Do You Love You?

Woman Heart Face

Do You Love You?

By: Amy Maricle

I know it’s a bit of a strange question, but, do you? We have no problem saying we love our spouse, our children, our best friend, or even our favorite ice cream, but we would never say, “I love myself!” Why not?

 

It sounds weird, selfish, egotistical. Who says that? Well usually, no one. Not out loud anyway. I’m not suggesting that you take to the streets shouting your love and appreciation for yourself, but I would like you to consider how you treat the most important person in your life, the person who is responsible for your well-being every moment of every day – you.

Can You Count the Ways?

Think about the ways that you say I love you to others  – you empathize, you do favors, you give hugs, presents, and good advice. Chances are you can think of a lot of ways you show people you love them.

How do you show you love yourself? Is it harder to count the ways?

Loving yourself is hard. It’s much easier to focus on the negative – how you always say the wrong thing, are forgetful, messy, and have a dorky sense of humor. All this negative self-talk is not the way you would treat someone you loved. If you talked to your best friend the way you talk to yourself, she would have bailed on you a long time ago!

If you don’t take your emotions, needs, and wishes seriously, nobody else will either.

Just like any deep relationship, your relationship to yourself requires work. One way to start focusing more on yourself is to try the following exercise:

 

Make a List

Make a list of nice things you do for the people in your life. Perhaps your list might look something like this:

 

Be kind

Say nice things

Give a thoughtful gift

Help them out when they are in need

Give them a hug

Listen when they are upset

Encourage them when they doubt themselves

Give them the benefit of the doubt

Spend time with them

Give them a present on their birthday

Stand up for them

Make them laugh

Tell them to take a break

 

Can you pick one or two things from the list that you could do for yourself this week? What if you went out of your way to find something that makes you laugh? Or gave yourself a break when you made a mistake, or found a friend to talk to instead of ignoring your feelings when you are upset? Your friends and family deserve the best of you, and so do you!

 

 

Comments?

What do you do to love and take care of yourself? If you struggle to take care of yourself, why? Tell us about it in the comments.

 

If you like this post, you might also like this one, or this one here.

 

DISCLAIMER: This information is not a substitute for professional psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content provided by Maricle Counseling and Amy Maricle, LMHC, ATR-BC is intended for general information purposes only. Never disregard professional medical or psychological advice or delay seeking treatment because of something you read here.

 

Image credit: hugofelix / 123RF Stock Photo

4 Comments

  1. Nicole Schwarz, MA, LMFT

    I think one of the hardest things to do is to forgive ourselves when we make a mistake. We’re not perfect, why do we keep expecting ourselves to be perfect? Thanks for reminding us to take time to think about the good things that we do, rather than focusing on the negative.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Nicole:

      It’s great to have your voice here again. Thank you for highlighting how exacting we can be with ourselves. It is so hard to let things go. I think we sometimes punish ourselves because we fear re-experiencing the stress, sadness, or embarrassment that accompanied our mistake; we think if we continue to make ourselves “pay” for it, that we cannot repeat our error.

      I think there’s a way to hang onto lessons learned without continually beating myself up simply because I said or did something foolish or careless.

      Thanks for the reminder about how important it is to forgive yourself if you want to love yourself.

      Reply
  2. Tamara G. Suttle, M.Ed., LPC

    Hey, Amy! This post made me chuckle – just the way you started it out by referencing the things we don’t say out loud. That’s so true!

    This is such a great reminder that we count, too! Thanks for sharing it!

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Tamara:

      Thanks for reading Tamara. I could do a whole series of posts on what we don’t say. Oh boy! On the other hand, there probably is a good post there about the things that we always think, but never say. While some things are better left unsaid, I bet we all censor ourselves at work and in relationships at times when we should speak up! I find that even just speaking honestly about my feelings, even if no change comes of it, makes me feel better. Usually though, it leads to positive changes in my life. Thanks Tamara!

      Reply

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