Four Signs That You've Lost Yourself

Maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself is essential for your well-being. We'll explain the warning signs that may indicate you're neglecting this important link.
Four Signs That You've Lost Yourself
Elena Sanz

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: 31 October, 2023

How’s your relationship with yourself?  This might be a question you’ve never even asked. That’s because, despite the fact that you care about looking after your ties with others, you often neglect the one with yourself. In this article, we’re going to list the main signs that can help you identify if you’ve lost yourself.

You must bear in mind that self-respect, care, and compassion toward yourself are essential for your well-being and mental health. However, love that’s neglected can fall into infidelity, even toward yourself. For this reason, it’s necessary to review this important relationship and make sure that it remains healthy.

You don’t prioritize yourself

One of the clearest signs that you’ve lost yourself is the fact that, when it comes to choosing, you never pick yourself first. For example, you postpone your own obligations and tasks to help others fulfill theirs. You even give up your own leisure time to satisfy the wishes, needs, and favors that others ask of you.

Consequently, you relegate everything related to you to last place. You don’t hesitate in giving in to others, forgetting your own opinions. In fact, it seems to be more important to you to be helpful to others than to be loyal to yourself and your own needs.

Sad woman sitting on the floor

You want to please others

As social beings, we all want to please the people around us. However, when you’ve lost yourself, you do so even if it’s more important that you please yourself.

For instance, you fall in with plans and activities that you don’t like or don’t feel like doing just to win the favor of others. In fact, it’s really difficult for you to say ‘No. This is because you fear that by doing so, you’ll lose the love or approval of others. As such, you may even fall into the kind of behavior that’s completely contrary to your own convictions and values, just because another person asks you to.

You apologize without being guilty

This is extremely common behavior in those who’ve lost themselves. You ask for forgiveness even though you’re fully aware that you’ve done nothing wrong. You know that you haven’t acted incorrectly. Nevertheless, the fear of conflict, rejection, and abandonment prevents you from defending your position.

As a matter of fact, you prefer to apologize and accept responsibility for an argument that isn’t your fault, just to reduce anxiety. In your eyes, the anger of another is a warning that they can leave or withdraw their affection from you, so you find it necessary to end that anger, even if it means humiliating yourself.

You constantly complain

It might seem that complaining is an attitude of someone full of self-esteem and capable of expressing what they want. However, complaining isn’t synonymous with assertive communication. Explaining what you think and what you need in a calm and respectful way is appropriate behavior. On the other hand, when your relationships are based on constantly asking others to meet your needs, something is wrong.

If you maintain links in which you feel that others aren’t responding in a reciprocal way, ask yourself why you’re continuing with them. Similarly, reflect on whether your expectations regarding relationships are well-adjusted or unrealistic.

When you complain, you’re looking for others to give you what you lack yourself. You’re lacking it because you stopped being there for yourself a long time ago. In fact, you have an underlying lack of self-esteem and self-care.

Serious woman thinking

Learn how to recover

If these signs are familiar, it’s likely that you’ve neglected yourself more than you should’ve done. Therefore, it’s time for you to become aware that your relationship with yourself is the most important one that you’ll ever have. Consequently, you must begin to take care of it with care and respect.

Nonetheless, it isn’t easy to abandon the habit of pleasing others, especially when your self-esteem isn’t strong. Nevertheless, with perseverance, every little action you take will lead you to recover. Start prioritizing yourself, listening to yourself, and defending your rights and opinions. Act according to your values and don’t be afraid of being abandoned. After all, there’s nothing more painful than losing yourself.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Westwood, P. A. (2017). El rol del autorrespeto en la teoría de la justicia de John Rawls. HYBRIS, Revista de Filosofía8(2), 55-76.
  • Bourbeau, L. (2011). Las cinco heridas que impiden ser uno mismo. OB STARE.

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