The Importance of a Good Relationship with Yourself

Thinking and valuing yourself, as well as dedicating time to yourself, are things you shouldn't forget to do in your daily life. Having a good relationship with yourself is fundamental to feeling good and building healthy relationships with others.
The Importance of a Good Relationship with Yourself

Last update: 24 June, 2021

Since you were a child, you’ve needed affection and the company of others to feel integrated into a group and maintain your psychological well-being. Despite this fact, you live in an individualistic society where competitiveness and material things outweigh your own needs.

All the relationships you have in your life are influenced by a common denominator: you. For this reason, it’s important to know how to relate to others. However, it’s also important to have a good relationship with yourself.

A woman looking at herself in a mirror, showing a good relationship with herself.

Put yourself first

Nobody is born with an instruction manual on how to live. Nevertheless, if you did have one, it might well include information like the instruction given on planes: “Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others”.

Think for a moment about the people you love and care about and reflect on how you act with them. Surely, you often make them feel better or let them know they’re important to you. In fact, you probably tend to leave yourself until last or not do anything for yourself at all.

However, although the process tends to be ignored and undervalued, you should always make time to look yourself in the eyes and connect with who you are.

Of course, you can’t forget that you’re living in “a liquid modernity”, as Bauman said, in which the superficial and the ephemeral shape your lifestyle. The kind of life in which social and digital interaction makes it difficult to disconnect out of fear of getting lost in yourself and actually discovering who you really are.

This kind of society demands a self-centered self, one that diminishes the ability to truly relate and in which your relationship with yourself becomes completely distorted.

Being you means what you do and how you think, act, communicate, listen, love, and judge. For this to happen in a balanced way, you need good foundations and invest in yourself.

Therefore, you need to urgently disconnect from that digital universe where appearance and superficiality matter the most. You need your own space in order to clarify and simplify your world. Nevertheless, this takes time. Consequently, you should stop along the way from time to time to think about yourself and check how you are. This is especially necessary when your needs and circumstances change.

For example, when you’re under too much stress, you need to know how to relax and take a break. For this reason, make sure you remember the following sentence “Today, I’m not doing anything for anyone else, just me”.

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

 -Carl Jung-

Watch your internal dialogue

One of the most important things in having a good relationship with yourself is the way you talk to yourself. In other words, your internal dialogue. The one that’s still influenced by what you were told when you were little. Which, as you grew up, continued to shape your relationship with yourself.

How do you talk to yourself? What kind of things do you say? Are you critical? Do you blame yourself? Do you praise and treat yourself with love?

Balance the scales

If you were encouraged to meet your own personal needs and interests as a child, as well as those of others, you developed a healthy foundation for a relationship with yourself. The one where you’re important, where you respect and look after yourself.

However, this doesn’t usually happen. In fact, many people continue to wonder who they are, how they are, and where they’re going. Nevertheless, it’s never too late to learn. Others might continually blame and criticize themselves. The important thing to learn is to stop lashing out and to accept and respect yourself. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, meditation, and daily reflection can be very helpful in this regard.

“Every man if he so desires becomes sculptor of his own brain.”

-Ramón y Cajal-

A woman thinking.

How to develop a good relationship with yourself

A healthy and balanced relationship with yourself means you value yourself as a person and accept both your strengths and weaknesses. The process to achieve this varies from person to person. However, there are some commonalities:

  • Self-confidence. Confidence is very important. You have to be able to back yourself up and believe in yourself, even if you end up making a wrong decision. Your confidence is nourished when you know that you can learn from it, correct it, and continue moving forward. It also means trusting your intuition and knowing that you have the right answers inside you.
  • Love yourself. What does this really mean? It means knowing both your faults and virtues and who you are as a person (your values and principles) and believing that you’re capable. In fact, knowing that you’re a person with the ability to love, create, feel, and believe.
  • Spend quality time with yourself. Knowing how you like others to treat you is a good guide for this. Taking some time for self-reflection, on your own, is key to changing those habits and behaviors that don’t help you evolve as a person. In order to do this, take a few moments out of your day to spend with yourself.
  • Look after yourself. Sleep, exercise, your diet, hobbies, relaxation, and adequate rest are all important.
  • Put yourself to the test. Encourage yourself to grow, do, and be better. Take a chance. Be brave. Take those steps towards doing what you want to do but your fear doesn’t allow you to.
  • Click the reset or shutdown button. Disconnecting from social networks and turning off the mental noise from your day-to-day routine have many psychological benefits. Meditation or a walk in the countryside can prove helpful.
  • Have fun. Self-discovery is a daily process that lasts a lifetime. Enjoying this process of introspection will help you move forward. Just remember that it won’t always be a bed of roses.

“The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself.”

-Thales-

Having a good relationship with yourself is a lifelong journey. If you feel unconditional love for your family or partner, you also need to have it for yourself. Look inside yourself and discover who you really are.

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  • Neff, K.(2016). Sé amable contigo: El arte de la compasión hacia uno mismo.