What Does Self-Respect Mean?

businesswoman with folded arms

What Does Self-Respect Mean?


When you suffer from addiction, you may have no idea what self-respect is.  A person who is addicted to a particular substance will do anything to get it.  Lying, cheating, and stealing all come with the disease.  For those who are in severe stages, addiction usually causes them to do humiliating and degrading things, just to get more drugs or alcohol.  A true lack of self-respect develops.  You do things that you wouldn’t normally do in a sound state of mind.  Doing these things perpetuates a cycle.  When your addiction forces you to do degrading things, it’s shameful.  You may want those harsh feelings to subside so you use more.  By the time a person has reached recovery, they have likely lost all respect for themselves.  


Self-respect is defined as being confident and behaving with honor and dignity.  On the contrary, an addict or alcoholic may behave in a conceited manner and their actions are not honorary.  Most newcomers have been behaving this way for so long that they need a true lesson in humility when beginning recovery.  Humility is the perfect balance of having self-respect and a modest opinion of yourself.  Someone who is humble likes to help others in need and be of service where needed.  Yet, their self-respect prevents them from being taken advantage of.  They are kind but still consider themselves valuable.


Many people who suffer from addiction have low self-esteem.  Typically, low self-esteem and lack of self-respect go hand-in-hand. When a person possesses low self-esteem, they think they are undeserving so they let people walk all over them.  When you don’t respect yourself, it’s impossible to respect others and others to respect you.  This is why, if you’re new to recovery, you should spend a large amount of time getting to know yourself.  Overcoming addiction alone is a fantastic accomplishment!  There are many people who haven’t been so lucky.  Now that you have received the gift, learning to value yourself and who you’ve become is important.  When you’re proud of what you’ve done, it makes you want to do more.  Practice humility and kindness towards others and you will learn to respect yourself.
The answer to recovery is Simple. Simple Recovery has a passion for transforming lives through residential, intensive outpatient, and outpatient programs. Built on action, our treatment plan encourages movement in life, bringing clients back to work, back to school, or involvement with meaningful volunteer work. For information on our addiction treatment and dual diagnosis programs for men and women, call: 888-743-0490