You’ve heard this many times before. But what does it mean to love yourself? And how do you actually love yourself?
For various reasons, many of us find it easier to love others than to love ourselves. Sometimes we’re truly quite awful to ourselves. We subjectourselves toa harsh inner critic, unhealthy relationships, toxic substances, and self-mutilation. I know how easy it is to dwell on your own perceived inadequacies.
But regardless of the reasons for your lack of self-love, it’s time to start caring for yourself and treating yourself with the love you deserve. Instead of being selfish, as many fear, this self-love is a blueprint that shows others how to love you.
I put together 22 ways to love yourself. Many are simple and straight-forward. Some are harder. You don’t have to use all of these ideas, but you’ll find many overlap and work nicely together.
1. Know yourself. It’s impossible to love yourself if you don’t even know who you are. Invest in discovering what you believe, value, and like.
2. Say “no” when you need to. Boundaries are an essential form of self-care because they let others know that you deserve and expect respect.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others. Others aren’t better or worse, more or less than you; They’re just different. You have value just as you are and accepting yourself means there’s no need for comparisons.
4. Be truly present. Our lives are full of distractions. Many of these things are fun and worthwhile, but they can be draining and keep us from truly knowing and being ourselves.
5. Know and use your strengths.We all have tremendous gifts, but many of them go unnoticed. When you’re busy and distracted it’s hard to access these great qualities. Focusing on your strengths will increase your positive feelings for yourself.
6. Give yourself plenty of healthy treats. A treat is something special that you just give yourself. Unlike a reward, it doesn’t have to be earned. Be good to yourself by giving yourself treats “just because”.
7. Be honest with yourself.This one can be harder than it seems. Some of us as so good at self-deception that we don’t even know we’re doing it. Honesty is key in all relationships and your relationship with yourself is no different. Clearly, you can’t love your entire messy self if you’re lying, minimizing, or making excuses.True self-love means taking responsibility and accountability.
8. Let yourself off the hook for your mistakes and imperfections. You’re hard on yourself. You’re probably harder on yourself than anybody else. Cut yourself some slack and embrace your humanness. Mistakes are normal. Imperfections are part of what makes you you.
9. Work on forgiving yourself for the bigger stuff. Sometimes we’re holding onto bigger regrets or transgressions. Self-forgiveness is a process of bit by bit believing you truly did the best you could. Today you could do better, of course. Hindsight really is 20/20, which is why it’s completely unfair to judge your past self with the knowledge you have now. Remember: “When we know better we do better.”
10. Accept that some people won’t like you.That’s right, some people don’t like you and that’s O.K. Don’t waste your time trying to please people who are impossible to please or people who just aren’t that important to you. Being yourself means you have to give up your people-pleasing ways and embrace your authentic self.
11. Make fun a priority.Put something fun on your agenda every week. Don’t neglect it or cancel because you have too much work to do or your kiddo needs help with his history report. Just like rest, we all need fun in order to feel good. Don’t skimp on this importantneed.
12. Practice gratitude. Gratitude is one of the simplest ways to focus on the good in yourself and in your life. Try identifying 3 things you’re grateful for when you wake up every morning.
13. Write down your successes.I love this self-love activity because it creates a record of your accomplishments (big and small) that you can re-read whenever you’re feeling low. Add to it and read your list on a daily basis for maximum benefit.
14. Feel your feelings.Our feelings are an integral part of who we are. You can’t be an authentic person without acknowledging and feeling all of your feelings. Don’t shy away from uncomfortable feelings like anger and sadness. If you deny them, you deny a part of yourself. Allow yourself to express them in a healthy, respectful way.
15. Take good care of your body.Good health is truly priceless. Give yourself the gift of feeling physically well – exercise regularly, eat healthfully, drink water, get 7-8 hours of sleep most nights, and limit alcohol or other drugs.
16. Pursue a hobby.Hobbies can be fun, relaxing, challenging, creative, athletic, social, or educational. As you can see, different hobbies meet different needs for us. Find something that meets your needs.
