I hear people say it and frankly, I used to say it too. “People don’t respect me as much as they should”. That was my line, yours may only be similar. Bottom line, we want the same thing; respect. It would be nice to get noticed by people especially those you care about. It would be nice for them to acknowledge your presence in the company of their friends. It would be great if they’ll treat you with honor, dignity and respect. But the reality however is, they don’t always do and in fact, some of them never will. That hurts. It hurt me too. Then I discovered, after many years of hurts and disappointments that I will never get the respect that I deserve for two reasons: my standard and idea of what I deserve is too far-fetched and lofty for anyone to afford, and shockingly, nobody owes me the lifelong allegiance of giving me what I want regardless of what I do for them. So I changed my thinking and expectations and everything changed.
It turned out that getting the respect you deserve without getting hurt or disappointed begins with undoing your idea of what you think you deserve. Often times we live under the impression that we deserve so much from people. So, we place ourselves on a high and lofty pedestal and put everyone around us under the pressure to be subservient and submitting to our desires. We want them to give us special treatments and when they fall short of our expectations we are angry, frustrated, hurt and disappointed. The reality however is that no man owes us the responsibility of servicing our ego, they have theirs to cater for. And in fact, to think we deserve to be treated in certain ways by others is a symptom of pride and autocracy born out of unnecessary high-mindedness and narcissistic tendencies.
My life was miserable when I had an expectation from people and each time they fell short when they should have known better. It turned out that others will never know better. In fact it is you and I who know too much. So, to maintain healthy relationships with the pool of individuals around you, you must cease to have an expectation from them. Instead of looking to get the respect you deserve, give yourself the respect you think you deserve. Be nice to yourself. Be gracious and courteous to yourself. Never run down yourself with your own words. Give yourself complements. Dress, eat, sleep, walk, talk and engage in all activities with absolute respect for your body, time, image and all that makes you you. See yourself the way you think you should be seen and do the same to others. Eventually, everyone around you will echo your actions without a fight and they will treat you the way you treat yourself. And even better.
I have learnt true humility through humiliation, knowing never to expect too much from people because they cannot afford it. To get the respect I deserve, I give myself that respect and expect nothing in return.
You’ll be surprised how much respect you’ll get today by respecting yourself without expecting anything from anyone. I love you too much!