Love yourself first and then you can love others: 8 tips on how to love yourself

You can find the old adage ‘You must love yourself before you can love others’ quoted again and again in advice columns in magazines and on the internet, but where does it come from and what does it really mean?

The saying is far from new, it’s something known as the Golden rule of reciprocity, which goes back thousands of years and is quoted in most religious texts and by most ancient philosophers. It is a twist on the saying ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.

That’s the history lesson, but it does show that if the saying has been around for thousands of years, there just might be something in it.

It’s not quite as clear cut as it sounds though. Love is a complicated business and comes in many different forms and degrees but, if you have self-respect and self-confidence, you are far less likely to need constant approval and acceptance by others and therefore will be far more able to give more in a loving relationship. You are also more likely to find love in the first place and not take rejection, say on a first date, so badly.

Loving yourself comes from first discovering yourself. Understanding who you are and what you need helps you to become happy with yourself and, when you’re happy with yourself, you can be happy with others too.

1. Falling in love with yourself

Learn to love yourself just as you would another, flaws and all. Understand your own needs and likes, give yourself treats from time to time, just as you would to a lover. It doesn’t mean that you are vain, narcissistic or conceited to fall in love with yourself. I’m talking about healthy self love and self acceptance.

2. Be kind to yourself

Be kind to yourself and stop beating yourself up when things don’t go according to plan. If your lover made a mistake you wouldn’t berate them for the next three weeks, so why do it to yourself? Make a habit of praising yourself when things go right and start accepting you for who you really are.

3. Trust yourself

Learn to trust yourself and have confidence in your own abilities. Remind yourself of the things that you are good at and stop constantly dwelling on those that you are not. Everyone has different skill sets.

4. Learn to forgive yourself

Forgiveness is a trait that is highly valued and respected, yet we sometimes find it hard to forgive ourselves. Learn to forgive and forget your own mistakes, as well as those of others.

5. Give yourself a pat on the back for effort

Remember what you were told at school about it: being the taking part that matters and not the winning; congratulate yourself for effort, even when you don’t win.

6. Be honest with yourself

Don’t try and lie to yourself about your own emotions and bottle them up. If you’re sad, accept it and if you’re happy, embrace it.

6. Stop worrying

Try to stop worrying about things. Worrying doesn’t change anything and, more often than not, we worry over things that we can’t do anything about anyway. So why not to stop worrying?

7. Follow your dreams

Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams. Far better in years to come to be able to look back and know that you tried than to look back with regret that you never did.

8. Relax and have fun

Give yourself a break now and again and do something just for you. Have a bit of fun. Life is for enjoying, so stop taking everything so seriously all the time.

Loving oneself is not all about preening yourself in the mirror all the time, it’s about accepting yourself as an individual and treating yourself as such, with healthy self love, kindness and respect. It really is doing unto yourself as you would do unto others.

I hope you find these tips on how to love yourself useful.

Please, feel free to share your own self love and self-respect tips in the comment’s section below.

Stay happy!

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