You Have to Love Yourself

August 3, 2011 § 28 Comments

Oh God.  This old chestnut.

It was said to me – yet again – only yesterday.

You have to learn to love yourself and be happy with YOU before anyone else will love you.

When someone expresses themselves like that to me, I feel I am going to be sick.

I think it’s a whole load of therapy-speak mumbo-jumbo jargon-heavy wishy-washy pop-psychological bullshit.

For the record, and contrary to what earlier blogs may have hinted at, I do not hate myself.  Love myself?  Well, that may be going a bit far.  What the fuck does loving myself mean anyway?

If it means not cutting my arms with razor blades and not going out of my mind with my own company because I am so desperate to belong and so terrified of a single second on my own for fear I might lose out on acknowledgement by others that I am wonderful, then, hey, I love myself.  If it means actively enjoying my own company (I am NEVER bored; don’t know the meaning of the word: the world is full of BOOKS.  Wherefore boredom?) and being able to love and be loved by family and friends and, in my time, a few men also, then I love myself.  If it means not abusing my body with shit food till I swell up to the size of a fucking walrus, then I love myself.  If it means not drenching it with drink and fucking it up with Class A drugs till my heart and mind gives out entirely, then I love myself.  If it means not sleeping with jerks for the hell of it, then I love myself.  If it means taking pride in my work and enjoying my full-on social life and being on a constant mission to educate myself and learn about the world, then I love myself.  If it means giving other people some love and care and consideration and respect and joy, then I love myself.   Have I missed anything out?

If it means being an arrogant, entitled, conceited wanker who is entirely up my own arse and only gives a shit about money and material things and who couldn’t give a shit about anyone else but myself, then I don’t love myself.  If it means thinking I look like a cross between Kate Moss and Brigitte Bardot in her prime and behaving as if the world owes me a favour because I am so fuck-off beautiful that I can do what the hell I like to anyone I like no matter what inconvenience, hurt or pain it might bring, then I don’t love myself.  If it means “putting myself first” and therefore going through life like an A1 selfish and spoilt git without a care in the world for anyone or anything else, let alone the planet which was put there purely for me to plunder, then, no, I don’t love myself.  If it means lazing around and never lifting a finger or showing a smidgen of curiosity about anyone or anything other than myself, then I don’t love myself.

And if I don’t love myself, then there’s obviously no hope of me ever, ever finding a nice man again, ever, and the only thing I have got to look forward to is when I die.

Don’t anyone ever again give me that shit about “love yourself”.

§ 28 Responses to You Have to Love Yourself

  • Topgeared says:

    Well said, spot on, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Its like when people tell you you’ll find someone when you stop looking! It just means you’ll end up staying in a lot more!

  • Sarah says:

    I think it alludes to the necessity of sorting out your emotional baggage from the last relationship(s) before entering into a new one.


    Well whatever. I think liking yourself is important but not so others will like you. I like lots of folks but don’t know why. I dislike lots of folks and there is generally a reason for this-it’s usually if they have treated me badly. I think its important to at least honour yourself and treat yourself as you would those others that you love or like. You are right about being selfish and not lifting a finger to help others-there is something wrong if you expect to get all the time and not give. There is so much shite in these empowerment books and cliché after cliché about loving yourself. I think it is important to like yourself at least, recognise your flaws and those in others, if possible to not pass judgements on others. None of us are perfect. I know I will never find the perfect woman for me and there will always be something about her that is not exactly right-however it is all about accepting that person for themselves-flaws and all. Equally I know there are things about me that are not exactly right and I get rejected for these things.

  • “I am NEVER bored; don’t know the meaning of the word: the world is full of BOOKS. Wherefore boredom?…”

    Thus confirming something that I’ve suspected ever since I first saw your article in The Times 3 weeks ago- I (obviously) have no idea who you are, but based on your command of the English language, it seems that you are likely some sort of professional writer (and if you aren’t, you clearly could be)-

    If my suggestion to you from last week about teaching an amateur writing course (perhaps once per week) which I wrote in repsonse to your “Go On A Course Why Don’t You” seems like much work than you have time for, perhaps you could attempt to arrange to do one or two readings from one of the books or articles that you’ve written at a bookstore or at a library- You never know who just might turn up in the audience- women, men, married, unmarried, VERY VERY unmarried, etc…

    Again, just a thought…

  • Just thought of this- Or even simpler, you could attend an author’s recital somewhere- Many libraries and bookstores have them at least once or twice per month- NOT traditionally usually thought of as a potential pick up venue, but you never know until you try…

  • plumgrape says:

    Well done, “up your own arse”! I think you forgot fear! If you are afraid to reveal your true identity are you not hiding behind an alias? Can you not then shy away in fear and deny what you profess? If you hide and just come out to say perhaps: “peek-a-boo” aren’t you avoiding the true opportunity to meet and indulge in the rich company of others wherein lies your mate?
    Are you available for dinner?
    Did you see the film: The Secretary broadcast last night? What did you think of that?

  • toyman says:

    Well well…………

    The Plankton shows some attitude………….

