We are born with intrinsic self-love; the desire and need to feed and soothe oneself.
In short, getting what we feel we need, that’s going to make us happy. We never question, if we deserve these things, or if we’re worthy enough. Yet, from a shockingly young age, we begin to believe in an attitude that dissuades us from the wonderfully childlike notion we were once accustomed to.
Loving yourself has, somewhere along the way in society, become seen as a selfish and arrogant action; a negative attribute of people who are ‘full of themselves’. We are expected to give love to others, and accept it from them in whatever way seems to fit, but when it comes to giving and receiving love to ourselves, it becomes selfish? Which is hilarious irony because despite this attitude still whirring around, we preach about how recognised it is that self-love is essential to a meaningful and happy life? Go figure!
I think that we are still unclear on the difference between self-love and arrogance, and we’re confusing the two. Arrogance is a form of conceit; egotism. It describes an attitude of not just self-importance (which, I believe, is good*), but of superiority. When somebody behaves with the intention of proving they’re not just better than someone else, but that someone else is less than them, they’re being arrogant. Ironically, some of the most arrogant people are that way because they are in fact horribly self-conscious and insecure, require external validation and probably don’t believe the arrogant self-important comments they’re spouting. It has a totally different vibe than self-love.
Self- love is, quite simply, the regard for one’s own well-being and happiness. What does loving anybody involve? Well, it also requires regard for their well-being and happiness. We love someone because we believe they are worthy, important, special. We appreciate their traits, assets, how they make us feel.
So yes, self-love means all of that, just towards ourselves. It means to love yourself how you’d love your best and most special friends. Unconditionally and without question. When you feel this love towards yourself, and other people (especially those who are not quite in love with themselves yet) can see it, they might feel uncomfortable or threatened. They might think you’re self-obsessed or ‘full of yourself’.