Can you love others before loving yourself?

A tweet caught my attention the other day. At first, it seemed innocent, but upon further thought, I realised that this statement could actually be debated. As a result, here’s my response to this post and my answer to the question “Can you love others before loving yourself?”

Can you love others before loving yourself?

In my opinion, this statement, idea, principle… whatever you want to call it, could be taken one of two ways.

I think it’s possible to agree with this tweet if the “love yourself” part is expanded upon a little more. If “love yourself” means understanding what you deserve and understanding your worth, then I would agree with this 100%.

Can you love others before loving yourself?

I may be incorrect in saying so, as I’m just having the head of a psychology student on, but I think this is what many victims of domestic abuse struggle with. Whether you watch Dr. Phil or documentaries about the subject, you’ll often hear domestic victims becoming so manipulated that they thought it was normal, or that they deserved that treatment, or that their life was of no importance compared to their partners’. These victims had lost the love for themselves. They may have constantly been criticised about their appearance or beaten up for the slightest “mistake.” Do they really know how to love another when their idea of a healthy relationship and love is so skewed?

It takes an understanding of your self-worth to realise that that treatment isn’t what you deserve, you are better than that and how they are treating you. You deserve much much more. Is this maybe what the writer of the tweet had in mind initially?

After real consideration, however, I did see the negative implications of this tweet and that actually it may come across very offensive for many people.

“Love yourself” appeared very direct and with a literal meaning. I then thought that maybe it was talking about self-confidence, high self-esteem, loving your body and other things along those lines. Now I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t completely sure of what link this had with the capability of loving others? Surely loving yourself and loving others isn’t correlated or either mutually exclusive? It’s completely “person dependent.”

Can you love others before loving yourself?

Some people may have issues with their bodies or feel very uncomfortable in their own skin. That doesn’t mean that they can’t love their family? Or love their pets? Or love their partners? There’s no link! There are people with eating disorders that may be unable to be satisfied with their bodies, or unable to eat healthily, but that doesn’t mean they can’t feel the warmth or comfort from being in others’ company or caring for other people?

Similarly, this can apply to any other mental illness. Those with PTSD or depression or bipolar disorder… doesn’t mean there’s nobody they can love? If we go by the statistic that 1 in 4 (or some people say 1 in 3) people will have a mental health illness at some point in their lives, then that’s a lot of single people out there! It’s actually quite an absurd thought! If anything, those who don’t love themselves may love others more simply because of the joy they bring them and how good they make them feel!

What is your interpretation of this tweet? What would your answer to this question be? Let me know in the comments below, it’s an interesting topic!

The Frugal Frenchie x


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