society. Kids show less respect to adults...adults less respect to other adults...workers less respect to employers....I see so much rudeness weekly and it saddens me. :)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Billy, this article just touches the surface of the things we need to attend to. Thanks for your input.


lovedoctor926 3 years ago

I agree with your views on respect. A very good hub and worthy of reading. voted up++ useful and interesting.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank you, LoveDoctor. Your comment is very encouraging.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

again Msdora I come to get this now respect your hubs more and more.. what a useful hub.. bless you


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Frank, I appreciate your blessings. Thank you.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

Personally, I believe that our general lack of respect in society has come from the decreased devotion to God and the family unit. Families are not as important as they were in a previous generation, and neither is religious worship. Although the demise of a totalitarian parenting style has been a welcome change that has come with this transition, it has also lead to more permissiveness in parenting, which lends itself to a lack of respect in youth.


sheilamyers 3 years ago

I can think of a lot of people who should be reading this, especially some of the younger people. I don't know how many times I've heard young people whining that no one respects them, yet they don't even try to be respectful to a person they just meet.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Denise, I agree with your observation on lack of devotion to God and family. He is the Source of Respect and every other good virtue.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Sheila, I know those young people, some older ones too. We have to teach them all over again. Thanks for your input.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 3 years ago from West Virginia

Ms Dora, great useful information! I've always valued respect and knew that it had to be earned, not given. I teach my kids this from an early age and even thought they're young, I'm preparing them for the real world. I had no clue what the real word was, although I had great parents. Like any parent, I don't want them to make the same mistakes. Great source of information MsDora. Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and shared.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank you, the lyricwriter. Nice meeting you, and I value your input.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

The lack of respect is noticed in many of the new generation and it is ad to see children behave in such ways. Great hub on this topic


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

DDE, thanks for you comment. I appreciate your support.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

Learn from your teachers...don't try to become them...wow....that gets at the heart of the matter, doesn't it?

Respecting ourselves gives us a way to know in which direction we wish to head.

You have shared some very important steps we can take to essentially be true to ourselves. Shared and voted up Angels are on the way ps


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

PS, you are always so encouraging. Thank you.


Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 3 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

You have the framework for an entire book here. I started with something like this in 1977 and ended up writing 'Born to Be Rich." If you ever need a mentor for a big project, please feel free to call on me. Well done. RJ


epbooks profile image

epbooks 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

I love this hub. Respect and self-respect is so important and often it seems that both of these are disappearing. Great message - voted this one up!


Romeos Quill profile image

Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

A great Hub from a wise lady. You must be an excellent parent. Thank you for such a useful compilation.

Yours Sincerely,

R.Q.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Reynold, I'm excited about your comment. I may just call on you. Thanks for the offer.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

EP, thanks for your encouragement. I wish that I could deal with this topic in a way that corresponds to the weight I feel.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Romeos, you make me smile. My ex-husband said that I was a good parent; I believe him. Excellent? Not sure about that. Thank you for such a kind comment.


Hackslap profile image

Hackslap 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

thumbs up for this one! ... this is the flip side to 'treat others the way you'd want to be treated' ..


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Hackslap, thanks for your visit. I appreciate your input.


skye2day profile image

skye2day 3 years ago from Rocky Mountains

MsDora. This is a very fine read. I love how you have laid it out. Your wisdom shines dearest sister. The Lord God moves in you to touch others. Respect is so lacking today. This is nothing new under the sun but it seems more prevalent in these days we live than any other time I have seen. So many children lack self respect. It is very sad because they are not shown at home. Many of the TV programs show children having little respect for their parents and siblings.

Thank you for taking the time to write this for us. I do pray many come and take heed. My Love to you msdora. Gods favor abounds in you sweet sister. Keep em coming. Hugs Galore. Skye


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Skye, thank you for your love and affection. I really appreciate you. I just wish I could all that's on my heart about respect! Glad you like the article.


nighthag profile image

nighthag 3 years ago from Australia

Thought ful and full of good old fashioned sense

Nicely done !!!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Nighthag, "old-fashioned" is my kind o'word. Thank you for your kind comment.


Michael-Milec profile image

Michael-Milec 3 years ago

Hi MsDora.

Awesome, useful and up! This hub serves as " Ten Commandments " to build-up morally resonating society. What we see and know of behavior representation , it all starts at home. A newborn are like sponges , when dipped in clean water , filling is pure , if dipped into dirty- well the results are known...

Who is building up nowadays generation?. My observation, since coming to this continent , three generations are raised simultaneously : either they read- discuss - live the Word of Life or their source of morality coming from the family altar, TV-Hollywood production mainly dominated by satanic ideology ( thinking of public education ) ...

What has happen to honoring the God almighty in this country ? Not the lip service, but the godly lifestyle? Million years ago ( seems like ) - we were raised by following a role model in and around the family circle . Living " right " and believing right- gave me solid ground to live " "righteously " as simply as the word says the righteous shall live by faith.

( I'm not only one!) Someone showed me in early childhood the right direction to high moral self- respectful standard to the source of the beginning of the wisdom, saying, " the reverent fear and worship of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom and skill" ... Only the beginning .

( my apology, please)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Hi Michael, no apology necessary. We all learn as we go. I understand everything you write in your comment. You and I are in agreement about the need for people to teach respect for God and all other forms of respect to the younger generation. Thank you very much. Hope all is well!


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 3 years ago

Yes it is true respect is really important in life. It is sad that others are not giving this good quality a chance to rule the world.

Voted up and useful. :-)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank you, Ignugent. We who are concerned have to do the best we can.


rdsparrowriter profile image

rdsparrowriter 3 years ago

Very useful information and thank you for sharing your insight :) God bless you! Voted up and useful :)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank you, rdsparrowriter. Thrilled that you consider the article useful.


Anil and Honey profile image

Anil and Honey 3 years ago from Kerala

Attractive and everlasting subject and hub, 'absence of morality' that is a big problem all over the world. We should give a moral class to our students especially in India, governments or society are neglecting it so the new generation are going to incorrect ways.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Anil and Honey, I think you have the right idea. Governments need to model morality for its citizens.

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