Stop hating yourself - Page 2 - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #21 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 07:35 AM
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Eh...

I mean it is possible to know on a factual basis that "there's nothing wrong with you".

Unfortunately that does not necessarily change how the person might feel about him/herself.


As an example, on a factual basis I know that my grades are great, I'm getting the best papers in our family and I'll be in a very low top percentage of those who graduate with even close to the same grades.

But that does not help me when I feel like I could still have done much, much better (also, this probably is also a fact, that contradicts with the one that should be making me feel good).

"If you need a safe space, see a therapist" - Jordan Peterson
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post #22 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 07:48 AM
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I have no reason to hate myself, but I also have no reason to like myself. I'm ok with a neutral relationship.

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post #23 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 08:49 AM
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Why not both?
Nope, just other people.
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post #24 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 08:58 AM
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Self-love is our natural state. But people learn to impose conditions on loving themselves (and others) because they've been taught that unconditional self-love is bad or wrong. The result is mental programming that runs like this: "I won't love myself unless X." X could be anything. Your parents loving you. Someone falling in love with you. Being the best at what you do. Being a certain weight. Etc.
A few questions (surprise, surprise).

1) Do you see this as a general or absolute statement?
2) Could you define self-love for me?
3) Do you think that love that is unconditional is devalued, like everyone getting a trophy?

Some people might say the way I view myself is self-love, but I wouldn't describe it that way. The way I feel about myself is a direct reflection of the person I am, it's definitely conditional.

As always, no confrontation, just me being me.

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post #25 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 08:59 AM
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Nope, just other people.
Well I guess that's easier to cope with.
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post #26 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 01:00 AM
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1) Do you see this as a general or absolute statement?
I don't really go for absolutes. It's the 'natural state' in the same way that it's natural for people to be born with two arms. I'm sure there are some people born with abnormal brain architecture or chemistry that leads them 'naturally' to self-destructive impulses, though it's probably pretty rare. (See below.)

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2) Could you define self-love for me?
Yes, as long as you remember that this is a few hundred words, not a 500 page book; which means the 'resolution' is pretty bad.

Our natural state is one of instinctive self-affirmation. The survival instinct, if you will. Unconditional self-love is like the conscious analog of that instinct, the conscious awareness of one's right to exist and pursue happiness regardless of one's limitations.

There is no sense, for example, that one is less deserving of happiness, or less worthwhile as a person, just because one is physically disabled, or poor, or mentally ill. It's the knowledge that it's okay to fail, to make mistakes, to be imperfect. There is no feeling that one "ought" to punish oneself for not being perfect; eg. by denying themselves love. It's the absence of self-destructive, self-punishing and self-defeating urges. (Unless that self-destruction would be an act of mercy. Something you also see in nature.)

Unconditional self-love is being able to say: "I am X, Y, or Z and that's okay. It doesn't make me a better or worse person." There is no feeling that one is an inferior type of person. Nor is there any need to be better than anyone else in a fundamental sense. (One may still be competitive, but being the best AT something doesn't make one a better person than one's opponents.)

There is no need to prove that one is superior in order to feel self-love. There isn't even any need to prove that one is average. I am a failure in most areas by cultural standards; it makes no difference to how I feel about myself. Nor would I feel better about myself if I weren't. (Though I'd probably be happier, since I'd have fewer obstacles in my daily life. Unconditional self-love isn't unconditional happiness; it never standing in the way of the happiness that is available.)

A lot of people have trouble with the concept of unconditional self-love because they equate it with narcissism; but narcissism is simply how conditional self-love manifests in people with above average traits (or people who perceive themselves to be above average). Narcissism is an automatic consequence of conditional self-love, not unconditional self-love. Self-loving people don't mind coming in second because they already have all the self-love they need.

