Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.

In her song, “Better than Revenge”, Taylor Swift sings: No amount of vintage dresses gives you dignity. Well, damn, there goes that plan! So how does one regain their dignity when they feel they’re at a rock-bottom low? Well, kids, it’s time to clear your closet of those vintage dresses, and look at how else you can regain your dignity.

What is dignity?

It’s important to define dignity so we know exactly what we’re working to try to regain. The simplest definition I have found is that dignity is the quality or state of being worthy of self-esteem or respect. This means it is not only projected externally to people to gain their respect, but also internally to gain back your own self-esteem and regain your self-worth. Men and women both have dignity, although it seems to be an issue more women are concerned with than men.

Losing dignity makes you feel…

When we lose our dignity we generally have to deal with some pretty painful emotions such as shame and disgrace, which is why it’s important to regain our dignity as quickly as possible and put ourselves back on the right path.

Having dignity makes you feel…

When we have dignity we have a sense of pride about ourselves, our self-esteem is generally fairly high and we’re feeling good! When we’re happy, generally our dignity is intact. This is where we’re going to aim to get back to.

Steps to regaining your dignity

Step 1: Remember who you were

Remember who you were before the incident happened that caused you to lose your dignity. Remind yourself of every small detail about yourself: what you liked, how you acted, and how you reacted to things. Using visualisation, go back to the person you were. Hopefully it wasn’t too long ago and you weren’t on a self-destructive mission. The problem with losing your dignity is that it can be tempting to keep moving down the same path.

Step 2: Isolate the event and forgive yourself

If you can isolate the event where you lost all your dignity, go back there – remember your feelings, why you felt the way you did and responded the way you did, and as you would for your best friend – forgive yourself. The key here is not to expect others to forgive you so quickly or so easily. It takes a big heart and a good friend to forgive quickly. Your friend’s forgiveness will depend on the impact of your actions e.g. big impact may take a longer time to forgive you.

Step 3: Apologise

Seek out the person or people you have hurt and offer them a full and sincere apology for whatever it was you did. Take full responsibility for your actions. Avoid adding a “but” or insisting anyone else take responsibility for their part. Remember, this isn’t about them, it’s about you! This is your opportunity to gain your dignity – don’t mess it up!

Step 4: Prove yourself

Once you have apologised, any promises you have made to get your relationships back on track, you need to stick to. Muster up all your will power and prove yourself at every chance you get. The more you show you’re the person you want to be, the faster your relationships will get back on track as your dignity is restored.

Some female celebrities that always appear to maintain their dignity include: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, Anne Hathaway, Mandy Moore, Audrey Hepburn and Taylor Swift. Males may include: Barak Obama, Tatum Channing, Chace Crawford, Liam Neeson, Justin Timberlake, and Chris and Liam Hemsworth.

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Need more help? I’m a qualified life coach who specialises in regaining your independence and confidence following a failed, toxic or abusive relationship. Contact me.