Learning to respect oneself and set boundaries

·3 min read

In a world where social media, influencers and the people you surround yourself with affect your choices and behavior, it’s important to remember to set boundaries and know your

self-worth, which is thought to lead to higher levels of self-esteem. Cebuana singer/songwriter Doods shares her own thoughts on self-love and how respect, as the core principle of all relationships, has led to a more positive, compassionate outlook on her life and herself.

Doods is a Filipino-American independent artist who identifies as a third-culture global citizen. After leaving her beloved hometown of Cebu City 10 years ago, Annette Osmeña has lived in Hong Kong and Germany, where she is now based. She speaks English, German, and Spanish and is learning French and Tagalog. Much like her cultural identity, Doods’ music doesn’t find its home in one specific sound or genre. Her songs are soulful, jazz-inspired R&B and pop tracks that get you out of your head and into your feelings.

Apart from music, Doods is passionate about holistic wellness, women’s rights and climate action. Through her non-profit work, she aims to spread awareness, education and agency for everyone to live a healthy, sustainable life. Her latest song, “I’ve Got Me,” is a reminder for people to respect themselves, their people and their planet.

“At one point or another, many of us have allowed ourselves to be controlled, silenced or treated poorly by someone else, and we often feel guilt or shame, or accept that things are just as they are. Over time, this can make us feel like we are not worthy or not enough, and this internal dialogue deteriorates our self-esteem,” says Doods. “Setting boundaries means knowing one’s limits and standing firm when others invade one’s physical or emotional space. It’s not something to feel selfish or guilty about, and can rather have constructive effects on one’s relationships. For me, being secure in myself hasn’t isolated me but rather given me more capacity in my mind and heart to let others in.”

As RuPaul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”

According to a Forbes article from 2020, “the more you practice establishing well-defined boundaries, the more people will treat you as a worthy, self-respecting individual and the stronger your self-esteem will become, all to the long-term benefit of yourself and others.” Knowing what your values are and openly communicating when you feel that someone else is crossing the line, gives other people the space and understanding to treat you how you would prefer to be treated, and this can lead to more productive, comfortable and positive interpersonal relationships.

In her latest single, “I’ve Got Me,” which will be released on Nov. 26, 2021, Doods reminds us that standing up for ourselves when we are mistreated is nothing to feel bad about, and that we’re often better off without a harmful relationship tearing us down. She has learned the value of respect and open communication in a relationship, as well as the sense of security she feels in loving herself unconditionally. “Now that I’m getting older, I’m more emotionally stable, and I’ve learned to practice self-compassion, I wanted to write a song to share this, especially with those who feel trapped, voiceless, controlled by other people or oppressive systems,” says the singer.

The new song is an anthem to this newfound self-compassion and a beautiful, funky reminder that there is always someone who’s got your back no matter what—yourself. And that you alone are enough.

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