General Question

wundayatta's avatar

What's it like to like yourself?

Asked by wundayatta (58617points) August 16th, 2008

To want people to celebrate your birthday, instead of keeping it a secret…
To feel good about your accomplishments instead of feeling like they belong to someone else….
To see your screw-ups as an abberation instead of as the normal thing…
To feel like you are doing what you should be doing; that you are doing all right; and not always feeling like you never have done enough?

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18 Answers

osullivanbr's avatar

You mean there are people like that on the planet. Well I’m lost.

Harp's avatar

You’re describing two extremes of overactive self-judgment here. There’s also the possibility of just toning down the judgment altogether, letting yourself be an ordinary human that screws up sometimes, gets it right sometimes, can’t always perform up to standard…just like everybody else.

Extend the same patience and compassion that you feel for the rest of humanity toward yourself.

marinelife's avatar

Harp has given you the key. When you start to have negative thoughts about your actions, stop yourself immediately. Ask yourself how you would react if a friend did what you did. Then apply that same reaction to your actions. There is a huge difference in how you would react if a friend did something, and how you react if you do the same thing, isn’t there?

You need to rewrite you inner dialogue. Start by writing it out. Look at each statement objectively. Write a counter statement. Turn the negative to a positive. Of course, the positive will feel awkward. It will be like slogging through dense underbrush. It wll feel fake.


If negative thoughts come up when you look in a mirror, mock them. (Repeat them in a high, squeaky voice, for example) Then replace them with a positive statement.

If your self esteem is very low, if your self hatred is really strong, you could really speed this process by seeing a therapist. You are worth it.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t know about liking yourself, but how about just accepting yourself? We are all flawed, daloon, in some way(s)...accept that about yourself, as you do others, and move forward. :)

SuperMouse's avatar

Read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. The ideas that he presents are simple, yet difficult to master. I don’t live up to them by any stretch of the imagination, but the key is awareness. This might be a small first step toward figuring out what it feels like to be pleased with who you are.

If nothing else works, you could take this Stuart Smalley quote and make it your mantra: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone-it, people like me!”

gailcalled's avatar

I like myself, I make myself laugh sometimes, I feel good about what I’ve accomplished, but I hate celebrating my birthday and this will probably be my last summer in shorts.

I am amazed that at my age, I am having a good time with the cat who now runs my life, having known bubkes about cats 4 months ago. In honor of our fourth month anniversary, I took him for a manicure. I think that’s funny.

breedmitch's avatar

I forget where I learned it, but each morning I look at my self in the mirror, directly into my own eyes and say, “I accept myself unconditionally, right now.” It might sound a bit Stuart Smalley, but it works for me. C’mon, say it with me, “I accept myself unconditionally, right now.” If it feels false, do it again until you believe it. It always makes me smiile.

I beat myself up for too many years by being overly-critical. I finally had a professional help me realize that I was replacing motivation with criticism.

Daloon, I accept you unconditionally, right now.

susanc's avatar

What’s it like? It’s a little bit hard-won. It didn’t come with the territory. For that you need people around you at the beginning who can model liking you. It’s a drag to have to learn it later. And
your alternative is…?

wundayatta's avatar

Suffering? A person can live a long time like that. Trying to medicate? Not to my taste, fortunately enough. Ending it? Entirely unsatisfactory.

Learning it? Yeah! Cool! Why is it so hard for people to say what it’s like?

I look around me, and people seem so confident, and satisfied with themselves, and to tell you the truth, it kind of makes me sick. I don’t trust them. But it’s really because I can’t identify. I can’t see how they got that way. And I’m so jealous. And I tell myself I don’t want to be like that, because it’s so superficial. So braggy. So perky. So lacking in perceptiveness. But they know something I don’t. I hate that! I want that!

augustlan's avatar

Daloon, most of those people are FAKING IT. Seriously, if you could get inside other people’s heads, you’d mostly hear an endless stream of negativity. “Why is he looking at me like that? Do I look that bad?” “I’m so freaking nervous…I hope I don’t blow it.” “OhmyGodgetmeoutofhere!” “I’m such a freaking idiot!” “Oh, that was brilliant.” As to the question…How does it feel to (finally!) like yourself? Like an enormous relief.

mee_ouch's avatar

Some of us aren’t…....
I’ve lived my life expecting little….and receiving it. I’m not brazen enough to ‘jump right in’ to anything….but I will definitely ‘test’ the waters. The life I have led thus far has taken me to places I never want and don’t ever intend to, revisit. But I ‘was there’. Sometimes once is all it takes. Often times…..not.
I love to smile….even when sad. I smile often and people notice. I have a great smile…never forced. So why do I get the occasional…“She’s faking it”, “Nobody can be that kind”...blah, blah, blah. It’s bullshit as far as I’m concerned.
I’m here to say a very loud and resounding_YES_…..there are people like me ‘out there’. We’re not scary. We’re not role-playing. We’re real and we’re alive.
Don’t assume that we’re all happy. And if I’m sad, don’t assume that I’m tough as nails….I’m not. The smile I wear then is ever so slightly different….But it’s there to tell people that I’m trying.
My ‘Bitch’ face is best kept behind closed doors.

bridold's avatar

I’m going to have to agree with Meeouch… some of us aren’t faking it. I know I’m not. I don’t just like myself, I love myself.
Please believe that I didn’t always feel this way, it took time to gain confidence in myself. It took several huge failures to realize all my successes.

I think I truly appreciate myself and my life a lot more now that I’ve been through some of the worst things. As soon as I reached that light at the end of the tunnel, I never appreciated it more.

To answer your question, “What is it like to like yourself?” It’s like a breath of fresh air.

nina's avatar

@gailcalled. I make myself laugh all the time, occasionally it is a rather mean chuckle.

But truly loving yourself is when you would love to give yourself a hug, actually reach out and see that it is a bit difficult to do with your mirror-image. Or would you classify this as insanity?

mee_ouch's avatar

bridold…..eloquently stated!!!

Thanks for the props!

Garebo's avatar

Hard question to answer, but I don’t think it is derived from one’s own distorted perception of how others perceive you, most likely they are more screwed up than you can imagine. I prefer to be comfortable with meeting my own expectations, rather than allowing the expectations and perceptions of others dictate my happiness.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

It’s weird to like myself, I’d rather leave that up to other people. I can tell myself I do good things with good intent, that I’m likeable and fair but it doesn’t mean shite unless verified and backed up by others.

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s a good feeling. It’s better than bacon, chocolate or sex. A long time ago, I made a pledge to myself to be happy every single day for the rest of my life. You should take the pledge, it’s worth it.

Da_Wolfman's avatar

Very squeaky at times…..depends on the lubrication, but I manage.

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