12 Powerful Ways to Define What Is Self-Respect in a Relationship

Self-respect is a widely misunderstood term, with individuals interpreting it differently based on their own perspectives. For some, it pertains solely to pride and ego, while for others, it embodies a deeper sense of dignity and self-worth. Each person has formulated their own definition of self-respect according to their understanding. In the context of relationships, it often becomes a significant issue and is frequently misused, leading to tension and strain within the relationship.

In this article, we endeavor to comprehend the true essence of self-respect and explore how we can define what is self-respect within the language of relationships.

What is Self-Respect?

Defining self-respect can indeed be a challenging task due to its subjective nature and the variations it can encompass according to different individuals and contexts. How it is utilized in specific situations or circumstances also holds significant importance to its meaning.

However, it is essential for us to understand how we can interpret self-respect from our own perspectives, enabling us to grasp its true meaning and formulate an understanding that we can apply to ourselves.

Self Respect Definition

If we discuss what is self respect, it is indeed a broad question with no single definitive answer. However, in the context of this article, I will attempt to define it based on my understanding of the subject. These are just my personal views, which you can interpret according to your own perspective. But before proceeding further, I would like to understand the definition of self-respect from your perspective. Please share your thoughts in the comments section on how you would define what is self-respect.

I believe that self-respect is an inner urge of getting feel valued, a desire that one’s emotions and feelings be treated with respect, and seeking the level of esteem that one deserves. It involves respecting the values and beliefs one holds and expecting others to do the same.

The role of the inner urge for validation in self-respect is astute. Indeed, seeking validation and feeling valued are fundamental human needs. Self-respect primarily revolves around the self rather than others. It is crucial to perceive self-respect from our own perspective rather than allowing others to define it on our behalf.

Indeed, self-respect is not about showcasing superiority over others but rather about communicating that you operate within a certain framework of principles and values. Crossing the threshold of this framework goes against your principles, and it is essential for others to understand and respect this boundary.


What Is Self-Respect in a Relationship?

When discussing self-respect within the context of a relationship, its meaning undergoes significant changes. However, at a high level, the following points discussed below will help us define what is self respect in a relationship:

  1. Treated With Dignity: As I pointed out earlier, a fundamental human need is to be treated with dignity. The core meaning of dignity lies in recognizing and respecting the inherent worth of every individual. Being treated with dignity epitomizes the true essence of what is self-respect in a relationship. If someone’s dignity is not acknowledged in a relationship, it directly undermines causing significant harm to their self-respect.
  2. Setting Up Boundaries: When we talk about what is self-respect in a relationship, we are essentially talking about setting up boundaries. I believe that having a threshold is crucial when it comes to matters of self-respect. You can perceive it akin to a tolerance limit where you define the extent to which you can tolerate any particular situation. Breaching of this threshold can be considered as hampering your self-respect.

    Now, the crucial aspect lies in determining the height of this tolerance limit. If this limit is significantly lower compared to your patience level, then anyone breaching this limit would first hamper your ego rather than your self-respect. Therefore, your patience level must be sufficiently high, and this tolerance limit should always remain above it so that you can comfortably preserve your self-respect without bringing your ego in between.

  3. Being Assertive: I believe that being assertive is one of the most crucial aspects of maintaining self-respect in a relationship. You can uphold your self-respect only when you express yourself assertively. Until you vocalize your concerns, others may not be able to comprehend that your self-respect has been compromised, and they may continue to disrespect you. Therefore, being assertive is essential, but it should not be mistaken for being loud or bossy. You can effectively communicate your point while maintaining decorum and showing appropriate behavior.
  4. Realizing Your Worth: I believe that conveying one’s worth to others and understanding one’s own worth are also crucial aspects of what is self-respect in a relationship. Personally, I would advise not to be too easy to please, as others may begin to take advantage of you. In a relationship, you hold significance, you are an entity that defines the relationship, so recognize that significance.
  5. Respecting Moral Values: Your self-respect is also defined by your moral values and beliefs. If you have received a good upbringing and possess unwavering courage, then no one can easily harm your self-respect. If you are clear in your mind about which matters to take seriously and which ones you can ignore without much thought, then you can automatically safeguard your self-respect. Things that are not considered important according to your moral values and beliefs will not matter to you.
  6. Maintaining Standards: Maintain a standard and classify things that are not important and do not matter to you much. Getting emotionally involved in trivial matters and allowing them to harm your self-respect will not help you define what is self-respect in a relationship. Have a vision in life and strive to achieve your goals. If a certain matter is trivial in comparison to those goals, do not let it affect your self-respect, as doing so will ultimately impact your ability to achieve those goals. Instead, preserve your self-respect and let your success speak for itself.
  7. Letting Go: Letting Go and not holding on unnecessarily is another important aspect of defining what is self-respect in a relationship. Do not diminish your worth by trying to please those who are not deserving of it. Sometimes, it is better to let go of something because the more you try to hold onto it, the further it drifts away from you, causing harm to your self-esteem. Therefore, let go, forgive, and forget.
  8. Not Giving Up: The strength of your self-respect depends on your determination to not give up. The spirit of restarting even after a defeat is what cannot be broken. Often, it is just one loss that shatters people’s morale, making them feel weak and reducing their tolerance limit, making it easier for others to overpower them. Therefore, if you maintain a never-give-up attitude, people will not be able to break your self-confidence, and that is what truly matters in defining what is self-respect in a relationship.
  9. It’s Not About Others: It is important to understand that your self-respect is not determined by others but by yourself, correct? No other person can tell you that your self-respect is being compromised; rather, it is something you must assess for yourself. Many times, people try to engage in actions that may jeopardize your mental peace. Therefore, realize that your self-respect is in your hands, and do not lose it by succumbing to the influence of others.
  10. Taking a Stand: Your self-respect also depends on how much you stand up for yourself. Having a personal opinion in a relationship is crucial; you cannot always agree with your partner in every circumstance. Sometimes, you will need to take a stand for your own beliefs and also listen to your partner’s opinion, respecting their views. Therefore, taking a firm stand can help you define what is self-respect in a relationship.
  11. Giving Space: Giving enough space to your partner is indeed a crucial aspect of a relationship. If you provide them with sufficient space and refrain from over-pursuing them until they naturally desire to return, it can aid in maintaining your self-respect. It inherently means putting in effort but also at the same time knowing when to stop, which can help you define what is self-respect in a relationship.
  12. Face Challenges: Lastly, it’s about facing challenges. If you confront challenges head-on without succumbing to fear, your mental strength will automatically increase. When you face challenges, you get a taste of reality. And when you confront reality, your ego naturally takes a back seat, putting you in a position to define what is self-respect for yourself.

Below is an awesome TEDx video where La’Ve Jackson has beautifully explained, How To Transform From Self-Neglect To Self-Respect. It will definitely be a confidence boost if you watch this video from start to the end.


To conclude, self-respect is a widely misunderstood and highly subjective term, especially in the context of relationships, where it is often easily compromised. Nowadays, many relationships are ended under the pretext of self-respect. Therefore, it is important to define what self-respect means in a relationship so that you can discern whether what you perceive as your self-respect is actually your ego. Through this article, we have explained 15 powerful ways to define what self-respect means in a relationship. If you found this article helpful, please share your thoughts in the comments section and consider sharing it with your friends as well.

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