The second objection people have to USL is that it will eliminate your motivation to improve yourself. I find this to be exactly wrong. I'm extremely highly motivated to improve myself precisely because I love myself and want to be the best person I can be, just like I'd want any other person I love to be happy and have everything their heart desires. It's people who hate themselves who lose the motivation to improve themselves. Why improve something you hate? It'll never be good enough to allow you to feel self-love, so why even bother?

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3) Do you think that love that is unconditional is devalued, like everyone getting a trophy?
No. I don't think it's like that at all. I think unconditional self-love is like having normal breathing, and conditional self-love is like only allowing yourself to breathe as much and as often as you think you deserve. I consider all forms of conditional self-love neurotic and maladaptive.

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Some people might say the way I view myself is self-love, but I wouldn't describe it that way. The way I feel about myself is a direct reflection of the person I am, it's definitely conditional.
All ears if you feel like elaborating.

In science, ideology tends to corrupt; absolute ideology [corrupts] absolutely" - Robert Nisbet
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post #27 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 01:43 AM
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I don't really go for absolutes. It's the 'natural state' in the same way that it's natural for people to be born with two arms. I'm sure there are some people born with abnormal brain architecture or chemistry that leads them 'naturally' to self-destructive impulses, though it's probably pretty rare. (See below.)
Just checking.

Though I think this is unnecessarily binary, I think there's a middle ground between unconditional self-love and irrational self-destruction.


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Our natural state is one of instinctive self-affirmation. The survival instinct, if you will. Unconditional self-love is like the conscious analog of that instinct, the conscious awareness of one's right to exist and pursue happiness regardless of one's limitations.
I would tend to agree. I think that's why so many people practise self-delusion, because their minds seem to be wired to believe whatever will make them happy or reinforce their pre-existing views at the expense of accuracy while mine seems to be the exact opposite (which isn't to say that I'm not wrong about things of course). It's the main reason I don't relate to people.


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There is no sense, for example, that one is less deserving of happiness, or less worthwhile as a person, just because one is physically disabled, or poor, or mentally ill...

...Unconditional self-love is being able to say: "I am X, Y, or Z and that's okay. It doesn't make me a better or worse person." There is no feeling that one is an inferior type of person...
I find the concept of love to be incredibly poorly defined, almost to the point of it being a useless word to me. This sounds more like the absence of self-hate and the presence of self-acceptance, if that's love then I guess I love myself.


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There is no need to prove that one is superior in order to feel self-love. There isn't even any need to prove that one is average. I am a failure in most areas by cultural standards; it makes no difference to how I feel about myself. Nor would I feel better about myself if I weren't.
I agree 100%.


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The second objection people have to USL is that it will eliminate your motivation to improve yourself. I find this to be exactly wrong. I'm extremely highly motivated to improve myself precisely because I love myself and want to be the best person I can be, just like I'd want any other person I love to be happy and have everything their heart desires. It's people who hate themselves who lose the motivation to improve themselves. Why improve something you hate? It'll never be good enough to allow you to feel self-love, so why even bother?
Now this part seems like a bit of a contradiction. If you reject the idea of people being superior or inferior to one another that must therefore mean that all people are of equal value. If that's the case then surely the concept of improvement becomes redundant, whatever you become will be of equal value to what you were, otherwise your "improved" self would have to be considered superior.


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No. I don't think it's like that at all. I think unconditional self-love is like having normal breathing, and conditional self-love is like only allowing yourself to breathe as much and as often as you think you deserve. I consider all forms of conditional self-love neurotic and maladaptive.
The way I see it is like this. If someone told me they loved me I would be flattered, if I then learned that they just say that to everyone because "they love everybody, man" it would immediately lose all value to me. If you can't say why you feel a certain way I can't put much stock in the feeling as I'll doubt whether you've even actually thought about it (that's just me though).



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All ears if you feel like elaborating.
Sure.

I like myself in spite of my imperfections, I wouldn't call it love because to be perfectly honest I don't know what love is.

