Bullshit! You can love others without loving yourself!
I had a great discussion with my class last week on several topics but one of them was Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and someone made the comment that “it’s bullshit that if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else.” And I hear that, and it’s true, you can definitely love other people when you don’t love yourself. It’s easier to love someone else than it is to love yourself!
But first, before I get more into that, what is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and why were we talking about it in my psychology class?
Abraham Maslow was a Humanistic psychologist who did research on the Personalities of healthy people. All of the psychologist before him studied people with problems or disorders but Maslow believed that there was something to learn from people who led exceptional lives like Abraham Lincoln. From his research he created Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which he said, as humans we have needs that must be met in this hierarchical order for us to lead a positive life where we can reach our full potential.
Starting at the base of the pyramid with our most basic and physiological needs like food, water, air, and sex. Once we have met those needs we move on to attaining our security needs like safety – a roof over our head, and financial stability. Once that need is met we move on to love and belonging needs– romantic relationships etc. Next we work on our self esteem and self respect needs, and then finally our need for self actualization. Self actualization is a state in which we have reached our full potential in life. A state where we come to find a meaning in life that is important to us.
Maslow believed that about only 2% of people will reach this point in their lives however. Maslow studied 18 people that he thought had “self actualized” and from that he identified 15 characteristics of a self actualized person.
I believe that this is such an interesting concept and it definitely can be applied to our lives but I think everyone’s hierarchy may be different and that’s ok! Personally, I would flip self esteem and love and belonging, in terms of order, its important to me to love myself before I get romantically involved with someone else.
So, when it comes to romantic love, if you don’t love yourself first, you’re gonna have problems. Believe me, I know, I’ve been there. After I had my heart broken by my boyfriend of about a year and a half, and my best friend because they decided to cheat on me my while I was away traveling in Europe with my parents one summer in high school. I found out when I came back and was devastated and embarrassed and felt SO betrayed.
I could NOT believe I had been hurt by the two people I loved the most! It was horrible the next few months trying to get over that but having to see both of them all the time made it really difficult. I felt alone and lost and then a I met a boy, several years younger than me and who “worshipped” me. I was older than him and more experienced than him, so I had a false sense of security I think. He seemed so innocent and fell for me so fast! It felt so good to have someone look at me the way he did.
And because of that false sense of security, I missed a lot of red flags. For example, he told me he loved me after our first kiss. (Go to my Free PDF Resources Page for a list of Red Flags to look for.)
But I really should have taken the time to heal and grow from that before moving on to another relationship but I didn’t. Not long after that I got into another relationship that would last 4 years and would change my life. It was an emotionally abusive relationship that definitely didn’t start out that way but morphed into it over time and I didn’t even realize it was happening until it was way too late. By the end of it I was completely broken down as a person, and had no clue who I was, what I wanted, and didn’t have a lick of confidence or love for myself.
But if I would have given myself time to heal properly from the first heartbreak, I would have been able to see things differently. I felt worthless because I was betrayed by two people I loved and trusted the most, and if they could do this to me then I must deserve it. Had I realized then that my worth didn’t come from anyone else, and that no one can GIVE my worth to me, I might not have even gotten into that second heartbreak in the first place. I wouldn’t have been searching for someone to make me happy instead of figuring out how to make myself happy.
So what I’m sayin’ is, you have to realize your worth before you can be in a healthy romantic relationship. But that’s just my opinion! What do you think?? Agree? 👍🏻 or Disagree? 👎🏼 Or not sure? 🤷🏻♀️
Tell me in the comments!!
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