    Down; but not out girl………………..

    I like……I like

  • plumgrape says:

    I am afraid, I think Plankton is a man! It’s “The Crying game”!

  • Miss J says:

    “And if I don’t love myself, then there’s obviously no hope of me ever, ever finding a nice man again, ever, and the only thing I have got to look forward to is when I die….”

    Not entirely true my dear Plankton…you not only have death to look forward to – you have menopause….and take it from me lady, that ain’t no fuckin’ picnic!

    • Susan says:

      Does menopause have to be bad? I’m perimenopausal at present and plan to do HRT to get me through the change. Are you telling me it’s a load of crap? Yikes – those pharma co’s have a lot to answer for don’t they. Bastards!

      • Miss J says:

        I was given to believe it was all perfectly manageable these days Susan…so at the age of 47 I trotted off down to my GP and requested HRT as the hot flushes were becoming unbearable – waking me through the night and disturbing my sleep. As I’m single mum to 2 teenagers and hold down a full time job in the legal sector, I need my 7 hours sleep or I become very grumpy indeed!! He did the blood pressure thing, the weight measurements etc and gave me a clean bill of health, sending me home with a 3 month prescription for HRT. I was delighted! Now I feel it important to mention at this point I was a neat size 10 and quite a bit under 11 stone (I’m 5’9) Fast forward 12 months and increased doses of HRT in varying forms – I’m 13 stone and counting and have been buying size 16 for months now! I’m devestated!! I even tried coming off it all together but it made no difference. I’m surviving on low fat this, low carb that and haven’t had so much as a sip of wine in what feels like fucking ages!! I’m doing everything I’m told and more in order to get this weight off and still I’m failing! I wish I’d never started the bloody HRT… the GP tells me, yes, that can sometimes happen to some women, the oestrogen makes the weight settle round the midriff and thigh area. Really? No shit Sherlock!

        I’ll be considering saving up for a gastric band in the near future if this trend continues!!

  • Susan says:

    Oh goodness Ms Plankton, you are angry aren’t you. I used to be angry like you, but have found that I am a more enjoyable human being when I don’t get angry at others naivety, ignorance, well-meaning but completely idiotic comments. The inner kick I get now from holding myself calmly in the face of such banality and obviously inferior intelligence to my own is far more satisfying I find, than letting it rip with the vitriol and sarcasm – which we( ie intelligent types) know is just nasty wit. Judging by your words, I would say perhaps you love yourself a little too much, because it would seem you are a perfect person, never doing anything wrong to yourself or others, I only wish I could be that perfect.( sigh) However, I’m just trying to be like the Dalai Lama at this stage, and smile alot.

  • Granuaile says:

    “You have to learn to love yourself and be happy with YOU before anyone else will love you.”

    Because we all know that being married/attached automatically means a woman is magically well adjusted and glowing with self-love. Not.

    I think the only other “advice” I hate more than the ol’ “love yourself” chestnut is the one where I’m told that I’m “too picky”- which I’ve found is only offered up by non-single women. Really?

    They apparently are completely oblivious to the fact that their suggestion is either offensively insulting or actually reflects badly on their own relationship. Infuriating. I find can never seem to stop myself from replying “Hm, so you settled then?” Argh.

    • Redbookish says:

      >>Because we all know that being married/attached automatically means a woman is magically well adjusted and glowing with self-love. Not. <<

      Got it in one. Top post & top comment!

  • I love it when you let your bitter side come out to play! It does not make you an angry person to rant once in a while. Well said, as usual.

  • Nina says:

    Scott/Plumgrape: still trying I see..
    Susan: she’s not angry, just having a rant…….and a) deservedly, I’m sick of hearing “You’ve got to be happy with yourself” and b) in an amusing, eloquent way!

  • Julie says:

    Hello, I’ve read about you in Daily Mail… And so I visited…
    I personally have no experience with what you might feel- I’m only 21, but my mum sort of did…

    My biological father and she divorced… well, I think it’s 14 or 15 years now, she was freshly 40… To be honest my mum wouldn’t have had trouble finding a man… Many of her platonic friends were in love with her (a few still are) but she wasn’t interested, plus after nearly 2 decades with *him* a man bordering on being psychopathic she didn’t rush into anything. Oh and he left her for a younger woman…

    Obviously she had trouble dealing with it to start with, and went to see a therapist to get over, well the mental abuse he put her through, all the while keeping up with her hobbies and raising 3 kids (me being the youngest, my sister is 29 now). Then my brother and I introduced her to one of our biological father’s acquaintances.

    They became friends and soon more. I now consider him my dad. Funny thing is, he’s 11 years younger than my mum- so he’s in his 40’s and she’s now in her 50s… They’ve been married for nearly 10 years now… and haven’t looked back.

    They’re perfect together, mum actually became ill soon after they started dating and gained alot of weight and has been struggling with it since… But my point is that I think that through open-mindedness and positive attitude love comes to those that can accept it. I don’t think it was easy at the start for them ‘dad’ has been a bachelor all his life until mum… and she was willing to accept him as he was (and subtly made some changes along the way)….

