I oftentimes hear experts say you must love yourself before you can love anybody else. This is only partially true because no matter how you feel about yourself, you can come across that special someone who can help you to love yourself more. By the same token, if you love yourself enough to begin with, you would stand a much better chance of attracting people towards you with your positive energy.
Most people who love themselves take this point for granted and it doesn’t really cross their mind that much. I, for example, absolutely adore myself but I don’t consciously think about it and I certainly don’t go around saying, “Dudes, I love myself.”
Why Do People Suffer From Such Low Self-Esteem or Even Hate Themselves?
There can be many reason for this, some of them having to do with medical conditions but sometimes, it has to do with a person being the subject of emotional and/or physical abuse from their parents.
You may be asking yourself, “Where did something go wrong for this person?” It’s a fair question. Somewhere along the way, it’s possible this person’s parents regularly:
- Didn’t nurture them and outwardly show any affection towards them.
- Failed to encourage them and when they failed at something, they belittled them.
- Weren’t positive role models and showed they had extremely negative self-esteem themselves.
- Made no effort to help their kids feel better about themselves when they were going through a rough time.
- Engaged in excessive and sometimes violent arguments in front of them.
Keep in mind some people can have low self-esteem even though they had the absolute best upbringing by two loving parents.
I’ve heard it said before if someone has too much hate in their heart, there is not much room for love. I believe this to be true and it certainly explains why many individuals go out of their way to harm others.
Learning to Love Yourself
If you are weak in this area or if you sincerely hate yourself for any reason, there is still hope for you. Before we go any further, understand that a person who can’t love themselves may be suffering from a serious psychiatric condition such as clinical depression that may require professional intervention instead of trying to heal themselves on their own.
Here’s what you can try to do to learn how to love yourself and leave all the hurt behind:
- Take care of your body by practicing good personal hygiene, grooming, and by eating healthy foods and exercising.
- Look in the mirror and begin to accept your physical appearance, and play the ‘but’ game. Nobody is perfect and we all have things we are self-conscious about. Personally, I happen to have a fairly large head but I know my heart is warmer than anyone else I know! My lower teeth may be crooked but I am not mean-spirited and I am an extremely loyal person. The point is to accept a weakness and erase that thought by concentrating on your physical and mental strengths.
- Take extra time to pamper yourself privately by doing the things you love or by experimenting with new things you may like. For example, if you are a woman, treat yourself once every two weeks to a manicure and pedicure. How about a nice, long, warm bath later that evening with quiet music? If you are male, why not take a walk in the park and read a few chapters of your favorite book on a bench in a safe area? Spending time with yourself can help you reflect and appreciate the most important things in your life that much more!
- Don’t be afraid to lean on your friends when you are feeling down. Talking to someone you trust is more healthy than bottling up everything inside. Oftentimes, you need a different perspective in life from someone you can confide in, so don’t hesitate to ask for help.
- If you have painful memories, work hard to put them in the past and concentrate on the future. I know this one’s not easy but if you can find a way to get in the habit of focusing on a solution instead dwelling on the past, you will be well on your way to healing yourself. If you are feeling sorry for yourself for any reason whatsoever, you need to stop doing so, right now! Everyone goes through heartache in their lives, some worse than others, but it’s the positive things we do as human beings in light of adversity that define our character. Remember, no one is going to take care of you like you are.
- Get into the habit of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. Whenever you feel a little blue, think of the things in life you love and get busy doing them and take a moment to reflect on what just occurred while you are enjoying a moment. Embrace that thought and remember the good feelings. Learning to love yourself can become automatic when you repeat this process. Positive affirmations (a technique where you repeat a phrase in your subconscious mind, changing how you feel about something) can work wonders for anyone. Here’s a positive affirmation for you to try and say to yourself everyday; I will always love myself because I am a beautiful person!