17.Stand up for yourself.Like boundaries, being assertive is a way of showing others that your opinions and needs matter. Loving yourself means you know your value and can communicate it to others.
18. Write yourself a love letter. I know this is a hard assignment, but it really challenges you to identify the things you like about yourself.
19. Ask for help when you need it.Another part of taking care of yourself is recognizing when you need help. Help isn’t weak. It’s human. We all need help at times.
20. Speak kindly to yourself.Talk to yourself like you’d talk to a loved one. Don’t cut yourself down, call yourself names, or criticize yourself.
21. Surround yourself with people who treat you with kindness and respect.Who you spend time with reflects how you feel about yourself. People who feel worthy surround themselves with positive people. Sometimes loving yourself means you have to end relationships with abusive or unkind people.
22.Allow yourself some downtime. Are you busy, busy, busy? It’s time to slow down and allow your body and mind to rest. You don’t have to do it all.Prioritize what matters most and let go of any guilt in saying no. Rest is rejuvenating and a basic form of self-care.
You are the one person that you’ll always be with; the person who will be there through thick and thin; the person who knows you best. Your relationship with yourself is the most important and longest relationship you’ll ever have. I hope you’ll spend some time learning to love yourself more.
Wishing you much self-love this Valentine’s Day and every day.
Can you love someone else if you don’t love yourself?
In a recent blog post, Ilana Donna Arazie repeated the following folk wisdom:
No one is ever going to love you more than you love yourself. In other words, until you’re 100 percent into YOU, no one else will be. Do whatever it takes to increase your self confidence and love who you are (curly, frizzy hair and all) . I mean, think about it. If you’re not connected to who you really are, how the heck are you going to connect with someone else?
I have to admit, I’m very skeptical of many common feel-good aphorisms, and this one is at the top of my list.
Before we start, I want to make clear that this post is in no way a criticism of Ms. Arazie, who regularly offers a unique and fascinating perspective. But her post gave me a great opportunity to discuss some problems I have with the idea that you have to love yourself before you can love somebody else, which also builds on my own recent post on feelings of inadequacy and relationships.
Not long ago, I told a friend (channeling Groucho Marx by way of Yogi Berra), “I wouldn’t like myself very much if I liked myself.” My own personal philosophy is very focused on humility, so I would be disappointed in myself if I were to feel confidence, pride, or self-satisfaction. So liking myself is out—not gonna happen. But I think I’m perfectly capable of loving other people, in many various ways (as family, friends, and lovers), and I’ve never understood what one had to do with the other.
I can certainly understand why not liking yourself very much would make you less attractive. I don’t think many people want to be with a self-absorbed narcissist (with the obvious exception of groupies who chase after celebrities and politicians!), but neither do they want to be with someone who’s constantly beating himself up and regards himself as worthless. (See the comments to my earlier post to hear from people in such relationships.)
But this doesn’t speak to such a person’s ability to love others—if someone is willing to deal with such a person’s unique mindset, they may find such him very giving, in part to compensate for his own perceived faults.
Part of liking yourself would seem to involve recognizing your own good qualities. But failing to recognize one’s own good qualities would not necessarily prevent a person from recognizing them in others. And in fact, loving someone else—and being loved in return—may help such a person realize his good qualities as reflected in the other person. (As I said in the earlier post, it’s hard not to admire yourself when someone you admire does.)
So instead of self-love being a prerequisite for loving another, it may be a result: greater self-love through other-love. (This also serves as a response to those who say that knowing how to love yourself teaches you how to love others—it may very well work better the other way around.)
Another part of self-love is taking care of yourself, so some may argue that if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others (in a loving way). But I don’t think this follows either: Having little concern for oneself stems from feelings of low self-worth, which doesn’t imply that such a person cannot take care of others whom he values more. One can even imagine such a person may need to take care of someone else to feel worth, which again implies that for some, loving others may help love themselves (not vice versa).
Please understand, I am not arguing against self-love (even though I have chosen not to practice it myself). But I do believe that loving yourself is very different—essentially, practically, and ethically—from loving others, and that neither is necessary for the other (though they can support each other to some extent, especially the other way around as described above). For most people, the ideal situation is to have both, but I can’t see any reason that you have to love yourself before you can love others (or why loving yourself helps you love others).
