“For various reasons,” writes Sharon Martin, LCSW, of PsychCentral.com, “many of us find it easier to love others than to love ourselves. Sometimes we’re truly quite awful to ourselves. We subject ourselves to a harsh inner critic, unhealthy relationships, toxic substances, and self-mutilation. I know how easy it is to dwell in our own perceived inadequacies. But regardless of the reasons for your lack of self-love, it’s time to start caring for yourself and treating yourself with the love you deserve.” In service of that goal, she has put together a list of 22 ways to love yourself more. It’s a good list! A lot of it seems very sensible and helpful. I would recommend it to anyone who has issues with self-love. I actually have my own list, though, and you might find that it’s more your speed. Compare and contrast, and see which one works for you.
22. Lie to yourself about how pure your motives are.
21. Pretend that others are just as bad as you.
20. Convince yourself that you didn’t want to do the bad things you’ve done, other people made you.
19. Take time to remember how other people are always trying to thwart your goals and desires and that this explains the hard times you have.
18. Lie to yourself about how attractive you are.
17. Use whatever substances or distractions you need to block out those unpleasant memories and nagging doubts that make you feel less comfortable about yourself.
16. Immerse yourself in mediocrity to remind yourself that you could do it better if you wanted to.
15. Assure yourself that mediocrity is what sells, so even if you did put in the effort of doing it better your genius would be unrewarded, so you should just be comfortable knowing you could but you don’t have to.
14. Lie to yourself about how it’s still going to happen for you.
13. Do one indisputably good thing on a regular basis (charity, volunteer work, blood donation) so that when you fall short on basic human decency the rest of the time you can say, “But, hey, I give blood.”
12. Smile at everyone you pass by. It feels gross and makes you look like a putz, but there is some weird inexplicable karmic blowback that at least shuts up the “you’re worthless” voices for a while.
11. Take an hour each day to dream about how successful you will be. Don’t worry about how it’s going to happen, just imagine that you’ve done it and now you’re super-successful.
10. Now that you have pictured yourself as a success, envision the revenge you will take on everyone who has disrespected you or done you wrong or spent so much time trying to thwart your goals and desires.
9. Now, imagine that you are so munificent in your behavior that you choose not to take revenge on the goal-and-desire thwarters. See what a good person you are?
8. (Still plan the revenges, though. Look how clever you can be in the revenge-planning department. You’re great!)
7. Lie to yourself about how it’s all going to be okay.
6. Give yourself a break about how frequently you make use of the substances or distractions you need to block out those unpleasant memories and nagging doubts that make you feel less comfortable about yourself. In a way, it’s like therapy, and who can blame you for wanting to take care of yourself?
5. Every morning before you leave the house look in the mirror and say out loud, “I don’t know how it happened, but you just got more good looking.”
4. Pretend everyone who smiles at you on the street is doing it because you radiate confidence and desirability, not because they may have heard some stupid bit of advice about how it will make them feel better.
3. If your mom is still around ask her the kind of questions about yourself that result in compliments, because she is probably the only person who will still give them.
2. When you take a selfie, shoot from above your face, not below.
1. Lie to yourself.