The information in this article is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is for general information purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional.
Do you consider yourself to be a loving person? Do you easily find value and worth in people around you? But when you think about yourself, do you feel like you’re just as deserving of love as everyone else?
Sometimes it gets easy to forget that it’s not enough to love others, but it’s just as important to love ourselves, too. While you’re always there to cheer people up, you may neglect yourself and think you’re just not important enough for love.
If you’re struggling with self-love, you might find yourself in some of these 7 signs.
1. Need for attention
Are you often clingy and needy, desperately searching for others’ love and attention?
If you’re unable to love yourself, you’re going to be searching for that love in others. You will believe that other people’s hands and lips and words of validation will be able to fulfill that big hole that’s spreading in your chest.
But no matter how hard you try to gain that attention, you always feel like something is missing, like that hole not fulfilled yet. And that’s because no matter how loved someone makes you feel, your soul will know if it’s not loved by the person it lives in.
2. Being a people-pleaser
People-pleasers put everyone else first instead of themselves, and it’s a clear sign of low self-worth and low self-esteem. And if you don’t really like yourself that much, maybe you think everyone else should come first.
You have trouble standing up for yourself, so you let people treat you badly, since you don’t feel like you deserve better. You have trouble saying “no” to others, or feel guilty when you do. You are scared of appearing selfish so you agree to things you’re not happy to do, and you barely get time for yourself and your own needs. Also, you agree with what people say even if you don’t believe in your words, because you’re too scared of what others will think of you.
And by keeping everyone else content and happy, you are getting that validation which you’re not able to give yourself on your own.
3. Negative self-talk
Try to think about three things you like about yourself the most. Is this an easy task for you?
When you struggle with self-love, all your focus goes towards your flaws. When you think about yourself, you only see things that are bad and in need of change. You often say things like “I’m so stupid”, “I need to lose some weight”, “I’m not capable of doing anything right” and so many more phrases designed to let you down. If something goes wrong, you think it’s your fault and it’s hard for anyone to change your mind about it.
4. Not accepting compliments
How do you react when somebody gives you a compliment?
If you’re lacking self-love, maybe you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable to hear nice things about yourself. You might think people are lying to you, or like they’re saying that because they feel sorry for you. Since you don’t believe in those things yourself, it is hard for you to accept they could possibly be true.
5. Fear of failure
Another sign of lacking confidence and self-esteem is avoiding challenges or new things out of fear of failing.
Think about the opportunities you had, were you happy to take them, or did you decide you’re simply not good enough to succeed? Maybe it was something simple like trying out a new recipe or taking on a hobby, or something bigger like refusing a good job.
Either way, you might have thought you don’t have the talent or abilities to live up to the task, or you told yourself “what’s the point of trying if I’m not gonna make it anyway”.
6. Social withdrawal
You’ve been invited to a party, but you’re not sure you want to go… There will be so many people, and you feel like everyone will be looking at you. What if they think your clothes are ugly? What if you say something stupid? What if nobody won’t even talk to you, so you’ll be all alone in the corner of the room looking like a loser? So you decline the invitation.
Is that situation familiar to you? Low self-worth will often make you want to run away from any social interaction. Whether it be a party, or a night out with your friends, or a simple phone call. You just want to run away and hide out of fear of embarrassing yourself.
And this will reinforce your feelings of inadequacy even more, since the isolation will make you lonely, and you will feel like it’s all your fault, again.
7. Bad posture and body language
Your body language also says a lot about how much you like (or don’t like) yourself.
You may want to be invisible so others won’t judge you, so you slouch throughout the day to make yourself appear smaller. You keep your arms and legs crossed in a defensive position or avoid eye contact with others. Also, you could be anxiously and nervously touching your hair or picking your clothes or objects around you.
If you relate to some of these points, maybe it’s time to do something about it. Just as anyone else deserves to feel good about themselves, you deserve it too! You deserve to be happy and feel good in your own skin, even if you don’t believe that at the moment.
Obviously, the best way to gain confidence is through therapy. We strongly encourage everyone to try talking to a professional to get the best help possible.
In the meantime, you could try out some of these tips:
- Don’t compare yourself to others as much.
- Allow yourself to make mistakes.
- Realize nobody is perfect and forgive yourself for your imperfections.
- Don’t worry about what other people think.
- Let go of toxic people.
- Try not to criticise yourself as much.
- Don’t feel guilty for things you can’t change.
- Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself.
I know it’s easier said than done, but it really is possible. It just takes some time and effort. It may not be easy, but if you really want it, one day you might give someone else the same advice and tell them your story – the story of how you finally learned to love yourself!
I wish you all the luck on that journey!
Thank you for reading!
Written by: Stela Košić
If you wish to find out more about topics on self-love, feel free to check out some of the videos from Psych2Go’s YouTube channel:
- How To Practice Self Love
- 8 Things You Need to Know About Self-Love
- Watch This If You’re Struggling With Your Self-Worth
- 10 Ways Self Love Will CHANGE You
- 10 Signs You Lack Self Love
- 8 Signs of Low Self Esteem
- 7 Signs You Hate Yourself
- 5 Warning Signs That You Might Be Struggling with Low Self-Esteem. (n.d.). Mind Movies Blog. https://www.mindmovies.com/blogroll/5-warning-signs-that-you-might-be-struggling-with-low-self-esteem
- Common Signs of Low Self-Esteem. (2021, May 26). Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/signs-of-low-self-esteem-5185978
- How to Stop Being a People-Pleaser. (2021, September 3). Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-stop-being-a-people-pleaser-5184412
- Kamenya, M. (2021, February 1). 10 Little Known Ways That Your Poor Body Language Is Strangling Your Self Confidence. Owlcation. https://owlcation.com/social-sciences/10-Little-Known-ways-that-your-poor-body-language-is-strangling-your-self-confidence
- Self-esteem and mental health. (n.d.). Healthdirect. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/amp/article/self-esteem#signs
- Signs of Low Self-Esteem. (2020, November 25). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/signs-low-self-esteem
- Stewart, A. R. (2018, September 18). 13 Steps to Achieving Total Self-Love. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/13-self-love-habits-every-woman-needs-to-have#13.-Be-kind-to-yourself