“Love yourself!” This common advice, like a magic pill for all troubles, remains an abstract category for many.
It is annoying, because it is perceived as just another “hang in there” or “take care of yourself.” It is often said to almost everyone, whether you are a schoolboy who does his homework every day, a student who is constantly busy with lectures, a paper writer who helps the same students with writing term papers, or an office worker who works every day. The fact is that every day we face challenges that are hard for us to get through. And such phrases look like a mockery to a person who is already having a hard time.
A lot of problems – because one is not solved
– I went to a psychologist because a lot of problems piled up – says pretty, but tired woman. – I had to decide how to continue to live with her husband, to forgive him for cheating. I also had a problem with my son, he became disobedient and could not do his homework. Besides, I had a quarrel with my mother. And the psychologist advised me to work on myself. Like, love yourself and everything will get better. Yeah, now I’m gonna drop everything and start loving myself. Good thing I didn’t take any money.
And although the woman kept asking why she was so unlucky, they say she did everything right, was a good wife and mother, and her situation is fairly typical. For those who are used to neglecting their own interests while living the needs of others.
When you say that to our selfless mothers, grandmothers, and reliable employees, they honestly do not understand where they went wrong. We wanted what was best. But the only question – better for whom and for whom. As it turned out – definitely not for them.
I don’t want to and I won’t.
Many people, especially those with self-sacrificing tendencies, lacking self-confidence, associate self-love with egoism and do not coincide with their worldview. Let me point out right away that loving oneself and being selfish or narcissistic are different things.
Selfishness is based on excessive anxiety and fear of being rejected by others. After all, deep down, such a person is sure that there is nothing to love him for. However, he badly needs recognition, so he tries external effects to emphasize his own importance.
Almost all of us have been taught to be obedient (convenient for others), to help – usually against our wishes. And usually shamed if we didn’t comply with adult demands just because we just didn’t want to.
For example, the standard situation when you did not do your homework because you played soccer or did not sit with your little sister but went to the movies was perceived by parents as a crime and was severely punished. As a result children understood that to do what you want is a shame. Moreover, even to want something nice only for themselves is somehow bad.
But if you always try, endure, prove something to someone – they praise you, it means they love you. So you are good. That is, in order to be loved, you have to do not what you want, but what they want you to do.
Remember what you want.
Now I see where the roots of the fears and complexes of those who are used to love – suffering, love must be achieved, and for happiness – struggle.
It would seem that you can live your life, and many people live as if their own life, not thinking about their own needs. But the muffled desires, unrealized interests remind us of ourselves as irritations, neuroses, a feeling that not to live, but a waste of time.
That’s what you need to get back to yourself, or – to love yourself. It’s not as hard as it seems. The main principle – when making any decision: from what to eat for breakfast, what dress to wear, to where and with whom to live, be guided solely by your own desires.
At first, this may cause internal resistance. After all, you are used to living for someone and unlearned to want something. Moreover, oddly enough, it was more comfortable for you, as it allowed you to avoid responsibility for day-to-day decisions. You did it because your husband wanted you to, because it was better for your parents. So you are just an executor of someone else’s will.
“I didn’t know you could do that.”
The client who complained about life, looking at it from a different angle, suddenly realized. She had long been the one who did not want to live as she did before, but she was afraid to make the decision herself. That is why she “took hold” of her husband’s adultery, the fact of which, by the way, had not been proven. And she came to see a psychologist to get him to decide what she should do.
As a result, she and her husband temporarily separated. Solving the problems in family life, the woman was distracted from overprotective custody of her son. And he, realizing that no one would do his homework for him, as was the custom, began to learn for himself. Feeling that his mother had no time for him, he even cleaned his room and did the dishes.
“Forgetting” the resentment, the client simply called her mother, who, by the way, was in conflict with her daughter because, in her opinion, she had abandoned her career ambitions and devoted herself to her family. Contrary to expectations, her mother supported her daughter and suggested that her grandson stay with her for a while.
Alone on top?
Often people who decide to “love themselves” ask if their loved ones, relatives, and friends will turn away from them, so they become self-obsessed. And, they wonder if they won’t be left alone on top of their own perfection.
Anxiety about what others will think is just an indication that the person does not yet love himself. He is still worried about how his decision will be perceived, about whether he will hurt someone, whether he will offend someone. As well as about the habit of “earning” a good attitude toward oneself, paying for it with words and deeds.
Frankly speaking, there will be fewer people in your orbit. Those who are used to taking advantage of your insecurity will depart. Those for whom you were a handy guardian of cats and pet flowers, a free driver, a source of interest-free long-term credit and a vest. But why do you need them?
By learning to listen to yourself, you won’t have to deal with those who will criticize you, insult you, just to avoid loneliness. You no longer want to suffer for love. Whether a relationship brings you joy is what will be the main criterion.
To love means first of all to accept yourself and not to seek constant confirmation of whether you are smart enough, beautiful enough, interesting enough. When you no longer need to prove their right to be and seek approval in the eyes of outsiders, you yourself have significantly narrowed the circle of communication. You will be interested even with myself. And the choice of friends, like everything in life, you will now.