How To Help People Love Themselves
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Self Love

Don't Just Tell People How To Love Themselves, Show Them

If you really listen, you'll see they don't need advice or guilt-tripping anger. They need help.

Man and woman hugging

"I hate myself."

When someone you love says that to you, what are you supposed to say?

If you're like most people, you say whatever you can to make it all go away: don't think like that, stop putting yourself down, tell me why you hate yourself (upon which I will dismantle every single reason you have for your self-hatred), try this or that to love yourself.

And if you're like some people, you'll take their self-hatred personally. Because it's so obvious they don't deserve to torture themselves with such hate and you've told them so multiple times so why can't they just see it already and stop being such a downer! Right?

It's tempting and well-intentioned to want to come up with a quick fix for self-hatred. If only telling someone to think differently or calling out their illogical thinking or giving advice was enough.

And yes, it is frustrating to see someone you love who is so clearly amazing poison themselves with hatred and take EVERYTHING personally.

But this is their truth. And no amount of anger or dismissiveness will change that.

The best way to get people to change their mind is to make them feel heard. If someone confides in you or lets a hateful comment slip, don't try to fix it or tell them why they shouldn't think that way. Listen to them. Because if you really listen, you'll learn that they know they shouldn't hate themselves and they don't even want to. They just don't know how to stop. If you really listen, you'll see they don't need advice or guilt-tripping anger. They need help. They need someone to show them they are worth loving.

People who hate themselves don't want their hate to affect you. If you show them how they should be treated and that they are worthy of love and make it clear to them how their hate affects you, I guarantee you, you will plant seeds of doubt in their mind. It will be a slow process but the brain is designed to endure change. With consistent patience and care, self-love will blossom.

Self-hate is uncomfortable to talk about, frustrating to hear about and debilitating to experience. But we have to embrace it if we are to eradicate it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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