If You Don't Love Yourself, You Can't Love Anyone Else

Love, Self

Turn fighting into laughter with better communication.

Not loving yourself affects communication at every level. It can also hold you hostage with the ones you love.

For example, I just counseled a couple, Tim and Gina. When Gina would say that she wanted something different to happen in the relationship, Tim started overanalyzing and over-interpreting her words — instead of just saying, "Okay, I might be able to do that." Tim, over time, has realized that it's his demons from past relationships that affect his connection to Gina. And Gina's response is to turn away from him or demand that he do something differently. When he reacts to her, it affects the degree of connection they have which in turn affects his happiness.

Over time in therapy, Tim has learned to love and accept himself. One of the things that has helped him do this is understanding why he goes into his head trying to figure things out and getting reactive. His childhood affected the way he responds to life and set him up for not accepting himself. With therapy, he has been able to counter these messages and accept this part of himself, talk back to it and decrease the power it has over him.

Now, when Gina comes out a little critical, he knows it's not so much about him and that he can help her to deal with her stuff without feeling unloved. This couple has been able to turn what would have been a fight into joking together. Tim can now stand up to his wife in a healthy, confident manner without getting negative.