How to love yourself - what does this mean in psychology, acceptance of your personality


23 May 2021, 14:00

  • What is self love
  • Why doesn't a person love himself?
  • How to learn to love yourself

Self-love is an important internal resource of a person, which is necessary in order to accept oneself, be free in your choice, live the way you want, and not the way others want. What does it mean to love yourself and how to learn to do it?

Why you need to love yourself

Self-love is an important psychological resource, the source of any creative activity and insurance against many problems in life. If a person does not love himself, he may, on a conscious or subconscious level, come to the decision that he does not deserve happiness or is not even worthy of living. He doesn't know what to do with himself. As a result, a self-destruction program is launched in his psyche. Susceptibility to outside influence, self-sabotage, loneliness, bad habits, illnesses of varying severity can be a consequence of the inability to accept and love oneself.

Important! How to accept yourself and truly love is a matter of psychological and physical survival of the individual.

How to learn to accept and love yourself

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Self-love is an entire art. Most training on developing self-love is purely technical. That is, they teach behavior patterns characteristic of people who already love and accept their individuality. Here's what should help you develop self-love:

  1. The desire to recognize your desires and realize them.
  2. Taking compliments and a friendly attitude towards oneself for granted.
  3. The desire to put yourself first in any relationship. Let it be a beloved man or girl, parents or even your own children, it doesn’t matter. Show concern for others only to the extent of your own strengths and capabilities.
  4. Create a positive image of your abilities. Focusing on strengths and small achievements.

In fact, all of the above is already a sign of self-acceptance. But, if in reality a person treats himself poorly, then all his attempts to follow the recommendations described above will give minimal impact or may even lead to the opposite effect. Without a solid foundation in the form of love and respect for one’s personality, it is impossible to feel the boundaries of what is permitted for oneself and others in each specific situation.

Designating and protecting personal boundaries as a manifestation of self-love

So, for example, a person who finds out about his partner’s betrayal will not know what to do: forgive him or break off relations with him. No course of action in this case will help cope with the fact of betrayal until internal harmony is restored.

Important! The right words and actions do not lead to the desired result if they are performed from the wrong psycho-emotional state.

To truly change your attitude towards yourself on a deep level, you need to work in a slightly different direction. Psychology will tell you how to learn to love yourself.


Many people, for some unknown reason, forget about this concept. But loving one's own essence implies having self-respect. After all, it’s not enough to just understand what you’re worth, you need to respect yourself. This is the only way to achieve recognition from others. To force others to treat yourself with due respect, you must first develop the correct attitude towards current events yourself. If a person suffers from self-doubt, it will be very difficult to prove that you deserve the best. The problem lies, first of all, in the fact that you yourself need to believe in the available prospects.

Reasons for lack of self-love

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Psychologists tend to look for the source of any disharmony in the childhood history of their clients. Lack of self-love and respect is no exception. If you rewrite the destructive script laid down in the early period of life, then the problem that exists in the present will disappear.

In childhood, a child, first of all, looks at himself through the eyes of his parents, and his self-perception is formed under their influence. The vast majority of people truly love their children. However, parents are not always able to convey this simple truth to their child.

Trying to prepare the child for the difficulties of life that they themselves encountered once before, they may demonstrate dissatisfaction with certain, in their opinion, dangerous manifestations of his character and behavior. Let disapproval manifest itself only on a non-verbal level - this is enough to sow in the child’s soul the feeling that he is not loved for who he is. In the end, it is easier for a child to conclude that he deserves a bad attitude towards himself than to allow himself to be angry with his parents, whose image has been highly idealized until a certain time.

As socialization progresses, a second factor arises that powerfully influences the ability to respect and accept oneself—compliance with the social roles and images that society assigns to a person. Anything that goes beyond what is accepted is ultimately cruelly rejected.

Imposed ideals

In the modern world, obsessed with the beauty of the body and the race for financial success, answering the question “how to love yourself” is becoming increasingly difficult. When a person fails to live in accordance with externally imposed standards, he most often begins to think that something is wrong with him.

