Stop Waiting for Someone to Make You Feel Special
And Love Yourself Instead
“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
Twain’s observation makes sense. If you don’t approve of yourself, no one else’s opinion of you will make a jot of difference to your self-regard. Similarly, if you don’t have self-compassion and love yourself unconditionally, no one else’s love for you will fill the void and give you what you need to feel whole.
I recall that in the days when I was a full-time counselor self-love was the main problem most of my clients faced. Only, they didn’t know not caring for themselves sufficiently was what troubled them. Usually, they would say “my spouse doesn’t pay me enough attention.” Or “my parents don’t love me enough.”
Of course, you want those important people in your life to love you, but when your happiness depends on their love, you’re vulnerable. Not in a healthy way, but because you’ve given them the power to make or break your happiness.
When you have inner-resilience and confidence from self-love, nobody can take away your strength. You cope even if they trample over your goodwill and hang you out to dry. Further, you aren’t emotionally equipped to deal with the challenges of difficult relationships until you love yourself enough to demonstrate your value.
Self-love isn’t arrogance
Self-love isn’t vanity. It’s about cherishing and valuing yourself. It’s about being so grateful for your mind, body, and life itself that you treat yourself with respect and teach others how to treat you likewise. If they refuse, you are strong enough to let them go because you know you are worth more than they can give you.
It is okay to want someone to make you feel special, but understand they can’t make you feel anything that’s not already inside you. The late Wayne Dyer used to talk about how when you squeeze an orange, out comes orange juice. Lemon juice won’t come out because you can’t get something out that’s not there.
Someone can love you to bits, but if you aren’t receptive to their love, it won’t reach you. It’s a bit like empathy. You can’t empathize with someone if you have no understanding. You need to have experienced similar troubles to feel, rather than intellectually glean, what’s happening for them.
True love starts with the individual
True love starts on an individual level. I don’t mean you can’t love others unless you love yourself. Just that loving yourself sets you free from all the clinging and neediness, wanting people to stretch themselves into what you require to feel cherished.
Mostly, people can’t make you feel special all the time. They may love you, but they have their own agendas just as you have yours. They want their needs met — it’s a primal necessity — so they can’t stop seeking their own fulfillment to make yours a priority.
Occasionally you’ll meet someone who will go the extra mile, but such a person is rare indeed. Usually, they can only be that way because they have mastered the art of self-love.
The seed of self-love needs water
To master self-love, you need to slow down and be with yourself for a while without distraction. Listen to your higher self — it’s not really a separate part of you, but the terminology helps you recognize it’s not the critical voice you’re used to hearing.
Meditation helps, just sitting quietly listening to your breath, and mindfulness too. When you slow inner chatter self-awareness grows, and you see better what’s happening around you.
You note people are busy trying to find someone to make them feel special like you have been. Sometimes they go about the task in negative ways that hurt others. When you are a victim of their behavior, your reaction reflects a lack of self-compassion and regard.
In a world where everyone cherished themselves, love would flow in all directions. Rather than grappling agonizingly with people’s affections, folks would allow others to walk their own paths and live life to their own drumbeat. No one would expect their lovers, family, or friends to twist themselves inside out to please them.
When you imagine your only source of love is other people, though, you have no choice but to hope they will offer some to you. Or you might try to wring it out of them.
You can increase a sense of high self-regard by adding extra self-care into your days. Do little things that bring you pleasure. Give yourself a foot rub, watch the sun go down, cook yourself a fabulous meal and light candles and drink wine, even though you are alone. Instruct your psyche to recognize you matter. Treat yourself as though you are valuable and slowly, your self-esteem will grow.
There’s much more to self-love than is mentioned here, but the tips given are a great start. Self-esteem can’t be healed overnight. It takes time, patience, and perseverance. The good news is that inch-by-inch, if you work on it, things will get easier.