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How to have self love?

(32 Posts)
adrianmolesmole Sun 17-Jan-21 14:27:39

I don't know where to put this thread so mods please move if it's in the wrong section.

I don't even know where to begin with this, but realise that I've never loved myself and that's why I act the way I do. I've always put on a 'mask' with people, I always put myself last, I always think if I'm unhappy it 'doesn't matter' because others in my life are happy. I have so many issues when it comes to relationships and sex. I can't move forward or make my life work out the way I want.

I watched this video today and it brought it all home to me, I do 8 out of the 10 things! It'll make more sense than me. 10 Signs You Lack Self Love

Where to even begin to gain self-love? I've had a sh!tty upbringing (hypercritical, gaslighting, controlling parents), which I know is the cause but I can't believe I've gone 49 years without fully realising that I don't love myself the way other people love themselves, and that's where I'm going wrong.

OP’s posts: |
Crankley Sun 17-Jan-21 18:25:14

I discovered loving yourself is not the same as loving others. What it meant to me was self respect, not accepting being treated less than I am worth, not accepting other people's negativity in my life, acknowledging both my positive and negative attributes and working on the latter. You need to heal the past, acknowledge you can't change it but can think differently about it. Bad things from the past I put in boxes in my mind and sealed them shut. They are no longer part of me.

If the above doesn't help, have a google, I'm sure there's plenty on the subject.

Good luck

Eckhart Sun 17-Jan-21 18:46:32

You don't 'gain' self love. You have to fall in love. And in order to fall in love with somebody, you need them to understand you, validate you, respect you, stand up for you (in the major way) and make time for doing the stuff you love, and cook you nice dinners and run you bubble baths and pour your wine, light your house with candles and bring flowers and little gifts (in the more day-to-day way)

Do all that stuff for yourself. Respond swiftly and keenly to your own wants and needs. Feel satisfied and smug that somebody did all that stuff for you, and keeps doing it, and who you can rely on to never, ever stop until the day you die. You'll be besotted in no time.

Ilovethesummertime Sun 17-Jan-21 21:04:29

I just watched this video and i can relate to nearly every point sad

Norealclue Sun 17-Jan-21 21:59:09

I am very close to all the attitudes spoken about in that video. I need to change!

buckeejit Sun 17-Jan-21 22:16:00

Have you had counselling? I'd recommend it to anyone. I went to relate with my ex & it really helped me remove the mask. I'm honest with people now & it's so liberating. Working on the bad bits & nurturing the good bits.

Eckhart Sun 17-Jan-21 22:25:48

Norealclue

I am very close to all the attitudes spoken about in that video. I need to change!

It's healthier to realise that you don't need to change. You're amazing, just as you are. Everyone is!

Norealclue Sun 17-Jan-21 22:30:39

@Eckhart thank you. that is so nice,

noego Sun 17-Jan-21 22:34:07

If you are aware of these behaviours like wearing a mask and putting your self last so other people are happy then how come you cannot change these behaviours?
Are you frightened of making the decision to be your authentic self?

Norealclue Sun 17-Jan-21 22:41:18

@noegoo In my case one of the reasons I could not stand up for myself was that if I did not do as I was told/expected and not complain I would not have been able to see certain people who although I knew they were doing bad I still loved them and hoped they would see what they were doing to me and others was not right.
Another reason is that there had been physical attacks and emotional abuse and I can not fight nor would I be emotionally abusive as I knew how bad it made me feel

noego Sun 17-Jan-21 22:56:04

So you chose to be emotionally blackmailed by these people rather than be your self and because of that you now do not love your self?
You say you love these people and yet they show you no love, you also say you know how bad that makes you feel when someone is abusive and therefore you would not be abusive towards them nor should you be.
So why is it you abuse yourself by not loving yourself? I'm sorry to be blunt be it seems like a double whammy. You are being abused and you are also abusing your self.
Is it time to walk away from the abuse you are receiving to then work on how not to abuse yourself??

LadyPenelowee Sun 17-Jan-21 22:56:55

Just watched the video, can relate to all of it

coronaway Sun 17-Jan-21 23:58:09

I'm pretty sure most people can relate to nearly all the points outlined in the video.

Norealclue Mon 18-Jan-21 00:08:15

@noego I have walked away. I have a whole load of plans for my future. I had my own thread in AIBU and have taken on board many pieces of advice

Hopingtobeamum Mon 18-Jan-21 00:16:02

Following

adrianmolesmole Mon 18-Jan-21 00:18:08

Thanks everyone.

@noego *So you chose to be emotionally blackmailed by these people rather than be your self and because of that you now do not love your self?

It's a lifetime thing. Growing up being told you're rubbish every single day and having zero self esteem does deeper damage to a person more than you realise. When you're a child you take in everything your parents tell you. If they tell you you're a piece of sh!t you believe them. Even when you reject it consciously, subconsciously it seeps in and that 'information' somehow assimilates into your being as you get older without you even realising it. Low self esteem colours everything you do and how you react to life and the choices you make.

In the video the 'mask' thing - I did that a lot especially in my 20s and even 30s - I always acted around/mimicked(?) people, just to have friends but I wasn't being myself, but could never put a finger on what I was doing. I did become successful in having friends for a time but I was accused of being two-faced by my sister who thought that the only reason I had friends was because I was being fake. But it didn't come from a bitchy type of place, just from crippling insecurity and even self-hate.

If you are aware of these behaviours like wearing a mask and putting your self last so other people are happy then how come you cannot change these behaviours

I've only just realised it now from watching the video. I've always thought I had no personality because I act different around different people, I pick up from them and copy their behaviours, I never knew why I did that. I thought I was just weird. It's lack of self-love that started it, definitely. I've always envied those people that are exactly the same around every single person they meet. Oh to be that secure! I've never been like that, not since I was a child anyway.