If I’m missing anything, please let me know!
Be sure to read the following responses to this post by our bloggers:
What kind of self-loathing is more destructive of relationships?
Posted Jul 05, 2011
Let’s consider two possiblities (which are not mutually exclusive, although I do think they’re distinct):
1. For some people, self-loathing is a general attitude, whether deliberately cultivated or developed through various experiences; and as such it bears little direct relationship to any assessment of their good and bad qualities.
2. For others, self-loathing does derive from self-assessment, in which they find some specific desired qualities lacking.
With respect to self-loathing that is an attitude, I maintain that such people can love others without loving themselves. As I said in my original post, such a trait may not be attractive to other people, making it difficult for the self-loathing person to find someone with whom to have a relationship, as well as to maintain a relationship once one has begun. (See my earlier posts, listed below, on difficulties self-loathing people may have with relationships.) But it does not necessarily prevent that person from loving another, because the inward focus of the self-loathing attitude may be separable from his or her attitudes towards other people. Call this type of self-loathing what you will—extreme or ascetic humility, perhaps—but I can’t see any clear reason why it is inconsistent with loving others.
It is the second type of self-loathing which the recent discussion brought to mind: a person who is not predisposed to it but instead finds certain aspects of him- or herself to be inadequate, which results in a general state of self-loathing. The commenter to the earlier post suggested that you may see something in the other person that reminds you of why you don’t like yourself—either something good in him or her which you lack, or something missing in him or her that you also find missing in yourself.
So if you’re a person with the second type of self-loathing, you may still be able to love others without necessarily loving yourself, as long as you do not try to use the other person to compensate in some way for what you find lacking in yourself. Ideally, you should be a “complete” person when you enter a relationship, but even if you are not (and you hate yourself for it), you must remember that it is not the other person’s responsibility to complete you. As I wrote previously, the goal when seeking a relationship is to find someone who fits and complements you, not one who compensates for your perceived failures. Those issues are yours to deal with, and it is not fair to expect them to resolve them, especially if they’re not aware that’s what you’re doing.
I’m not saying this is easy, by any means. It is all too tempting to use other people to prop us up, to disguise what we consider failures, to fill those missing pieces of our lives or ourselves. And it’s fine to do it once in a while—as the song goes, “lean on me, when you’re not strong”—but only for support during occasional periods of stress, exhaustion, or sadness, not compensation for a deeper, more existentialist malaise. If you feel you need that kind of help, please get it from somebody, but don’t expect your romantic partner to carry that burden him- or herself.
For previous posts about self-loathing on this blog, see the following:
Conventional wisdom about love and relationships can be more myth than reality.
- Why Relationships Matter
- Find a therapist to strengthen relationships
It’s become commonplace to proclaim that truly loving another depends on first loving yourself. But just how warranted is this maxim? Is it supported by science or academic research? Or is it little more than folk wisdom—or maybe, pseudo-wisdom? I’ve sought to track down any authoritative studies on this so-intriguing topic . . . and come up with nothing.
I could be wrong here, but it’s always felt to me like one of those aphorisms that’s accepted as valid primarily because it sounds valid. And the truism does exude a tone of wise, loving self-compassion. It seems completely reasonable that we can’t really know love until we experience it from within—for ourselves. But might this all somehow be begging the question?
Given my professional role as a psychologist for the past 30+ years, I’ve come, empirically, to a rather different conclusion about self-love. To me, it’s extremely unlikely that without the ability to love oneself a person can ever be happy. That is, what’s necessary and sufficient—not for loving another but for a state of inner contentment and well-being—is healthy self-love and acceptance. For it only makes sense that if you’re not on very good terms with yourself, you’re not going to be happy with life generally.
I can recall working with several multi-millionaires, who were plainly miserable. So there’s nothing intrinsic about wealth (and all the amenities it can buy) that guarantees happiness. Nor, for that matter, can the most gratifying relationships—even though you might be loved, or even adored, by an admiring (and admirable) partner. For, ultimately, your happiness depends on being happy with yourself.