I like my personality, I like the way I think, I like the way I treat others, I like me. The fact I like myself has absolutely nothing to do with what anyone else thinks about me and everything to do with who I am as a person. If I had the same values as I do now but treated people badly, never thought about anything, never tried to be a better person, I wouldn't like myself. I would either have to try and become someone I could like or just learn to accept that I'm a sh***y person.

But I could just be neurotic and maladaptive.

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post #28 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 05:04 AM
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Though I think this is unnecessarily binary, I think there's a middle ground between unconditional self-love and irrational self-destruction.
There is. Just like there's a middle ground between perfect health and terminal illness. That doesn't mean a person is better off being somewhere in the middle. I'm not perfect. I'm not always unconditionally self-loving. Sometimes I succumb to old patterns of negative, self-critical thinking, the same way healthy people sometimes get colds or fevers. But my unconditional self-loving, when it's there, allows me to love myself in spite of these lapses.

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I think that's why so many people practise self-delusion, because their minds seem to be wired to believe whatever will make them happy or reinforce their pre-existing views at the expense of accuracy
A person's beliefs shape their perceptions. People interpret their experience according to their beliefs. It would be impossible to learn anything if that weren't so. But people vary widely in the rigidity of their thinking, and their willingness to update their beliefs in light of new evidence. In general, it takes a really stubborn piece of data or a very convincing argument to force someone to change the way they think. Because human brains are extremely good rationalizers. Almost anything can be rationalized to fit a person's existing beliefs.

Here's an example. Many people with poor self-esteem believe: "I'm unlovable." This belief becomes part of every interaction they have with other people. If someone is mean to them, they think: "Ofc they're being mean to me, I'm unlovable." If someone ignores them, they think: "Ofc they're ignoring me, I'm unlovable." If someone is nice to them, they think: "They just want something from me. They don't really like me, because I'm unlovable." There is literally no way to change this belief. No matter what evidence you give them, it will fit neatly into their preexisting beliefs and confirm, in any way you can imagine, that they are unlovable. If you tell them, "No, that's not true, you just believe you're unlovable," they recite the million experiences they've had that confirm that no, you're wrong, because X, Y, Z to the power of ten million. (Go ahead. Try it with some of the people here and watch them rationalize away every one of your objections. ) And those experiences are absolutely real and true and valid to them because they've interpreted all of their interactions based on the premise that they're unlovable. That's literally what they experienced, so that's all they remember. They have no contradictory evidence. All their experiences have been molded to fit the belief the same way a Christian explains everything as "God's will". Dinosaur bones were planted by the Devil to lead people astray. People take their self-concept very religiously.

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I find the concept of love to be incredibly poorly defined, almost to the point of it being a useless word to me. This sounds more like the absence of self-hate and the presence of self-acceptance, if that's love then I guess I love myself.
It is an incredibly hard to define concept. Words fail. But there is something real there behind the semantics. Imagine you had a child. Unconditional love is being able to look at that child and say (no matter what they've done or haven't done): "It's okay. You're still my child and I love you." What is that? It's absolute acceptance. But you'll notice what it isn't. It isn't liking or agreeing with everything they do. It isn't giving them permission to do whatever they want. It's simply loving them no matter what. It's never saying: "You know what, I'm sick of being your parent. I'm selling you for a new car." This is how a self-loving person relates to themselves. They say: "Yeah, you know what? You really screwed up. But it's okay. We'll get through this."

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Now this part seems like a bit of a contradiction. If you reject the idea of people being superior or inferior to one another that must therefore mean that all people are of equal value. If that's the case then surely the concept of improvement becomes redundant, whatever you become will be of equal value to what you were, otherwise your "improved" self would have to be considered superior.
All people are of equal value. Every person is a consciousness, and every consciousness is made of exactly the same stuff, even if the contents of that consciousness are different. A jungle isn't "superior" to a desert, it's just different. A tiger isn't better than a flamingo, they're just different. People aren't superior, they're just different. That doesn't mean people aren't better or worse at different things, or more useful or likable to you personally. All colors are equally 'valuable', but that doesn't mean I can't prefer orange. I can prefer flamingos over tigers.

