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A lot of my life has been spent on the sidelines of my own story, watching in awe as people commanded respect while I continually got hurt, discarded, rejected, disappointed, f*cked over, overlooked and felt like a professional, people pleasing doormat that would never be chosen and was never, ever good (or special) enough for anyone.

No one could see my value, no one ever named me their #wcw, #bff and my knight on his white horse never came to rescue me from my most toxic and heartbreaking relationship of all…

The one that I had with myself.

I was in awe of how there were just some girls, whether they be friends of mine, coworkers, classmates, or girls I didn’t even know that well, that no one would ever mess with. Like, ever. Clearly there something I was missing.

How could these girls seem to bring out completely different (read: respectful) behavior in the same person that just treated me like sh*t?

“That must mean that there’s something wrong with me,” I thought.

And I kept that thought on repeat in my mind for more than half of my life.

The common denominator of any pain, heartbreak and injustice that you feel is always rooted in a lack of respect either for yourself, your boundaries, other people’s boundaries or other people’s lack of respect for you (and themselves / their boundaries). Always.

Knowing how to command respect in your relationships not only extinguishes what seems like a curse of “bad luck” that you feel like you’ve been subjected to endure, it’s also part of building your self esteem. It’s that missing element, the thing that makes you look up to other people who seem to always be so comfortable in their skin, so confident in their decisions and so content in living their life unapologetically on the terms that accord with their happiness and well being.

So how is respect achieved? Want to know how to command respect in your relationships with your family, with guys and in your friendships? So did I.

Here’s how I got there and went from insecure doormat to the girl who still makes mistakes, still has moments of insecurity but that found the respect that I had been after and put a permanent end to The-People-Pleasing-Doormat Era of my life…

  • Boundaries and respect (for yourself and for others) go hand-in-hand. One cannot exist without the other.
  • Your boundaries should never change and you can’t have different sets of boundaries for different people. You can’t allow anyone to make an amendment to your boundaries just because they texted you back/they noticed you/they make you feel like they’ll change for you (they won’t)/they’re a good lay, etc. If you do so, you will LOSE respect for yourself because you’ll always be smelling your own bullsh*t right under your nose.
  • Boundaries are great because they don’t require words and a lot of people (especially the kind of people who don’t respect you), like to use your words against you by twisting them. When you instill boundaries, you become the girl that speaks with her actions, stays classy and respects herself enough to know and communicate (through her actions), to others that she won’t tolerate anyone that respects her any less than she respects herself.
  • People that have and are capable of respect don’t need to make this big thing of it. Yeah, they may still get heartbroken, cheated on, lied to and abandoned, but they have such a deep pool of respect that’s already there.
  • Understand that when you start having respect for yourself, it won’t change who they are. Unfortunately when you evolve, that never means that the people around you will.
  • You can say you want respect until you’re blue in the face and you can claim to have healthy boundaries, read every self help book and sip tea on Super Soul Sunday with the Oprah herself, but the ONLY way to give ANY validity to your boundaries, your self respect and the way that people respect you is through action.
  •  It’s pointless to try to communicate respect to someone that doesn’t understand it.
  • The sky will not fall if you ACT within your own best interests. You’ll survive.
  • Understand that when you aim to respect yourself, you will lose a lot of people in your life. Their part will have ended in your story or their part will be significantly limited. Yes, it’s hard when relationships change and it can be uncomfortable but it’s a good sign because you attract what you exude and if you exude the actions of someone that gives a damn about herself, you’ll detract the f*cktards that don’t.
  • Stop talking, being made to look psycho, explaining and creating drama just so you can hold onto a relationsh*t.
  • People only explain their boundaries and self respect that they supposedly have if they don’t truly believe it that they have it. Don’t be one of them.
  • People that are incapable of respect will use any little hint of insecurity, people pleasing and lack or respect for yourself that they see you exhibit, to exploit and use you to infinity degrees.
  • The only clearcut path to living a life where you’re surrounded by people that respect you is by respecting yourself first. And will probablyl mean having to tell your libido to f*ck off for a minute while it reboots itself.

HOW TO COMMAND RESPECT IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

The only person that you should ever be concerned with garnering respect from is yourself.

As women, we want to nurture and show people how much they’re worth and make them feel the exact way that we are looking for them to make us feel: special, validated and valued… and that’s fine…. just vow to stop doing it if it means that you have to devalue yourself in the process.

If you feel like you don’t have anyone that believes in you and you can’t believe in yourself, just remember – I believe in you and if I did it, so.can.you.

xx, N

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20 comments

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O-m-g Natasha. I don’t know how you know or how you do it. Thank you so much for this. Printing this out and reading each bullet point that you wrote to myself every morning. Thank you so much for helping and and for creating this community for women. I always say this, but you are my real life Carrie Bradshaw. I wish I had a friend like you. Thank you so much for this post. You’ve saved my life. God bless you Natasha.

