Dignity is preserved and compromised through our words and actions; so what is it that we need to say and do? Our understanding of dignity is changeable and influenced by culture; therefore, it needs to be revisited from time to time. Mental health nurses must find a way to engage with this topic so that service users can be seen, heard and understood. The Francis Inquiry encouraged us to look outwards to understand the situation nursing is faced with, but this article will encourage mental health nurses to look inwards at their own practice in relation to dignity. It will consider the way in which we manage the emotions provoked by challenging situations, particularly moral judgement and individual dynamics. Suggestions will be made for moving the debate forward and supporting ourselves, service users and colleagues in a world of competing demands.