Respecting oneself


Someone told me the other day that we need to learn self-respect as human beings so that we can live more fulfilling lives.

What does self respect mean as a Catholic? How do you practice self-respect?



I think it means that
You’re a creation of God
While humility it’s great
You shouldn’t think you’re nothing and treat yourself poorly
But seek what God would want for you as He would any one of His people

And give yourself the respect everyone deserves


I’m sure the popular answer is to say yes, self respect is necessary to lead a more fulfilling life. For whom, self…respect more fulfilling for whom…self.

The danger is self pride, one definition of self respect is a feeling of pride and confidence, so confidence is good but pride we are warned about.

If we want to be servants of God then perhaps we should be focussing on other things such as how we can fulfill that role best for Him, not us.

It might be better to consider how we might attain Gods approval rather than our own.


Sometimes if we are too humble it can enable others to lord it over us and to dominate,which is wrong .
It can take a bit to work out having the right humility
and enough respect for ourselves to carry out what God wants us to do in our lives for Him :thinking:


I’m reminded of something I heard at both a Presbyterian church and an Episcopal church. The two great commandments to love God and to live your neighbor as yourself contains a third implicit commandment: to love yourself. If you are incapable of living yourself, your love for your neighbor cannot be very great either.


It’s easy to find fault with other people when you don’t love yourself.


I think it’s being aware of your dignity as a child of God. And acting in accordance with that.

On a practical level it’s being respectful and thoughtful, and showing love to those around you. But also not allowing yourself to be treated badly as well.


It has to do with Christian ethics and Human Dignity


In the olden days, what we call self-esteem was called self-respect.

It meant you wouldn’t lower yourself to do immoral or undignified things to get attention or a few crumbs of affection.


Last month I did the Men Rise Up 30 day challenge from Chris Stefanick and he covered this on one of the days.

The basic message of the talk was if you don’t love and care for yourself then you don’t have anything to give others.

Matthew 22:39 You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Before the talk every time I read that verse I read…… You shall love your neighbor as yourself. So to me I always interpreted the verse to mean love others as you would want them to love you. As in love how you would want to be loved but without out expecting anything in return. Never once did it enter my mind to read the verse……… You shall love your neighbor as yourself. In 48 years that never once dawned on me, because before last month that thought sounded way too selfish, but now it makes perfect sense. If we are unwilling to love ourselves first then we aren’t really accepting God’s love for us. It really is logical, how can a person possible give what they don’t first have?

To answer your question, I think it’s easier to tell you what Chris had to say…

Holiness isn’t primarily about the stuff we do for God. It’s about opening our lives up to what He did for us on the cross, what He does for us in His grace everyday.

Holiness is first and foremost about being receptive of divine love. But to be receptive of that love, first you have got to claim the reality that you are lovable. And you gotta act on that reality by loving and caring for yourself.

Do you do that? Do you care for your basic needs? Do you rest? Do you work out?
Do you feel drained and uninspiring?

I think the best way to answer that is a little bit of “Me Time”. Whatever that might mean to you.

God Bless


We should respect the fact that we a human, which Jesus elevated through His Incarnation.

If we are Baptized we can have higher respect, because through Baptism we become children of God. Sons of a Father God.

That’s are greatest dignity.

It never changes. So it should make us always joyful. We possess an unchanging good.

But the self-esteem movement has created a terrible state of affairs…it has created a self-focused, over-confident, entitled, narcissistic swath of people, convinced they’re entitled to all manner of things.

The competence to confidence ratio has dropped!


I think respect is another thing and dignity as a human being are two different things @AdamP88 has mentioned well and i would just add Jesus has paid a great price for our salvation,so we should be responsible for our actions, whenever i pray the forgiveness prayer i also include myself at times :smile: ,as some people tend to hate themselves and curse themselves when things go wrong in their lives, when humility is in, self-respect goes for a toss ,i wonder how St Francis called his body Brother ass

@MT1926 Thanks, nice insight helped me understand better

Pslam 8 mentioned the dignity of humans


when i read the word self respect ,pride was the word came to my mind too,have you prayed the prayer of humility by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930),Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius ,i was trembling reading it for the first time and still scared and uncomfortable praying it,but i found it very powerful when pride thoughts come to my mind and ego’s at its peak ,nice prayer to really humble ourselves.

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved…
From the desire of being extolled …
From the desire of being honored …
From the desire of being praised …
From the desire of being preferred to others…

@MiserereMei25 any thoughts


I disagree. I think there is too much self respect nowadays.


Not to start an argument but I don’t fully agree with this statement.

Now if you said there is too much self PRIDE nowadays I would agree. or better yet to much self indulgence.

Respect is a term used to convey a positive feeling or action towards someone or something considered important or held in high regard. It is used to show a sense of admiration for good and valuable qualities. Things that are meant to be honored.

Now self pride, which is not the same as self respect, is about feelings of pleasure associated with oneself and ones achievements. Although this can be a good thing, too much of a good thing can send one off the rails or into sin.

Just my 2 cents.

God Bless


we were talking about someone we know who has a highly dysfunctional and abusive relationship. Our suggestion was to cut that person out of their lives but they feel guilty. That’s when my friend mentioned that they need to define and learn what it means to have self respect. It caused me to be curious about it too.


I love your reply about getting God’s approval instead of our own. Thank you.


This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit