We’re often told that we must first love ourselves in before we can expect anyone else to love us. Unfortunately for many people loving yourself isn’t always an easy thing to do. Does that mean that we’re unworthy of being loved because we don’t love ourselves? Of course not! Self-love is a process that’s not the same for everyone. What may come naturally to one, may take years for others. When you tell a person to “just love yourself,” you may in fact cause more harm than good.
Let’s say you have a friend who is always putting herself down and you want to encourage her, by all means do it, but do it with care. Watch the words that you use, don’t try to force her to find something to love about herself. There might be something about her that you find awesome, it doesn’t have to be about her looks.
“Hey Kim, I absolutely love the way you wear your hair!”
“Susan, you’re such a talented writer!”
Also, people who have a hard time loving themselves find it hard to accept a compliment. So don’t be offended if they aren’t exactly jumping for joy when you compliment them. They might actually downplay the compliment or say something negative about themselves. That’s okay! It’s a process, just keep being a great friend.
Do you have any suggestions on how to encourage a person to practice self-love?