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I’m going to share this on Facebook tomorrow. This is too good not to. You are amazing!

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I don’t even know what to say anymore. Each blog you post just keeps hitting home. It’s nice to know that other women have gone through similar situations. You are awesome…oh and LOVE the Tupac quote. That’s on my board at work 🙂

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LOL thank you so much Heidi! Isn’t it? You have all shown me that I’m not alone and I’m so grateful for that. You are the awesome one and thanks 🙂 It’s one of my favorite quotes xx

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HA! I’m right there with you girl I don’t know what to say anymore either. Just when I think that one post couldn’t possibly get any better, you do it again Natasha. I love this community of girl power you’ve created!

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“When you aim to respect yourself, you will lose a lot of people in your life”

Wow, yes how true! You’re so so awesome Natasha; can you read my mind? I was just talking about this with a friend and as usual your post hit the nail on the head! Printed and on my desk to read every time my mind wanders.

I know you’ve covered this already over various posts, but if at some point you could write about dealing with intrusive thoughts that somehow your ex is happier than you. When I’m in a temporary funk, I think: ‘Ohhhh the FT must be so happy with his life, while I’m sitting here worrying about some stupid report that isn’t getting written because I have so much on my mind’. It’s a bad habit more than anything else because I know that it is immaterial whether he’s happier or crying haha — I have to focus on myself. But when we are hard on ourselves, our mind tends to wanders and rest on the last (or most significant) painful experience. It’s almost sadistic. Guess it stems from not valuing ourselves enough!

Thank you! Xxxxxx

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Hi Sofia,

Thank you so much! You are just as awesome 🙂 I wish I could read minds haha
I’m so happy you liked the post and connected with it xx

Yes! Omg have I been there. I completely know what you mean. I’ll have a post up on that topic asap. Thank you so much for the recommendation xxxxxx

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OMG PLEASE WRITE ABOUT THAT NATASHA! Sofia, I am going through the same thing thank you so much for bringing it up. I can’t wait for that post. And I can’t wait for your beauty, fashion and health posts too Natasha. I want to buy all of the makeup and clothes you have ..lol.

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Sorry Natasha one more thing… any chance you could post some beauty/fashion/health posts too. I want to look and feel as good as you do and I think a huge part of getting over heartbreak is looking good and making yourself feel beautiful on the outside too. I love your style and I’d love to know what makeup you use. I already own the MAC lipstick and love it. Thanks girl

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Hi Jess, Sure! I’ve had some other requests for that too. I’ll have some posts up this week. A lot of it is in the works 🙂 xx

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I like that quote from Tupac. I love the last box where you said “Don’t tie your worth to someone” I’m screenshot that and share it on my Instagram and Facebook. Another great post as always ????????????????????????????????

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How do you like your brow pencil? I saw that you were one of the runners up!

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It’s great. I love it!! Thanks to both of u ????????

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🙂

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Thanks beautiful. I’m glad you liked it and thank you for the support xo

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Hi Natasha! I read that I could ask for advice in a comment, so here I am! There’s someone I still haven’t let go of, and I know I need to move on and snap out of it, but I always come back to thinking about him. We met about a year ago and he used to make me playlists all the time. He walked out of my life (partly because he was immature and partly because I didn’t set a boundary and I let myself get insecure about his constant ghosting). During that time I read your “Does He Miss Me?” article, and I still reread it to this day. But I noticed lately (aka stalked) that he’s been listening to one of our playlists. This is a guy who hasn’t talked to me since November. And that gave me a little seed of hope – which is ridiculous. I’m trying to remind myself that if he really wanted to be back in my life, he wouldn’t just listen to a song, he’d actually do something. But it still gets to me and I start overthinking and over-analyzing. And here’s the worst part – I had been doing really well and wasn’t thinking about him for a really long time, and just the past couple weeks I started to again. I feel like I’m going crazy. I’m really trying to work on myself and be the best I can be, but I feel like I’m losing focus by getting sucked in again. I need to know how to stop waiting around. Help!

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Thank you. I’ve been making a dormat of myself my whole life. I found myself in the same situation recently, again. It helps to read that I am not the only one. Your blog is like the best friend telling you all the hard truths you don’t want to face. Yes, people have used me. Yes, no one has seen my worth. That’s because I let it happen. It all starts with me.

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It starts with you and you are not alone. You are loved, backed, supported and believed in Denny. Thanks for being a part of this tribe 🙂 xx

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Thank you. I’ve only been reading this blog for a couple hours and I feel so much better about everything. You’re spelling out some very hard truths in a relatable, compassionate way. Well done!

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Hi Roxy! I’m so happy that it has served you! Thank YOU sister 🙂 xxxx

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