It’s common nowadays to say that loving yourself is the biggest key to loving other people around you. People say it on social media, to each other and so on. But is this a guaranteed promise?
Does science support this? Or is this just a bit of pseudo-wisdom? In general, there are no studies or academic research that supports this theory. It sounds true because it makes sense.
The point in this is the wise self-love. Psychologists have questioned this in the past and they have concluded that self-love is important, not just for loving others but also enjoying your life and being a happy, satisfied individual.
Self-love and self acceptance are crucial for any person to live a happy life. Without it, happiness in general is highly unlikely.
People can be rich and still be miserable if they can’t find inner peace and self-love as well as acceptance. Nothing guarantees happiness but the self-love and being satisfied with who you are.
You can have the most amazing partner ever and be loved and admired, but in general, if you don’t consider yourself love-worthy and if you don’t love yourself, you cannot be truly happy.
Despite the outward success and seemingly perfect life, even people who have it all sometimes feel unhappy because they feel like they are a fraud and they feel like they don’t deserve anything they have.
They also might fear that people will find out about this unworthiness of theirs and that they will shunn them and hate them for it. They have contempt for themselves and they have a negative sense of self which is limiting them in having a good life.
In most cases, people who don’t love themselves have been brought up by parents who didn’t love them or who didn’t show love, parents who neglected or abused them.
This experience in early developmental stages is always harmful and these people end up having doubts about their looks, competence and worth.
So their negative outlook is diminishing their achievements and preventing these people from internalizing this success. This can happen to people who had completely normal, loving childhoods.
But, these people are also very good at showing love to other people, in many cases. So, internal misery doesn’t mean that a person can’t show love to other people. This is why finding evidence that loving yourself more means loving others more is so hard.
I have also seen many people who are really unhappy within and who don’t like themselves show unconditional lie to people in their families, especially their spouses and children.
But loving yourself does mean that you will be happier and that your life will be better. But with some therapy and more care for yourself, you will learn to love yourself and to give yourself what you need in order to be happy.
Forget about loving anyone else – love yourself for a change, care for yourself. Over time, you will learn to address the source of your self-dislike and you will have the opportunity to grow as a person.
But would loving yourself make you love others more? There is no simple answer suggesting this. However, your relationships can become more intimate and deeper when you know who you are and what you want in life.
When you believe in yourself, you’ll be happier and more willing to show that love to others. Relationships are supposed to be easy, all about give and take and compromise. Sometimes, it is not that we have the lack of love for ourselves but more too much love for another.
We smother our partners with that love and we get consumed in being with them while forgetting what we actually need and love. Love of a mother is something that’s hard to describe and in some cases, the love between spouses reaches the same level.
Both loves end up smothering the other party. To have a better relationship with your partner, you should focus a bit more on yourself and your own betterment.
Many people disagree with this statement because loving yourself more than your partner seems selfish and counterproductive.
But in fact, if you could be the person that is happy with yourself, you could be the person that gives more of the right kind of love to your spouse. Here are some of the ways you can love yourself more:
Take care of yourself
Most spouses tend to focus their attention on their partner, catering to their every need. While this is fine to an extent – in the sense of being loving, willing to help and mindful to their problems – going overboard is definitely an issue.
Your behavior shouldn’t interfere with your own needs and your needs shouldn’t be delayed. If you want something, do it. Don’t interrupt yourself to do something for your spouse unless it’s necessary.
Constantly delaying your needs will make you unhappy. Balance between doing things for yourself and because you love yourself and doing things for your spouse and because you love your spouse.
Spend time with friends
This doesn’t mean that you should have a crazy night out that will last until three am and end with you stumbling through your home shushing the furniture – although, if it will make you happy, go for it.
But there are many other options too. For instance, you could have a dinner with some friends, have a quiet night in with your best friend and so on. Your friends can even be your sister, brother or your mom.