Almost all of us have heard of people who, allegedly, “have it all” but who, nonetheless, end up committing suicide. Despite their outward success, they feel their whole life is an act, a charade, that essentially they’re frauds—and that one day they’ll be “found out” and shunned as the impostors they really are. Basically, they hold themselves in contempt, harboring a profoundly negative sense of self that clearly overrides their so-impressive life “vita.”
In virtually all these cases, such individuals’ upbringings were marked by non-loving parental abuse or neglect. And regrettably, these experiences left them with grave doubts about their attractiveness, competence, or basic human worth. Never having availed themselves of the opportunity to undergo longer-term therapy (likely because they didn’t think they could be helped), they couldn’t internalize their later-day accomplishments. And so their negative, outdated beliefs about themselves continued to undermine, even nullify, the many positive things they’d achieved since childhood.
Moreover—and sharply contrary to the familiar adage that constitutes the subject of this post—these same individuals may have been unquestionably loving both toward their spouses and children. So it’s hard to find compelling evidence that would confirm the notion that the inner love of self is a prerequisite for loving anyone outside the self. For, personally, I’ve seen many individuals quite capable of caring deeply for others, yet who struggled mightily to extend this same caring toward themselves. They’d regularly reveal profound misgivings about who, deep down, they believed they were.
So, forget about loving anyone else. In the end, if your core sense of self is painfully disturbed or deficient, you won’t be able to love yourself. But here it should be added that psychotherapy has many effective ways of rectifying an impoverished self-regard—though, granted, it’s always a challenge to transform something so deeply embedded in a person’s self-image. Treatment, therefore, rarely responds to any brief, “band-aid” type of therapy.
Still, if one commits oneself to addressing the source(s) of one’s so-frustrating self-dislike, over time profound change can, and does, occur. The final goal here is unconditional self-acceptance. And that—in my professional experience—is almost indistinguishable from self-love.
Yet one last question remains: Would learning how to truly love yourself enable you to love another more? No simple answer suggests itself here because your growing self-love might be seen as independent of your ability to love someone else. But if, warts and all, you come to fully embrace yourself, your relationships would definitely become more intimate. For then you’d no longer feel compelled to hide your supposedly “unacceptable” qualities. You’d be more able to open yourself up to others, and you’d probably want to do so. Plus, such a heightened willingness to self-disclose can be infectious, prompting others to respond in kind and so deepen feelings of love and attachment between both of you.
Having resolved old feelings of anxiety, shame, inferiority, and unlovability, you’d no longer fear being “unmasked”—and thereby repudiated. You’d finally feel comfortable in your own skin, confident about letting others know who you are. And so your lifelong potential for a deeper, more confiding—and consequently, more loving—relationship might at last be realized.
To conclude, if you’ve pretty much taken on faith the presumably self-evident veracity of the need-to-love-yourself-first adage, might it be time to reevaluate what by now has become so hackneyed—though it may not be, or have ever been, true? For you might want to consider replacing it with something like: “To deepen your love and acceptance of another, first develop love and acceptance for yourself.” Admittedly, such a revision isn’t nearly as catchy as the “love yourself first” dictum. But perhaps it’s more descriptive of how we as humans operate in the world.
If you could relate to this post and think others might, too, please consider passing on its link. If you’d like to check out other posts I’ve done for Psychology Today online—on a broad variety of psychological topics—please click here. To be notified whenever I post something new, I invite readers to join me on Facebook and Twitter.
“Self-love requires you to be honest about your current choices and thought patterns and undertake new practices that reflect self-worth.”
If one more person told me to “love myself” I was going to levitate into the air and pull one of those impossible martial arts moves from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I was sick of it!
What the heck does loving myself mean? Were they talking about bubble baths, pedicures, and cucumber masks? It turns out there is so much more to self-love than just pampering ourselves. I found this out the hard way.
