Self-love is a concept that is widely preached, but is it really all it’s cracked up to be?
While it is true that self-love can be beneficial, there are also some downsides to it.
When taken to the extreme, self-love can actually be detrimental to our mental and emotional well-being, even if we mean to do a good thing.
Here are 10 reasons why self-love can be bad and why it’s important to be conscious of that while practicing it!
1) Toxic self-love can hurt other people
People who engage in toxic self-love are usually focused on themselves and what they need, which can become a problem for others.
Self-lovers don’t always consider the feelings of others and may not think about how their choices affect others.
This can lead to a loss of friendships and other relationships.
For example, someone who is self-loving may not think about the inconvenience they are causing by constantly canceling at the last minute because they have to take care of themselves.
They could be so caught up in their own feelings that they don’t realize how their actions are negatively affecting others.
When you engage in toxic self-love, you may also have a tendency to hide your feelings and emotions from others, instead of talking to them or being honest about them.
This can be bad because it can prevent you from getting the help you need when you need it.
Now: don’t get me wrong, it is okay to put your own needs above the needs of other people, most of the time, we don’t do that enough!
However, it can become an issue when we actually start to hurt other people in the process, like when we think we need to stand up for ourselves and so we bash another person’s choice or when we think we need to be honest so we hurt someone else’s feelings.
The bottom line is that you need to be aware of how your actions are affecting others, especially if you are engaging in toxic self-love.
But that’s not the only issue with loving yourself:
2) It can be used to avoid conflict
Self-lovers may not want to deal with confrontation. They may want to shut down and avoid talking about sensitive topics because they feel threatened.
If you practice self-love, you will often retreat into yourself and avoid dealing with confrontations or dealing with people who may trigger you, as you focus on your own emotions.
This can be a way to avoid difficult conversations and can negatively impact relationships.
The constant need to take care of yourself can make it hard to empathize with others and take their feelings into consideration.
When you engage in toxic self-love, you may have a tendency to make everything about you.
This can be bad because it can create a lot of unnecessary drama and distance in relationships where communication is key.
The thing is, even though conflict is not always fun, avoiding it is not self-love!
Conflict is important, even if you don’t always like it.
Conflict allows you to talk about your feelings, and learn how to respect and empathize with the feelings of others.
It is important that you are able to deal with conflict in a healthy way.
You need to know how to stand up for yourself and how to confront others and bring up difficult topics in ways that will not hurt or offend them.
The bottom line is that conflict helps us grow and understand ourselves better.
Now: if someone has hurt your feelings or done something wrong, then, of course, you should feel angry! That’s normal! You should feel upset!
But that doesn’t mean you should avoid conflict at all costs – sometimes, conflict is the most loving thing you can do for yourself!
Another thing that can happen, is that you bypass problems in your life:
3) It can be a way to bypass problems in your life
Sometimes, when you engage in toxic self-love, you will be more focused on your feelings and not dealing with the root cause of them.
You may ignore problems in your life that should be addressed.
This can be harmful to your mental health because it can cause problems to build up and become worse.
You may ignore something like a toxic relationship or a situation at your job that needs to be resolved.
It can cause you to be unhappy and stressed out, and the problems can become bigger than they need to be.
Engaging in toxic self-love can be a way to divert attention from problems that need to be addressed in your life.
You see, when you constantly use self-love as a way to bypass problems, you are not actually loving yourself.
You are using self-love as a way to avoid dealing with your feelings and the root causes of them.
The bottom line is, if you’re constantly engaging in self-love, it’s important that you look deeper into why that is.
Do you feel the need to focus on yourself because of problems in your life?
Do you need to learn how to deal with conflict in healthy ways?
Are there toxic relationships in your life that need to be addressed?
Now, another way self-love can be bad is when we slip into toxic positivity, but let me explain that a bit further:
4) It can slip into toxic positivity
People can become so focused on being positive that they forget to acknowledge their struggles and pain.
When you are too focused on being positive, you may be so inclined to celebrate your achievements and ignore your shortcomings that you become blind to real problems in your life.
You may be too focused on celebrating your successes that you don’t see the things that need to be worked on.
You may be so positive that you aren’t open to criticism or helpful feedback that could help you grow as a person.
And the worst part?
You might not allow yourself to experience negative emotions at all, which is incredibly unhealthy.
If you are too focused on being positive, you might not be open to the fact that you have problems in your life.
The thing is, we are meant to experience a wide range of emotions, it’s good for us and we need to allow ourselves to express them all.
When you force yourself to be happy all the time, you are not doing yourself a favor.
You may not allow yourself to experience negative emotions.
And if you aren’t allowing yourself to feel negative emotions, then how can you deal with them?
This question actually leads me to my next point:
5) It can keep you stagnant
Self-lovers can get so caught up in their own emotions and needs that they forget to be flexible with the world around them.
They may want to do what they want to do, even if it disrupts other people’s plans or contradicts the basic rules of society.
They may not pay attention to warning signs, like abuse in a relationship or signs of mental illness, because they are too fixated on taking care of themselves.
When you are too focused on taking care of yourself, you may not be able to receive help from others.
