Psychological insights on relationships: rejections, breakups, making relationships happy, unhealthy dynamics, and general psychology.

How to Love Yourself: 19 Exact Steps

Because you don’t do these things, you can’t reach a place where you genuinely love yourself. I’ll write about these most important things last, not to make you scroll, but because it’s essential to do all the previously mentioned steps first.

A beautiful woman smiling

In short: In order to love yourself, you need to take several different actions in the direction of self-love. However, the most important thing is to repeat these procedures, to be persistent, to give these procedures time to work, and not to give up when it seems that things are not progressing or changing. With this, results in self-love are almost guaranteed.

Loving yourself changes everything. It’s because everything in life stems from either loving or not loving yourself. If you don’t love yourself, you’ll treat yourself poorly and allow others to do the same. If you love yourself, you’ll treat yourself well and protect yourself from negative influences.

Mandatory Introduction

The actions listed in this introduction must be taken before anything else. You also need to keep taking them because this is an ongoing process.

If you don’t do these things, all other efforts will fail. You can’t fix a house if the foundation is unstable. First, we must check our foundations and what supports us to even give ourselves a chance to repair the house.

1. Talk to Yourself About Your Parents (or Caregivers)

This is a challenging conversation people often avoid having with themselves, and even when they do, they usually only go halfway. It’s tough to acknowledge who your parents are and how much they might have hurt you (whether intentionally or not).

Mother and son

When we talk about self-love, it’s possible your parents taught you to see yourself as less than you are, worse than others, fearful, etc.

If you re-examine your parents and see them for who they are, you’ll realize their words to you are questionable. Their words come from various places: their fears, character, jealousy, etc.

If a parent has damaged you and that’s why you have a poor self-image or don’t love yourself, you need to question the validity of their words and the views they impose on you.

And in order to cast doubt on their words, you must first cast doubt on their character – that is, to see them no longer as parents, but as some people who taught you something.

  • Client Example: “I never criticize people. I don’t tell them the truth about themselves because my father, when criticized, would take drastic measures. He wouldn’t talk to that person for months. I always feel that if I speak honestly to people, the punishment will be severe.”

How to Talk to Ourselves About Our Parents

2. Talk to Yourself About Your Environment

If you are in an environment that discredits or holds you back, you must also discuss this with yourself.

Because when we lack self-love, we often find ourselves in the company of like-minded people who then treat us the way we unconsciously expect for ourselves: as less than them, mediocre, etc.

People can hurt and insult us, intentionally or unintentionally. Every time we endure a wound from someone and continue to associate with them, we do double damage to ourselves:

  1. We accept that someone has a poor opinion of us.
  2. We don’t defend ourselves.

Both these things deepen the negative self-image and lack of self-love.

If you are in an environment where people treat you poorly, either teach them the kind of treatment that will be acceptable in the future or distance yourself from those people.

How to become more assertive

Person  asks: How to love yourself

3. Talk to Yourself About Yourself

Maybe you are your own worst enemy. It doesn’t always have to be parents and surroundings. Maybe you have developed a poor self-image over time because of circumstances or unconsciously decided to do so (this is a significant lesson, too lengthy for this post).

Sometimes, people have ideal environments and dedicated parents who mean well, but they still choose, for some reason, not to love themselves.

If that’s your case, you need to recognize what you’re doing to yourself, devise an opposite reaction, and try to apply it. For instance, if you say to yourself: “I’m not capable of this,” the opposite response would be: “Try. And if it doesn’t work, try to overcome it.”

There are many reasons why you may have created a bad self-image. Of course, you can analyze these reasons, or you can try to question yourself and assume that you were wrong. And then start doing things contrary to your beliefs.
Habits are treated by doing the opposite of them.


These are the basics. We will write separate blog posts about each of these points.

Daily Routine

The things I recommend below are things you need to do just for yourself. Therefore, there should be no shame, no hesitation. You need courage and determination to do these things.

1. Choose One Trait to Admire in Yourself

It doesn’t matter which trait you start with, but you need to turn that trait into your magnificent advantage.

For example: I am very interested in history and know it well.

Instead of dismissing this with: “Well, anyone who shows some interest can know history as well as I do,” think about this trait differently. I think the extent and manner in which I know history is not typical, and certainly not in my environment. I am inquisitive about details and facts. I would provide relevant and exciting information if someone wanted to talk to me about history. Therefore, I am very knowledgeable and a valuable conversationalist in this area. In fact, I am probably the best history expert in my surroundings.

Black woman making someone regret living her

You can and must talk to yourself about your good traits similarly. No one says enough good things about you to improve your self-image. You will have to do it yourself.

