Loving yourself isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone.
Sure, some people are born and raised with more self-esteem than others.
But, for most people, caring for yourself takes consistent effort.
When you truly love yourself, it shows in the big and little things you do.
Let’s explore these 11 consistent habits of people who truly love themselves, and how you can adopt them to show yourself more love.
1) They allow themselves to make mistakes (and forgive themselves time and time again)
As much as we dislike making mistakes, screwing up is just a part of life.
Everyone, even the most put-together person, has made mistakes in the past – and many of them.
But people who live happily don’t avoid living in fear of making mistakes.
They also don’t beat themselves up when they make a mistake, no matter how many times it happens.
A great example is in their dating lives.
Getting your heart broken can, as studies have shown, induce the same feelings as physical pain.
It’s easy to say, “Never again!” and shut yourself off from the world for way too long after mistakes have been made.
But people who truly love themselves know that making mistakes comes naturally when living life.
So, they continue to date if they want to, they fall in love and fall hard, and they forgive themselves time and time again when they mess things up.
2) They leave early if they want to
Whether it’s an office party, a family event, a social gathering, or a date, people who truly love themselves know when it’s time to go home.
They don’t stick around for hours upon hours just to keep everyone else happy.
They know that staying on when they’ve run out of social battery only makes them feel bad when tomorrow comes.
Instead, they know themselves and love themselves enough to leave early when they want to.
Even if people beg them to stay. Even if they know it’s more “polite” to stick around another hour.
They know what’s best for them, and they leave when they’re ready to leave.
3) They say no to things they don’t want to do
People who truly love themselves know what they want and, as hard as it may be, know when to say no to things they don’t want to do.
No matter what it is or who is asking, if it’s not for them, they stand up for themselves and say those two very important letters.
They say no when they don’t want to tag along to after-work drinks or go on that second date.
They don’t lie and say, “Maybe next time!” if that thing they’ve been invited to really isn’t their thing.
They don’t blindly accept invitations because they feel bad and want to people-please.
Instead, they say no, even (and especially) when it’s really, really tough to do so.
4) They set boundaries with friends, family, partners, etc.
Loving yourself means taking care of yourself.
And there’s no better way to care for yourself than by making sure your needs are met (and lines are not crossed) by the people you spend your time with.
Studies show that we spend at least 50% of our lives with other people.
So, it’s important that we feel good when in the company of others.
To lower stress, avoid burnout, and reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, it’s important to set firm boundaries with friends, family, colleagues, and romantic partners.
5) They spend quality time alone
Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m too busy to spend time alone” or “I don’t have time to do [insert self-care task here]”?
Or even, the worst of all, “I can’t sit around and do nothing, it feels unproductive!”
Unfortunately, these aren’t the words of people who truly love themselves.
There’s nothing wrong with staying busy and living life to the maximum.
But prioritizing time alone to reflect and recharge is good for the soul (and your mental strength, creativity, and overall well-being, according to research).
And people who value themselves value their alone time.
6) They celebrate their little wins
According to psychologists, we’re all affected by the so-called “negativity bias”.
This means our brains are hardwired to remember the negatives in life more than the positives.
Ergo, remembering the positives takes more effort.
But doing so builds our self-esteem, increases our sense of satisfaction, and boosts feelings of internal pride.
Loving yourself and having high self-esteem go hand-in-hand.
So, it makes sense that the more you love yourself, the more you celebrate the little things in life.
Like how you made the subway on time this morning.
Or that you checked something small off your to-do list.
Or even just that you replied to that text you’ve been putting off responding to for a while.
7) They don’t put themselves down in front of others
People with high self-esteem know their worth.
They know how to self-validate and self-soothe.
As nice as it is to get compliments sometimes, they don’t rely on the views of others to feel good about themselves.
They know how important it is to talk to themselves with love, care, and kindness, especially in front of others.
That means they don’t do self-deprecation or put themselves down every chance they get when engaging with others.
According to research, positive self-talk improves your body image and your self-esteem. It also reduces feelings of stress and symptoms of depression.
8) They accept compliments from others
Similar to the above point, people who truly love themselves know how to accept compliments from others.
When they get complimented on their hair, outfit, or something good they’ve done, they don’t immediately jump into self-deprecation mode.
They don’t say, “Oh, I’m ugly” or, “I look terrible”, or, “I didn’t even do anything”.
Instead, they accept compliments with a smile.
Because they know they’ve done well or they look good. And they have no problem accepting the recognition other people give them.
9) They pamper themselves
People who love themselves look after the bodies they have.
They do the stereotypical stuff we all should do, like move their bodies, drink enough water, get enough sleep, and eat as well as they can.
But they go beyond all of that, too.
They pamper and treat themselves with the love they deserve.
Like looking after their feet and trimming their toenails when they need to.
Or moisturizing their skin when they get out of the shower and brushing their teeth every night before bed.
Because when you love yourself, you care about yourself beyond the necessities.
10) They cut out toxic people (and keep them out)
People who truly love themselves know who’s good for their life and who isn’t.
They know when they need to cut toxic people from their lives and they do it, regardless of how much history they have with them or how sad it may be.
They have their boundaries, and they know their worth.
If someone isn’t meeting their needs or making them feel good, they know when it’s time to let them go.
They also don’t reach back out to toxic people from their past for validation or out of loneliness or boredom.
Like an ex that was bad for them. Or a friend who always put them down.
Or even a family member who always says they’ve changed, but continues to cause hurt and upset whenever they’re given another chance.
Instead, they leave them in the past and show strength every day by not reaching back out to them.
11) They let go of criticism
Likewise, when people who love themselves are criticized, they know what to take on board as constructive criticism, and what to let go of.
They don’t hold on to the bad and go down a negative spiral.
For instance, if their boss says their email should have included the date, they don’t jump to thoughts of, “I’m so bad at my job” and “I can’t do anything right”.
Or if a friend says they don’t like their new hairstyle, they brush it off (and hopefully reconsider the friendship). Because as long as they like it, that’s all that matters.
People who truly love themselves look after themselves.
Whether that’s by setting boundaries with an overbearing parent, congratulating themselves for going on that run, or just taking time to file their nails once a week.
Research shows that people with low self-esteem don’t look after themselves, struggle to accept compliments, rarely stand up for themselves, and focus more on the negatives in life than the positives.
If you want to fall in love with yourself, ditch those bad habits and start adopting some of the habits on this list instead.