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Liking Yourself Before Loving Others

Updated on October 29, 2013
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Do you feel like you just aren't good enough to have a real relationship with someone who makes you happy? Like no one knows where you're coming from, and that you're always at odds with your partner?

Being young and in love is a natural part of growing up. It satisfies an urge that builds in many of us: to be loved. But how can we experience love if we don't give it to ourselves first?

This may be one of the most difficult things you'll be asked of in your life, but if you push onward and ignore that voice in your head that says you are wrong, you can do it. You can love yourself.

Have you ever said "I love you" in a relationship?

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How Can Someone Really Love Him/Herself?

Despite societal norms, it is perfectly okay to love oneself without being considered narcissistic. What exactly is narcissism? The word first originated from Greek mythology, after a man named Narcissus fell deeply in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Merriam-Webster defines narcissism as "love of or sexual desire for one's own body." But as one can love another without sexual desire, or perhaps even obsession, you too can love yourself.

Imagine yourself as another person. This person is someone you are going to be near you for the rest of your life, What character traits do you notice first about this person? Is she shy, or outgoing? Does he like to make people laugh, or is he serious? Make a list of the things you see in this person foremost. Write down traits that are noticeable, and not things you wish to see in yourself.

Traits to Look For: outgoing, shy, funny, serious, inquisitive, happy-go-lucky, neurotic, envious, excitable, intelligent, slow-to-learn, neat, messy, etc.

After you get a few traits down, think about traits you want yourself to have. Do any of these traits mirror the ones you already wrote down? How many are shared traits? If there are very few, consider working toward becoming a person you like. Don't consider this "changing who you are," but bettering yourself to become happier. You are not a bad person. There is always room for improvement.

Consider a well-rounded individual you know. He/She may seem perpetually happy with his/her life. This person may be on a sports team, or he might have a hobby. He might get decent grades (but not necessarily great, even), and he might have a great girlfriend. He is always smiling. Why? He most likely is comfortable with himself. He figured out what he likes to do in his spare time, and he doesn't allow other's opinions of him to influence his life.

You can love yourself. All you really have to do is accept who you are. This may be the most difficult hurdle to jump over, but once you do this, you will feel better.

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How Do You Accept Yourself?

Have you ever had a friend who wronged you? They might have said something you didn't agree with or talked about you behind your back. When you resolved this conflict, did you remain friends?

Accepting others' flaws is a part of friendship, but it also applies to your own flaws. Say, for example, you are really nervous when you speak in front of a crowd. This might bother you during class, but you think nothing of it when your best friend has the same problem. She starts shaking and gets a dry mouth, and when she comes back to her seat, you comfort her, saying, "Don't worry. Nobody noticed you were nervous."

But when it is your turn, you beat yourself up on the inside for stumbling over your own words. Instead of criticizing yourself, think of yourself as a friend. Tell this friend exactly what you told your best friend. It's okay to make mistakes. It's okay to be who you are.

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What Makes You Unique?

Well? Are you especially good at puzzles? Do you like learning about squids? The next time you find something you really like to do, don't mock yourself for it! Embrace it! Don't fall back on the internet or texting your friends. Do something different the next time you get bored. To love yourself, you need something to love. Be the person you want to be.

When you like someone, you always notice their passions first. Does he play a lot of computer games? Does she play soccer? What do you do? If you can't answer that, it's time to get a hobby. And if you can, you're getting closer to loving yourself.

How Will I Know I Love Myself?

Life is not a one-way street. There is no map to happiness, and there are plenty of times when you won't be sure you're on the right track. As long as you don't allow yourself to wallow in self-pity, but instead, keep on moving forward, you'll be on the right track toward being the person you can love and allowing yourself to be loved.

If you are feeling discouraged or depressed, never keep it quiet. Tell your parents. If they don't listen, go to a guidance counselor. He/She will help you get help. You don't have to suffer alone. Many teenagers and pre-teens suffer from depression, and you'll always benefit from the help of a professional.

When you love yourself, you allow yourself to be loved. Love is a wonderful thing in its purest form. and everyone deserves to feel it. Go out and do something that makes you happy, and if you happen to walk by someone that makes you smile, talk to them and don't be afraid. We live only one life as this person, and we should never let it be filled with unhappiness. We all deserve more.

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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 4 years ago

      Excellent advice! Voted up and useful!

      Know yourself, Love yourself, and Trust yourself!