What psychology says about self-love

Loving yourself - what does this mean in psychology? Most people are sure that love depends on the quality of the object, and not on the ability to experience this feeling. They lack the understanding that love is a choice to see things through the lens of respect and appreciation. They think that the main thing is to find a worthy object, and then everything will work by itself. This attitude can be compared to the idea that in order to draw nature well from life, it is enough to find an ideally beautiful landscape. There is no need to take painting lessons.

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Important! No one can teach you how to love yourself in a few minutes. This is something you will have to improve at throughout your life.

In fact, love, like any other activity, can and should be learned. To say that you will love yourself after you change one, two, three things about yourself is wrong. This is non-acceptance of the current self, forming ideals and striving to bring them to life.

Note! Development is endless. For every peak reached, the next one looms. So, if you want, you can always find a reason to be dissatisfied with yourself.

Accepting yourself means treating your shortcomings and weaknesses as something you did not choose and for which you are not to blame. This is a problem that needs to be solved, but not a fault for which you should punish yourself with hatred.

Favourite buisness

Most people lack the opportunity to do what they love in life. Having a favorite activity can reveal the potential of an individual, discover great aspirations that would never be noticed in everyday life. If you have an inspiring activity, then gradually the realization of what you are really worth will surely come. This is an exciting journey that everyone should take. A person's love for himself will help him cope with any obstacles. He will soon discover that he begins to rely on his own strength in everything, no longer relying on the support of others. A favorite activity expands personal boundaries and helps release a large amount of creative energy. The individual feels strong, self-sufficient, capable of many accomplishments. This is a real victory over oneself, which I would like to wish to everyone.

Thus, the ability to love yourself is a real art. Many achievements depend on this important component. Only those who adequately assess their own capabilities are able to fully enjoy all their well-deserved victories.

The difference between love and narcissism and selfishness

Many people do not agree with the idea that one should strive to love oneself, because they confuse this concept with selfishness. In accordance with Christian morality, the idea continues to dominate in our culture that any manifestation of interest in one’s own well-being and happiness is an inherent evil. An egoist is anyone who, instead of directing his will in favor of some external authority, follows his own desires.

Self-love does not exclude caring for others

For S. Freud, self-love was narcissism - the turning of libido (creative energy) towards oneself, which is characteristic of the early stage of human development. For him, self-love excluded love for others, since the more psychic power is directed towards one thing, the less is left for another.

E. From argued that selfishness and self-love are in fact absolutely opposite to each other. A selfish person does not know how to truly love and take care of himself. That’s why he always strives to grab a bigger piece, trying to somehow fill the emptiness inside. His resources are so depleted that he involuntarily directs all available forces to maintain his “I”; the rest simply have nothing left.

Note! If a person does not love himself, he is generally incapable of loving anyone fruitfully.

The narcissistic personality constantly feels the need for praise and superiority over others. A person who loves himself and is so happy therefore does not need either comparison in his favor or general attention to his person. He doesn’t try to make anyone fall in love with him in order to increase his self-esteem.

Faith in your prospects

The most important thing is to have a goal to which you can go, despite all sorts of obstacles. You need to believe in the opportunities available, don’t give up, don’t give up. For a woman, self-love is especially important. Her self-esteem depends on how attractive she feels. A girl feels vulnerable much more often than a guy.

Believing in your prospects can open up many possibilities and help you focus on completing an important task. Love for your own personality, if it is truly present in life, will help you focus on self-realization without being distracted by any worries. Believing can sometimes be very difficult, especially when not everything works out and you are constantly plagued by failures. Here it is important to be able not to break down, but to rely on healthy self-esteem.

What gives you a healthy sense of self-love?

Only when a person values ​​and respects himself does he gain true psychological maturity and independence. It is very difficult to manipulate such an individual, to force him to do something against his will. He, first of all, trusts his own feelings and his own vision of situations. He never blindly follows public opinion and ideals imposed from outside, but seeks his own unique path in life.

