Table of contents:
- What is self-esteem?
- What does it mean to love yourself?
- Why are low self-esteem and self-loathing dangerous?
- How to love yourself and increase your self-esteem?
2023 Author: Katelyn Chandter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 13:08
"Just start loving and appreciating yourself!" - so many answer you when you share your experiences with them? Of course, this is what ordinary people say, who do not have serious deep problems. How do they know how hard it is to live with complexes, and even more so to try to cope with them? That is why you should not ask others how to love yourself and increase self-esteem. It is better to carefully study the concepts of "self-esteem" and "self-love" and try to follow the psychological recommendations on your own.
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is an assessment of oneself (one's own merits, weaknesses, achievements, opportunities, feelings). It is with her help that a person makes decisions, makes new acquaintances, and does his job.
There are several types of self-esteem:
An adequate level of self-esteem, first of all, allows you to reasonably evaluate your own achievements and mistakes. It also helps maintain self-confidence, understand your desires, and predict the future. A person with adequate self-esteem knows how to reasonably assess their talents and abilities. If necessary, he can easily correct his behavior, develop missing skills. Adequate self-esteem allows you to set achievable goals. Also, a self-confident person listens to others, treats criticism normally and draws his own conclusions based on it.
Excessively high self-esteem is not about self-confidence, but about unhealthy self-confidence. It does not allow you to adequately assess your strengths and weaknesses. Even so: the shortcomings are stubbornly denied, as if they do not exist at all, and the merits are too exaggerated. A self-confident person does not perceive criticism and other people's opinions badly: he is offended, irritated, angry, and emotionally reacts to it. And in general, his behavior is repulsive: demonstrative and arrogant. High self-esteem also affects life goals. They are often unattainable or lacking in strength.
And finally, low (low) self-esteem. It affects the development of self-doubt. This is no better than self-confidence. It is difficult for a person with low self-esteem to make decisions, take risks, and achieve goals. And in general, he does not believe that he will achieve anything in life. In a work collective, an insecure person behaves overly modestly and tries to avoid any responsibility. At the same time, he badly needs support and depends on the opinions of others. It is also difficult to communicate with an insecure person, as well as with a self-confident one: he is sensitive to criticism, resentful and overly demanding of others. In addition, low self-esteem does not allow him to evaluate his own victories, and he is constantly immersed in thoughts about his mistakes.
This is the case with different types of self-esteem. And can it change during life? Yes. For example, changes in men's self-esteem are influenced by factors:
- People around;
- relationships with women;
- the level of learning;
- financial condition;
- status in society;
- professional achievements;
- predominance of victories or failures.
Naturally, the rule works here: the more favorable a man's life, the more adequate his self-esteem. If most of life's circumstances are not going well, his self-esteem may decrease.
How is low self-esteem formed?
Of course, self-esteem begins to form in childhood. A child is not born with her, he is like a blank slate. The first people who help the baby in self-awareness are the parents (or guardians). It is they who give birth to the first shoots of adequate or inadequate self-esteem in him. Inadequately low is formed in a child if relatives:
- they evaluate not actions, but the personality as a whole ("You are bad!");
- compare the baby with peers and is always not in his favor;
- harshly criticize him and hardly praise him;
- for any reason, they impose a sense of guilt and shame on him;
- insult, humiliate, beat him;
- don't believe in him;
- make all decisions for him;
- love him solely for his success;
- not sure of themselves;
- overprotect the child or, conversely, pay little attention to him.
Well, and, of course, in addition to the closest and most significant adults, other people (peers, teachers, other relatives) also influence the formation of low self-esteem.
By the way, it also happens that adults, on the contrary, take great care of the child. They literally love and praise him. And with this type of upbringing, the child sometimes also develops low self-esteem. How does this happen?
The fact is that such parents / guardians instill in their child that he is "the best" or "best of all." The child does not yet know how to think critically, which means that he fully believes these words. And so, when he grows up, and begins to analyze the world and those around him, he comes to the conclusion that he is not the best. That he is not able to do everything. Not everything knows everything. In other words, he is faced with a mismatch between expectations and reality. How does he feel?
First, disappointment in oneself, people, and the world. Secondly, anger at yourself, which can pour out on others. Thirdly, the resentment (including the parents who "deceived" him so). Hence, sometimes the motivation to do anything at all disappears, "hands down". So we can safely say that in education everything is good in moderation.
