When building a house one needs certain materials, a plan for construction and the knowledge of how to build and this is essentially how a person builds personal self respect; first, with a foundation, basic framework and then the finishing touches. Each board or nail an experience or lesson. There are three basic needs or steps for people to possess in order to have a healthy self-respect level, and they are the basic necessities, love, and a sense of self-identity.
First of all, if a person doesn't have the basic necessities for sustaining life, they may find it hard to maintain a healthy level of self-respect. Having an adequate amount of food and water in essential for self-respect. If a person doesn't have enough food to satisfy their basic need, they will not be able to concentrate on anything else until this need is fulfilled. For example, a student who doesn't eat breakfast before attending classes will not be able to work up to their personal ability level; whereas, a student that has not eaten in three days will not be able to concentrate at all.
The next essential is shelter. Having a sufficient shelter to protect one for the elements is important. Shelter gives one a sense of protection and place to belong. Last of all, clothing is a fundamental need. Therefore, a person who doesn't have the proper clothing maybe be ostracized, and this would lower self-respect. Not having proper clothing also opens up a person to illness or could even cause death. Consequently, not having these basic necessities could leave a person at the survival level, and they may not be able to think about such things as self-worth or self-respect. Having access to the necessities of life are essential to building self-respect.
Secondly, a person needs love to gain self-respect. A baby or child that is nurtured by their mother learns that they are important and loved. On the contrary, if a child is not nurtured and loved they may feel unloved or unworthy of love; consequently, having a damaged sense of identity. Another, vital needs is a sense of belonging, to a family, a group, or even an area. For example, a person that feels they fit in to a certain ethnic group or community; may as a result they may have a clearer sense of self, which leads to a higher self-esteem, and a higher self-respect level. A sense of belonging gives a person a sense of security and reassurance that they are acceptable. Therefore if someone points out that they are different or viewed as lower class, this will intern take a great toll on their self-confidence level. For example, in the story when, Gregory (1964) writes, "We are collecting this money for you and your kind, Richard Gregory"(p.491). Before this statement for the teacher, Richard didn't know he was a different kind and this greatly affected his self-respect. Also, having a strong sense of value, personal, spiritual or as part of a community, will intern help build respect. One needs to have value, connection, or commitment to sometime or someone, and this will increase their self-worth and self-respect.
Last of all, having sense of self-knowledge is important to acquiring a high level of self-respect. For instance a person has to know themselves, will know how to increase their personal respect level. A person that doesn't have knowledge of self may not know what their strengths and weaknesses are. Therefore, may not know how to improve themselves or increase self-worth. Self-awareness, knowing one self's strengths and weakness, is also very important to building self-respect. Having an awareness of how one fits into the world around them and how one deals with life can be a great personal asset. A person that doesn't know how they deal with life will have many pitfalls and this will take away from their self-respect. A person that has a followed all the step and obtaining knowledge and awareness of self then should move into self-love. Self love is knowing and accepting all strengths and weaknesses and loving one's self. Self-love is unconditional love for one's self, and if one got to this level their self-respect will not depend on any outside influences accept maybe their basic needs.
The basic necessities, love, and a sense of self-identity are three basic necessities or steps for people to possess in order to have a healthy self-respect level. A good comparison is a bank account, each essential or positive experience adding to the positive balance and each time there is a lack of necessities or a bad, undealt with experience this making a withdrawal from the personal respect account. In this case, it is very important to keep a balanced statement and be aware when there have been extensive withdrawals and have them corrected.