What it meant to me was self respect, not accepting being treated less than I am worth, not accepting other people's negativity in my life, acknowledging both my positive and negative attributes and working on the latter

This is what I struggle with - I've always accepted less and struggle with boundaries. I 'forgave' my parents for everything when I was in my 20s because I thought that was the 'adult' thing to do, but I think I did that too prematurely because the older I get the more I am aware of the damage they did.

I think I'm going to try counselling as I don't know how else to gain this thing called self-love.

@Ilovethesummertime @Norealclue @LadyPenelowee sorry to hear that you relate to it too flowersflowersflowers

OP’s posts: |
Norealclue Mon 18-Jan-21 00:22:50

@adrianmolesmole So sorry that you have gone through similar.We can now see the horrors of such behaviour and the lasting effects that come from it.
I feel I must make it clear though that my abusers were not my parents. I think it was much worse.

crystalize Mon 18-Jan-21 01:14:38

Hey OP so sorry you've been through such an awful childhood.
I urge you to read up about childhood emotional neglect by Dr Jonice Webb as a starting point. If you go down the counselling route be sure to find someone who is experienced in this.

adrianmolesmole Mon 18-Jan-21 11:53:44

@crystalize, thanks so much for the book recommendation, I have downloaded it to my kindle. It looks like something that resonates with me. I have read books in the past on toxic mothers but they only go so far and are sometimes too general. I know emotional neglect is the reason I am the way I am. sad

OP’s posts: |
crystalize Mon 18-Jan-21 12:41:40

@adrianmolesmole It really resonated with me and helped me to start healing and feel more secure in myself going forward. Theres also information on her website where you can sign up for weekly articles. Also look up Pete Walker Complex CPTSD from Surviving to thriving. He's a specialist psychotherapist helping adults traumatized in childhood. Lots on his website too.

Be kind to yourself, nurture you, read up on as much as you can. Don't be afraid to seek support from GP if you feel you can't cope(anti-depressants really helped me) and in time you can build up your self love going forward to lead a more fulfilling life x

candlewhickgreen Mon 18-Jan-21 13:50:05

I was severely neglected by parents incapable of loving or nurturing children. I was also bullied at school because I used to smell. I had no idea whatsoever, how to take care of myself. So I was starting right from the bottom of the barrel.

Things I've done to show self love and care, that I hope you find helpful:

1. Looked at my diet and started eating healthily.
2. Stopped drinking - I come from a background of alcoholism and my siblings are alcoholics or very heavy drinkers. I was using alcohol as to help me painful feelings, so I just stopped.
3. Stopped smoking
4. Got some therapy. I've had a range of therapy from CBT to Gestalt, to psychodynamic at various stages. I have no support system, so therapy has been crucial to me.
5. Self help books to learn boundaries and examine my co dependent behaviour.
6. Mindful meditation to help combat those triggering thoughts so I don't go down a rabbit hole.
7. Keeping away from toxic people. I have NO idea what healthy friendships or relationships are. People who have had some semblance of a healthy upbringing will know but I don't. So I have got into abusive relationships and friendships all my life. My boundaries are very blurred and due to severe physical abuse as a child, I'm frightened of standing up for myself so tend to be a people pleaser and a doormat. It's very, very hard for me to assert myself as I have complex post traumatic stress disorder and am easily triggered.
8. I tell myself that I love myself, frequently. I act like my own parent, so I call myself sweetheart and do kind things for myself. I gently chastise myself when I'm doing less helpful. I learned to change my inner dialogue through CBT. I try not to use 'should' or 'ought' etc I am very hard on myself because of my inner critical voice, so I try to catch that and change that.
9. I exercise. I try to keep myself healthy and look after my physical health.
10. I try to look nice, as it helps my self esteem and confidence. I wash my hair and have it cut, wear make up, wear nice clothes that are clean etc

It's an ongoing process OP. I am sometimes so fucking pissed off that I have such a lot of baggage through no fault of my own but it is how it is. I think a huge part of it is to be kind to yourself. I'm currently practising a lot of self compassion and kindness meditation as I have my flaws and can be critical and judgemental of others. I'm trying to be kind to myself and kind also to others.

What helps is telling myself that I'm doing my best and that's all I can do.

I hope that helps.

adrianmolesmole Mon 18-Jan-21 15:05:11

@candlewhickgreen flowers I so relate. Self-care is something I was never taught properly when growing up. I was a complete mess as a teenager and I've had to teach myself basic things like shower every day, skincare etc. It's so true that you have to 'parent' yourself and it's so sweet that you call yourself 'sweetheart'. I'm going to try your tips as I think they're really helpful. Thanks

OP’s posts: |
Donutsandjam Mon 18-Jan-21 15:12:19

@candlewhickgreen well done you are amazing you have been through a shit time and are coming out the other side
💗

candlewhickgreen Mon 18-Jan-21 15:46:02

Thank you.

I just wanted to add that my physical environment is important. A few years ago I completely decluttered and read up about cleaning as I had no idea idea how to keep a clean and tidy home. I find that my home is reflective of my mental health, so I try to keep it uncluttered and clean.

Also sleep hygiene. Going to bed at the same time, waking up at the same time. I find your sleep patterns can really affect your mental health and I sometimes suffer from very bad insomnia, especially if I'm triggered.

I have loads more, but that's enough for now.

Glad it's helpful and you're doing fine, sweetheart. ;-)

burntpinky Mon 18-Jan-21 16:09:56

I watched this and at least 7 of the 10 apply to me. Very sad.

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