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What Self-Loving People Do Differently

Love is always “the thing.” Songs, movies, talk shows, you name, it is centered on some form or manifestation of love. Think about it– passion, lust, greed, validation—all have, at one point or another, been called “love.” But in all this, where does self-love lie? The pursuits of these manifestations, many times, have a direct correlation to how we love ourselves.

We’ve all seen the baddest, boldest, and realest reduced to tears upon revisiting the some internal lack—often stemming from some expression of love. Of course, not every smiling person is brimming over with self-love, but what’s for sure is that it shows with self-loving people.

Here are seven things that self-loving people do differently:

1. They listen to their emotions. Most people spend their lives doing one of two things to their emotions: numbing or venting. Often, they do a combination of the two (i.e. numbing until they can’t hold it in anymore, then they explode).

Self-loving people do something very different — they accept each emotion and look at it as an opportunity; they look beyond just the emotion. This way, emotions can become important guideposts on the journey of self-discovery, rather than annoying roadblocks.

2. They choose responsibility over blame. When something negative happens, self-loving people will look for a way to take responsibility, rather than searching for someone to blame. They know that placing blame doesn’t solve the problem — it only develops anxiety and helplessness. By choosing to take responsibility, self-loving people encourage change and acceptance rather than stewing in stagnation and suffering.

3. They feed their passions and talents. Every person in this world feels the gentle tug of fascination toward some hobby or activity. Sometimes that tug isn’t so gentle! Self-loving people learn to recognize that inner longing as something important, and they devote time and energy to nourishing those desires. Self-loving people do something every single day that they love doing, and they allow themselves the space to explore new interests that arise. Know that nourishing that inner hunger is much more important than the fears of feeding it.

4. They spend time alone. Those who have unhealthy, abusive relationships with themselves often can’t deal with being alone. The moment they have some space with themselves, self-defeating thoughts and toxic emotions creep in, so they reach for the phone or some vice—you know which one… Self-loving people do the opposite. They look forward to their time by themselves, just as you’d look forward to a date with a beloved friend. They not only make time for themselves, they start to miss their time alone if they don’t take it.

5. They sleep on it. As we learn to respect ourselves, we become more long-term oriented. Instead of caving to momentary impulses and immediate gratification, self-loving people will sleep on it and weigh the outcomes of important decisions. Paradoxically enough, being able to delay gratification and think about long-term outcomes gives us the ability to enjoy our lives more in every single moment, because that “long-term” that we’re always thinking about becomes our entire way of life.

6. They teach people how to treat them and walk away if they cannot. Those who deny themselves love, respect, and approval will inevitably seek those necessities from other people. When we base our relationships with others on approval-seeking and love-hunger, we’re not really respecting ourselves or other people. We’re just running each other dry. That’s why self-loving people approach relationships from a place of self-sufficiency. They know what they need to feel respected and they know what they have to offer. They gently teach the people around them about their boundaries and, if those are crossed repeatedly, they have the courage to walk away.

7. They admit their mistakes.

Those who don’t have self-respect are always measuring themselves against some outside standard (i.e. Facebook). In many cases, that standard is being “right.” They feel good when they’re right and discouraged when they’re wrong, because their whole sense of identity is wrapped up in these labels. Self-loving people tend to identify with more permanent parts of their experience, rather than temporary states like right/wrong, old/young, happy/sad. They feel a deep, unconditional acceptance of themselves, which gives them the power to practice self-improvement without losing self-love. Thus, they not only admit when they’re wrong, they expect to be.

How many of these self-love habits are you practicing? How will you love yourself more today?

Source: “What Self-Loving People Do Differently,” from by Vironika Tugaleva

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