But that’s not all – sometimes, people use the cover of self-love to avoid leaving their comfort zones.
They use this facade as a way to stay comfortable, but at what cost?
You see, when you don’t ever leave your comfort zone, you have no possibility to grow.
You can’t grow if you are staying in the same place all the time, and that is what self-love can do.
It can keep you stagnant.
This is obviously not a good thing, as you are not moving forward.
And the worst part?
Certain behaviors might even set you back!
Let’s take a look:
6) It can be an excuse for unhealthy behaviors
Some people who engage in toxic self-love will use it as an excuse for bad habits like overeating or excessive alcohol or drug use.
They may think, “It’s okay, because I’m taking care of myself.”
If your love for yourself is becoming an excuse to engage in unhealthy behaviors, then it is likely turning into toxic self-love.
Self-loving people will still make healthy choices and take care of themselves while being kind to themselves and others.
Behaviors like eating large amounts of unhealthy food, sleeping with a ton of people, or abusing drugs and alcohol are not self-love.
They are unhealthy habits that harm yourself and others.
They are not sustainable and will do more harm than good. Toxic self-love can be an excuse for bad habits that need to be addressed.
It can be easy to disguise certain habits as acts of radical self-love, and in some situations, they may be.
However, in the long-term, you need to be very exact about what counts as self-love, and what doesn’t.
Sometimes, skipping the gym and letting yourself rest is the most loving thing you can do for yourself that day.
On other days, the most loving thing would be forcing yourself to get up and go.
It’s important to discern what you actually need that day, not just what is the most convenient.
This leads me to my next point of self-sabotage:
7) Ironically, it can be a space of self-sabotage
Self-lovers may actually misinterpret self-love so they would rather do something that is potentially self-destructive, like overeating or not going to the doctor when they should.
When you are focused on taking care of yourself, you can still make bad decisions.
You can still engage in toxic self-love and cause yourself harm.
Self-sabotage is when you are harming yourself, but you are doing it in a way that is very difficult to see.
When you are focused on taking care of yourself, you can sometimes overlook the fact that certain behaviors are actually standing in the way of your happiness.
Self-sabotaging is dangerous because it is so difficult to see when you are doing it.
You may think you are taking care of yourself, but in reality, you are hurting yourself.
It can be hard to make good decisions because the voice in your head that tells you what’s best for you might not always be right.
It’s important to be very realistic and honest about whether your self-love habits are bringing you forward or holding you back!
But that’s not all, let’s talk about escapism:
8) It can be a form of Escapism
Self-lovers may be so focused on taking care of themselves that they don’t pay attention to the world around them.
They may be so preoccupied with their feelings that they don’t have time for others.
When you are too focused on taking care of yourself, you may ignore your surroundings and the people you love.
This can be a way to escape from the pressures of life, but it can also be harmful to you and your loved ones.
If you are too focused on your feelings, you may not be able to see your own issues and where you could be more productive.
Self-love is not the same as escaping from your problems. It is a way to calmly deal with your own emotions.
You see, the really loving thing to do for yourself is facing your problems head-on and finding solutions for them, not trying to escape them!
All these behaviors can actually lead to unhealthy relationships!
9) It can encourage unhealthy relationships
All of these behaviors can, over time, encourage unhealthy relationships.
You see, all the bad things we just talked about can actually manifest in a partner who, on paper, looks perfect, but in reality, they might be holding you back and causing more destructive habits.
If you are always focused on taking care of yourself, you may never be able to develop the skills needed to help others.
You might be so preoccupied with your own feelings that you never get involved with someone else’s needs.
If you are constantly avoiding problems and not dealing with them, it can cause a lot of stress and anxiety in your life.
Now: the key to a healthy, thriving relationship is actually focusing on yourself and figuring out a healthy relationship to self-love.
I learned all that in this mind blowing free video, in which the shaman Rudà Iandê talks about the importance of building a relationship with yourself first, in order to then have healthy relationships with other people.
If you feel like you have been struggling with self-love and not doing it correctly, this video will open your eyes to what you need to do in the future to improve your life!
And last but not least, too much self-love can actually take away from your spiritual practices!
10) You can become too focused on yourself
Self-lovers need to be aware of the line between self-love and being too focused on themselves.
When you are too focused on yourself, you are unable to help others or even see the wrong things you are doing to yourself.
But not just that, it also makes it a lot harder to see the spiritual undercurrent of life – that we are all one and connected.
Being aware of your actions and emotions while practicing self-love is important.
Self-lovers need to be aware of their surroundings and the people in their lives.
Being self-loving does not mean you always have to be talking about yourself or taking yourself incredibly seriously.
It means you have a healthy relationship with your emotions and recognize when you need to actively work on yourself.
Don’t use self-love to take yourself too seriously and forget about the fact that we are all connected, floating on a rock in space.
It’s all about the approach
Despite everything you’ve read here today, self-love is not bad.
It’s a tool – and like any tool, it can be used for good or bad.
Think about it: you can use a hammer to build a home or to kill someone – that doesn’t mean the hammer in itself is good or bad!
What will it be?
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