How to Love People Who Don't Love Themselves

Thursday, February 18, 2016


The main character of any good story seems to be some broken outcast waiting for someone to swoop in and save the day. I get it. You want to be the hero. Spoiler alert: The only story you can be a hero in is your own.


Falling for someone with low self-esteem in the real world is more of a tragic trilogy; book one you try, book two you try harder, book three you're exhausted.


I get it. You want to feel needed. The thing is, the only thing they really need is to learn how to rely on themselves for love.

What you can't do...


Think about the last time you had a terribly lousy day. Envision it. Now, imagine that Mr. Bippity Bop strolled in on that day and told you that he thought your day was actually going fantastically.


Did your day get instantaneously better?


Of course not, you probably just want to bippity bop boop him out the door. It would be silly to think someone knows your day better than you. He didn't live your day, only you did. Now, imagine how it feels to your loved one when you tell them they are wonderful despite the image they have of themselves.


You cannot hug his broken pieces back into place. You cannot change his reflection in the mirror. You cannot fix him, because he is not broken. He is a wandering boy on a personal journey of self-love, and this is not a journey you can expedite.


What you can do...


Don't hold him to the same standards you do of everyone else. Your relationship will not progress like others. It isn't that he doesn't want to love you, he simply does not have the capability to fully love you yet. I beg of you to do what I could not always do: let him learn to love himself. Do not rush him. Do not ask him to feel things he is not ready to. Do not take it personally when they reject your compliments and praise.


Get over yourself.


Be there when they need you to be. Be there for what they need from you. Love without expectations.


The problem is not that you aren't loving him enough, but the fact that he is refusing to accept love. You just want them to look in the mirror and see what you see. Their looks. Their consistent kindness despite how the world has treated them. Their witty sense of humor.


What you need to do...


First off, you need to understand that they cannot love you the way you deserve to be loved. Honestly, they will probably straight up tell you this themselves. They are not saying this to scare you away, it is simply the truth. This does not mean you have to permanently remove yourself from their life. You can still love them. You can still be there for them. You can still be a big part of their live. Just don't get so caught up in trying to help them that you forget to help yourself.


If you love someone who does not love themselves, congratulations. When this is done genuinely, it is quite a selfless act. It truly is loving blindly, because there is no guarantee that when they finally love themselves, they will still love you (brutal, but true). I do urge you not to give up on your loved one. It's hard, but they are most likely worth it. The best thing you can do for them and yourself is to love without expectations.


Probably unnecessary and assumed disclaimer: While I stuck with male pronouns to avoid confusion, this in no way applies strictly to males.

20 comments:

  1. This is totally a lesson that I had to learn the hard way. Good intentions and hoping can change how a person feels about themselves no matter how hard we try. Incredible, thought provoking post.

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    1. I think the only way to the learn this lesson is the hard way sadly! On the bright side, at least you come out a stronger person. Thank you for reading, have a wonderful day.

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  2. I'm so lucky that this hasn't happened to me. Both my boyfriend and I struggle with anxiety and broken pasts, but we have found in each other a companion and we both work on encouraging each other to love ourselves, even before the other (Harder done than said). This is a very eye-opening article. Very well written. It's sad how true this is, but all anyone can do is stay strong and be there for that person (:

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    1. I'm so happy to hear you two are able to help each other with that! It sounds like you two have quite a beautiful relationship. Have a lovely day!

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  3. I'm not sure that there's anything I can add to this except ... yes. Wow. Yes. Fabulous post. :) Anything I might add would be too personal for the people involved, and I don't have the right to do that.

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    1. Thank you so much, have a spectacular day!

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  4. I've learned this the hard way... a couple of times. It's hard when you see so much in someone and just want them to see what you see in them. Love is such a complicated emotion. I'm not sure I have much to add to this article. You've written it so well.

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    1. It is incredibly hard, if only people could see how truly wonderful they are. Thank you and I wish you a great Wednesday!

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  5. Really wonder article. So often the biggest issue in any relationship (romantic or platonic) is the expectations we place on them. It's also why we are often let down.

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    1. I think expectations can be bitter sweet. It is good to have a set of standards for both yourself and who you surround yourself with. At the same time, expectations set us up for failure. It's so easy to fall for the idea of someone rather than the person themselves. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and have a lovely day!

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  6. Such a wonderful read. In my early-mid (to late) twenties, I was the person struggling to love themselves and I can now see how they directly affected my relationships with my friends, family, and significant other. Making the investment to learn to love yourself, no matter how you have to learn, is the best investment anyone can make.

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    1. I agree 100%! People overlook the relationship they have with themselves far too often. How can you love someone else if you can't even love yourself, ya know? I struggled with this as well and once you learn to love yourself, you truly do have the ability and capacity to love in such a stronger manner.

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  7. Definitely get the whole loving someone who doesn't love themselves or others. And it doesnt even have to be in a romantic sense. It's a hard lesson to just move on either for good or until they learn to love down the road.

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  8. This is all too true. Thanks for writing such a good post on a subject that so many of us have experienced before in our lives.

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  9. Lovely post. No matter how unconditional your love for another, it is never enough if they don't love themselves.

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  10. These are great tips. It's so hard to love someone who doesn't love themselves.

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  11. This is a very thought provoking post, thanks for sharing!!
    Hayle xx

    www.hayleolson.com

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  12. This was such a beautiful post with some great reminders! Thanks for sharing.

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  13. "Just don't get so caught up in trying to help them that you forget to help yourself." LOVE THIS!

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  14. 'You cannot hug his broken pieces back into place. You cannot change his reflection in the mirror. You cannot fix him, because he is not broken. '

    I'm trying to forget the broken past and move on. Hope you are good.

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