Once again, these are conversations between you, for you, and with yourself. So don’t be ashamed of these conversations. Don’t be embarrassed to choose any trait and elevate it to something precious.

2. Don’t Say Bad Things About Yourself

Not in passing, not as a joke, not when you’re angry at yourself. Because whatever we say, we must confirm. If we say: “I’m incompetent,” we’ll have to prove it to people because—we’re not liars, right? If you say: “I’m stupid.” then you’ll have to confirm that to yourself, too.

When we talk, we listen to ourselves (we have ears).

Regarding other people, consider this: What will others think of you when you tell them what you feel about yourself? Well, you know yourself best; you are probably honest about yourself.

The moment you tell yourself: “I will no longer say bad things about myself,” you’ve already sent yourself the message: you are worthy.

Man and woman break up

3. Don’t Let Anyone Say Bad Things About You

Say you’re afraid that if you stand up to people, you’ll lose them as friends. But the math is simple:

  • If they insult you, and you stop them, and they leave – that’s good because it means insulting you was part of their relationship with you.
  • If they insult you, and you stop them, and they stay – that’s good because you’ve reeducated them and can have a different friendship.

We must not allow people to mistreat us because, as I said, we suffer on multiple levels:

  1. Someone imposes a wrong opinion of us – we start to believe it.
  2. We don’t defend ourselves – we think of ourselves as weak.
  3. We stay in their company – we think of ourselves as pathetic.
  4. They learn they can get away with such things – they continue, and the problem deepens and multiplies.

How to Keep Your Dignity in Relationship

4. Don’t Do Bad Things to Yourself

Rejected man

Every bad act toward yourself sends the message that you are not worthy. If you ask Freud, bad acts toward oneself are a desire for self-destruction and, ultimately, death. The opposing force is the desire for life.

If you do bad things to yourself, you practically tell yourself you are not worthy. You are so unworthy that it’s okay to destroy yourself. You, who are the one who should love yourself the most in the world.

When you stop doing bad things to yourself, you send yourself the message: you are worthy. And you don’t deserve to be destroyed by anyone, not even yourself.

5. Work on the Things You Don’t Like About Yourself

If there are things you don’t like about yourself – work on them. Don’t ignore them; blame your parents, fate, or circumstances, and look at them helplessly. Don’t convince yourself that nothing can be done about it. Don’t be lazy. Whatever you diagnose that you don’t like about yourself, think about how to solve it, how much time it takes, and what steps are necessary.

Whatever can be fixed – fix it. For what you can’t fix – sublimate it in some way (become strong in something else).

6. Do Many Small Good Things for Yourself

As I said, every small act of love towards yourself will send you a message about your worth.

Taking care of yourself, enriching yourself, getting informed, learning, creating for yourself, taking care of your body, exercising, medical check-ups—every small act you will do will make you feel like self-love. And isn’t it true that we love worthy things? Isn’t it true that things we find worthy are things we love? Therefore, whenever you can, send yourself a message about your own worth.

Every small act of love towards yourself will send you a message: You are worthy, and you show it to yourself.

A beautiful woman

1. In Front of People

Step Out with One of Your Exceptional Traits

We’ve discussed admiring at least one of your traits, and hopefully many more. When you need to step out in front of people, that one trait should shine like a star on your forehead. Your attitude should be: I bring this to the table. I am exceptional and valuable in this area, and you should respect me…

This will give you the strength to feel worthy when sitting in front of people.

“Okay, you are very educated. But I am an excellent cook. We were interested in different things, but who will determine what is more important and valuable? We are both very valuable.”

You don’t even have to talk about it. It is important that you think this when you are in front of people.

2. Talk About It Freely

If asked, talk about it proudly. Don’t be modest when you get to talk about something good and valuable about yourself. Don’t skip such opportunities because you won’t get them every day.

On the other hand, if you never get the chance to talk about yourself (because you’ve never done it and your environment is used to you that way), you can always start. Talk about your interests, things you do well, traits, etc.

You can even tell your friends about a project you’re working on: I’m trying to love myself. Today, if that’s okay with you, I’d like to talk about things I love about myself or that interest me.

Altruistic people

3. View Other People’s Flaws Objectively

Do not dwell on them, but see yourself more clearly alongside these people. People who are modest and don’t love themselves enough tend to admire others. They attribute great qualities to others, making themselves seem even worse. However, other people are full of flaws.

Critical thinking is necessary to improve one’s position in life. If we always elevate others, we will always stay low.

Therefore, look at other people’s flaws just to put them in their proper place. Yes, some will rank much higher than you. Others will rank below you. But you will see that you are in a solid position and that you, as a great cook (for example), can certainly hold your own against the wealthiest person in the room because their flaw might be that they are not a good host.

