Five signs you don’t love yourself

Have you ever found it hard to take a step back and evaluate how much you love yourself? A lot of times, it’s easier to assess the behavior of other people and whether or not they love themselves. Loving yourself and maintaining a high morale can be drivers to help you achieve our goals and be nurturing towards yourself. Being attuned to your own amount of self-love is critical to pouring back into yourself when you need it. 

Here are a few markers to help determine if you may need to increase the self-love in your life: 

  1.   You feel bad about taking time for yourself.

The first sign you may not love yourself is that you feel bad or guilty taking time for yourself. This can be rooted in not believing you’re worth it or that it’s wrong or selfish to put yourself first. But did you know the act of caring for yourself reinforces the idea in the brain that you are worthy of unconditional love?

To help you put this into practice, actively tending to your own needs physically could mean resting or taking a nap when your body is telling you you need it. This reset could also look like reading a relaxing book for 30 minutes when you’re overwhelmed in order to unplug and give your brain a break. It might look like caring for your body by eating nutritional food and exercising. Lastly, setting boundaries with friends, family and coworkers — learning to say no when it is beneficial to your own well-being — is critical to upholding self-care. 

  1. You keep falling in love with toxic people. 

Have you ever wondered why you seem to keep falling in love with toxic people? 

It’s important first to objectively recognize the signs of a toxic partner, but what might be most telling is if the person mistreats, belittles or insults you. It’s often harder to identify a toxic partner, however, because love blinds us. You may pursue these kinds of partners if you, deep down, don’t love yourself and realize you deserve a better, kinder partner.  

  1. You apologize continually for things that don’t need an apology.

Over-apologizing can be insidious and hard to realize when you’re doing it, until perhaps someone close to you points it out. Over-apologizing or apologizing when it isn’t necessary is a symptom of being afraid of conflict or confrontation. It also occurs when you excessively focus on the needs of other people and put your own way on the back-burner.  According to, it’s also likely a result of perfectionism — unrealistically high standards that make it difficult to be gracious with yourself when small things are imperfect. 

All of these instances stem back to a lack of self-love. 

  1.   You beat yourself up for past failings.

Have you ever found yourself dwelling on past mistakes even after they’re a distant memory? In those moments fraught with doubt and needlessly kicking ourselves, the memory may not seem so distant at all. 

There are some deeply rooted reasons why your mind can’t seem to quiet your inner self-critic. According to Dr. Kristin Neff’s book “Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself,” the self-critic in our minds perceives the mistake as equal to a real-life danger, putting us in jeopardy of not being loved or accepted, which are essential to our well-being and survival. Our self-critic falsely informs us that the best way to motivate us is by being unnecessarily unkind or lacking in grace. But you’d most likely never dream of speaking to a close friend or family member with the same harshness. 

Dr. Neff goes on to explain that while listening to this relentless self-critic may seem motivating in the short-term, it could actually be demotivating in the long-term. Thus, self-compassion is a stronger tool, allowing us to acknowledge the mistake and move us forward. Self-compassion and self-love go hand-in-hand.

  1. You can’t trust your gut or intuition as you second-guess yourself.

The mental loop of reliving past mistakes can result in a vicious cycle of not trusting yourself. This can look like questioning whether you’re good enough, assuming unnecessary blame and retreating from a connected, active lifestyle, according to 

Celestine Fedley, a stress management coach, details self-trust as a step towards self-love. Some of the ways she suggests getting there include getting to the bottom of what your fears are by asking yourself what you’re really scared of and taking time to silence your mind to lean into what you’re feeling.

How do you find your increase the self-love in your life? What has been your own journey to get there?

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