According to some new social research, self-respect has grown in importance as a key social value for Americans. Most people feel good about themselves if they believe they deserve their own respect, which at first glance sounds like it might be a good thing.
But the positive nature of this finding is balanced by another potentially troubling factor. As self-respect has increased in importance, a sense of belonging has decreased dramatically. Many Americans see no reason to join anything which is leading to a more atomized society. People are increasingly defining themselves by their own self-appraisal and less influenced by group identity. Peer pressure is dying but isolation is increasing.
A well-differentiated person is able to be both separate and connected, and willing to derive self-esteem from both his individuality and capacity for belonging. So, while you are self-actualizing it might also be a good idea to join something worthwhile and discover that joining and contributing is frequently the impetus to finding better self-respect.