Self-esteem and self-respect are closely connected. One is an integral part of the other. One is not possible without the other. In relationships, when other people are throwing all their negative energy at us, if we can maintain our own self-respect we will be able to remain stable, positive and unaffected. In fact, if our self-respect is strong, we will not feel the need to return the negative energy, which they are sending us, but will be able to return understanding and compassion (sympathy) instead. To regain, build and strengthen our self-respect, we need to practice giving respect to others – no matter what they are like, or what they do. What we rarely realise is that in the process of respecting another, we are first of all respecting ourself.