    But to me, the way their relationship is, is something everyone should strive for. I certainly do. (my sister certainly doesn’t- skinny pretty blonde who dates almost without variation older men that aren’t good enough for her. lost cause?)

    I’m sure you are a strong, confident woman, this blog speaks of it, that you want to share your outrage and feelings about how things seem to be nowadays. Perhaps, if men your age want to date younger women you should serve it to them. Date younger men… It;s not black and white, the shallow men that want the woman 10 or 15 years younger aren’t worth your attention anyway…

    Either way, whether you live on your own and happy, or date some man and put up with his shortcomings but it works… I wish you all the best…

    • Miss J says:

      Julie, what a wonderfully written observation from one so young, yet so wise! Well done to your mum for raising such a well balanced daughter.

      I agree with the younger man bit too – I met the love of my life when I was 45 and he was almost 13 years my junior.

      • Julie says:

        Thank you 🙂 I feel like I can see things objectively as far as others are concerned… Perhaps so can Ms Plankton, but seeing things objectively when they concern you might be the trouble 🙂

        Although I think the younger man thing might be true, so long as that man doesn’t want to start a new family (might be difficult for a lady in her 40s) then again not all men do… Besides, women age up- or down to their men, so my friends would have never guessed that my mum is 11 years older than my dad… And funnily my biological father (I’ve seen him about 5 years ago) looks his age- unlike my mother… and his ‘younger woman’ (same age as my step dad) looks my biological father’s age (roughly 10 years older)

        So your younger man will keep you younger and more active for longer 🙂 Look at Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher 🙂 They sure do look great together…

  • SSJ says:

    You are very bitter about life – get over it – shit happens and we have to deal with it – you will never find a man with that attitude – do something useful and take a good hard look at what you have written as you obviously write in some form to earn an income – at 57 it would be nice to meet someone but not holding my breath and anyway why would I want another partner to tell me how to be and what to be – been there read the book got the tshirt and now thinking about writing the film!

  • Anna says:

    At THE age of 48 i was left afther à marriage of 26 years. All my friends including myself considerd my relation as super good. À short time i was vert. Ill. Then i decided to search for an otter man. I wanted à friend à lover not à scène not money not à big carrière i have had it all and it made me miserable. In two months i found him six years younger single we share THE Same morals and we are happy. Hè has THE energie to encourage me to do things i have never done. I play golf. I have expositions of my work of art. I feel beautyfull. So ladies it is possible keep on searching living loving. Anna

  • Anna says:

    Sorry for THE writing my iPhone has his own ideas about THE text hi hi

  • Chris says:

    Ummmm……I think the problem here is the search for what is known as a quality man. There are plenty of men with ordinary jobs who are nice enough but they have not much money or status so I guess they don’t fit the ‘ bill ‘.

    • kidrock says:

      Chris, you speak the truth there. You have no idea how many times I have come across women pissing and moaning incessantly about how difficult it is to find the ‘right man’.

      These are the very same women who will kick a genuinely decent guy to the kerb in the blink of an eye if he lacks money/status.

      I find it humorous how often i hear the lie that money/status does not matter. You only have to observe a woman’s actions to verify this.

    • plantago says:

      No, we have our own money and status so that’s not what we are looking for. Good company is more the holy grail which could mean funny, or having interesting ideas or just being good to rub along with. It may be out there in abundance amongst the ordinary guys contrary to the stereotype but it’s difficult to find enough of them to sift through.

      However, it may instead be that the average male is not massively compatible with the average female and the so-called quality guy is in fact a more gender-neutral guy who can converse easily and find common ground easily with women. This guy is hard to find. You could probably play out the scenario the other way round as well: the women who can get on well with masculine men are a little thin on the ground and those that exist got snapped up early on as well.

      • Chris says:

        Ummmm…..well what you write does come across as kind of picky and a tad disparaging of the average man. Nothing wrong with that but it does make it harder to find someone. Thing is guys have choices to and I think that sometimes gets forgotten. I gotta be honest, I’ve only been out with foreign women for the last 20 years. One of the reasons is that they find my averageness so ‘ acceptable ‘. Met then all in England and they have certainly enriched my life.

  • Leftatforty says:

    I also profoundly dislike the ‘you’ll find someone when you open your heart’ (really… WTF) and ‘you need to forgive to let go and then you’ll be free to meet someone else’ (really… WTF!!)

  • peluchka says:

    “Are you putting yourself out there?” is another charming phrase I heard from someone who has no concept of being on their own and seems to think it’s like a market place. We just go out, spot something we like, and suddenly we are sorted!!! I don’t think so!!! And “out there” seems to hint at wearing some huge sign that announces I am seeking to meet someone. No thanks.

    Can’t let “meeting someone” be the be-all-and-end-all. Learning to love yourself is all well and good, but there are plenty of people out there who probably don’t love themselves who are with people. I am just trying to live life and be happy as much as I can. I can’t beat myself up about whether I am young/attractive/slim/good enough for someone else.

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