Self-love is a powerful concept that helps people establish a happy and fulfilling life. It’s what pushes them to learn and appreciate those around them while making sure they are loved.
Self-love is a persisting idea that has been crucial in people’s lives. But it is also one that’s commonly neglected or quickly forgotten. Multiple authors and humanitarians like Shainna Ali and Audrey A. Thomas have written books intending to emphasize how important it is that people find it within to love and appreciate themselves. Highlighting that as a concept, self-love doesn’t only entail taking care of oneself physically but also making sure one acknowledges their flaws and learns the importance of growing above them and changing for the better.
There is a concept closely related to self-love and has been commonly mistaken with it. Many have thought that self-love and egotism are indistinguishable, mistaking their self-interest with self-esteem. After all, they both influence a person to be more outspoken and brave. However, these two concepts contrast, and interchanging them may bring more harm than good.
Healthy Ego and Egotism
Under self-love are the faith and belief that you are capable of multiple things. Self-love is commonly referred to as the healthy ego because it’s deeply grounded in the ‘self.’ This means it doesn’t only appreciate and acknowledge one’s strengths, it also accepts flaws and weaknesses, still without failing to love oneself unconditionally. However, egotism is the opposite. While one’s healthy ego leans on the concept of self, the ego depends on outside factors of the self. This is typically very fragile as it depends on the validation and approval of others to belong or feel superior and above them.
For instance, if someone expresses they don’t like you. As someone with a healthy ego, it’s easy to let this confession go, as you don’t associate their choice with your self-worth. You accept that you’re not everyone’s cup of tea, which doesn’t make you less worthy. However, with egotism, the situation becomes different. You may start changing and faking yourself to satisfy their preference and make them like you.
These concepts factor in the interpretation of other people’s opinions. However, self-love differs because once people may express dissatisfaction, the self still manages to find and recognize their worth. In contrast, egotism may push one to find it difficult to process this dissatisfaction and constantly seek validation to satisfy themselves.
While it can be challenging to distinguish self-love from egotism, managing the latter isn’t impossible. One of the best ways to do so is by detaching oneself from the toxic concept of self. This doesn’t mean you now have to look down on yourself. Instead, know and admit that you don’t always have to be correct.
Keep others in mind. You avoid becoming selfish by considering other people’s needs and feelings whenever you decide. This can be done in minor things, such as considering and listening to their suggestions and opinions.
Avoid comparing yourself. Once you constantly see yourself against other people, you may begin to desire superiority over them. Instead of comparing yourself with others, remember that you’re in your own timeline, and life is no race. You succeed in your own time, as others do.
Be open-minded about feedback. Take this as beneficial information and not criticism. Acknowledge that you aren’t all-knowing, and you may need other people’s assistance when it comes to other things.
Welcome disagreement. In line with acknowledging that you aren’t all-knowing, accept that not everyone will agree with you. People have different opinions, and they have nothing to do with you. Learn to separate yourself from people’s views against yours. This way, you will be able to welcome more discussion and likewise grow as an individual.
Cooperate rather than dominate. This is especially true for group activities. Rather than competing with others to show that you are above them or know more than them, try collaborating with them instead. This also means that you should avoid being the center of attention. Instead, fit in and be one with the group. You’ll be surprised how good it would feel for you.