Self-Love: What it is and what it isn’t.

iStock_000010927682XSmallSelf-love is an important aspect of healthy self-esteem.  How do you define it if you do not understand what it really means?  Self-love is about being confident, respecting yourself, knowing who you are and having high self-esteem.  So now that I have addressed a very broad meaning of what self-love is, I will address what it isn’t.  (None of these in this list below are any more important than any other.)

Is self-love selfish?    NO!!!!!  It is not selfish.  Many people tend to think that loving themselves is about being self-absorbed.  We, for the most part, classify anything to do with our own thoughts and opinions as selfish.  If it is your life, then shouldn’t you love yourself?  Shouldn’t you want to follow your own path without someone else’s personal input?  It is great to have trusted friends and/or a life partner that are able to give you advice and point out ways in which you might possibly screw up, however your wants and needs have to come first.  Putting yourself first is a sign that you do in fact love yourself.

  1. Is self-love a trait of a narcissistic personality?  NO!!!!!! Narcissism is an excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance.  If you love the way you look then great, however that is not what self-love is about.  Self-love goes much deeper than just appearance.  You have to love every part of the reflection in the mirror, even the parts you cannot see in.
  2. Does self-love mean you think you are better than everyone else?  NO!!!!!!  Most of the reasons that a person might put another person down that actually does love themselves are based off of insecurities.  It is no wonder that self-love is associated with narcissism and an air of seeming above everyone else.  A common statement of “She’s so into herself” from an onlooker is really about that onlooker feeling insecure and lashing out. Does self-love mean that people will not like you?  NO!!!!!!   If you treat yourself with respect and kindness there is a much higher chance that you will treat other people the same way.  If you are arrogant, manipulative or mean – you are right people generally won’t like you as much.  If you respect yourself, you will be well liked for the right reasons.

After reading all of that, what is your opinion on self-love?  Putting yourself first, knowing what you want and going after it, and keeping a level head are must-haves if you really want to be happy.  You will make some people unhappy by putting yourself first, however those people most likely have never put you first and they are reacting to the sudden change of position of your priorities.  The nice part is that the people that really do love you will support your priorities even if they are not the center of them.