What is "self-esteem", what happens, and how it is formed you now understand. What about self-love? What does this mean?
What does it mean to love yourself?
Self-love is, first of all, self-acceptance with all the pluses and minuses. "To love yourself" means:
1. Take all your sides as they are
There are no "good" and "bad" qualities. When a person loves himself, he understands where he is weak and where he is strong. And he takes it for granted. However, accepting oneself as it is does not mean a stop in development.
2. Take care of yourself
What does this include? Taking care of health, nutrition, appearance, comfort, well-being. A person who loves himself listens to his desires and needs. He also monitors his habits, does not harm himself.
3. Forgive yourself for your mistakes
All people make mistakes, fail. Loving yourself means forgiving yourself and moving on. And here we are not talking about the fact that you can do whatever you want, have no conscience and not feel guilty for wrongdoing. It is necessary to correct the deed, but a person who loves himself does not get stuck in a state of "guilt."
4. Support yourself
The one who loves himself has the skill of self-support. This skill is based on developed empathy, i.e. ability to empathize.
5. Develop your strengths
It is very difficult to be completely developed from all sides. But it is really possible to engage in the development of the strongest qualities in oneself. He who loves himself knows that he is doing better and works in this direction.
Important: “self-love” should not be confused with selfishness, egocentrism or narcissism. These are completely different concepts. When a man truly loves himself, he does not consider himself "the center of the universe" and does not treat others as inferior beings. On the contrary, he lives in harmony with himself and the world, does not harm anyone, and, if possible, helps and motivates.
So, you have become familiar with the concept of "self-love". Now look what will happen if you “forget” on the inner world and do not begin to work on yourself, love yourself and increase self-esteem.
Why are low self-esteem and self-loathing dangerous?
Self-loathing and low self-esteem affects all areas of life. How a person works, interacts with others, builds relationships, looks … In a word, how he lives. Naturally, with insufficient self-confidence, anyone will have problems here and there.
It is difficult for a man with a complex to move up the career ladder, to have strong love relationships with women, to defend his views, even to look good. Of course, such a life is definitely not a happy and fulfilling one. Therefore, it is highly likely that one day he will fall into a depression, start drinking, taking drugs, or plunge into some kind of addiction. And if you continue to do nothing, you can earn a serious mental disorder. That is why it is so important to know how to love yourself and increase your self-esteem. Psychological recommendations have been made especially for you.
How to love yourself and increase your self-esteem?
First, accept without any analysis the fact that you are already a person with your strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures, problems, fears, desires and needs. Allow yourself to experience the entire palette of feelings. Allow yourself to change. Secondly, you need to tune in to a long work on yourself. Developing self-love and increasing self-esteem is not easy and hard work.
How to love yourself?
Developing self-love is the first step to gaining normal self-esteem. Therefore, the tips are voluminous and detailed:
1. Start by looking for a reason
Think carefully, what caused you to dislike yourself? When did it happen? Most likely, the roots of your self-rejection go, as always, from childhood. But specifics are needed here. Maybe your parents hurt you? Or peers? Perhaps the educators or teachers were belittling? Or maybe unrequited love became the starting point? This is an extremely important step, because without understanding the reason, it is impossible to love yourself.
2. Let go of past grudges
This point is inextricably linked with the first. You say, why would you suddenly forgive those who hurt you? It's simple: to build a happy present, you need to say goodbye to the burden of the past. Of course, it is not necessary to contact the offenders in order to make peace with them or even begin to communicate. The main thing is to forgive them within yourself. Learn to perceive past negativity as an important life experience.
3. Work on accepting yourself
Write on a piece of paper everything that you like and dislike about yourself. Try to find something good in your weaknesses. Say thank you for the mistakes you made, because thanks to them you become wiser. Accept the fact that you don't love yourself. As paradoxical as it may sound. It is after this step that you will truly understand how to love yourself and increase your self-esteem.
4. Develop self-sufficiency
Do you think that no one has ever loved you, and that is why you, too, will not be able to love yourself? You're wrong. Now you are an adult, and your own parent. And begging for love from others is a humiliating occupation. In addition, the opposite mechanism works here: they love only those who treat themselves well. Everything else is not love, but a manifestation of pity or dependence.
5. Analyze your desires
It is quite difficult for people who do not love themselves to realize their true desires. They often do something because "it is necessary" or "I was told to do so." Where are your real desires? Try to answer this question. Then, for the first time, do what only you want.
