Self

13 Warning Signs You Don't Love Yourself

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woman in neon light

Learning how to love yourself requires having enough confidence and self-esteem in order to interact with other people around you.

Does it feel like you have to keep up with appearances or live up to everyone else's expectations?

On the surface, you may pretend you're fine, but you're really just distracting yourself from how you feel by focusing on everyone else except yourself.

When you take on board what others think about you, it's a sign that you don't love yourself.

Maybe you extend yourself to please others so you can feel good enough. Perhaps, you have difficulty saying no because you don't want to let people down in case they don't like you.

If you worry about what people think of you, when you focus on trying to get people to like you or fear judgment, and when you don't focus on yourself but focus on others for approval, then perhaps you don't love yourself as much as you think nor accept yourself as good enough.

If you worry about what people think about you, you can end up thinking that other people are judging you. But, in actual fact, I bet no one judges you the way you judge yourself.

Focusing on how others dislike you or wronged you is actually a way to distract yourself from how you feel about yourself.

If you feel not good enough, then you can displace your feelings onto others and think that others see you the way you see yourself. So, you think others are critical of you instead of realizing that you are actually critical of yourself.

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Instead of getting in touch with your feelings and learning to love yourself, it is easy to make others responsible for how you feel. It is easy to mistake that your partner causes you to feel worthless or that your boss judges you.

But, there is a possibility that you don't like yourself very much, so you externalize your feelings as being caused by those around you. You blame everyone else for how you feel deep down.

You might be saying to yourself, "But I feel fine. It's everyone else."

The more you hold anger or resentment towards those around you, it is usually because they've triggered your sore spots, wounds, or underlying feelings. So you want to run away and quit to escape the way you feel about yourself.

You're lacking in self-love and confidence when you're focusing on everyone else but yourself.

Whenever you take the focus off yourself, you lose your sense of self by looking towards others in order to feel good about yourself. This causes you to focus on how others are treating you, rather than how you treat yourself.

You avoid letting people see the real you because you feel not good enough to do so.

Here are 13 subtle warning signs that you don't love yourself:

1. You expect your partner to leave you

You look for evidence that your partner will leave you or find someone better.

2. You don't trust your friends when they say something came up

You think your friend canceled your plans because she doesn’t like you.

3. You feel insecure at work

You think your boss wants to get rid of you because you feel useless.

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4. You don't trust when your husband gives advice

You may feel that your husband is judgmental or berating you when he offers you advice.

5. You feel self-conscious when job bunting

You do not feel good enough to apply for the job you want.

6. You are quiet around people

You do not feel confident to speak to people in case they might judge you.

7. You don't talk during important meetings

You will not speak up in a team meeting because you do not trust that your ideas are good enough or you think others know better.

8. You do what everyone else does

You go along with what others think so you do not get it wrong.

9. You're a people pleaser

It's easy to please everyone to avoid being judged.

10. You don't take risks

You avoid putting yourself out there, going for the job you want

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11. You don't realize you're the problem sometimes

You constantly think the problem is other people so you want them to change.

12. You don't take care of yourself

You forget about doing things for yourself because you do not think you deserve good things in life.

13. You blame yourself for everything

You think everything is your fault, instead of seeing the bigger picture.

If you are in a relationship, you may also believe that your partner thinks that you're not good enough. Instead of taking on-board constructive feedback about yourself and learning to grow as an individual, it's easy to blame others or run away to avoid feeling this way.

Attempts to change your partner or find fault in them can be a way to avoid the part of you that feels unlovable or not unworthy.

You end up escaping from the critical part of yourself that berates you for not being good enough. In this way, you can give up and avoid doing things for yourself to avoid feeling not good enough.

If you detect that you don't love who you are, then it's time to learn how to be more confident and love yourself.

If you do not acknowledge how you feel on the inside, then you'll always think that others are critical of or judging you.

Acknowledging your feelings allows you to change how you feel about yourself. Thus, building confidence and loving yourself will allow you to change the way you treat yourself.

So, if you spot signs that you don't love yourself, the key is to change how you feel, not change what others think or make them responsible for how you feel.

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Nancy Carbone is a relationship therapist and psychodynamic psychotherapist with 18 years of counseling experience. She specializes in the treatment of personality disorders and relational trauma and is accredited as a mental health social worker.

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This article was originally published at Counseling Service Melbourne. Reprinted with permission from the author.