6 Ways To Increase Your Self-Love

Nana Osei Bonsu/ September 29, 2018/ Relationship & Dating Tips/ 0 comments

Knowing how to increase your Self-love is very important. This is because Self-love can help improve your life and relationship. A lot of people develop self-hate at early stages of their life. Believe it or not, not having enough self-love can negatively affects your relationship or can force you to settle in an unhappy relationship.

What is self-love?

Self-love as a concept does not lend itself to a single definition; some people wrongly equate self-love to selfishness, egotism, conceit. Self-love is:

  1. Accepting yourself no matter your current predicament.
  2. Loving yourself enough to recognize the warning signs of bad relationships.
  3. Forgiving yourself for making mistakes and learning from them.
  4. Learning from the past, and then letting go of the past.
  5. Focusing on improving your relationship with yourself so that you can have stable and healthy relationships with others.
  6. Accepting and believing that you are good for yourself and others.
  7. Accepting and believing that you deserve a better relationship.
  8. Knowing that you don’t need acceptance and approval from other people in order to feel loved and worthy.

These true life stories from Pawlik-Kienlen and Pia Scade will help you understand why you need to increase your self-love:

A story from Pawlik Kienlen:

“It makes me sad to say that I hated myself for all of my childhood and most of my adult life. I grew up without a dad, I was in and out of foster homes, and my mom was repeatedly hospitalized because she was schizophrenic. I was overweight and struggled with bulimia. I stole stuff. I made friends easily, but was always moving so I never enjoyed long-term friendships.

I always felt like I was no good, and I definitely didn’t believe I deserved a relationship. I had no idea what marriage was like.”

Another story from Pia Scade :

“The moon was shining brightly that balmy summer’s night in the park. He’d arranged a meeting to ‘sort things out.’ Little did he know I’d finally built the courage to walk away. And that’s exactly what I did.

I was devastated but mostly relieved. Finally, I was free. For the longest time I’d craved his love. I needed his approval. I wanted the happy ending so badly. Why? I meant something when I was with him. I felt worthy and kind of secure. But I wasn’t. I’d given away all of my power. I was dependent on him to feel love. And he knew it, so he treated me however he wanted. For him it was a game, and every problem in our relationship somehow always came back to me.

I was needy, insecure, and completely out of touch with whom I was and what I really wanted. I’d sacrificed everything about me in an effort to try to please another being. He told me I wasn’t sexy enough, so I read book after book about how to be more feminine and alluring. He told me I was too quiet, so I went out of my way to be outgoing, happy, and bubbly. He told me I took up too much time, so I made other plans and disappeared for a while.

He could have told me anything and I would have accepted it. There wasn’t an ounce of self-respect in my bones. My misery was born from this very fact. I’d let this happen for so long. It wasn’t entirely his fault. My neediness and lack of self-worth had created and perpetuated our problems. But for some reason that I can’t explain, that evening a spark had been ignited and I’d finally had enough. I’d reached my pain threshold. I was completely done with feeling miserable, doubting myself, and feeling disrespected. I was so over letting someone else control my decisions, emotions, and self-worth.

I’d begun to love myself a little more than I loved him. A butterfly was emerging from the cold, dark cocoon I’d been hiding in my whole life. It felt new and scary but ridiculously empowering and liberating.”

Ways To Increase Your Self-Love

The following are 5 ways to increase your self-love and self-esteem:

  1. Accept and Respect Yourself

Accepting yourself is the first step in developing self-love. In relationships, people with self-hate problems or inadequate self-love tend to rely on their friends and partner for acceptance and respect. But the truth is you can’t expect your partner or other people to accept and respect you when you don’t accept and respect yourself first. Get comfortable with your weaknesses, shortcomings or flaws.

Getting comfortable with yourself doesn’t mean that you should automatically consider yourself as perfect. As human as you are, you can never be perfect. Realize that you are not everything you want to be today and that’s perfectly okay. Focus on your own life & growth instead of studying the social media life of your friends, and waiting for other people to accept you.

  1. Forgive

Forgiving others is really hard. Even when you have been able to forgive, the experience will be difficult to be totally forgotten. It might take you some time to forgive, but once you do, it will help heal your wounds. When you have done something wrong in your relationship, try to forgive yourself. You can’t expect your partner or friends to forgive you when you can’t forgive yourself. Learn to forgive people who wrong you as well. Only when you forgive yourself can you break free from the prison of self-hatred and low Self-esteem.

  1. Practice Self-Care

Get enough rest and sleep to revitalise yourself; exercise or attend yoga class; eat healthy and balance diet; embark on vacation. In a relationship, you should care for yourself and do nice little things for yourself. Just do for yourself the things that make you feel loved, pretty and good looking, without necessarily relying on your partner or friends for them.

  1. Trust Yourself

Trust is very important in every relationship; it is a key to a successful relationship. Know that it is not healthy to trust others over your own self. People filled with self-hatred doubt themselves a lot – I grew up doubting myself too. The only person who knows what is best for you is yourself. Do not ignore your inner voice that talks to you, trust it and trust your gut.

  1. Set Boundaries for Yourself

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Set boundaries for yourself by saying no to activities or relationships that harm you physically, emotionally or psychologically. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are treated with respect by those around you (including your spouse or partner). Do not be a doormat to anyone else, not even your spouse. The boundaries you set will determine how people around you will treat you.

  1. Appreciate Yourself and Your Body

Stop focusing on what you perceive to be ‘wrong’ with you because everyone has unique body features. We all can’t look same; neither can we all have big butt or small butt or whatever! What you need to do is to focus on all of the amazing things you have and can offer.  The more you have bad perception about your body, the more you will develop self-hatred for your body and physical appearance. Always remember, Love your body, have fun with it and take care of it.

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About Nana Osei Bonsu

Nana Bonsu is an Educationist who enjoys writing about relationships and romance. He also likes offering advice to people with relationship difficulties and hurdles.

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