Signs of Low Self-Respect

Ways to Tell You May Not Respect Yourself

It’s difficult to admit when you struggle with having self-respect for yourself, but know you are not alone.

The Body Shop surveyed over 22,000 individuals from 21 countries from November to December 2022. They found that “6 in 10 people across the globe wish they had more respect for themselves.”

Identifying indicators of low self-respect is essential so you can make the changes needed to build self-esteem.

Acknowledging areas where you may have low self-respect and taking steps to improve them allows you to create a more positive self-image and lead a more fulfilling life.

Below are the signs to determine if you have low self-respect.

Signs of Low Self Respect. How to tell you don't respect yourself.

1. Mean to Yourself

If you are unkind to yourself, it could indicate that you lack self-respect. 

Being mean to yourself can come from speaking poorly about yourself, not acknowledging accomplishments, or having a negative narrative about your life. 

Speaking Poorly About Yourself

One possible sign you lack respect for yourself is using derogatory terms to refer to yourself, for example, calling yourself names or making degrading jokes about yourself. 

If you are unkind to yourself, it could be a sign that you have a pessimistic perception of yourself buried deep in your subconscious mind.

Talking to yourself with kindness and positivity can help elevate your self-perception and boost your self-esteem. 

Furthermore, positively referring to yourself can give you the confidence to step out of your comfort zone and take on new challenges over time.

Saying Mean Jokes About Yourself 

Another sign that you may not respect yourself is if you joke about yourself negatively. 

Making jokes at your expense can give others the impression that you lack worthiness. 

Furthermore, regularly making degrading jokes to describe yourself can lead to negative self-perception.

However, self-deprecating humor can often do more harm than good. Therefore, keeping the jokes positive and uplifting is imperative to build self-esteem. 

Furthermore, engaging in lighthearted humor about yourself positively and upliftingly can help you maintain a positive self-image, improve your interactions with others, and boost your spirit.

Having a Negative Narrative about Yourself

Everyone has a life story they tell, and how you tell your story may indicate a lack of self-respect. 

Having negative thoughts about yourself becomes evident when recounting life stories.

For example, when asked about your childhood, you frame yourself as the victim or a villain within the narrative. Neither of these sheds light on you positively as a person. 

Therefore, when telling your life story, it’s important to portray yourself positively and avoid negative self-talk, as this helps build a more positive and empowering narrative.

By avoiding negative self-talk and portraying yourself positively in your life story, you help improve your self-image. 

Furthermore, speaking highly about yourself when recalling different life events makes you more upbeat and uplifting in your interactions with others.

2. Not Acknowledging Your Accomplishments

Another way you may be unkind to yourself is by neglecting to recognize your accomplishments and solely fixating on your mistakes.

It’s easy to believe that focusing on your weaknesses can motivate you to work harder to succeed faster.

On the other hand, only focusing on failures or lack of achievements can pose challenges when recovering from setbacks and may even lead you to give up.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to recognize your accomplishments and victories for motivation and to boost your self-confidence.

3. Focus on Negative Characteristic Traits

Another sign you may not respect yourself and struggle with low self respect is when you focus on your negative character traits.
You are what you say. Choose your words carefully.
~ Unknown

Focusing or obsessing over your negative character traits may indicate you lack self-respect.

Negative characteristic traits include, but are not limited to: 

  • Awkwardness or Being Uncomfortable around Others
  • Gossipping or Complaining 
  • Rude or Disrespectful 
  • Greedy or Cheap
  • Self Centered or Aggressive

Just like any other human being, you possess certain personality traits that may not be ideal. However, the impact and influence of these traits can differ from person to person.

Focusing on finding solutions to improve is more productive than dwelling on the issue. 

For instance, if you always say that you feel uneasy around others, dwelling on that negative trait can serve as validation in situations where you are awkward and unable to connect with others on a more personal level.  

Therefore, it only reinforces your belief that you are indeed awkward. 

Constantly highlighting negative characteristics may reflect that you do not respect yourself.

Instead of dwelling on negative traits like feeling uncomfortable around others, focus on positive attributes such as being likable despite awkwardness.

Focusing on being likable allows you to focus on more positive character traits, which can help with interactions during social situations. 