You should just focus on spending time with some inspiring and supportive people. You can talk to them about all of those little things you can’t talk to your spouse with and simply enjoy feeling good about life and having fun.
When you spend some time without your partner, you will learn to appreciate them more and be grateful for having them in your life.
Learn to speak nicely about yourself
Most people are raised to believe that talking about yourself and accepting compliments, celebrating your own achievements is a bad thing. However, you need to break out of that mold and step out into the spotlight.
You don’t need to be cocky or braggy but you do need to accept and recognize your own qualities. You need to be confident and happy in your own skin. If someone gives you a compliment, take it.
If you do something amazing, recognize it. Let your light shine bright and be seen far and wide. You will instantly become miles more attractive to your spouse because confidence is important.
Take care of your career
Whether your career is all about staying at home and caring for kids or you have a job outside your home, your focus should be on your career.
At the very least, you need to acknowledge that what you are doing is important and that you are contributing to your overall relationship. Be successful and advance in your career. Network and meet new people who could help you advance and grow.
This can be just a start of your personal development. You will love yourself more when you focus on things that make you happy and satisfied.
Because of that, you will have more love to give to people around you and you will also have more love to get as a fulfilled and happy person. Focus on you for a while and see how your life changes from being dull to being amazing.
In my experience, the best partners are people who see relationships as partnerships between two strong and independent people who agree that their goal is to help each other be their best self.
This is what me and my wife implement in our marriage and it works. I’ve learned it from my parents and guess what? It works for them too – for much longer than they’d like to admit.
However, if your goal is to make your spouse happier through other means than to love yourself more, there are some options as well.
In the midst of busy schedules and generally busy lifestyle, you might love yourself and be yourself but you can’t seem to carve out time for your loved one. It’s easy to take them for granted.
After a while, both of you will realize that you are not spending enough time intentionally being together and talking, caring for each other. Many people experience this, and so have we. But to fight through, you need work as well.
This is the case of loving your own relationship and dedicating time to make it better, just like loving yourself.
Take steps to improve your relationship
If you know what your spouse needs, you should make an effort to do something they love every day.
There is no surefire recipe for this because every person is different, but small things like slipping a note into their pocket or sending a nice text to them and so on can really make a difference.
Both of you should make at least one focused effort to be with each other and do one small thing for each other that can signal to the other person that they are loved and valued as a person and as a partner.
Listen to each other
When you come home from work, do you spend hours talking about the horrid day you just had? Do you listen to your spouse at all?
This is a bug problem in relationships because partners often don’t listen to each other too much.
But, once you get home from work, why don’t you set up a nice dinner and take turns talking about your day? You can share about your thoughts and feelings and listen to them.
You might offer some advice but even if you don’t it’s perfectly fine because all you need to do is just listen to them.
Talk about your needs
Nothing beats a good conversation. And after being disconnected for a while, it’s good to have a talk about what each of you need to feel happy and satisfied in your relationship.
Sometimes it will be a bit more alone time, or a date night or something else entirely. Just make sure that you communicate your needs with each other and that you talk about this. Do this frequently.
Don’t react when you are angry
No matter how hard this might sound, it’s very important to remember not to react when you are angry or too emotional.
Wait for a bit, take a deep breath and then talk calmly about the problem you have. This might sound like keeping feelings bottled up but calming down and then speaking is much more effective than yelling when you feel like it.
You can even learn to stop your fights and take a time out where you would take a few minutes to breathe and reconsider.
When you get angry, you can say many things that you don’t really mean. This can impact your relationship entirely. Instead, wait and then talk. Don’t bicker either. Be kind to each other.
As a couple, you need to be grateful to have each other on a daily basis. This means that you need to say it to each other as well.
Do it in a meaningful, important way, not just as a passing notion but as something that really matters in your life. Gratitude is an excellent exercise for a happy life.
Aimee Laurence is a content editor at Help with research papers. She develops training and manages the workflow to provide writers with supplemental or support instruction.