5 Signs You Don’t Love Yourself — And 5 Ways To Fix It

Ladies, we talk a lot about love. We moon over how wonderfully terrifying and exciting it is to fall in love, how great it is to be in love, and also how agonizing it is to lose the love you thought you had. Sadly, we always seem to talk about this love in relation to someone else and we almost never seem to think about what it means to love ourselves. We don’t talk about self-love – it’s assumed. However, many of us are seriously lacking when it comes to giving ourselves the same care, respect, and attention we give to our family members, friends, and romantic partners. If you notice the signs you don’t love yourself, it’s important to take steps to change that dynamic with yourself. Here’s how to do just that.

Signs you don’t love yourself

  1. You don’t have boundaries. What the hell is a boundary? Love Thyself 101: A boundary is a line in the sand, a designator of the kind of treatment you will and will not accept. If the guy you’re kinda sorta seeing constantly bails on you to hang with his boys and you tell him that this is okay (even though it’s never okay), you probably don’t love yourself. If you’re constantly taking sh*t from some as**hole (even your boss) at work without sticking up for yourself, you probably don’t love yourself. If you have ever let anyone get away with treating you as unremarkable, disposable, replaceable, and generally insignificant, you probably don’t love yourself – and you are worth so much more than that. A boundary is a simple concept. You say, “I don’t like this treatment. I need this to stop because it makes me feel bad.” Either the antagonist stops the behavior or you exit the relationship.
  2. You’re always changing your scene. Listen, I’m all for learning new things, stepping outside your comfort zone, and branching out a bit. I do it quite frequently and I’ve learned a lot about myself. However, there is a big difference between testing the waters and downing the Kool-Aid. If you find that when you have a new guy or a new set of friends, you’re forever doing things that you’re completely bored with, then you’re probably trying to adapt for acceptance. That’s also a sign that you don’t love or accept yourself.
  3. You can’t stand to be alone. Alone – the word itself is pretty ominous. It has this way of upsetting your whole vibe because the idea of having to deal with yourself and your thoughts is completely overwhelming. A whole person who loves herself can handle this like a champ. But if you’re constantly finding ways to avoid this scenario, you might need a healthy dose of self-love.
  4. You have negative self-talk. This one can be a little harder to identify. It’s kind of sneaky, the way our subconscious whispers to us when we’re not paying attention. This negative self-talk usually makes itself known after we’ve just chewed ourselves out for eating a cheeseburger with some friend, missing a workout, or doing anything that could even vaguely be misconstrued as self-indulgent. Life is meant to be enjoyed, mistakes are going to be made – but if you’re incredibly harsh to yourself for living life, you’re lacking self-love.
  5. You don’t practice self-care. I know, I just said to not beat yourself up over living life – there is definitely a big difference between an occasional cheeseburger and a daily Big Gulp. The truth is that a woman who loves herself wants to treat herself well and knows that in order to do so she must give her body good foods, exercise, H2O, and lots of rest.

These are behaviors that most likely took a lifetime to build, and they can take quite a while to recognize and then restructure them. It’s a super daunting task that I’ve been working on for two years now and I’m probably not anywhere close to being done. But I am closer to loving myself than I was when I started.

Tips for achieving self-love

  1. Forgive yourself. Whatever you did yesterday, last week, two years ago – it’s over. The world didn’t stop spinning and you didn’t die. We have all made similar mistakes at some point, we’ve probably all beaten ourselves up over them, too. But drop it. Pro Tip: Write out whatever you’re still carrying around. Then take your gorgeous self to the mirror and repeat this: “I am a human being. I’m allowed to f**k up. But I’m over this (insert situation).” Then burn that ugly little piece of paper. Do this as many times as you need to.
  2. Give yourself the same attention and care you give to those you love. This takes time. Be observant of your actions and your reactions. When you find yourself starting in on that second sleeve or oreos or that fifth piece of pizza or whatever your vice is – tell yourself to stop. Then ask yourself what the fuck you’re doing and why? Are you angry? Are you sad? Are you bored?
  3. Try some journaling prompts for self-love. It doesn’t matter if what you’re writing or typing is some superficial, errant thought. It doesn’t matter if you start writing about how much you hate your shoes or your hair or your job, if you start writing something you’ll eventually work your way to what’s really bothering you.
  4. Do something you love just because you love it. I started with dance and then moved on to Yoga. Sometimes I run, sometimes I bike. The point is to move, and get that blood flowing. Don’t let the point of exercise be to lose weight or fit into a size 2 (that’s never going to happen with me and I’m totally okay with that). You move because it feels good – especially if you feel silly doing it.
  5. Talk to a therapist. If you shuddered reading that, I get it, but get over it. Talking to a therapist doesn’t make you nuts, it makes you a human being. Every single person in the whole entire world is going to need to talk to someone at some point about something in their lives. As much as we love our friends and family, they might not be in the best place to help. A licensed therapist has the training and the ability to devote their attention to you and help you. There is no shame in getting yourself the help you need. It’s like going to the dentist, or the optometrist. It’s NBD.

Loving yourself is a big deal. How you treat yourself and the kind of treatment you accept is the foundation for all of your other relationships – romantic or platonic. Do remember – you’re not alone in figuring this stuff out. As the Cheshire cat is prone to say, “We’re all mad here.” 😉

Bolde Voices represents writers from around the world who want to share their stories anonymously. While everything you read is based on personal experience, it's the ability to tell their truths without being identified that allows those behind the pieces you read to be so brutally honest.