When it comes to self-improvement it's not about being better in the sense that: "my old self was worthless, but now I'm really worth something". That's conditional thinking. I might be a terrible cook right now (no, I am a terrible cook right now ) but that doesn't mean I'll be worth more when I stop being a terrible cook. It doesn't mean I'll suddenly have a right to love myself. It just means my food will taste better. I'm not going to wait until I'm a good cook to start loving myself. I'm going to love myself right now. I'm going to enjoy being a bad cook while it lasts. Then I'll enjoy being a good cook while that lasts.

The problem people with conditional self-esteem have understanding this is that they've been holding self-love as a carrot/reward for good behavior for so long they don't know any other way to live. They want to feel that burst of self-love when they see improvement, or achieve a goal, because self-love feels good. It seems terribly depressing to live in a world where they never get to feel those bursts of self-love. But I enjoy that feeling most of the time.

And self-love isn't the only type of pleasure. There's the pleasure of learning, the pride of accomplishment, the joy of making another person happy, the adventure of watching yourself evolve and change. I have more reasons to keep improving myself than I know what to do with.

But people who punish themselves for failing often fear the stick more than they want the carrot. They're afraid to try anything, because if they fail, they know they're going to give themselves a fierce ***-whupping.

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The way I see it is like this. If someone told me they loved me I would be flattered, if I then learned that they just say that to everyone because "they love everybody, man" it would immediately lose all value to me.
Would you be happier if your parents only loved you sometimes? Would it mean more if they only loved you when you really, really deserved it? Like when you cure cancer, or create world peace? I mean, if their standards for loving you are that high, then it must be worth a lot, right? But if they loved you all the time, well ... that kind of love is worthless. It doesn't matter what you do, they're still going to love you, so why care at all what they think, right? Their total love and acceptance means absolutely nothing because it never varies.

Can you see how this attitude would be problematic in a relationship? Would you prefer to date someone who only loved you some of the time, when you were really on your game and in top form, but who stopped loving if, for example, you broke down and cried or lost your job?

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If I had the same values as I do now but treated people badly, never thought about anything, never tried to be a better person, I wouldn't like myself. I would either have to try and become someone I could like or just learn to accept that I'm a sh***y person.
And this is the objection all conditional self-lovers raise: "Wouldn't it be horrible if I was a bad person and loved myself anyway?!" This is the boogeyman our culture instills in everyone to convince them to keep their self-love on a tight leash. I mean, if you just loved yourself all the time, no matter what, imagine what would happen! Planes would fall out of the sky, doctors would remove the wrong organs, soldiers would take tanks on joy rides.

But that ISN'T what happens. Loving yourself doesn't make you stupid; it doesn't make you inconsiderate; it doesn't make you selfish and greedy and self-absorbed. The logic of self-love prevents that from happening. You can't believe that you are a worthwhile person even though you're poor without also believing that other poor people are worthwhile people. If you believe that it's wrong to abuse yourself by withholding self-love arbitrarily, it's hard to justify abusing anyone else.

I have zero desire to inflict harm on anyone else. I take the feelings of other people very seriously. Not because I'm a 'good' person, but because I see the worth in everyone. It's people with conditional self-esteem who pose a serious threat to others. People who believe that some people can be worth more than others. For example, that Jews are an inferior type of person and that therefore it's okay to exterminate them.

A racist is a conditional thinker par excellence; they rate their own worth in terms of genetic purity; the more pure they are, the more they're worth. It's completely moronic, but there you have it. If I believe that, no matter what my race, sex, or orientation is, I'm a worthwhile person, then it stands to reason that I feel the same way about other people. (And I do.) If I am always a worthwhile person no matter what, then so is everyone else. Including the bad people who need to be isolated from other worthwhile people so that they don't hurt them.