Therefore, focusing on your positive character traits helps increase confidence, which may minimize awkwardness.

4. Promiscuous

Being sexy promiscuous is another sign of have low self respect and that you lack self respect.

Engaging in promiscuous behavior to seek affection could be a sign you do not respect yourself.

If you engage in promiscuous behavior to initiate a relationship with another person, it is a sign you may have low self-worth.

The need to sleep with someone immediately because you believe your personality is insufficient to attract a partner indicates a lack of confidence.

Instead of focusing solely on sex to maintain a relationship, it’s crucial to recognize and appreciate the positive qualities of your personality that make you a lovable individual.

By valuing yourself for who you are, you can attract a partner who appreciates you for all your wonderful qualities.

5. Allow People to Treat You Without Respect

One indication you may not respect yourself is when you permit others to treat you disrespectfully. [Read also: Signs of a Poor Emotional Support System

Disrespectful behavior can manifest through seemingly harmless actions like jokingly calling you names, belittling you, or making demeaning comments.

Joking around and belittling can occur in private or in front of others, but when those close to you engage in such behavior and allow it, it suggests you may not respect yourself.

When faced with such behavior, setting boundaries becomes crucial. However, this brings us to the next point. 

6. Struggle with Creating Boundaries

Not creating boundaries is another sign of having low self respect.

One sign of lacking self-respect is finding it hard to establish personal boundaries.

For instance, if you notice that your loved ones are not respecting you, you may want to set clear boundaries to stop the behavior.

However, it may be challenging for you to communicate your emotions effectively and, therefore, unable to set boundaries, allowing the behaviors to persist.

Recognizing when someone negatively impacts your well-being and having the courage to distance yourself from them is crucial. [Read also: Why Defining Boundaries in a Relationship can be Hard

7. Engage in Addictions

We have a list of activities to avoid on a first date. Having a substance abuse issue is another sign of a toxic friendship and one that you may want to consider letting go

If you struggle to overcome addictions like alcohol, smoking, or drugs, it may indicate a lack of self-respect.

It’s crucial to recognize how these addictions negatively impact your well-being and take the proper steps to break free.

Discussing stopping bad habits isn’t sufficient. It is the ability to take steps to stop the bad habits and remain sober that indicates a high level of self-respect.

Choosing to seek help to quit your habits but not following through can suggest a lack of self-respect.

Therefore, struggling with addictions and being unable to stay sober is a sign you may not respect yourself.

8. Ignore Praise

Another indication you may struggle with self-respect is when you overlook compliments and only pay attention to negative feedback or criticism.

By disregarding compliments, you make a deliberate effort not to recognize your achievements.

Focusing too much on criticism may lead to demotivation and prevent you from fully recognizing the extent of your accomplishments.

Refusing to acknowledge your strengths can result in giving up too quickly on a path where you could have succeeded.

Recognizing positive feedback and constructive criticism is crucial instead of solely focusing on negativity.

Giving equal importance to positive feedback and constructive criticism is vital to maintaining healthy self-esteem.

Furthermore, acknowledging praise for your accomplishments can be beneficial as it illuminates the areas where you excel and demonstrates what others perceive as your strengths.

9. Unable to Make Decisions

Having difficulty in making decisions can be an indication you lack respect for yourself.

Believing in your ability to make the right choices in life is essential to move forward confidently.

It can be decisions as major as quitting your job to open a boutique to as minor as what to eat for dinner.

Through improving your level of self-respect, you begin to gain trust in the choices you make.

Therefore, you can become more comfortable making decisions that impact your future.

It may take time and effort, but the rewards of increased self-confidence and self-respect are well worth it.

10. Struggle with Perfectionism

Another sign you lack self-respect is if you struggle to accept anything that falls short of perfection.

Perfectionism may indicate a desire to prove your worth through achievements and accomplishments.

When striving for perfection, there is a risk of becoming too fixated on a particular task or item, which can hinder progress.

When you struggle with low self-respect, perfectionism is an excuse not to move forward with a project, as you may doubt your ability to complete the job satisfactorily.

Having self-respect means believing in your abilities and not allowing the notion of perfection to impede your progress.

