How To Love Yourself When Others Are Unloving Toward You

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How To Stay Connected With Yourself In The Face Of Others’ Unloving
Love, Self

You don't have to self-abandon. Do this instead.

One of our greatest challenges in relationships is to not get triggered into self-abandonment when others are unloving — to stay connected with ourselves rather than getting triggered into our ego wounded self.

A client, Lila, asked:

"When I find myself in an unfriendly situation, I find it a challenge to take loving action towards myself. Even if I know the other person has a wound they are living out, I still become hurt and instead of tending to myself I demand an apology or cry or get angry. It's difficult to search my mind for the loving action towards myself in the heat of the moment. How do I stay with myself in these moments?"

This is about becoming conscious of your intent and healing some underlying false beliefs. You demand an apology or cry or get angry because your intent is to control the other person rather than be loving to yourself.

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You have not come to terms with your big false belief that you can control how others feel. And you have not defined your own worth through your spiritual connection. You are handing to the other person the responsibility of making you okay — they have to apologize in order for you to be okay.

In order to be able to stay with yourself and lovingly tend to your own hurt in these moments, a number of things need to heal within you.

You need to work with your higher power to define your own beautiful essence. Unless you know your essence, you may be making others responsible for defining you, which means when they are unloving, you feel rejected and unworthy. Then, in order to feel worthy and lovable again, you try to get them to apologize and see you differently.

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Here 4 things you need to remember when you're figuring out how to love yourself:

  1. You need to fully accept that you have no control over how others feel about you and see you. While you might be able to manipulate them into apologizing, you cannot manipulate how they feel about you.
  2. You need to become willing to feel your painful feelings and take responsibility for them rather than avoid them by trying to control others. 
  3. You need to become fully aware that, while others' unloving behavior is hurtful, the deeper hurt is your own self-abandonment. Your inner child feels rejected by you when you do not attend to your feelings and instead, you focus on making someone else responsible for you.
  4. You need to reach a point where you are not taking other's behavior personally. You say, "Even if I know the other person has a wound they are living out…", but you are still taking it personally. Others' unloving behavior does hurt our heart, but when you define your own intrinsic worth, letting go of the hope of control, and not taking others' behavior personally, you can turn your attention toward attending to your own hurt.

Once you have done this healing work, then you can attend to your own feelings by putting your hands on your heart, opening to your higher power and inviting compassion into your heart and bringing that compassion down to your inner child, who is hurting from the other person’s unloving behavior.

It is not realistic to expect yourself to not get triggered by your ego wounded self until you have done this level of healing. And this is not an instant process.

The more you do your inner work, the less reactive you will become — the less you will get triggered into your ego wounded self in the face of another's wounded self.

The more you practice compassionately attending to your own feelings with an intent to learn, the more loved by you your inner child will feel, and the less hurt you will feel in the face of others' unloving behavior.

RELATED: Why High Self-Esteem Is The Secret To A Healthy Relationship

Margaret Paul holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, noted public speaker, workshop leader, educator, chaplain, consultant and artist. Start learning to love yourself and heal your relationships with our free Inner Bonding course.