How to Love Yourself More
by Thao Nguyen
One of my biggest fears is that I will never be someone’s favorite person.
What do I mean, “favorite person”? I’m talking about that person who brightens your day without fail, who brings a smile to your face as soon as you see a notification from them on your phone, who makes you feel like you can truly be yourself and they’ll always love you, the person who you are scared of letting down the most and who, when they let you down, hurts you the most. In other words, your favorite person is the person who you love and respect the most in your life.
This person can be anyone -- a family member, a friend, a significant other -- but very rarely is it yourself. In fact, more often than not, we might even be our own least favorite person. Some might argue that as a generation obsessed with self promotion on social media that we millennials love ourselves too much, but I vehemently disagree with that. In fact, we millennials are arguably the most insecure and least self confident generation in recent decades. And that has been extremely detrimental. Because all of the fragility leads to self-loathing.
When we are full of self-loathing instead of self-loving, all of the aspects of our lives suffer. Our relationships, our efforts in our careers or academia, even our health suffers when we don’t know how to be confident and love ourselves. We allow ourselves to be mistreated and underappreciated because we believe that is what we deserve. We fall into harmful habits because we figure hey, I’m already terrible and unworthy of love and respect, might as well go balls to the walls with it.
So it’s obvious that self-loathing is pretty bad for us. But it’s also super hard to change that attitude, I can easily attest to that. We’ve spent our whole lives judging ourselves, feeling guilty about our darkest desires and thoughts, feeling insignificant when we aren’t given the respect we deserve, feeling like failures when we don’t achieve our goals. Losing that way of thinking is difficult, but it’s not impossible. Start by trying to see yourself the way you see your favorite person. You know that they aren’t perfect, but you love them anyway. Do the same for yourself. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made, for all of the ways you haven’t met the standards you’ve given yourself, and love yourself enough to know that it’s okay to be imperfect.
When we start seeing ourselves in a more positive light, happiness won’t have to come from other people, it’ll come from within. And that will just allow you to love others more and to bring happiness into their lives.