Higher self-respect for yourself makes accepting mistakes and prioritizing progress toward overall success easier.

How to Gain Self-Respect

The first step to gaining self-respect is to look at the areas in your life that need improvement. 

The areas where you may not respect yourself and determine why you feel that way.

You may struggle with low self-respect for various reasons, such as a bad childhood, past trauma, or a close friend or family member constantly degrading you. 

Below are a few ways to help gain self-respect: 

  • Recognizing negative thought patterns and behavior is essential in improving your respect for yourself and overall well-being.
  • Another way to improve self-respect is to recognize and appreciate your positive qualities. 
  • Acknowledging your strengths and accomplishments can build a stronger sense of confidence and self-worth. 
  • Setting personal boundaries and prioritizing your well-being is imperative for self-respect. Especially when around individuals who are degrading you regularly. 

Learning and actively working to respect yourself cannot be achieved overnight, but with time and effort, you can learn to value yourself and your abilities.

By avoiding negative self-talk and focusing on the positives, you can approach challenges with an open mind and succeed.

Why is Having High Self-Respect Important?

Self-respect and self-acceptance are essential for a healthy and fulfilling life.

High self-respect allows you to believe in yourself, step outside your comfort zone, pursue your dreams, and live a worthwhile life. 

Enhancing your inner dialogue empowers you to have faith in your abilities and may facilitate a mindset that encourages exploring multiple solutions instead of quitting when faced with obstacles.

Think about how different things would be if Thomas Edison had continuously joked that creating electricity was impossible. 

Imagine if he had constantly viewed himself as a madman or incompetent. After the hundredth failed attempt, he would have likely given up. 

Edison’s success resulted from his unwavering belief in his invention, as evidenced by his persistence through many failed attempts before finally making it work.

Thomas Edison’s famous quote, I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Hence, it’s essential to maintain a positive self-image and cultivate a feeling of assurance when engaging with yourself and others to work on boosting self-confidence. Boosting self-confidence increases resilience allowing you to go after your dreams and conquer them just as Thomas Edison did. 

Full bullet point list of signs of low self-respect and ways to tell that you do not respect yourself.

In conclusion, there are many ways to tell if you struggle with low self-respect.

  • Being unkind to yourself through negative self-talk can indicate your struggle with self-respect.
  • Ignoring your accomplishments or downplaying your successes can indicate that you don’t believe in your abilities or values.
  • Focusing too much on your perceived flaws and weaknesses can also indicate you may not respect yourself, as it can lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.

If you struggle with respecting yourself, you are not alone. As mentioned above, a study concluded that 60% of individuals wish they had more respect for themselves.

Understanding the areas where you may struggle with low self-respect for yourself and why you struggle with self-worth is a start to learning how to improve.

Over time, through a continuous effort of consciously trying to improve, you will find that your levels of respect for yourself will increase.

Sara Elizabeth

About Author, Sara Elizabeth
Writer, Amora V Lifestyle
Co-Owner of Elizabeth Besich Boutique

Sara is a writer for Amora V Lifestyle and is Co-Owner of Elizabeth Besich. Sara previously worked as a Marketing Manager and has her Master’s from Lindenwood University.

Sara studies everything of interest, from psychology, recipes, finances, mental health, and travel, thriving to find happiness and to live a good life.

When not learning, Sara loves all things outdoors, food, and hanging around great company. Furthermore, Sara loves spending time with family, who she is blessed to have in her life.

Note from the author: Through my articles, I hope to bring you joy and peace and that you enjoy it!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified mental healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog. The authors of this blog are not liable for any errors or omissions in the information provided, nor for any losses, injuries, or damages arising from the use of the information provided. I am not a professional relationship counselor, and my advice should not be considered as a substitute for professional help. It is important to communicate openly and honestly with your partner, friend or co-worker and seek guidance from a qualified professional if needed. Remember, every relationship is unique and requires individual attention and care.Any reviews or comments written are the subjective opinion of an Amora V Lifestyle member and not Amora V Lifestyle. Amora V Lifestyle performs occasional checks on commentary left by users. It’s worth mentioning that we may also use comments in our articles. By posting a comment, you are giving us permission to use it in our content. Please check out Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for full disclosure. Sources:


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