In science, ideology tends to corrupt; absolute ideology [corrupts] absolutely" - Robert Nisbet
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post #29 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 09:28 AM
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post #30 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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I'm a loser. I won't love myself until I'm a winner. If I was a loser and loved myself then I would be a loser forever.
Wheres the evidence that you are a loser?

A loser is a made up concept, not a real one, you could never become a winner because it doesnt exist also.
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post #31 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Don't tell me what to do

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post #32 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 12:31 PM
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I'm not perfect. I'm not always unconditionally self-loving. Sometimes I succumb to old patterns of negative, self-critical thinking, the same way healthy people sometimes get colds or fevers.
I guess the million dollar question is whether unconditional love is the optimal state of affairs. Personally I feel that there is value in criticism, if I wasn't so honest about my flaws I doubt I would try to improve in the way that I do. The problem might be that when some people hear self-criticism they conflate it with self-hate, that's not what it's like for me at all. I'd never have learned how to talk to people if I didn't realise I was doing something wrong (self-criticism), think about how I could be better and try to do so. Alternatively I could have told myself that I'm fantastic the way I am and it's everybody else's fault for not suiting me (I'm not actually capable of doing this but you get the point) but I'd have just become someone who still doesn't know how to talk to people but has high self-esteem (which I would say is an inferior result).


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If you tell them, "No, that's not true, you just believe you're unlovable," they recite the million experiences they've had that confirm that no, you're wrong, because X, Y, Z to the power of ten million. (Go ahead. Try it with some of the people here and watch them rationalize away every one of your objections. )
You say this as though I don't already have first hand experience of this.

I still don't think that conditional self-love is synonymous with low self-esteem though, I don't have low self-esteem.


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Imagine you had a child. Unconditional love is being able to look at that child and say (no matter what they've done or haven't done): "It's okay. You're still my child and I love you." What is that?
I can see what you're saying. If I had kids I definitely wouldn't abandon them but I certainly wouldn't tell them that all behaviour is "okay". I suspect that family is kind of an exception as far as love is concerned, I would say that I love my family but suspect this is due to some sort of imprinting that takes place as or with babies as I don't feel that way about people I didn't grow up with or for whom I wasn't around while they grew up.

For instance, if I ever fell in love with someone there would definitely be things she could do to make me leave her (fall out of love with her), I wouldn't even need the new car .


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All people are of equal value. Every person is a consciousness, and every consciousness is made of exactly the same stuff, even if the contents of that consciousness are different.
Value is subjective, you're entitled to feel this way of course but everyone isn't of equal value to me. Just because someone may be of low value to me doesn't mean they have low value in general, everyone has some value to me but some people mean much more than others.


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The problem people with conditional self-esteem have understanding this is that they've been holding self-love as a carrot/reward for good behavior for so long they don't know any other way to live.
This sounds like an assertion to be honest, you seem to assume that if self-esteem is conditional it must therefore be temporary/transient, seems like a non-sequitur.


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But people who punish themselves for failing often fear the stick more than they want the carrot. They're afraid to try anything, because if they fail, they know they're going to give themselves a fierce ***-whupping.
I'm sure that's true for some people but that's not how it is for me at all. From what I can tell, most people who excel at things don't simply accept failure (they'll accept that it happened, but not that it's just as good as succeeding), they generally get upset and try to make sure it doesn't happen again.


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Would you be happier if your parents only loved you sometimes?

...But if they loved you all the time, well ... that kind of love is worthless.
If they loved me because of who I was as a person, considering I'm that person all of the time why would their love be temporary? And yes I would be happier if I was loved because I am who I am rather than merely getting it by default (again family is different so the automatic love still has value, just less, at least to me, it seems like more of an obligation than anything).



