words to love yourself by: do it your way
a self-love guide for the insanely busy

5 reasons self-love is not selfish

 

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Sometimes when people hear the word "self-love" they associate it with the word "selfish," but I'm here today to tell you that self-love is not selfish. Self-love is empowering and inspiring. It's something we should all do every single day. Loving yourself doesn't -- and shouldn't -- take away from loving others, as being selfish does. Self-love allows you to embrace who you are and, as a result, be come better at loving not only yourself but others.

While self-love can be defined as an excess in self-pride, I prefer to think of it in terms of a feeling of self-respect and self-worth. I believe the more you respect yourself, the more you respect the world around you and the more likely you'll be to live a positive life, therefore projecting positivity into the world. Of course, there will always be those that argue that self-love is narcissistic and that loving oneself too much is just plain selfish. For those haters, I'm sharing these five reasons why self-love is far from selfish.  

 

5 Reasons Self-Love Is Not Selfish

1. Having respect for yourself leads you to have respect for others. Ever wonder why some people are so mean and judgmental? More often than not it's because they don't love themselves and are taking out the way they feel about themselves on others. If you want to live selflessly, loving yourself first is a great place to start because the more you learn to respect and love yourself, the more you will love and respect others, which, ultimately, makes the world a much better place.

 

2. Celebrating positive things about you supports a positive attitude about others. The more you value yourself and celebrate the good things about yourself, the more you will want to celebrate the goodness in others. When you are constantly looking down on yourself or focusing on the negative, it can be really difficult to find the positive in the world and in those around you. If you bring yourself up, you'll be much happier -- and more likely to bring others up as well.

 

3. Taking care of your happiness first leaves your heart open to caring for others. Putting yourself first might seem like the absolute wrong way to care about other people, but it's the best step you can take to making sure those around you are at their happiest. Once your happiness is taken care of and you really learn to love yourself, you free up your emotional time and energy to love others and focus on them. Dwelling on self-doubt and self-hate significantly takes away from others so loving yourself is essential if you want to have the energy to care for other people in your life.

 

4. Believing in your own abilities allows you to pursue passions that can inspire others. Once you truly start believing in yourself and focusing on your positive qualities, you'll be able to pursue your passions and spend time doing what you love. When you allow yourself to be who you are and follow your heart, you will be able to share your passion with the world. The more you believe in yourself, the more you will open up and share with others -- and what you share just might be the very inspiration someone else needs.  


5. Loving yourself makes you a happier, kinder, more positive person. The basic truth is this: if you love yourself, you be happier. When you are happier, you will be nicer and kinder and more open to others. You'll be more loving and more willing to trust, enjoy, and celebrate other people. You'll look for the good in yourself and in others and, as a result, you'll have a better relationship with yourself and with the ones you love.

 

Though some might disagree, I firmly believe that loving yourself is an unselfish act because it leads to a more positive life for you -- and the more positive your life is, the more positive you'll be about the things and people around you. It's easy to find excuses when it comes to doing something good for yourself. You can think of plenty of reasons why you should be doing something for someone else instead. But don't let that little nagging voice in your head tell you that self-love isn't worth it or its unobtainable. It's possible for every single person to love him/herself, but it's up to the individual to make it happen. If you aren't already loving yourself and you have any doubts in your mind as to whether or not loving yourself is selfish, I hope this article has helped you realize that self-love is, in fact, an unselfish act. 


I'd love to hear your opinion.
Do you think self-love is selfish?  

Comments

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Lovely post. I definitely agree that some of life's most awful people are hateful because they do not know how to love themselves. I believe that narcissism too, stems from an inability to love one's self. It is a dysfunctional attempt at true self love. Thanks for this! Be loved today!

Rachel - Thanks so much for the comment. I really appreciate your input, especially on this topic, which so many people may want to disput. You bring up a good point about how narcissism is a dysfunctional attempt at self-love. That's so true and I've never thought about it that way before. Thanks for sharing that insight!

Oh you are so right. It is benefical for others if we practice self-love. Self-love is a toughy, especially for women. We are told constantly by the media that we need to be thinner, prettier, dress better. The constant barage of "fix yourself" that we forget to love ourselves for who we are. Our relationships with everybody improve when we come into love with ourselves. Thanks for this loving post:)

Dandy - Self-love is definitely hard for a lot of people and the media certainly doesn't help. It's so tempting to think you have to be better than you are with all of the images promoting that idea, but the more you love yourself, the happier and more positive you'll be -- and you won't need things/fixes to be a better you! Glad you liked this post!

Thank you for your kind and inspiring words. Everything you said resonated quite strongly with me.

Loving oneself makes it possible to interact with others from a place of calm and giving, instead of desperately needing to be loved by others, and reacting aggressively when such love is not given freely.

"The distance from another is the distance from ourselves." - Richard Moss

Jonas

For me, I'm so used to putting the needs of others before my own,that I don't know how to truly love myself. It's something that I'm working on, ever since I embarked on my self improvement journey and realized that in order for me to love anyone else, I had to love myself first.

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Jonas - You're welcome! I'm glad you were able to relate to this post. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on loving oneself. It's such an important topic to me and I really appreciate hearing from readers like you. (And thanks for sharing the quote too!)

Michele - A lot of people are in the same boat that you are. They have spent so long putting others needs first that they don't even know where to start when it comes to loving themselves. Hard as it might seem sometimes, remember that when you put yourself first, you're actually making things better for those around you. I'm so glad you've embarked on a journey that is leading to you self-love!

No I do not think self love is selfish.You have outlined it wonderfully in this article.It really hits home to me. Thanks!

Great post and I like Rachel's thoughts on narcissism as well. Those types of people can be so draining on others.

It took me a while to realize that if I did things for others that truly didn't make me happy, but only did them to be nice or b/c they are a friend..I was really cheating myself b/c I didn't fully feel good about it (going to a party or somewhere as an example). Sometimes you don't even realize you are putting others before yourself..and it takes a situation to happen to wake you up, then you have to not feel bad about choosing yourself when you do. In the end..it really is for the best for everyone. Any who thinks self-love is selfish, clearly needs to look deeper into themselves first.
Thanks Dani!

Derrick - Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed this article and that it hit home for you.

Saggleo - That's a great realization. When you do things for others that make you unhappy, you're cheating yourself -- and you're cheating others as well. As you said, it can be hard to realize sometimes when you're putting others first, but it's an important thing to focus on. Thanks for your comment!

I always come away from your blog feeling enlightened.

I'm hoping you might want to check this out: http://acommunityartproject.blogspot.com/2011/02/project.html

Phoenix - I'm so glad to hear that! I makes me happy to know that you find Positively Present enlightening. I just checked out your project and its great! What an inspiring idea!

That is positively inspiring! I've always said you must love yourself before you can love someone else, but people have always seen that as the worst trait in myself! However after reading this I know it's not a selfish thing. To be a better person to others I need to believe the good in me. Thank you!

Emma - Like you, I've heard that my self-love tendencies are selfish. But I really believe that putting yourself first is the best way to love other people! Believe how awesome you are and you will be a much better person for everyone around you.

I needed this to convince my mind that loving myself is not selfishness at all ... And i know it...but everytime i try to think about myself and feeling good about me.... It lasts for very short time like 2and 3 days ..after that it becomes as normal as i think negative about my self..so what does it means...?!

Chinmay - Loving yourself is definitely not selfish, but it can take some time to come to terms with that. You have to keep reminding yourself how great you are and do whatever you can to help the positive thoughts outweigh the negative ones.

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