Let’s be frank – before someone else can love how amazing you are, you need to learn to love yourself first. Despite what you may think, self-love is not a crime..
And no, that’s not some naughty joke about masturbation. 😉
Being happy with yourself and loving who you are as a person is the first step towards fulfilling your dreams, achieving personal growth, and yes even finding that ultimate happy relationship with someone special.
Despite what some may think, loving oneself is not about being narcissistic or being so totally selfish that you think life revolves around you. In fact it’s about finding a balance in your life, without neglecting your own feelings.
And at the same time we need to recognise that living for the positive feedback from others to bolster their sense of being ‘good enough’ is no substitute for loving yourself. Sure, it’s important to help others, especially loved ones, but it shouldn’t be your sole reason for living.
It’s about finding a balance between selfishness and selflessness. You would become more emotionally balanced due to a healthier sense of what it means to be accepting of yourself – the good, bad and everything in between.
It ultimately helps if you can understand that you’re just as important as anyone else, and that your thoughts and feelings are valid. It doesn’t matter if you grew up thinking others were better than you, because you can break the cycle and start learning to love yourself just the way you are.
Self-love involves the following (via Self-Love is Not a Crime: Learning to Love Yourself | World of Psychology):
Self-care means you treat yourself just as kindly and thoughtfully as you would anyone else. If you are uncomfortable doing something, then you don’t do it and that’s OK. Just because somebody might be disappointed that you didn’t help him or her, that’s his or her choice to feel that way.
Considering your needs.
If that means others don’t get all of you, all the time, then that’s also OK. People can learn to adjust and be responsible for themselves.
Caring for yourself with the same level of effort that you do for others.
That might mean you don’t always fulfill your goal of helping others because you’d prefer to spend time doing something for yourself. That’s not selfish.
Accepting yourself for all that you are —
Both your positive aspects and your human fallibility.You cannot be all good all the time. That’s OK. You can work on self-improvement, but that doesn’t mean you discount the parts of yourself you don’t like as much. Those aspects are still part of your whole.
That’s OK. You are not totally responsible for everybody else’s needs.
Working toward self-love and acceptance can take time. If you are somebody who has little regard for yourself, then you might want to start with self-like-a-little, working up to self-like. In time, you’ll learn to self-love and accept yourself for all that you are.