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Can you see how this attitude would be problematic in a relationship? Would you prefer to date someone who only loved you some of the time, when you were really on your game and in top form, but who stopped loving if, for example, you broke down and cried or lost your job?
Yes that would be a problem, but that's not what I'm advocating so I'll leave it to someone who feels that way to defend that position. I would also see a problem with someone in a relationship that didn't feel like they had to do anything to keep your love, they would become complacent. You seem to be jumping to extreme examples, as I said before, everything doesn't have to be binary.


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And this is the objection all conditional self-lovers raise: "Wouldn't it be horrible if I was a bad person and loved myself anyway?!"
"All" huh, I though you didn't like absolutes.

I have never thought that in my life, so now you know at least one exception to that rule.

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I have zero desire to inflict harm on anyone else. I take the feelings of other people very seriously. Not because I'm a 'good' person, but because I see the worth in everyone. It's people with conditional self-esteem who pose a serious threat to others. People who believe that some people can be worth more than others. For example, that Jews are an inferior type of person and that therefore it's okay to exterminate them.
This is a no true scotsman fallacy, you seem to assume that all people who love themselves unconditionally must view others like you do, I'm not sure why.

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I'm a worthwhile person, then it stands to reason that I feel the same way about other people.
Just looking around at how people treat others compared to how they want others to treat them would suggest this isn't the way most people are.

Again, nothing personal, let me know if you start to get annoyed.

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What proof are you looking for?

In the past five years I've been diagnosed with social anxiety, depression, and anorexia. I also have reason to believe I've suffered from generalized anxiety disorder, at least three separate forms of OCD, orthorexia, BED possibly a form of EDNOS, and some other crazy stuff. Undeniably there is something "wrong with me".

I've been working on toning down the self hatred, but just when i think i've got it, my family tells me i'm not doing enough and i feel like crap all over again. there's always something ready to pull the rug out from under you. loving yourself in the face of failure is probably one of the hardest things people like us can do.
What does that mean about you? Nothing, why it should mean there is something wrong with you? You have some "disorders" but soo what? Where is the real life evidence there is something wrong with you?

Your family only drags you down because you believe their words, if you dont believe them, bamn, there goes the dragging down.
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post #34 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 12:49 PM
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Thing that makes me hate myself is despite making it through college paying for it myself through working summers which I still am doing, I have no real job still nearly 2 years after graduating. Got interviews some successful some not but I have still not landed anything. Parents tell me it's fine but I know its not. I know I am a burden to them and when I do land something I want all my money I make to go to helping them because I owe it to them.

And then when you get crapped on by some extended family members you haven't seen for awhile and some random others that make a comment about your job situation I just get sunk to near rock bottom. You know I know I have nothing going for me right now I'm trying to fix it. I fought anxiety for 3 years in college and got my degree something none of these people that give me crap have done. I feel like telling these people they need to mind their own damn business but I just try my best to brush it off but it weighs me down.

Sorry for that rant wow I just get really frustrated when I talk about it.
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Eh...

I mean it is possible to know on a factual basis that "there's nothing wrong with you".

Unfortunately that does not necessarily change how the person might feel about him/herself.


As an example, on a factual basis I know that my grades are great, I'm getting the best papers in our family and I'll be in a very low top percentage of those who graduate with even close to the same grades.

But that does not help me when I feel like I could still have done much, much better (also, this probably is also a fact, that contradicts with the one that should be making me feel good).
A person opinion doesnt mean anything and it doesnt mean anything about you.
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post #36 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 04:55 PM
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What does that mean about you? Nothing, why it should mean there is something wrong with you? You have some "disorders" but soo what? Where is the real life evidence there is something wrong with you?

Your family only drags you down because you believe their words, if you dont believe them, bamn, there goes the dragging down.
then what do you consider evidence?

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post #37 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 09:09 PM
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@truant Wow, your post has given me a lot to think about. The parts about how people with low self esteem think in particular sound a lot like me.

