Do you assume that other people should prove they ''deserve'' your kindness,thoughtfulness or consideration before they get it ?
''Why should I be nice to her when she was so rude to me ?''
''Mean old bag , never smiles, who would want to treat her decently?''
''He hurt me. I'm not going to waste my time talking to him.''
Living like this- and many people do- you are letting other people decide how you will behave. You are giving away your power to decide. You are letting them determine how you will think and feel.
When you treat people decently because you can you are relying on something far more solid than other's people reactions (or your assumptions about those reactions ).
You are relying on your values.And living them.
Self-respect begins in your own mind : with the way you think and talk about yourself.