The importance of self-acceptance
While most people are aware that before they can really love and accept another person they must learn to love themselves, many people find this difficult. There is a common misconception that finding the perfect partner will be the key to lasting happiness but unless this is coupled with a genuine belief that you are someone worth loving, the happiness and fulfilment a relationship brings may be short lived.
Your inner dialogue
To find out how much you really accept yourself listen to your inner dialogue especially when you make a mistake. Are you kind and forgiving or harsh and critical? Do you compare yourself to others all the time and feel either inferior or superior but never equal? Often people talk to themselves in a way that they would be totally unacceptable to anyone else. If that inner voice were a separate person would you want to spend even a day with them let alone a whole lifetime?
Everyone has aspects about themselves that they want to change whether it is losing a few pounds or working harder. The nature of your inner dialogue will play an important part in how successful you are at making changes and sticking to them.
Be kinder to yourself
If your inner dialogue is constantly picking out all your shortcomings, mistakes and inadequacies you will have a hard time believing that you are someone worth getting to know.
In order to be successful at dating it is vital that you begin the process of changing that inner voice from one that sounds like a critical parent to one that is more like a best friend – supportive, encouraging and kind.
It will take some practice but imagining what a good friend would say when you make a mistake or are getting ready for a date will help you to be more compassionate. There is no such thing as a perfect human being so you can let go of any belief that you must be perfect in any way.
When you start to talk to yourself in a kinder and more encouraging way you are much more likely to take positive action to rectify the issues you have. When you are trapped in the loop of self criticism it can feel like there is no point in even trying to change as you will never succeed. As you become more encouraging you will naturally want to do nice things for yourself. You are much more likely to want to please someone who treats you with respect and recognises your efforts than someone who gives you a hard time whatever you do.
Most people are able to list their faults but find it much harder to list their good points. This is sometimes because of genuine modesty but more often because we habitually forget to see what we do well because those things don’t need correction.
Without the balance which comes from knowing both the positive and negative aspects of your personality you will struggle to enter dating situations with complete openness. You will be trying to hide those things you think are not attractive and this will stop you from coming across as whole and authentic.
What are you bringing to the table?
We all make a unique contribution in the lives of others. Some people are great listeners while others are lots of fun to have around and could even make a wake enjoyable! A large part of self acceptance is understanding what your contribution is so you know what you are offering to a new partner. A relationship is a mutual exchange. Ask your friends and family if you are unsure what your positive attributes are. As hard as it may be try to take on board their comments. In order to accept yourself you must first get a realistic picture of who you are, both good and bad.
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