About a year and a half ago, I almost died after a bad breakup. I had devoted so much of my energy to making the relationship work that I had completely neglected my own needs, and had given away my power and my responsibility for happiness.
As I wrote about here, when I finally developed the courage to end an addictive and painful relationship, I had to live with the effects of lack of self-love.
I struggled to eat, sleep, or continue my daily functioning. I spent every waking hour to myself, trying to understand how and why I had gotten there. I had to know, because whatever it was, if I did not attend to it, this was going to be the end of the road for me. I knew it.
I made mixed media collages, journaled, watched The Notebook five more times, cried, and called up friends to keep me company while I ate my few bites each day.
During this whole time, I found places in my story where I was not present to my own life, my body, or my spirit. I was just there. I found the places where I had abandoned myself and then gotten mad at the other person for not meeting my needs.
The truth was, I did not have a big enough inner container to hold the love I so desired even if I received it, because my self-love tank had shrunk down to the size of a bottle cap.
It finally became very clear to me that there was one core reason I had gotten there: I did not know anything about self-love.
This realization launched me into a relentless search for the meaning of self-love, internally and externally.
I found that self-love is a not a destination; it’s a practice. Self-love is the foundation on which we build a happy life. Without self-love, we have nowhere to put the love or abundance that comes to us.
Not sure what it looks like to love yourself? Here is what I’ve learned. Self-love is…
1. Choosing ourselves, even if it means upsetting others and not being popular anymore. Even if it means we leave a party before anyone else because we feel tired, overwhelmed, or just plain feel done with the crowd.
2. Telling what is true for us, not swallowing words that express what we truly feel, think, or want to do.
3. Giving our body the nurturing, rest, exercise, and comfort it needs to the best of our ability.
4. Wearing clothes that make us feel good and fit our personality instead of wearing clothes that are in fashion that we use to impress others.
5. Building a life that we love while we are single instead of waiting for our prince/princess to show up to explore life and to be happy.
6. Accepting ourselves with the good, the bad, the ugly, the sexy, and the smelly—all of it—and appreciating ourselves as whole people.
7. Making time to do whatever we love, just to play, without worrying about wasting time.
8. Owning our inner and outer beauty and complimenting ourselves without feeling guilty, arrogant, or entitled.
9. Not rehashing our past mistakes and dragging ourselves to a dark place when we know that we can only learn from the past; we can’t change it.
10. Spending some quality, connected time with ourselves instead of always watching TV or wasting time on the Internet.
11. Using discretion when sharing our heart, self, and dreams with others.
12. Trusting the path that our soul is on and making a genuine effort to become a conscious co-creator of our destiny.
13. Not blaming our parents for our current issues, and looking for ways to heal our wounds and change our dysfunctional patterned behaviors by reaching out to ministers, therapists, coaches, and healers.
14. Following what our gut/intuition says instead of living out of our brain and ego.
15. Staying in our integrity, both when it comes to ourselves and when interacting with others out in the world. This includes keeping ourselves in check regarding patterns such as lying, manipulating, co-depending, withholding, and pretending.
16. Allowing ourselves to dream big, without contaminating these dreams with judgments, our perceived limitations, or a lack of sense of deserving.
17. Knowing how we’re spending our emotional, mental, financial, and physical energy, and whether these activities bring back joy, connection, nurturing, rest, and creativity to our lives.
18. Taking responsibility for all of our experiences. Knowing that we have the ability for deeper self-awareness and access to our intuition when it comes to making life choices.
19. Not labeling ourselves with others’ opinions of us, while having the courage to look inside to see if there might be some truth to them.
20. Learning to set boundaries that protect and nurture our relationships, with ourselves and others.
21. Allowing ourselves to make mistakes and not berating ourselves for making them. Instead, choosing to appreciate our desire to learn and grow.
22. Refusing to seek permission or approval to be ourselves. Recognizing that we, like everyone else, deserve to take up space on this planet just as who we are right now.
And lastly, self-love is:
23. Loving and accepting ourselves even when we fail miserably at some of these self-love goals.
No one else can offer these things to us. No one else can take our vitamins for us or prevent us from going into a self-loathing attack.
