Do I Need To Like Myself?
Yes! People who don't like themselves are a pain in the neck1!
Usually, people with a poor self-image use one of two irritating2 strategies3. They either:
a) criticize you a lot or
b) they criticize themselves a lot.
STRATEGY A: They criticize you a lot. They figure4 that by criticizing other people they can feel better about themselves.
Let's take Fred, who feels inferior5. Fred thinks he has a big nose and piggy eyes. He also secretly feels a bit stupid.
So what's his strategy to feel better about himself? He criticizes all his friends. He has names for them like “Flathead”, “Chicken Legs” and “Dogbrain”. Whenever someone else makes a mistake, he announces it to the whole class. (He probably doesn't even realize he criticizes people—or why he does it.)
If you have parents, friends or brothers and sisters who don't like themselves—they might criticize you and everyone around them. Just remember that they criticize you because they have a problem. If you remember that they are actually hurting inside, you won't get so upset by their behaviour.
STRATEGY B: Some people who don't like themselves criticize themselves a lot. They use reverse6 psychology...
Take Mary who doesn't like herself. She's always telling you, “You are prettier than me. You are smarter. Nobody likes me.” She's hoping that you will reply, “No Mary! You are clever. You are beautiful.” After a while, people like Mary get on your nerves7!
In a nutshell8
When we don't like ourselves, we irritate other people. We also put ourselves through a lot of stress. When we accept ourselves a little better, we don't play these games.
How Can I Like Myself﹖
In our hearts, most of us believe we should be doing better. We think that we should have gotten higher grades. We want to be popular and hang out with9 the “in”10 crowd. We feel we don't measure up to11 our parents' expectations. Our parents help to confirm12 this idea when they ask, “Why can't you be more like your brother?”
Whenever you are feeling low, be your own best friend. Accept that, up to now, you have lived your life the best way you know how. No one sets out13 to screw up14 their life! Like anyone, you've done the odd stupid thing. With more information you'll likely do better in the future.
Liking yourself means forgiving yourself. If you have made some serious mistakes, if you have hurt some people—and yourself—feeling guilty won't help.
If you are feeling guilty about something, you have already suffered enough. Being guilty for another six months won't help anybody.
Forget perfection and aim for improvement.
It's a funny thing. When you forgive yourself for your own mistakes, you automatically15 begin to let others off the hook16 for the same things.
“But I＇m Not Brilliant...”
You might look at yourself and say, “I'm not as beautiful as my sister, I'm not as talented as my friends and I'm not brilliant at anything! How can I feel good about me?”
Fact: Nobody is good at everything and most of us have those thoughts!
But here's the lowdown17! Talent and beauty are very useful—but there are plenty of talented and beautiful people around whom we don't necessarily admire. And some of them are a pan18 in the butt19!
The qualities most of us value above all others are honesty, courage, persistence20, generosity21 and humility22. Take a look at this list and you'll find something interesting. You aren't born with these things. You develop them. Anyone can have them! If you want self-respect, and respect from others, you don't have to be an Einstein or a super-model.
You simply work at developing your own honesty, determination, generosity, humility and courage. It is called “character23”.
In a nutshell
How you feel about yourself is in your hands.