All of us want to be loved, to have that warm fuzzy wonderful feeling when you know you love someone and that person loves you too. As good as love is, we also want respect, from our friends, coworkers, family, and others who say they love us but don’t always show it in a very respectful way.
Oftentimes we settle for people’s actions that are not only less than loving, but less than respectful. We settle because we are afraid that loneliness will be worse than being disrespected. We don’t have to settle though, we can, and should take steps in our lives to get the love and respect we deserve.
Love and Respect Yourself: This may seem so obvious you are wondering why you would even keep reading this, am I right?
Well that may be, but hang on with me for a second. While this seems obvious, do we do it? No, this is the main reason we settle for people’s actions that disrespect us, because we disrespect ourselves.
Find out what your strengths are, and take some time each day to meditate on those strengths.
Literally count your blessings, love the version of yourself you are right now in this moment. Not the version you will be when you get that new job, lose 10 pounds, or find the right life partner.
If we know we are worth loving, than we can be more open and receptive to love and respect from others, and more willing to stand up for ourselves when we are disrespected.
Love and Respect others: Isn’t it easier to love and respect someone who is a loving and respectful person? Of course it is, because people feed off of that positive energy. If you are a person who struggles with showing love or respect, start small. Try one thing a week that can begin showing respect or love to someone else. Maybe its as simple as thanking the person who brings your mail, or making genuine conversation with the person serving your coffee. As with a lot of things in life, you get what you give, so if love and respect are what you want, give as much as you can.
Speak Up: One of the reasons many of us feel undervalued, or disrespected, is because we never tell anyone we feel this way. If you need your significant other to start pitching in around the house more often, say it. If you need your roommate to stop borrowing your stuff without asking, say it. We need to be vocal about our needs, especially because we are all individual, and our needs are all different. My need to have my husband tell me he loves me is different from my friend’s need to have her husband wash the dishes.
People can’t be expected to read our minds, be upfront about what you need. Also, a note about nagging, repeatedly being vocal about what you need is not nagging, but being obnoxious about it is not helpful. You can gently, but firmly remind people who you need to feel loved and respected, and you can keep reminding them, because if they don’t get the hint then it might be time for tip number.
Learn to let go: The unfortunate fact of life is that not everyone will return all of that love and respect you are pouring into the universe. There will be bosses who never appreciate all of the extra hours you work, or significant others who manipulate and abuse.
Let those people go.
Start looking for a new job, or distance yourself from those who will never love or respect you.
It’s okay to remove yourself from forces in your life that are unhealthy, and you don’t have to do it alone.
Enlist the help of family, best friends, or mental health professionals to help you make a plan of how to move on from situations that cause you to feel disrespected and unloved.
The result won’t be instantaneous love and respect from the universe, but you’ll make great strides towards loving and respecting yourself!