Shawna O’Hagan Morrow header image

Self-Respect or Blind Respect

in Courage

My friend, Beth Wonson, mentioned self-respect and blind respect in a Facebook post the other day and they hit me like a lightning bolt!  WOW!  This is the choice that we face every day…multiple times a day… do we honor ourselves or sit and take it.

This is a concept that I’ve been unravelling for myself for months now.  I realized that I had been living my life feeling like I was in a no-win situation or a bind.

I define a bind as a situation where no matter what you do someone will be unhappy.  I’ve come to see this is just life, but I’ve spent my life trying to do the right thing AND not make anyone unhappy.  That’s impossible!  And yet, I didn’t realize that until a few months ago.

But here’s the really crazy thing, I was so convinced that if I could do the right thing and make everyone happy around me – I, too, would be happy.  WRONG!

I was miserable.  I was silencing myself to not upset anyone. I was trying so hard to go unnoticed so I wouldn’t contradict, disappoint, disagree or even fight with others, I actually made myself sick.  Not so much sick as fat…I made myself fat.  It’s ironic how I was trying to become smaller to be more acceptable and I ended up bigger…

All the deafening silence comes at a price.  Alcohol, drugs, shopping, sex, or in my case, food becomes the soothing for the pain of being silent.  This is what happens when we choose blind respect over self-respect someone pays the price and that someone is you!

The underlying message in that other people’s comfort is more important that your truth.

Let that sink in for a moment…if you are silencing yourself so other people don’t get upset then you are telling the world that everyone is more important than you are.


We have been programmed in our culture that it’s not ok to use our voice if that means others may be uncomfortable.  It’s best if we sit quietly and die a little on the inside so we don’t disrupt or disturb anyone.  Go home and cry into your pillow, but don’t take a stand.

Every time you choose to not stand up for yourself or what you believe, you make the choice that others are more important than you are.

You must be willing to be vulnerable and courageous to stand up.

  • Are you willing to potentially hurt someone’s feelings because you don’t want to go out with them or will you drink yourself into a blackout on your date so you don’t hurt their feelings?
  • Will you send back food that’s not properly prepared because you don’t want to make a big deal about it? Or will you choke it down anyway?
  • Will you stand up for someone being treated unfairly or poorly or will you walk away because its none of your business?
  • Will you walk out of a restaurant because you feel the discussion is disrespectful or will you stay and endure the soul crushing words because you don’t want to hurt their feelings?
  • Will you stay in a relationship that’s hurting you because you’re afraid no one else will love you and you’ll be alone?
  • Are you willing to stand up and tell someone that you don’t appreciate the way they’re speaking to you or will you sit there and let them word vomit all over you?

What will it take for you to choose self-respect over not wanting to be rude?

Are you willing to be called names and be judged by others?

Because when you take a stand, people will judge you and have VERY strong opinions about you in an attempt to get you back in line and stay quiet.  They will attack you, your words, your actions, your appearance, your character, your family and more…  It’s not right, but that’s what happens.  If you dare to make them uncomfortable, they will strike out at you.

They will call you names and say you’re rude, hurtful or disrespectful.

Are you willing to stand up for yourself in the face of opposition?

My answer is HELL YES!  Because what other people think about me is none of my business and I’m tired of living my life to please them.

So, if they think I’m stupid, naive, rude, disrespectful, hateful, hurtful, disgusting, mean or whatever else they will try to throw at me to silence me…I say “OK.  So what?”

That’s their opinion.  They’re entitled to their opinion and I KNOW that I am none of those things.  They can think whatever they want about me…I’m not going to sit down and be quiet about things that truly matter to me…at least not anymore.

No matter what you do, someone will ALWAYS be upset about it.  You have to choose – love for yourself or the comfort of others.

I choose love for myself 😊



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  • Beth May 24, 2017, 6:57 pm

    Love seeing you. Bold! And true.