Even if we land the best partner on the planet, this person won’t be able to make us happy and feel loved unless we create the space for it inside by practicing self-love. This is why self-love is an inside job.
From my heart to your heart…
About Banu Sekendur
Banu is an intuitive coach and a healer. Her passion is removing emotional, mental, and energetic splinters that create blocks to joy. You can connect with her on her website and her budding Facebook group Heart Alchemy Crusaders.
How to dream big and succeed even when you don’t have support
With Sara Carson
If somebody is bringing you down or telling you you’re not good enough, show them that you are. Show them that you can do it and just do it. There should be nothing holding you back except for you.
On today’s episode of Creativity School, I’m talking to Sara Carson, celebrity dog trainer, top international trick dog trainer, and finalist on Season 12 of America’s Got Talent.
Sara and her dogs now have fans all over the world, but she faced harsh criticism and lack of support from her family and friends while she pursued her dreams of training and performing with dogs for a living. Despite starting her own dog training business at 15 years old, Sara was told her entire life that what she was doing was silly, unrealistic, and that she could NEVER have a career doing what she wanted to do.
When she auditioned for America’s Got Talent, even the judges didn’t understand her work. It took Simon Cowell getting on stage for the first time ever, to vouch for Sara and her dogs and get her through to the show.
Sara shares how to overcome the lack of support from your family and friends and how to create the things you love anyway. We also get a behind the scenes look at her time on AGT – from the audition process, to the moment the judges criticized her act, to Simon getting on stage and fighting for her. She also talks about the process of creating new performances week after week under high stress, how she overcomes her nerves before big shows, how she deals with online critics, and more.
**Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible! If you want to get started with a free audiobook download and 30 day free trial head over to at www.creativityschoolpodcast.com/audible.
Mentioned in this episode:
How Sara learned how to do dog training while watching YouTube videos when she was 10 years old
How she started a dog training business when she was 15 years old, teaching at night after school
Her experience having a video she made for fun go viral, getting 22M views overnight
How she got onto America’s Got Talent Season 12, her process auditioning for the show, getting rejected and hearing criticism from the judges, and how Simon Cowell believed in her
Sara’s advice on how to create things when you don’t have any support
How she deals with the nerves of performing in front of a huge audience
Her advice for creating work through anxiety or depression
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Bible verses about loving yourself
There are two types of loving yourself. There is being conceited, prideful, and arrogant thinking you’re better than everyone, which is a sin and there is naturally loving yourself. Naturally loving yourself is being thankful of what God made. Scripture never says to love yourself because it is normal to love yourself.
No one has to tell you because it just comes naturally. Naturally we love ourselves so Scriptures teaches us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
On the other hand, Scripture does warn us about self-love. Our focus should not be on ourselves. We must trade self-centered love for agape love . Loving yourself too much shows selfishness and arrogance which God hates.
It leads to self-criticism and the sin of boasting . Take your eyes off of yourself and look at the interests of other people.
- “You are beautiful I know because I made you.” – God
What does the Bible say?
1. Psalm 139:14 I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made . Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.
2. Ephesians 5:29 For no one has ever hated his own body , but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, as the Messiah does the church.
3. Proverbs 19:8 To acquire wisdom is to love oneself ; people who cherish understanding will prosper.
Love others as you love yourself.
4. 1. Mark 12:31 The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.
5. Leviticus 19:34 Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself . Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.
6. James 2:8 Nevertheless, you are doing the right thing if you obey the royal Law in keeping with the Scripture, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.”
7. Leviticus 19:18 “You are not to seek vengeance or hold a grudge against the descendants of your people. Instead, love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”
Self-worship is a sin.
8. 2 Timothy 3:1-2 You must realize, however, that in the last days difficult times will come. People will be lovers of themselves , lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy.
9. Proverbs 21:4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
10. Proverbs 18:12 Haughtiness goes before destruction ; humility precedes honor.
11. Proverbs 16:5 The LORD detests the proud; they will surely be punished.
12. Galatians 6:3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself .
13. Proverbs 27:2 Praise should come from another person and not from your own mouth, from a stranger and not from your own lips.
