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Can you love someone else if you don't love yourself?

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by worlds edge, May 24, 2007.

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  1. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    Figured I'd throw this one out and see what others think.

    I have no clue who first came up with the cliche that "To love someone else you must first love yourself," but for some weird reason I've heard it two or three times this week and it is starting to piss me off. Needless to say, I disagree. I absolutely do not love myself, yet I can think of five people that I do think I love (my wife, my son, my father, my mother and my sister.)

    I guess what I find most irritating about this is how dogmatic those making this claim seem to be. On what basis do they make it? How the hell can they know? Does anyone here agree with that proposition?

    Figured this would go better here than in "Let it all out," for the simple reason that I'm interested hearing somebody defend the proposition, though I have no idea how you'd do it.
  2. ~Nobody~

    ~Nobody~ Well-Known Member

    The expression I've heard is that no-one can love you unless you love yourself. I don't think that's true either. Or at least I hope it isn't :dry:.
  3. Tara

    Tara Guest

    i dont think it is....:dry: i mean i love a few people more than anything. I dont think that you could say i dont love them jsut cause i dont love myself.

    my mum has always said though "if you dont love youself who will"...as in making a point that, you should love yourself. and if you are confident or show that you are, you make other people want to love you.....or something like that!
  4. Of course you can love someone else and be loved by them, even if you don't love yourself. Sometimes, someone else can be the reason for living. People who say otherwise, are very ignorant to the nature of suffering, since not everyone is going to be happy, which doesn't mean that if they aren't happy that they deserve less love from others.
  5. Panther

    Panther Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you posted this, because I was kinda thinkin about this topic. I have heard it said quite a few times that you can't properly love someone else unless you love yourself. I compare that comment to this forum where often people here will say things which are really, well, kind and even loving (for want of a better term) and yet will be so hard on themselves.

    I know this is the internet but I firmly believe that people do love the other members on here nonetheless. I wonder how people can hate themselves, I wish people could see themselves as beautiful and not shit. I think people can love others even if they hate themselves but it's hard seeing some posts from people being so down on themselves, but yeah self-hatred is a difficult thing to overcome.
  6. resistance

    resistance Staff Alumni

    I think that statement is a load of bollox and I don't know where they got it from. Where's the logic? I look in the mirror and I see an image I hate, both inside and out, certainly don't love myself but I can see beauty in other people.
  7. Ziggy

    Ziggy Antiquitie's Friend

    I think to love others you have to love yourself. Here's my reasoning...

    I have to ask myself what is love? I guess it may be hard for me to answer because I've never been in a relationship. I've never liked myself, or other people, but I've always had a 'love' of nature. It's easy to appreciate a little kitten or a beautiful tree because these things appeal to us, but what about rats or mosquitoes? They don't appeal to us as much but they are equally important, do we look at the flies and ants and rejoice in their existence? I guess not but maybe we should?

    The same must be true of people then, some may appeal to us, others may not, but we need to come to appreciate these lives, see that each person has their part to play. we may have different beliefs, opinions, personalities, preferences, but at the end of the day, we have to realise that although we're very different we're very much the same. (Of course I can't see everyone in that light, there's always exceptions, such as murderers etc. but as a general rule I think it's true.)

    Let's say I think highly of people on this forum, you may say "I'm ugly" and I think "I'm ugly too" but I can't hate you for that so how can I hate myself, if you say I am shy, I am stupid, I am weak, then I am the same as you so if I can't bring myself to hate you then how can I hate myself?

    But if I am to accept you, then I have to accept myself. If I say "I hate myself because I'm pathetic" and you say "I'm pathetic too so you must hate me" then that's wrong, I can't hate you for that, so how can I hate myself?

    Being on SF really made me look at myself, who am I? Am I clever or stupid? Good or bad? Loving or hateful? Then one day when I looked at myself I saw a part of me that was like an abandoned baby, lost in the world, afraid, helpless, alone but then there was another part of me, that just wanted to pick that baby up, hold it in my arms and care for it. I used to hate myself for being so pathetic but now the more pathetic I realise I am, the more I feel I need to look after and care for myself.

