Psychology Behind Self-Love [Detailed version]

Even if you are surrounded by supportive and loving people around you, there is always an emptiness that remains within. This emptiness is usually because of a lack of self-love. The feeling of love towards oneself is what fills the gaps. The feeling of acceptance, when accepted by our own self, sets us free.

Self-acceptance sets us free.

Self-love can be triggered by external factors

  • Being loved by someone you like.
  • Being liked by someone you value or someone who holds a high value socially.
  • When you find yourself worthy of a higher purpose/value/cause/regard.
  • Healthy social circle.
  • Socially accepted norms resonate with your personality.

1) Being loved by someone you like

Being liked by someone

Ever noticed, that our self-esteem suddenly starts boosting when we find that someone is genuinely interested in us. And this hits different when we already like that person. A sudden boost of motivation when our crush tell us they like any of our qualities.

2) Being liked by someone you value or someone who holds a high value socially

Being liked by an influencer can trigger Self-love

Influencers, for example, hold a higher value in our perspective. So, if an influencer praises us or lets us know that they like something about us, we suddenly start feeling confident with our personality. It can affect us in short term or might go long term with its effects, depending upon the situation or our mindset.

3) When you find yourself worthy of a higher purpose/value/cause/regard

Having a high purpose

Greater purpose reflects greater self-esteem mostly. So, if you do something that holds a high value or purpose in life, you’ll start feeling important. And this feeling of being important or being of some value exhibits high self-esteem and thus promotes self-love.

4) Healthy social circle

Healthy social circle

Being in a healthy social circle that is open to different perspectives, personalities or ideas is always the best to be in. A circle that holds success high but doesn’t shame failure for being there because failure is a part of the process. A healthy circle will let you be happy, sad, content, or whatever you wish to feel. they don’t believe in shaming you for your feelings. This type of circle promotes self-acceptance, thus self-love.

5) Socially accepted norms resonating with your personality

Social acceptance matters

If you live in a society where your natural traits are considered to be normal and are accepted then it is more likely for you to praise your traits as well. The same goes for your physical appearance, dressing sense, mindset, eating habits, choices, nature, etc.

Most common hindrances of self-love

  • Unhealthy social circle.
  • Unsupportive family/friends.
  • Toxic social norms.
  • Inability to face your flaws/insecurities.
  • Low self-esteem/image.
  • Unhealthy comparisons.
  • Unhealed childhood trauma.

1) Unhealthy social circle

Unhealthy social circle

A social circle, may it be a personal circle or a professional circle, if it is unhealthy in terms of acceptance or any other factor, it tends to affect our perspective towards self.

2) Unsupportive family/friends

Unsupportive friends

If a family doesn’t support a child by accepting them as they are, or they somehow keep wanting to change something in that person. then that person will always have a hard problem accepting them as they naturally are because they have never been in such a situation.

3) Toxic social norms

Toxic social norms

For example, we all have been seeing gender discrimination or color discrimination mostly since our childhood. So, it will always leave a hard impression on us whether we are a direct victim of the scenario or not. We’ll always fear if we’ll ever fall in the discrimination category then the world will not accept us. And thus we keep searching for the flaws in ourselves, resulting in self-doubt forever.

4) Inability to face your flaws/insecurities

Facing our flaws

It takes a huge amount of effort, time, and courage to observe your flaws, face them and then work upon them. Not everybody is able to work upon what is wrong in them and amend that accordingly afterward. Eventually, the person keeps avoiding and ignoring a part of their life that needs to be addressed in order to accept themselves fully.

5) Low self-esteem/image

Low self-esteem

Self-esteem as the word says is the – estimation of self. The estimation of our value according to our own selves. It might depend upon various factors. When a person estimates their value quite low, it results in the unabilty to love themselves. A person who holds themselves on a high value or higher regard is the only one that can love themselves because we tend to love someone who is of some value purpose or regard.

6) Unhealthy comparisons

Unhealthy comparison

In this world where we keep comparing day in and day out through social media, it gets a bit difficult to keep yourself out of the rut and stay within the boundaries. No doubt, comparison helps us improve ourselves and keep our achievements in check. But the unhealthy way of comparison rather leads to misery, self-doubt and doesn’t let us accept ourselves as we are. Ultimately this comparison game doesn’t allow us to love ourselves as we are continually in doubt whether we are worthy of it or not.

7) Unhealed childhood trauma

Childhood trauma plays an important role

Unhealed trauma caused by minor to major inconveniences that happened at that time can make a huge impact on how we frame our way of loving ourselves. It may be caused due to being bullied by friends, being continuously taunted, haunted, or shamed by our parents on our choices, traits, or behaviors, being unaccepted by our teachers or being scolded by them or shamed in front of the whole class, etc.