Don’t focus on yourself, instead focus on the awesome love that God has for you.
14. 1 John 4:19 We love because God first loved us.
15. Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love for us even when we were dead because of our offenses, made us alive together with the Messiah (by grace you have been saved.)
16. Psalm 36:7 How precious is your gracious love, God! The children of men take refuge in the shadow of your wings .
17. Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Think of others as more significant than yourself.
18. Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
19. Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.
20. Galatians 5:26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
Loving yourself and narcissism or selfishness are absolutely different things. Love is all about giving and receiving and if you can give enough care, attention and sympathy to yourself, most probably you can give it to others as well.
You must have heard the old truth that we cannot love others if we cannot love ourselves. Love flourishes when we give it to other people, but love always starts with ‘me.’ We are the only ones responsible for our life, choices and deeds so we just have no right to be neglectful of ourselves.
However, I’ve never thought about why it’s so important to love yourself even though I completely agree with the statement. The reasons stated below show that loving yourself is really essential.
1. When you love who you are, you accept who you are
Indeed, I know perfectly well all my positive and negative sides and I accept them. It doesn’t mean I’m satisfied with all my traits. Loving yourself doesn’t mean that you should stop improving yourself.
It just helps you realize that you are the only one, with your unique traits, qualities and potentialities. It gives a great sense of confidence. When you accept who you are, you feel no need to counterfeit someone or compare yourself to others. And this is the most powerful and inspiring feeling ever.
2. It gives you confidence and approval
We all love confident and charismatic people. This is our inner subconscious desire and you cannot do anything with it. Compassion is also important but when people need to talk to someone, they usually address a strong confident person. People who love themselves are more likely to get a better job, promotion and more friends and admirers. I think it’s a crucial reason to love yourself.
3. You will avoid self-reproach
Self-reproach, sorrow and sense of shame are the worst things a person can experience. Loving yourself means being less anxious and depressed and also less inclined to stresses and self-torture.
A friend of mine was always dissatisfied with her weight, even though she was really a beautiful girl. She stuck to numerous diets and lost so much weight that she was forced to see the doctor. It’s a terrible yet common situation that shows lack of love to yourself.
4. When you love yourself, you look better
It is really simple. You can concentrate on your strong points instead of bothering about your weaknesses and imperfections. Everybody has imperfections but most people don’t care about them. For example, I am short and will never change it. Moreover, I hate high heels, can you imagine it?
I have been obsessed with this problem for years and I couldn’t see that I have a nice body, beautiful eyes and kind heart. But when I accepted that imperfection about myself I became even more beautiful.
5. If you love yourself, you are more likely to have a better family life
When you love yourself, you know what you deserve. In this sense I’d like to follow my mom’s example. My parents still have a very tender and warm relationship, even though they’ve been married for more than 25 years.
I have never noticed the slightest sign of contempt or lack of respect between them. I know perfectly well that my mom wouldn’t stand such a treatment. When you love yourself you will never be ill-treated. And this is very important for a healthy family life.
6. …and happier children
Children always try to copy their parents’ behavior, manners, views and literally everything. The ability to love is one of the crucial things your kids should adopt. But it will be impossible if the parent can’t display this ability. When you love yourself, you set a healthy and vital example for your kids.
The researches have proved that a child’s success and happiness are largely determined by the experience he received in his childhood. That’s why if you want to teach your kids to love themselves, you should learn to love yourself first.
7. When you love yourself, the world around you changes
When we fall in love everything around us becomes more beautiful and appealing. Falling in love with yourself is no exception. It enables you to look at things, people and life from another perspective, better perspective. But the most important thing is that all these changes are about your perception only. Thus you can choose whether you love yourself and this world or not.
Self-love can make you a better person. It improves your physical, psychological and emotional state. Give it a try and you’ll see that you attract more good people and circumstances into your life. Do you agree with my list of reasons why it’s so important to love yourself? Share your thoughts, please.