6. Stop shaming and blaming yourself
If in childhood you were often shamed or accused of “all sins,” then even now you experience these feelings about and without. In general, getting rid of them is not so easy. However, you can learn to keep track of them and tell yourself “stop” if they arise in inappropriate situations. Also try at the end of the day to write down all the events that resulted in shame and guilt. This will help you see which situations trigger these feelings.
7. Stop comparing yourself to others
What is the use of the fact that you consider yourself worse than some Sergei? Can anyone be like you in everything? Do you and the other person "start" into this life with the same conditions? Remember that you are as individual as everyone in this world. And sense in comparison with Seryozha, Petya, Vanya, etc. no. You are different, you had different childhood, adolescence, and growing up. You've made different mistakes. So your opportunities are completely non-identical. When you come to this understanding, you will not care who has what kind of car, apartment, job. You will be important to yourself, and disappointment with envy will bother you much less.
8. Take care of your health
Caring for health is leading a healthy lifestyle, first of all. Give up all bad habits: exclude too fatty foods from the diet, stop smoking, drinking energy drinks or alcohol in large quantities. In other words, get your body in order first. Also, do not give up going to the doctor if something is sick. Perhaps you were taught that men should endure pain, and "everything will pass by itself." Believe me, it won't. Sooner or later, indifference to your body will make itself felt in the form of chronic diseases.
9. Try not to judge yourself and others
If you have a habit of judging yourself or others, it's time to get rid of it. Grunting takes up a lot of energy that you could spend on something useful. No matter what bad things happen in the world and around you, judgments alone will not change anything. Therefore, remember: either you grumble and waste time, or you silently act and achieve success.
10. Learn to defend your boundaries
Healthy psychological boundaries are inherent only in those who love themselves. Therefore, you must learn to defend them. How to do it? First, tell people directly what you don't like about yourself. Do not tolerate, all the same, the negative accumulates, and in the end you yourself suffer. Perhaps someone will leave your life after that. That's where they are dear, right? By the time you love yourself, only worthy people will be next to you.
11. Give up the role of "victim"
In other words, forbid yourself to whine and complain about a hard life. It's not about stopping sharing your experiences with someone, no. Asking for help and support is a normal manifestation of self-love. However, a person prone to whining has a different goal - to relieve himself of responsibility for his own life. Understand one important thing: by pretending to be a victim of circumstance, you show dislike for yourself.
12. Become the author of your life
If you regularly run away from responsibility for your actions and words, then you are not the author of your life. After all, being one means being responsible for all your actions and changing behavior, if required. To learn to be responsible, try the exercise. Take a paper, write down a few unpleasant events in your life. Then ask yourself, "What was my contribution to these situations?" The purpose of the exercise is to make you understand that you yourself create and develop some negative situations. After this realization, it will be easier for you to control your life, because you can change something.
13. Think about your merits
Write down all your positive qualities. Even if it seems to you that they are not there, strain, immerse yourself in memories. Just keep in mind that there should be at least 10. And better - more. When you finish the list, reread it. You will be surprised how worthy and capable you really are. So every time an “evil inner critic” comes to you, remember your cool features. Over time, there will be no trace of destructive self-criticism.
So you've learned how to love yourself. Now feel free to start exploring the recommendations for improving your self-esteem.
How to improve self-esteem?
Having fallen in love with yourself, you will already become more confident in yourself. Well, then you need to follow the tips:
- Don't try to be "like everyone else."
- Assess yourself yourself.
- Don't let anyone manipulate you.
- Come up with an image for yourself.
- Praise yourself for a good result.
- Don't shrug off compliments.
- Do what is best for you.
- Keep a victory diary.
- Go to the goal in small steps.
- Get involved in physical development.
- Upgrade your intelligence.
- Improve your professional skills.
- Make acquaintances with positive and successful people.
- Do not squeeze emotions in yourself, learn to show them.
The recommendations seem simple, but you will have to make a lot of efforts to step by step your self-esteem becomes more stable and adequate.
So, as you can see, there are more than enough tips on how to love yourself and increase your self-esteem. Try to work on yourself every day to reinforce many good habits. And remember, if you feel that you cannot help yourself, contact a professional psychologist / psychotherapist. And one more thing: it may take you several years to love yourself and become a confident person. But in no case give up, a happy life is worth it.