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    Maintain Your Self Respect in a Relationship

    “Love yourself so you may know how to live with self-respect.”

    Relationships are one of the main sources of happiness according to positive psychologists. Having healthy relationships are necessary in order to maintain your overall sense of well-being. Seeking out and maintaining positive connections with others can exponentially aid your ability to pull yourself out of the darkest of times. However, when those relationships that used to bring you joy turn sour, they can start to take a toll on your own self worth. One of the main reasons a relationship can turn sour is when an individual's self respect becomes compromised. Self respect is the ability to maintain your confidence and dignity in different areas of your life. The Dialectical Behavior technique, FAST is an acronym that stands for F: Be fair, A: No apologizing, S: Stick to values, and T: Remain truthful. FAST skills are perfect for those of us who are passive aggressive in communication and struggle with asserting their wishes in relationships. By practicing these skills, you will be able to maintain your self-respect and have healthier relationships with others. Below is a brief explanation for each skill and ways that you can incorporate them in your own life.


    Be Fair: Understand that no relationship is perfect. However, it is important to remain fair when trying to reach a solution for both parties if there is a conflict. Understand that your wants and needs are just as important as the other person in the relationship. Make sure that your relationships are not one-sided and you are not being taken advantage of by another person. Know that you have the right to speak up if you feel an aspect of your relationships is not balanced or fair. Work with your partner to come up with a compromise that is best for everyone involved.

    No Apologies: Stop apologizing for making a request, stating how you feel, asking a question, or having an opinion. Notice your body language in your everyday conversations. Are you afraid to look people in the eye? Is your body slumped over and appearing not confident? Do you tend to over apologize often? Remember, you always have permission to share your input and how you feel in your relationships. Do not allow others to make you feel like you don’t. Only apologize when the situation truly deserves one.

    Stick to Your Values: Having values helps you to honor yourself in any area in your life. If you do not have any values or are unsure of what they are, then you may find yourself surrounded by others you might not even really like. Take some time to figure out what is important to you in a relationship and what you need from others in order for you to be happy. This will help you clarify what might be lacking in your connections with others and what you still to need seek out.

    Be Truthful: Strive to have open and honest dialogue in your relationships. Even if that means what you have to say might upset someone else. Make sure that what you are saying is true, kind, and necessary in order to avoid unnecessary harm to the relationship. Dishonesty can negatively impact a relationship. Therefore, do not feel pressured to lie in order to get out of something you don’t want to do.

    Practicing the FAST skills in your relationships will help you maintain your self-respect. It is your responsibility to show others how you want to be treated. If you are having difficulty, start small by practicing one skill at a time until you have mastered them all.