If you do these things, you don’t love yourself enough

Spot the bad habits that undermine your physical and mental health and learn to love and accept yourself.

Loving yourself does not make you a narcissist. Accepting who you are, with all your qualities, quirks and flaws is the first step towards loving and understanding others.

Sometimes life throws challenge after challenge at you and you’re so busy trying to solve everything that you forget that at the end of the day your happiness is the most important. Or maybe you’re overly perfectionist and tend to be hard on yourself for the smallest failures. Unfortunately, most people think that they practice self-love, but their habits and behavior show exactly the opposite, giving them a false sense of accomplishment. Psychologists weigh in on the major signs of self-hate and explain how you can overcome self-sabotage.

You’re pretending to be someone you’re not, to please others

Seeking acceptance from peers, family and co-workers is normal. We all want to be liked and fit into a group, but if all your energy goes into pretending you are another person and denying all your personal values, then you might lack self-esteem. Ask yourself how honest you are with yourself when interacting with others. Do you often hold your thoughts for fear that people will not agree with them? Do you do things you don’t like because you don’t like saying no? If all of this sounds familiar, it’s time for a change. Learn to say no from time to time and don’t pretend to be someone else because the connections that truly matter are not built on falsehood.

You avoid alone time

Going out, making friends and expanding your social circle is the sign of a healthy mind, but taking this to the extreme is a sign that you are disconnecting from yourself. If you dread staying in for more than a couple of days because it makes you feel lonely and uncomfortable, it’s a sign that you do not value your own company. An emotionally stable life should be a balance between social interactions and alone time. Taking a break from going out and spending time with yourself is not a waste of time and make everything “fun” could actually mean that you are compensating for a lack of self-love. In this video about happiness, Chief Business Officer at Google, Mo Gawdat explains how fun is the modern world’s replacement for happiness, a quick fix that people resort to when they’re not able to reach a feeling of inner peace and satisfaction with themselves.

You don’t look after your health

Taking care of our health should be a priority, but the fast rhythm of modern life and all the stress factors surrounding us often overturns our priorities. If you have unhealthy diet, smoke and don’t have time to work out, you don’t care about yourself as much as you should. If you’ve been postponing the visit to your family dentist to work overtime and don’t remember the last time you’ve had routine blood tests, you should learn to make yourself a priority.

You’re surrounded by toxic people

The relationships we make should nurture us and help us grow as human beings. They should make us feel accomplished and at peace with ourselves. If your inner circle has too many toxic people who cause you constant stress and self-doubt, but you’re afraid to let go, then you think this is what you deserve. A person who loves herself always looks for healthy, stable relationships and stays away from toxic influences that:

  • Try to manipulate you into doing them favors
  • Constantly judge who you are and what you do
  • Do not apologize and do not take responsibility for hurting your feelings
  • Go in and out of your life without explaining
  • Do not support your hobbies and dreams

You’re too hard on yourself and don’t acknowledge your achievements

Self-criticism fuels growth and pushes you to do better next time. However, self-criticism taken to the extreme is harmful to your own happiness and productivity because it leads to a fear of failure. Similarly, refusing to take credit and reward yourself for your achievements shows that you do not love yourself and do not appreciate your talents. Contrary to common belief, you can be self-confident and aware of your strengths without coming across as self-centered or arrogant.

You don’t pamper yourself

In order to be truly happy, we need to fulfill more than our basic needs. If you only buy what is strictly necessary and are afraid to splurge on things you like, then you might feel that you don’t deserve it, that you’re not worthy of such a treat. Many people earn enough to afford an occasional gift to themselves, but save that money instead or give it to someone else because they think their needs are not important. If you love yourself, you will find a balance between giving and receiving.