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Self-Respect: Prerequisite for Respecting Others

Updated on June 26, 2018
MsDora profile image

MsDora, former teacher and Certified Christian Counselor shares tips for smooth relationships with friends and encounters with strangers.

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, 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:

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
(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)

Respect for Self

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

  • (1) Knowing and believing in who you are.
  • (2) Conversation and deportment corresponding with your mental image of who you are.
  • (3) Standing up for your convictions; not being influenced by other people's opinions.
  • (4) Keeping company with people who support the principles you live by.
  • (5) Practicing zero tolerance for any kind of abuse: verbal, emotional, physical including sexual.
  • (6) Evaluating your worth, and not offering discounts on your value.

(1) Respect for Parents

"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.

© 2013 Dora Weithers


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    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

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

    • Anil and Honey profile image


      4 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 imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

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

    • rdsparrowriter profile image


      5 years ago

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

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

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

    • profile image


      5 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 imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      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!

    • Michael-Milec profile image


      5 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 imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

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

    • nighthag profile image

      K.A.E Grove 

      5 years ago from Australia

      Thought ful and full of good old fashioned sense

      Nicely done !!!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      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.

    • skye2day profile image


      5 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 imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

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

    • Hackslap profile image


      5 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 imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      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.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      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 imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

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

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 

      5 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,


    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 

      5 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!

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      5 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

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      PS, you are always so encouraging. Thank you.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Learn from your teachers...don't try to become 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 imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

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

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 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 imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

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

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      5 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 imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

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

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      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.

    • profile image


      5 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.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      5 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.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Frank, I appreciate your blessings. Thank you.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 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 imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you, LoveDoctor. Your comment is very encouraging.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

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

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

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

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 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. :)


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