I really wish I knew how to change my mindset. Its so difficult making any headway against a lifetime of thought patterns.
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post #38 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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then what do you consider evidence?
there is no evidence that is wrong with you. You can find evidence of your arm or your dog but nothing that is wrong with you, that is what this is about
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post #39 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 11:33 PM
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Why hate yourself, when you can hate other people instead?
This is my philosophy.
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post #40 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 01:21 AM
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Part One

To save characters: USL = unconditional self-love; CSL = conditional self-love.

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Originally Posted by LonelyLurker View Post
I guess the million dollar question is whether unconditional love is the optimal state of affairs. Personally I feel that there is value in criticism, if I wasn't so honest about my flaws I doubt I would try to improve in the way that I do. The problem might be that when some people hear self-criticism they conflate it with self-hate, that's not what it's like for me at all. I'd never have learned how to talk to people if I didn't realise I was doing something wrong (self-criticism), think about how I could be better and try to do so. Alternatively I could have told myself that I'm fantastic the way I am and it's everybody else's fault for not suiting me (I'm not actually capable of doing this but you get the point) but I'd have just become someone who still doesn't know how to talk to people but has high self-esteem (which I would say is an inferior result).
You're interpreting all of my statements through the lens of conditional worth and reading things into my statements that aren't there.

I value criticism very highly. I can be painfully objective about my failings (self-critical). Criticism is only scary to people with conditional self-esteem; since I know I'm not going to stop loving myself no matter what I uncover, I'm not afraid to be ruthlessly self-critical. I don't mind admitting my failings, and I don't mind when people point them out. And because I love and value myself, I'm highly motivated to be the best kind of person I can be. Why would I let something I love go to pot? People who love gardening don't sit around loving their garden in the abstract; they go work in their gardens. If you love your partner, you don't let the relationship go to seed; you cultivate it. Because you enjoy spending time with the things you love. I enjoy developing my abilities because I love myself. But if I hated myself, because I wasn't good enough, I'd probably just lie around all the time waiting to die.

I don't blame other people if they don't like me. I don't get angry about it. I don't expect anyone to force themselves to like me (it would be awful if they did; I prefer honesty), and I don't try to convince people that I'm awesome and that they suck if they don't agree. Everyone has their own preferences. It's okay if people don't like me. It would be weird if everyone liked everyone equally. People always have preferences. I know lots of people hate my guts. That's okay. As long as they're not meddling in my life.

"High self-esteem"/narcissism is, as I said, a product of CSL. I don't feel superior to anyone. That would be like believing that one color is actually superior somehow to other colors. It seems silly and illogical to me to believe something like that. But I know that many people with CSL find it very important to find some way to prove to themselves that they are superior to other people. That they're more virtuous, perhaps, or more broad-minded, or more intelligent, or whatever. They need something to hang their self-esteem on so that they can feel good about themselves. They need to be able to see that they're better than all those slobs who go around doing things they don't approve of.

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Originally Posted by LonelyLurker View Post
I still don't think that conditional self-love is synonymous with low self-esteem though, I don't have low self-esteem.
I never said that CSL was synonymous with low self-esteem. In fact, "low" and "high" self-esteem are the two poles of CSL, not USL. USL has nothing to do with high and low; it's unconditional. There are tons and tons of people out there with high (I prefer the terms "inflated" and "deflated") self-esteem because they compare themselves to other people, see that they're better-looking or richer or smarter or whatever and feel that this gives them permission to feel superior to people who aren't "as good" as they are.

If you believe in CSL and you're poor, stupid, and ugly, your self-esteem is probably going to be in the toilet, and if you're rich, brilliant, and beautiful, your self-esteem is probably going to be through the roof. If you're somewhere in the middle, then your self-esteem is probably about "normal", which people with CSL equate with "healthy". Because that's how CSL works. Those who have everything have permission to love themselves, and those who have nothing have permission to hate themselves. I'm not sure how anyone can see that as anything but perverse and toxic. But that's the way almost everyone is, and you could spend the rest of your life trying to find another person who thinks like I do.

