Respect yourself first to get respect from others.
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I recently watched “Darlings” on Netflix and it gave me the idea for a new blog post, which is this one! If you haven’t watched it yet, I urge you to go ahead and do it. This post will not give you any spoilers. Darlings is a movie about mental, physical, and emotional abuse that people handle in the name of love. It shows how often we lower our standards and ignore all the bright red flags when it comes to the people in our lives, be it romantic partners, friends, relatives, and so on. It also portrays beautifully that how getting the control back, and becoming the main character should be our priority in any relationship.

This post will not explicitly tell you about the red flags in relationships because there are tonnes of posts about that online. Like, check this out.

Rather, we will try to identify what we can do in order to treat ourselves with respect, so that we attract the right people, places, and opportunities in our lives.

Shall we begin?

1. Confront your childhood traumas (for real this time)

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If you have read my previous blog posts, you know that I always encourage people to do this as the first step in everything they do to improve their lives. You can read more about it here.

By doing this, we get to know about our triggers, issues, and attachment patterns. This helps us understand why we are sensitive to certain topics and why some things bother us while other people are not affected by the same.

And please understand by doing this you’re not blaming or holding anyone else responsible. It is important because your childhood shapes most of the beliefs you have as an adult. So, work from the root cause. Moreover, to become the main character, you need to have your own updated beliefs and perceptions while respecting and unlearning the past beliefs that don’t serve you anymore!

2. Know thyself

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All the answers you’re looking for are inside of you. People, books, and outside help can only push you in the direction of finding the answers, but the work has to be done by you and you only.

3. Work on strengthening the good

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After going through the previous two steps and knowing your good and bad aspects, start working on the good. Start working on things that give your confidence a boost and engage you cognitively in a good way. Only you can do that for yourself!

4. Stop blaming other people for your life

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Most of us have the freedom to create or alter our lives based on our likes and dislikes. The barriers that we have are mostly mental and can be worked through. It is tough to take charge of our lives, and hence most people give control of their lives to the outside environment. Do not do that. Take charge of your life in order to inculcate main character vibes.

5. Work on your issues first without being defensive

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The most difficult thing is to look at ourselves and, without defending or sugar-coating, accept our flaws.

The degree to which a person can grow is directly proportional to the amount of truth he can accept about himself without running away.

Leland Val Van De Wall

It is really liberating, and nothing is as liberating as owning your flaws and working towards improving them. If you are emotionally sensitive, work on creating a positive outlet for yourself. If you are inexpressive, work on communicating your thoughts to the people who matter in your life. You are short-tempered? Then work on managing your anger. There is always a way to improve and do better.

Once you have completed all the above stages or they are still in progress, you can actually start working simultaneously on being the main character of your life. We grew up watching actors play their parts, being all charming and taking charge of their lives. Deep down, every single person wants to be the main character of their lives.

So let’s find out how you can do that…

1. Identify what you really want your life to look like

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What is it that you really desire? Have you given a thought to the kind of house you want to live in the future? What is your dream job? What is your idea of an ideal partner, friend, or colleague? The moment we start asking such meaningful questions to ourselves, we will not be directionless anymore.

It is time-consuming and frustrating, to say the least, because up until now we have been a part of the predetermined system where everything is laid out for us and we haven’t given it much thought. So, when someone asks you what you want or where you want to go, you might either start joking about it or become clueless and even defensive.

So, identify the basics first. Make a list of your dream life.

2. Be open to change and growth

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A growth mindset makes people want to do things differently. It makes them want to change their lives. Make sure you start being flexible in your life about ideas, people, careers, and so on. When you have flexibility, you can learn from everyone around you.

3. Own your goals and ideals

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When we try to be and do something different, a lot of the time, the people in and outside our lives will not understand it. They might disagree with you as well. But, it is not your job to convince other people to believe in you. Rather, you need to convince yourself that you are on the right path every day until you start owning it. The world can wait till then!

4. Be generous but have standards

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The thing about being the main character is that you need to find the balance between being a good person and a hero while also knowing when to say no. It is called being assertive. If you are a good person, that doesn’t mean you should never disagree with people and speak up for yourself.

Be loving, caring, giving— only to the point when it is comfortable for you. Depleting yourself and trying to help others can rarely work for the long term. This is true for any relationship that you can possibly imagine! You need to have standards and boundaries. It does not make you a bad person.

5. Surround yourself with people you want to be like

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The person you will be in five years depends largely on:

  • the information you feed your mind today
  • the books you read
  • the people you spend time with
  • the conversations you engage in

~ Ruben Chavez

6. Do not expect respect from other people if you don’t respect yourself

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If you want to be respected, respect yourself first! Want to be loved? Love yourself first. If you want to be treated right, treat yourself and others right.

It all starts with you. And this isn’t some cheesy life quote; it’s reality. Everything works according to the law of equals and opposites. The way you talk to yourself is the way people talk to you. That is why affirmations are a hit these days; we unconsciously let our own words and thoughts affect us.

Walk away from people, places, and situations where you feel disrespected. You will find the right people, places, and situations eventually. Protect your essence until then.

That is why identifying your trauma, triggers and deep-rooted insecurities help you understand where it all began and how you can deal with it head-on! When you work on yourself like this, you slowly build the courage to really take the wheel of your life in your hand aka become the main character.

I hope you embark upon this journey soon if you haven’t already. Good luck!