The Sages said that “If a man’s own lost article and his father’s lost article, or his teacher’s lost article [need attention], his own takes precedence” (Bava Metzia 33a), that is, that one is allowed to take care of his own potential financial loss before those of others — even if it is that of his father or teacher. That, however, is only the basic law. However, they also taught: “He who observes this, will eventually be brought to it” (ibid.); that is, someone who always takes the greatest care to safeguard his own first thereby throws off the yoke of performing kindness and tzedaka, and will eventually be brought to poverty. Therefore, it is important to always be willing to suffer some small loss in order to prevent the friend’s greater loss, or to help him earn much profit, or to protect him from hardship, and in this merit Hashem will command His blessing.
The main form of loving one’s fellow is by imagining being in his friend’s position: how would you want people to treat you. Therefore, even if you are not particular about your own honor or lack of it, nevertheless, try picturing what it would be like if you had the character and wishes of your friend. Whatever form of respect that friend would want, or whatever hurtful words he would not want to hear, or that his dignity not be touched — so you should do for him. In this merit “Hashem will give strength to His People; Hashem will bless His People with peace.”