Someone who truly understands what it means to love oneself will not allow oneself to be mistreated or maintain a toxic relationship. At the same time, such a person is interested in the well-being of others. Can perform a deeply altruistic act without attaching great importance to this event and without feeling the need for compensation for the kindness and self-sacrifice shown.

People who know how to love themselves are much more pleasant to communicate with than individuals who are prone to self-deprecation. People often fall in love with them and rarely leave them. The desires and weaknesses of “selfish people” are taken for granted and do not cause resistance. Moreover, usually those around them happily meet them halfway and try to help them realize their plans.

Self-love is contagious

There are many reasons why you should show yourself love. Who in their right mind would give up all these privileges? Only those who don't know how to make themselves really love themselves.

Embracing individuality

This means that the person does not seek to criticize himself for any mistakes or mistakes. No matter what happens, it is important to know that life goes on. It does not stop, but goes on as usual, throwing us new surprises and challenges. When we love ourselves, it allows us to accept any difficulties and overcome them with pride.

Any strong person will no doubt confirm this idea. Understanding your individuality is impossible without acceptance. As long as we strive to criticize ourselves, we will not be able to reach absolute peaks in development. Self-love makes you move on after serious defeats. It is then that the individual does not give up and stops at nothing.

Advice from psychologists

Trying to increase self-esteem and exalt your individuality is a difficult path. Just as you shouldn’t belittle yourself, you shouldn’t artificially praise yourself. A psychologist's advice on how to love yourself comes down to something else.

Focus on feelings

Falling in love with yourself means developing the skill of responding to any external situation and manifestations of your nature with love. Attentiveness to your feelings is the key to success in this matter, because any negative emotions (be it irritation, guilt or anger) are the result of a view of life without love.

Loving is a choice

Note! There is no need to suppress negative feelings. You just need to be very skeptical about the rationality of the thoughts that cause them.

Example. 1. “I yelled at the child, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. We need to talk to him and somehow fix what happened” and 2. “I yelled at the child. I'm a terrible mother." The first thoughts evoke slight sadness and inspire hope for an improvement in the situation. The second chain of reasoning can cause feelings of bitterness, shame, and anger at oneself. And no wonder - calling someone a terrible parent based on an isolated fact from life is a gross generalization and exaggeration.

Focus on the positive aspects of life

There are beliefs and evaluation systems that, when activated, do not allow one to enter a state of love and acceptance. Therefore, instead of being tormented by the question of how to begin to truly love yourself, you can begin to focus on any object that easily evokes a feeling of gratitude. For example, on a pet, the attractive features of friends, the beauty of nature. From this state it is easier to tune in to a positive attitude towards things that usually cause dissatisfaction and irritation. It also becomes easier to look at yourself with respect and love.

Develop the skill of noticing the best in the world

Putting intentions before results

You need to determine your level of importance by what goals are being pursued, and not by the results of your actions. So, a person who dedicated his life to finding a cure for cancer already deserves respect. It doesn't matter whether he ever achieves this goal or not.

Get rid of illusory self-identification

People often define themselves by the roles they play in society. This negatively affects their ability to accept their self. For example, where should a woman begin to develop self-love? Often, advice for the fair half of humanity on how to accept yourself begins with recommendations to love your body with all its shortcomings. However, such instructions do not solve the root of the problem - illusory self-identification with another ideal imposed by society - the stereotypical gender role of “beauty”.

It is enough to understand that you are more than a physical shell, and you can bring something good into this world, not only pleasing someone’s eyes, and the problem of not loving your body, and through it, not loving yourself, disappears by itself.

Additional Information. The psychological technique “Who am I?” will help you love yourself. You need to take a blank sheet of paper and start listing all the answers you receive to the question “Who am I?” Essentially, he has no answer. All options for defining oneself by profession, hobbies, gender, social and family status, biological species do not reveal the essence of the being that each individual is. By and large, all this is just the surface of the iceberg and cannot serve as a basis for determining the level of its value. Each individual is a unique and priceless unique manifestation of Life.

Everyone is much bigger and more important than they think

Self-love should be based on the value of this feeling itself. This is the wisest and most reliable way to build a happy relationship with yourself.

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