It’s often said the hardest person you’ll ever have to love is yourself. How is it that some people seem so adept at valuing themselves, while the rest of us struggle daily with self-worth? Below are some invaluable lessons to learn from people who love themselves.
1. DO make time for yourself.
People who value themselves also value their personal time, and always make space in their schedules for “me” time, time that is solely dedicated to yourself and personal pleasures. Whether it’s a long walk in the park, a matinee movie, or a cup of coffee and a good read, loving yourself means loving your own company.
2. DO say no.
People who love themselves learn how to say “no” to unreasonable demands on their time and well-being. They learn to be selective about the friends and partners they surround themselves with and know to walk away when they suspect they’re being taken for granted or treated unfairly.
3. DO treat yourself the way you’d like to be treated.
When you respect yourself, you respect others, plain and simple. People who value themselves don’t need to tear others down or be overly critical. They show support and positive encouragement for the people in their lives, and never see one person’s success as a threat to their own.
4. DO stand by your feelings.
When you love yourself, you don’t hide from your emotions and express them with honesty and integrity. When a partner or friend does something to hurt you, you tell them so, rather than conceal your feelings for the sake of pride or fear of being rejected.
5. DO learn to trust.
People who love themselves understand that trust is an integral part of any relationship, and allow them to trust and be trusted. Of course, they’re afraid of being hurt but know that they can stand strong no matter what comes to pass.
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6. DON’T overindulge.
Treating yourself to live’s little pleasures from time to time is one of the best qualities of self-love, and proof that you are worth the pampering. However, this doesn’t mean indulging in unnecessary or potentially dangerous excesses. Loving yourself means loving what’s good for you, and enjoying everything in moderation.
7. DON’T stop learning.
People who love themselves never stop learning, whether it’s a new skill or hobby or simply a subject they are unfamiliar with and want to know more about. “These are the kinds of people who have fulfilling careers but still want to go out and get their yoga teaching credentials”.
8. DON’T break the bank.
Most of us equate self-love with a certain monetary value: a costly vacation, a closet full of designer brands, routine trips to the spa and salon, etc. Just as unhealthy excesses can harm your well-being, constantly putting a strain on your finances is the antithesis of self-care and respect. Margaret Paul writes for MindBodyGreen: “Loving yourself means that you do all you can to make yourself safe financially — living within your means and not getting into unnecessary debt.
9. DON’T act selfishly towards others.
Loving yourself shouldn’t come at the expense of someone else’s time and values. People who love themselves know that taking care of themselves doesn’t mean everyone else has to drop everything and make an exception.
10. DON’T forget to help others.
People who love themselves understand that love is a cyclical thing, and something to be shared. Volunteering at local shelters, elderly homes, schools, or even helping out with community events not only helps others but can make you feel truly good about the person you are.
11. DO own your life.
Loving yourself means owning the life you lead and taking responsibility for the choices you make. It means apologizing when you know you’ve made a mistake, and actively working to improve the areas of your life that may have influenced that misstep.
Nobody is perfect, and loving yourself doesn’t mean setting unrealistic standards for yourself or, conversely, letting yourself off the hook altogether. Koulla Raouna of Career Addict notes, “People who love themselves have learned how to make the most of every day by taking responsibility for their actions and the decisions they make over the course of their lives. They realize that no one else is accountable for making their dreams come true, except for themselves.” She adds, “Because of that, they choose to enjoy the present and take full ownership of their lives.