    Care for yourself, care for other people, the plants, the animals, the planet, life itself. Is this love? I don't know, but it will do for now.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2007
  8. SeemsPerfect

    SeemsPerfect Guest

    I believe it truly depends on the person. Some people hate themselves, thus they don't care about anyone else either.

    Then there are those who are the polar opposite in loving others. They compensate for their self-hate by loving others w/ more sincerity than most could understand.

    Personally, the worse I feel about myself, the more I do to help others. A lot of people are that way.
  9. Bostonensis

    Bostonensis Guest

    Based on what love is NOT; yes we can.
  10. Syd

    Syd Guest

    I think it's more of a rhetorical statement, not meant to be taken so literally.

    Of course you can love someone else and not yourself. The statement is more of a reflection on a universal love for humanity. It's about finding a deeper, spiritual love for others by accepting yourself.
  11. Tara

    Tara Guest

    :eek:hmy: that sounds soo much like me. i never thought about it in that way though. guess i really do hate myself huh! :blink:
  12. SeemsPerfect

    SeemsPerfect Guest

    No not at all. Just my opinion but sometimes a person can just feel really down and may not care about themselves at the moment so they're completely selfless in their love and assitance of others.

    "Well, I'm already having a sh/tty day. I only have 5 dollars in my pocket anyway. Why not give it to this homeless guy?"

    That's a measure of love (again - just my opinion).
  13. HappyAZaClaM

    HappyAZaClaM Guest

    that is an oldie but a moldie :biggrin:

    and good job posting the link. nothin wrong with rehashing of course.
    but it seems this one has been done.
  14. hammockmonkey

    hammockmonkey Well-Known Member

    nope. if i have someone than i could be happy, and i don't want anything good for myself so i blow it up. :D
  15. Anime-Zodiac

    Anime-Zodiac Well-Known Member

    You might find that some of those expressions and quotes sound good but they actually don't have any substance.
  16. Alexpt2

    Alexpt2 Well-Known Member

    I think it depends on the character and the make up of the individual.

    There are people in this world who are genuinely selfless individuals who always put the wants/needs/desires of others ahead of their own.(these people are the minority but they are out there) For these types of people, it's definetly possible for them to love others, without loving themselves.

    However the majority of us(myself included) are self centered by nature. We place a greater importance on our own needs rather than the needs of others. In our own heads, we are the most important people on the earth. And given that reasoning, If we feel that we are not even deserving of our own love, than how the hell can anyone else be deserving of it?

    Just speaking for myself here........If I were to ever experience the feeling of love for another human being, it would have to start with me.
  17. Locket

    Locket Well-Known Member

    so many people are saying you can't love someone else if you don't love yourself?! how is that possible?!
    loving someone else is completely different to loving yourself, you can't say that you have to have one to be able to have the other.
    i love a lot of people, and yes i LOVE one other person (romantically), but i don't love myself at all - i hate myself! (almost, not completely, there are times i can tolerate myself) and i'm capable of loving another person.

  18. crookxshanks

    crookxshanks Well-Known Member

    i honestly believe that no one can say that they love themselves because everyone always has something that bugs them about themselves but yet you can always fall in love with someone even if they feel the same way. my boyfriend and i are living proof because both of us have mental health problems.

    if you have someone that loves you for who you are, warts and all, i think thats all that matters
  19. ToHelp

    ToHelp Well-Known Member

    Great topic... Many cliches while fallacious are sworn by as truth simply because if you repeat a thing enough times, it becomes true in the public's mind.

    Through propaganda, Hitler was a learned MASTER of the art of this deceit via repetition. (You tell a lie enough times...)

    And of course it's straight bullshit that you have to love yourself in order to just adore some else or vice versa--have people love you.

    "Edge" is indeed very sharp here.

  20. Locket

    Locket Well-Known Member

    so, assuming people agree that you CAN love someone even if you don't love yourself...
    what do people think about HELPING someone when you can't help yourself?
    is it possible?
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