Can I practice self-love?

Loving yourself

Just like other human behavior self-love can also be practiced. You see, self-love may vary from person to person according to how it has been practiced in their family/locality. Also, it may depend on how much compassion your parents displayed towards you as a child or the way someone reacted when you were vulnerable. The way we are treated when we are vulnerable is what sets our tone for how we will treat ourselves in the future. It is absolutely not our fault that we had to go through what we went through. But it is definitely in our hands to work upon that tone and bring it back to being empathetic towards our own selves.

How can I practice self-love?

  • Start appreciating more of what you have got.
  • Act supportive towards yourself physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
  • Hold your happiness, peace, and contentment high enough to not let it be ruined by others.
  • Pay attention and take care of your needs.
  • Stop sacrificing your well-being for others. Start saying no to whatever doesn’t serve your purpose to your well-being.

1) Start appreciating more of what you have got

Appreciate yourself

We often ignore what we have been blessed with because we are too caught up in what we should have. We ignore people around us, our abilities, things that we have because we believe there is always something that needs to be validated before owned. Abundance is felt when we pay attention, otherwise, even the richest don’t have enough.

2) Act supportive towards yourself physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually

Be supportive towards yourself

Often times we challenge our limits and keep exerting our physical aspects, mental aspects, or even financial and social aspects just to make others happy or feel accepted by others. But what good does it do to ignore your own physical health, mental health, or social and spiritual health? In fact, when you pay attention to your own self and act supportive towards yourself then you glow up differently and people adore that. So, rather than forcing yourself to do the things you want to do for others, you better take care of yourself and people will join by.

3) Hold your happiness, peace, and contentment high enough to not let it be ruined by others

Hold your happiness high

Belittling your beliefs, happiness, peace, contentment for the sake of being accepted is a common thing. But, in order to love yourself and accept yourself as you are, you need to put your happiness high enough to not be wasted for someone who can steal it on purpose. Being with good company is a nice thing but If that company is stealing your joy, or disturbing your contentment then that company is too pricey to be owned.

4) Pay attention and take care of your needs

Take care of yourself

Paying more attention to others even if you are not feeling well is a form of love and care. But you need to understand when to stop and how to maintain a balance between both taking care of yourself and doing something for others even if feeling unwell. Understand that your body, mind, and soul also need your attention. And you’ll do better when you take proper care of yourself.

5) Stop sacrificing your well-being for others. Start saying no to whatever doesn’t serve your purpose to your well-being

Don’t sacrifice your everything

Sacrificing yourself for the sake of someone else’s happiness is a pure form of love but you deserve some of that sacrifice. Not everyone is worth sacrificing yourself for. If you are someone who keeps sacrificing yourself for others for their validation then this isn’t going anywhere nice. Learn to say no so that you can save lots of your precious mental energy and your efforts into something that doesn’t even is your thing to do. This way you are losing control of your time and also you are loosing time that you could have to your loved ones.

Self-awareness helps

  • Discover what triggers you.
  • Discover what makes you happy. Discover what is important to you.
  • Discover what holds a higher value in your life.
  • Let go of what the past has given you. Not every burden is yours to carry.
  • Process your fears, insecurities, toxic cycles, toxic coping mechanisms.

1) Discover what triggers you

What triggers you?

Understand what triggers you into thinking or believing that you are a lovable material.

2) Discover what makes you happy. Discover what is important to you

What makes you happy?

Observe yourself closely

3) Discover what holds a higher value in your life

What holds a higher value for you?

We all hold our ethics and values high in our life. We usually experience a change in what makes us happy but what lies in the line of our ethics or values will always provide contentment. Sometimes it may be something that is quite difficult to pursue but it will always be worth it in the end. It doesn’t always have to be something big, it has to be something that holds a higher value to yourself.

4) Let go of what the past has given you. Not every burden is yours to carry

Let go of the past

Sometimes what happened to you wasn’t your fault and whatever you did at that time to save yourself out f that situation was just a coping mechanism and can be considered well. Your past isn’t in your hands, it is in the past and it will be great if you’ll leave it in the past itself. What is still in your hands is your present. Pay attention to your present moment and try to work upon the lesson past gave you, rather than just keep holding it. The longer you’ll hold upon what happened in the past, the greater it will start to hurt.

5) Process your fears, insecurities, toxic cycles, toxic coping mechanisms


You can start anytime, anywhere, at any stage of your life. Now tell me would you dare to do it now?

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