It is nearly impossible to behave with dignity if one does not honor oneself. Someone who finds it difficult to be kind to others—perhaps in frustrating circumstances more so—somehow lacks self-respect.
Why not throw your trash on the street if your life doesn’t matter anyway? Why care about cleaning the street in front of your house, its only you after all! …These are the presumptions—not just with streets, but all areas of life—for the person who doesn’t behave with dignity. Rarely do they even think this consciously; they don’t consider themselves important enough to.
Underachieving is an indication of lacking self-worth. Overachieving, likewise, indicates someone who feels the need to prove something. Few people target the right level of “a job well done” and move on to other important work when their work reaches the standard; only self-respect can give someone that kind of clear vision.
If you find yourself having trouble using the right manners with other people or if you are sensitive to feelings of disrespect, then you probably need to consider the many good reasons you are worthy of respect yourself. Respecting yourself begins with seeing, recognizing, and believing that you yourself deserve respect. If you can’t find any reasons, consider that the Son of God died for you and would do it all over again. What more reason for self-worth is there? Respecting others, as Jesus does, helps you gain self-respect.
When you find others who behave as if they lack self-respect, simply honor them. Give them compliments on normal things. Avoid insulting them no matter how difficult it is. When people with low self-respect are habitually late for work, treat them like kings and queens who need aid and ask what you can do, even if you are their superior. “Fashionable lateness” shouldn’t bother you, but on the clock it indeed can be a problem. Offer to make their shift 15 minutes early and pay them for it. Tell them you value their work and only want to help. But, never jeer or get in the habit of degrading them.
Respect yourself in your heart and help others respect themselves in their hearts. Self-respect makes everything easier.