Learn to love yourself, so that others can too

I had lunch recently with a female friend of mine. We were chatting and eating when she confided in me that she hated other women. Shocked, I asked her what she meant, surely she didn’t hate everyone?! She said she actively looks for flaws when she meets other women. Her internal dialogue is an endless cycle of put-downs, designed it appears, to make her feel better about herself.

As we talked more we came to the conclusion that she didn’t hate other women. She hated herself and her inadequacies, real or imagined. By always comparing herself to other women and pointing out their flaws, she could deflect her low body image onto others.

You might say that if it makes her feel happier, why not let her be? That’s the question – is she happier? She confessed that she isn’t. Every day she ends up more and more insecure, forever looking for the validation that neither she – nor anyone – should need. It seems that many people face such body image problems.

So how do we start to get rid of such negativity and destructiveness – for good?

Accept that we’re all created differently.

Each person was created in a different size and shape. What’s beautiful and what isn’t is also a matter of different perspectives. You can’t influence peoples’ opinions because it’s all about how they see things. Know that it’s this kind of diversity that makes the human race so fascinating.

Put things in perspective.

Know your attributes, and accept your flaws. Relish them because they make you unique. Understand what you can change about yourself and accept what you cannot. If you decide that there is something you can change then fine, start now! Action is power.

Finally, stop competing with others and challenge yourself instead

When we compare ourselves to others there can only be one result. There will always be someone in the world better than us. You can never really win. Instead, accept what you do have and strive to just be a better version of you. Notice how great you feel as you keep winning against the old you.

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