When I broke up with my first boyfriend, whom I loved dearly, I remember sitting across the table from my dad, crying to him about all the reasons I needed to let that boyfriend go. He was, in many ways, a great match for me, but as college came to an end, I realized that we were headed in different directions, had opposite goals for our futures, and his struggle with addiction was something that I just couldnвЂ™t handle. But how do you know if you should break up with someone? Through my tears, adamant about just how much I loved him, my father told me, вЂњSometimes love isnвЂ™t enough.вЂќ At 22, itвЂ™s a hard concept to wrap your brain around, especially when talking about your first love. But I added it to my collection of quotes from dad and assumed that it would make more sense later on in life. And it did.
Since then, the idea that love is not always enough has come up time and time again. I have been in love only a few times in my life, and with each ending of these relationships, it wasnвЂ™t about a lack of love, but simply the fact that sometimes youвЂ™re just not right for someone. Just because you love someone doesnвЂ™t mean youвЂ™re a match made in heaven. In fact, in some of these cases, itвЂ™s better to end it and move on, no matter how much it hurts. Because as Dad said that day, “Sometimes love isn’t enough.”
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Here are six signs that you shouldnвЂ™t be with someone, no matter how crazy mad in love with them you just might be.
1. You Have Different Ideas For The Future
If you want to travel the world and skip the whole motherhood thing, but your partner wants to be a parent within the next couple of years, then you need to say goodbye. When it comes to the future вЂ” kids especially вЂ” no matter how much you love your partner, itвЂ™s not something on which someone’s mind can easily be changed.
2. You Have No Sexual Chemistry
I once loved someone so much that even the mention of his name would have my heart pounding out of my chest, and IвЂ™d begin to tremble. But as much as I did love him, our sex life was just, oh, how do I put this nicely вЂ¦ horrendous. But in loving him so much, I was willing to overlook it for far longer than I should have.
Study after study has proven that sex is a necessary component in a healthy relationship. IвЂ™m not saying that it has to be great all the time, but you and your partner should at least have a decent amount of chemistry between you. Sure, you can have a loving relationship without sex, but as sexual creatures, why would you want to?
3. YouвЂ™re Constantly Sacrificing Yourself For Them
Relationships are a partnership. Or at least, they should be. If one partner is giving more than the other вЂ” whether it be financially, emotionally, mentally, or even around the house with chores вЂ” and no amount of communication has remedied the situation, then love canвЂ™t save it either. You canвЂ™t spend the rest of you life picking up the slack of someone else, no matter how much you love them. YouвЂ™re supposed to be their partner, not their mother.
4. You CanвЂ™t Function Without Them
Yes, when you love someone, you want to insert them into every aspect of your life. But thereвЂ™s a fine line between “want” and “need,” and when the “need” outweighs the “want,” you have a codependent situation. Codependency is a major sign of an “unhealthy clinginess,” in which you just canвЂ™t live your life without your partner. If youвЂ™ve found that, despite your love for them, youвЂ™re actually living for them and youвЂ™re unable to think of anything else, then itвЂ™s a sign that youвЂ™re not meant to be. Healthy relationships wouldn’t spark such obsession in someone.
5. Neither One Of You Is Willing To Compromise
Relationships are about meeting each other halfway. Like maybe your partner likes pepperoni pizza and you like mushroom, so you either suck it up and get both on the whole pizza or do half pepperoni and half mushroom. ThatвЂ™s just how things roll in a relationship. But if you find that your partner doesnвЂ™t want to compromise, or that you’re feeling forced to compromise too much, to the point where itвЂ™s making things unbearable, then love can’t beat pigheadedness.
6. You Feel Like YouвЂ™re Not Going Anywhere
This isnвЂ™t just about your future, but also your day-to-day together. Relationships are supposed to be supportive, to allow for evolution, change, and ups and downs, and to cause both you and your partner to grow as people. If you feel like you and your partner have just become a stagnant swamp that doesnвЂ™t do anything but collect algae and drown dead bugs, then itвЂ™s sign that youвЂ™re just not right for each other. You can’t fix a stagnant swamp with love.
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