One of the most important forms of love that I haven’t mentioned yet is loving yourself. This is where everything really starts. It’s also by far the most difficult form of love. Both guys and girls struggle with self esteem from a fairly young age. Some may believe that guys don’t have the same kind of self esteem issues as girls which can be true to an extent considering the fact that such pressure is placed on girls from the time they reach kindergarten for the majority of their life. Guys don’t have the same exact degree of what they should look like. I do think that guys struggle with it because they don’t like who they are if they’ve ever been rejected or simply because of their own stereotypes.
Regardless of what sex you are, we can all agree that loving yourself is hard for us all. The trick I use to think about loving myself is thinking about yourself as a little girl or boy. This is a trick that Rae’s therapist in the British teen drama My Mad Fat Diary used. Basically, she had major weight problems for most of her life and she ended up binging and cutting which led to her staying in a mental hospital for a summer. She continues to meet with this therapist and her struggles are continuous but he tries to urge her to think of her childhood self. He tells her to close her eyes and picture that little girl and tell her that she’s fat. She does that, and then she ends up telling her that she’s beautiful and perfect and she shouldn’t let what others might think about her get to her. I think this is an effective way of thinking because who wants to be mean to a little kid? You think of your younger self, all hopeful and positive and you don’t want that person to change.
There’s a number of different ways we can change our ways of thinking. Self-image is a really major thing. It sets the focus for everything and causes you to think either good or bad things about yourself. It also helps to see yourself through the eyes of somebody else. Maybe somebody like a parent or grandparent that’s always told you how beautiful and what a good person you are. If they see the good that you can’t, just pretend that you’re them seeing you the way that they do. This is really tricky and I get that, but I think it might sort of work depending on who you are.