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Originally Posted by LonelyLurker View Post
I can see what you're saying. If I had kids I definitely wouldn't abandon them but I certainly wouldn't tell them that all behaviour is "okay".
And I specifically said: "you'll notice what it isn't. It isn't liking or agreeing with everything they do. It isn't giving them permission to do whatever they want", a part you conveniently neglected to quote.

Parents who love their children don't let their children play in traffic, do they? No, they set firm boundaries because they love them. Not all behavior is okay. Some of it is most definitely not okay. But they don't stop loving their child just because their child did something naughty. They try to explain why it was bad and tell them not to do it again. I treat myself the same way. If I do something reckless and stupid I correct myself. I say: "Wow, that was really stupid. Don't do that anymore." But there's no hatred there. Just care and concern.

One of the ways that children end up with negative self-concepts is through misinterpreting their parents' actions. If you run out into the street and your parent freaks out and yells at you, it's possible that you could come to the conclusion that your parent hates you. That's because kids are stupid; they come to all sorts of wrong conclusions about things. They become convinced that they're unlovable because their parents ignore them; or that they're a bad person because their parents always yell at them. That's why it's really important for parents to continually affirm their children; to make sure that the kids know that they're lovable and worthwhile people. I think a lot of self-esteem issues arise from parents not understanding this and failing to affirm their children appropriately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonelyLurker View Post
For instance, if I ever fell in love with someone there would definitely be things she could do to make me leave her (fall out of love with her), I wouldn't even need the new car .
Ofc. The same is true for me. Because there are two people in a relationship, and I love myself, so I'm not going to let my partner treat me disrespectfully. If my partner were abusive, or it was otherwise unhealthy for me to stay with them, I would leave them because I love myself.

It's people with unhealthy (deflated) CSL who convince themselves they don't deserve any better and who stay in abusive relationships. That can only happen if you can be convinced that you are worth less than your partner, which isn't going to happen to me. Don't mess with me, buster, because I will send you packing.

But that doesn't mean I won't do whatever I can to help a person I love; I just won't sacrifice myself for them, because I love both people involved in that relationship, myself and him/her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonelyLurker View Post
Value is subjective, you're entitled to feel this way of course but everyone isn't of equal value to me. Just because someone may be of low value to me doesn't mean they have low value in general, everyone has some value to me but some people mean much more than others.
And you're entitled to feel that way. I love the color orange. It's magical to me. But that doesn't mean I believe that other colors are less important. They're just not my style. And I find some people magical. Those are the people I want to spend my time with. But that doesn't mean I consider other people to be inferior. This is just a different type of thinking. Believing that you are objectively superior or inferior to other people seems obviously irrational to me, like believing that some colors are objectively better than others. But most people seem to think that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonelyLurker View Post
This sounds like an assertion to be honest, you seem to assume that if self-esteem is conditional it must therefore be temporary/transient, seems like a non-sequitur.
CSL is conditional. That means that if the conditions change, the self-love changes. That doesn't say anything at all about how likely it is to change. I suspect that most people experience relatively consistent (though fluctuating) self-esteem over the course of a lifetime, because their values remain consistent, and their self-image remains consistent. Most children with deflated self-esteem will have low self-esteem for the rest of their lives; most children with inflated self-esteem will be obnoxiously arrogant jerks most of their lives.

People with inflated CSL tend to be very hard to deal with. Why is that? Because anyone who doesn't agree with their high opinion of them threatens their self-esteem. So they lash out. They have to reassert their dominance in order to keep that self-love flowing. If nothing else works, they'll resort to violence. That's all CSL. USL has nothing to do with that. A person with USL doesn't care if people don't agree with their opinion of them.

Cont...

In science, ideology tends to corrupt; absolute ideology [corrupts] absolutely" - Robert Nisbet
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