Self-Respect Is The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Have To Embrace

Self-respect Is The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Have To Embrace

This morning when I woke up I didn’t think self-respect would be what I would be writing about today. I read a Thought Catalog article about former players who tell about the woman and moment that changed their ways. I assumed it would be these fairytale stories about how this one amazing girl just happened to be awesome, how she changed him and they just stopped being players and idiots. But lo and behold I also read something else totally. It’s about self-respect and respecting your standards! And this applies for both men and women, even if I write this from a woman’s perspective.

Self-respect Is The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Have To Embrace

My story

Now, I was single for about 7 years. (Yes, I know, wow!). The first few years I wasn’t so happy and honestly I was quite lost. A few years ago I decided to change my mindset and how I saw dating and relationships. I slowly grew more confident, believed in myself and most important of all: held on to my standards and practiced self-respect. Of course, I don’t say it was like this all the time. Sometimes it wasn’t so easy to be that independent confident woman who accepts no bullshit. After some incidents last year I realised once and for all that I would not settle for someone who does not make an effort nor for someone who doesn’t respect me for who I am.

Long story short, now I have a wonderful boyfriend whom I love and I’m very happy with ❤️ I was more open to having a relationship, but not stressing about it (and this made all the difference). Some years ago I acknowledged there’s so much more to life than having someone. I don’t want a bad relationship, nor one just to have one. I want the real thing. Real commitment. Real feelings that only deepen over time. And a person who is rather my partner than someone I just date. I realised that I rather wait for someone who is worth waiting for and who doesn’t play games. In the meantime I could work on myself and do amazing things with my life.


Respect is lost in these cases

While single I met various types of people in different life situations. The guys who longed for a girlfriend. The guys who thought they were smooth and discrete while playing several girls at a time. The insecure ones. The friend-zoned guys. The cheating boyfriends (but also the loyal ones). The ones who just ghosted people on a rolling basis. The right out assholes. The jealous types. The vengeful guys. The guys who were “too busy”. The ones who were still in love with someone else or their ex. As well as nice people of course, these are just examples of the bad kind.

I met the girls who fell head over heels for a guy who didn’t seem to care. The girls who were involved with several guys at a time. The girls who didn’t seem to understand that the guy was just not that into her. The girls who wanted their ex back and did anything for him. The girls who had a guy using them only when convenient for him (booty calls or the-bar-closes-soon-types). The girls who would have dropped everything then and there to be with that one guy. The girls who didn’t have self-respect and let guys play them and treat them however they wanted.

But I also met the strong girls who accepted nothing less than respect. The girls who demanded to be treated well. The happily single girls. These are the girls you should look up to whether you’re a man or a woman. Because these girls know how to respect and love themselves.

Girl love!

Here’s 8 extracts from the Thought Catalog article

“She had no fear, and she told me on our third date that I was being an idiot and that I shouldn’t bother calling her again unless I planned to treat her with the respect she deserved. She shocked me into reconsidering my behavior. I’m so grateful she came along and bitch slapped me.”

“I got laid off from my job as an advertising exec. Walking home midday […] I realized that I had nothing. Sure, I had a few thousand dollars saved up, but I had no one to go home to. No one to vent to. No one to hold. I was alone, and it was my fault because I’d been such a dick for so long. I pledged to change my ways that day, and I did. If you don’t want to end up alone, you have to treat people the way they deserve.”

“I knew I’d killed it because my girl had made me believe in myself. My mindset morphed that day—from laughing off the idea of a serious relationship until at least 30, to seeing the value of holding onto the right person.”

“She told me straight up that I was an asshole who didn’t deserve her. And she was right. It took me six months, but I finally convinced her to give me another shot and we’ve been together five years now.”

“I cheated on my college girlfriend like crazy. The only reason I even had a girlfriend was because I wanted a go-to date for frat formals. Anyway, she finally found out and confronted me about everything. I remember looking into her eyes as she listed all the evidence that I’d been a total jackass. I could see that she wasn’t angry or crazy jealous, necessarily. She was just hurt. She didn’t want to rant against me, or punish me. She wanted to understand. She won me over that night and turned me into a faithful man.”

“One word: ultimatum. ‘Stop being a shithead, or I’m leaving you,’ she said, or something like that. Sometimes a guy needs to be manhandled a little. I definitely did. Luckily I was smart enough not to fuck things up with the love of my life just so I could keep chasing pussy.”

“One night I gave my regular ‘thanks but no thanks’ bullshit spiel to yet another woman who demanded exclusivity after a month, and she stared back at me and said, ‘Unacceptable.’ She took a stand and I was so impressed by that. I knew right then she was worth changing for.”

“I realized that I knew nothing about women, and that I had a lot of work to do on myself. I started therapy and changed my outlook for good. I have a policy now that every single text gets answered. It’s about mutual respect.”

Celebrate the small things in life – like sunsets.

It’s all about self-respect

Self-respect is what I saw as a common thing in a lot of the 47 stories mentioned in the article. It wasn’t that the girl changed herself for him. It wasn’t that she tried to change him. It wasn’t that she did everything for him. And it wasn’t that she waited around for him to realise what he had.

It was plain self-respect and not accepting to be treated badly.

I honestly think we should learn this sooner rather than later, because if you’re willing to accept bad behaviour or try and brush it off, the more people will think it’s accepted and okay. Excuses like “He/She is too busy to text me” is a bad excuse. Literally everyone checks their phones regularly and a text takes about a minute to type. If you find yourself getting stood up last minute all the time or if you only get last minute dates – don’t waste your time, because they’re clearly not making the time and effort for you. If someone discloses to you early on that he/she does not want to have a relationship right now, or with you, this is what it is. You can’t change the fact. If you want something more, look elsewhere. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you and your time. Don’t wait around for someone who is not committing to you in the way you want them to. You will just get hurt in the end.

Remember that when you’re in a relationship it doesn’t mean this respect should fade away, actually it should be one of the core values of the relationship. If he or she is anything else than kind, respectful, supporting, attentive and loving towards you, I don’t think it’s worth holding on for the long-term. Be with the person who makes effort for you. Who is committed to you. Who shows he/she loves you. Who respects you. Who doesn’t neglect you. Who makes time for you. Who does the little things for you. Who lets you know they think about you. Who supports you. Who is there for you in both good and bad times. Who feels right for you. Who doesn’t keep you guessing. Who makes you a better person. Who contributes to your happiness.

Once you respect and love yourself – you will be respected and loved in return.

Smile! A lot and often.

Related reading:

Things I Learned When I Turned 25

26 life Lessons To Learn By 26

Valuable Life Lessons I Learned From Living Abroad

Love: How to Learn to Expect the Unexpected

Jasmine Zelda is a twenty-something Swedish-speaking Finn from Hanko, Finland. In 2017 she took the leap and moved to Amsterdam, Netherlands to follow her dreams and to build an international marketing career. She has previously lived in Paris and southern France, upstate New York, USA and Sweden. She has a passion for writing, social media, marketing, PR and appreciates the small good things in life.


  • A-M March 10, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    So true <3 bra o fint skrivet 🙂 <3


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