Play around with this again—not to belittle them, but to have a more realistic picture of yourself. You’ll be surprised how similar people are to you, regardless of their positions.

4. Don’t Label People as Important

Couple in love

People can be important in your life only if they are willing to share something useful with you. Otherwise, they cannot be important. If you think this way, you’ll see that many people will drop off as unimportant. You’ll also see that the whole film about their importance plays out only in your head.

You labeled someone as important in an abstract way. What is essential about them if you don’t see them or can’t consume them? Maybe you just imagined it and attributed some excellent things to that person.

For example, a man or a woman. How can they be vital if you get nothing from them? It’s like saying: The Maldives are very important. In what way, if you’re not there? What is important to you about the Maldives?

Take that star off their forehead that you put there.

5. Don’t Trust People Who Discredits You

People carry many things within them, including selfishness, cowardice, malice, aggression, jealousy, etc. These traits will undoubtedly affect you if you let them get close.

To simplify – if you have a friend prone to jealousy, they will likely discredit you sooner or later out of jealousy towards you.

Therefore, if you sense negativity from people or something that negatively affects your opinion of yourself – don’t trust them.

Man and woman in toxic relationship

I recommend stopping, looking at the person objectively, and determining who they are. Do they have traits that cause them to do what they do? Are they generally critical? Jealous? Envious? Negative? Conflicted? Devious?

If you see anything (and believe me! People carry all sorts of things within them) either start keeping an eye on that friend, re-educate them, or get away from them. But definitely don’t trust them.

6. Avoid Those Who Demean You

Step away if you find yourself in the company of people who demean you. Because it’s less likely that someone will change than they won’t. People change very slowly and only if they have strong motivation. To be better towards you, a strong motivation can only be to keep your friendship because it is valuable to them. So if someone has that motivation, you have a chance.

But if a person gains some benefit from treating you poorly (emotional, psychological, material), why would they change? Why would they give up that benefit? Let’s say they think they are more valuable than you.

You spent some time together, and the fact that they are more valuable than you was a legitimate fact. You acted that way, and that person acted that way. Why would they give up and say, Okay, we are equal, or you are more valuable when it is a severe emotional-psychological benefit – to be more valuable than someone?

People rarely give up their advantages over others because our emotional-psychological world is the most important thing we have. And if they achieve their satisfaction by keeping you low – that will be hard to change.

Therefore, if you can’t re-educate a person to stop demeaning you, step away from them. Remove yourself from all those who are necessary to avoid

Black woman handle rejection

How to Implement All This

I’ve listed ways to implement all of this below. Skipping these steps is precisely why people never succeed in loving themselves.

1. You Must Do This Persistently

People always make the biggest mistake when they are not persistent about doing good things for themselves. You shouldn’t be persistent only about things that are bad for you. But with good things, no matter how difficult they are, you must be stubbornly persistent.

2. You Must Do This for a Long Time

This system won’t work quickly. This is why people never succeed in loving themselves—because they expect this system to work soon. However, it won’t. It takes time for what I’ve listed to become natural to you.

Indian woman in love

Think about it this way. You have two options: not to invest time in this and never change things or start loving yourself, or to invest time in this and get at least some results, if not all. In the first option, you will live forever the way you do now, and in the second, you will benefit. The first option is more accessible, but the second brings change.

Your willingness to invest time in this divides you between loving yourself and not loving yourself.

3. You Must Not Give Up Even When It Feels Strange

Since you are someone who doesn’t usually love yourself, this whole process (loving yourself) will be strange to you, and you’ll probably want to give up on it—none of us like doing things that feel emotionally odd.

But if you agree to do this strange thing, it will become a part of you and your daily routine, and it will become normal for you to do it (to love yourself), sooner or later.

It’s like skiing or driving a car. It’s not natural to speed down a mountain or to move while sitting, doing several demanding tasks with your hands and feet, or thinking about other drivers. But if we’ve done it enough times, it becomes normal and something we always do.

Do this until it becomes normal for you to love yourself.

4. You Must Not Give Up Even When You’re Not Succeeding

Handsome man standing

There will be bad days. There will be days when you completely fail and show yourself a complete lack of self-love. And there may even be such weeks. Periods. But, you must continue to do this as soon as you gather the strength for it again. We have bad periods when we don’t do the things we should, but they should only be periods. Let’s strive to make most of our lives a reflection of self-love, and if we can’t, at least teach ourselves that we can always return to self-love.

And then, do it again… and again… and again until it turns out that we loved ourselves more than we didn’t in a week, a day, a month, or a year.

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