If You Don't Love Yourself, You Won't Know How to Love Others

If You Don't Love Yourself, You Won't Know How to Love Others

Last update: 30 August, 2017

It’s impossible to offer others what we lack ourselves. Think about it. If we aren’t capable of feeling love for ourselves, it will be hard for us to have a healthy relationship with others. Loving yourself is the first step towards developing trust and stability with another person.

Loving yourself means giving yourself the chance to discover the great potential and greatness that you hold within. It means being honest with yourself and committing to your well-being. Furthermore, loving oneself also implies being alert to one’s own needs. It means to respect, accept and love yourself for who you are.

When we stop judging, criticizing and comparing ourselves to others, when we stop forcing ourselves to be anyone other than who we are, we dismantle the preconceived ideas that we had about ourselves. Ideas which determine our life and keep us from meeting an important and valuable part of our being.

someone hugging giant heart

Learning to love yourself

In order to be at peace with ourselves, we have to stop demanding more from ourselves than we really are. Aspiring to be better in life and as people is an indisputable project that we all have to undertake. Yet, it shouldn’t lead us to a state of constant anxiety in which we end up despising our very essence.

It’s a must that we learn to let go of false beliefs which condition our present. Only in the present can we act and live fully. And although we may not have everything we dreamed, we have the power to change that by living in accord to who we are. Fantasizing about what the past once was or what the future could be only gets us further from reality. A reality which will never be just like the one we dreamed, but at least it’s real.

Learning to love oneself is an endless journey that will present itself to us in many forms. But healthy self-evaluation is the first step towards self-knowledge. We have to learn to think in a more adjusted way, leaving aside excessive criticism and unreachable perfectionism.

red-headed girl and dandelion

The attributions that we give ourselves condition our self-esteem. We attribute all of the achievements we have accomplished to external factors, such as luck or chance. If we attribute all of our failures to our inner characteristics, our self-esteem will suffer. Due to this type of unjust attributions with ourselves, we make it even harder for us to love ourselves.

“It took me a long time to stop judging myself through the eyes of others.”
-Sally Field-

How to correctly love others

True love is not the physical or erotic kind, it means wanting the best for someone, putting yourself in their shoes. Sometimes, feelings of intense desire, admiration and emotional investment in another person hinder our understanding of love. Most of us, at some point, have confused what it means to love another person with possessing them or wanting to change them.

In order to correctly love someone, we have to act based on altruistic ideas and behaviors. Love for another makes us want to contribute to the development of their skills, not the ones we wish they had. 

girl floating on a caged heart in the ocean

Seeking our happiness and feeling good about ourselves doesn’t equate to being selfish. It is the most essential and important condition necessary in order to establish a positive relationship with others. Over time, we have realized that we can’t blame others for not being the way we would like them to. That’s where the journey towards correctly loving others begins.

If it’s true love you desire, first learn to give it to yourself. 

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.