I am about to give you my personal manifesto on how to live a life worth living. Self-respect is an essential if you want to be happy in your life. I find value in this topic because I believe that it is something that people do not really entertain as something worth discussing. For a multitude of reasons people will rationalize diminishing themselves for the purpose of bolstering someone else.
Unfortunately, the issue of low self-esteem is not isolated to an individual incident or a string of behaviors, self-deprecation can and does stem from an inherent human flaw. The problem for a lot of people is who they claim to be and who they actually are, are two different people.
This is because we present ourselves as who we wish we were. Or in a worst-case scenario we depict ourselves as what someone else said that we were. In either situation you are not living up to your true potential when you allow yourself to be impacted by things, and people that should not influence your life.
This is easier said than done because in all honesty, who goes into a situation with the expectation of being hurt? No one. No one wants to be hurt, especially by someone that they care for however, the first thing to realize is that given the opportunity, people will hurt you. Not always because they want to, but because the one thing that every human being is excellent at, is hurting other human beings.
This can come in the form of a sly comment or remark, a lack of consideration, selfishness, or straight up cruelty. Do not start acting all holier than thou now, we all have done it to someone we claim we care for at one point or another. Self-Respect begins and ends at the root of our own evil.
Consider your high school bully. The only reason that person had a chip on his/her shoulder was not because of what their victim did right or wrong, but rather because of what was going on inside of them. Your behavior is a window into your thought process.
The old adage goes when someone shows you who they are believe them. Our maladaptive behaviors are a reflection of our insecurities. I act rude to you because I am insecure about a certain aspect of myself that your comment/action just revealed in me. Within the context of self-respect, it is important that we discuss interpersonal relationships because this is where we see it most clearly manifest.