Courtesy of Lake Ridge Media
Loving yourself is misunderstood by some people as the action of being conceited or egotistical. In reality, it is the concept of accepting yourself for who you are and having a positive image of yourself. While some may find it hard to adhere to this idea, once they do, they will be on the road to a healthy relationship with themselves.
When a person is insecure, it can be noticed by the way they carry themselves. AP Psychology teacher, Michael Allen, explains techniques that can show a person is insecure or lacks self-confidence.
“It’s not easy if you’re not paying attention. You’re going to find body language, eye contact, or nervousness when they are put on the spot. Those are things you really have to be paying attention to. So, if teachers aren’t very aware of children and how they’re acting and what their body language is showing, they may miss it,” said Allen.
According to Allen, insecurities are like wounds that take time to heal, just being intangible instead. Allen also says that self-doubt is something that goes on in the mind. It occurs when one cares a lot about what others think and judgement from other people.
“Insecurities can be manifested from a physical issue, but it’s a mental process. We listen to that voice in our head, and it tells us we may not be good enough. We have to look past that voice and know we’re not perfect but we’re good enough to be loved,” said Allen.
Additionally, the AP Psychology teacher believes being insecure is inevitable, meaning it will most likely happen to many people at some point.
“I think ultimately, we’re going to be insecure. If you look at the opposite of insecurity, it’s self-confidence. Self-confidence is a learned trait. It comes from doing things that are really hard or new, and when we do it, we’re proud of ourselves. Then, someone gives us a pat on the back. An ‘atta boy.’ If we don’t get those overtime, we become more and more insecure,” said Allen.
Allen summarizes his definition of loving yourself as being content with the kind of person you are.
“I think self-love is the idea that any love should be unconditional. It’s the ability to look at yourself and be comfortable with who you are. Even with your weaknesses, you see past them and you’re able to accept yourself for being a good person despite our human deficiencies,” said Allen.
When lacking confidence within themselves, one would try to get rid of something about them that they were born with. Junior, Anaiah Card, shares her journey to learning how to love a feature that will always be apart of her: her hair.
“I used to hate my hair when I first cut it off because it was natural and I wasn’t used to it being curly. Then I cut it again sophomore year, and then I had more confidence because I got older. Society loves curly hair, but it depends on the type of curl. It’s like a double standard, but yet, they don’t embrace every curl pattern,” said Card.
Additionally, Card explains her logic on how not loving yourself will affect your outcome in performances.
“Everybody has flaws, but they might not view them as flaws. If you don’t love yourself, then you can’t have those morals and respect [for yourself], and the motivation for certain things, or confidence in certain areas. You can love yourself and still not have any confidence,” said Card.
Card also admits that she has certain ways to boost her self-esteem when it is low.
“To uplift myself, I give myself pep talks like, ‘Oh, you look good today!’ Or my mom, she tells me I look nice. I just remember that even if I look bad or I’m not doing my best, I can still do better,” said Card.
Some believe the features that are most commonly praised in the world include having pale skin, a smaller nose, or having little body hair. Junior, Ashley Farokhrouz, explains some flaws that society doesn’t particularly praise, but she has and is content with them.
“I have hairy arms, I have thick eyebrows. I don’t care about what society thinks about me, because the only thing that matters is how you feel about yourself. I used to get made fun of for my eyebrows in elementary school, but it never bothered me because I knew the only thing that mattered was my content with myself,” said Farokhrouz.
Additionally, Farokhrouz gives tips that could help a person be happy with who they are.
“I think self-love is important because if you can’t love yourself, then nobody else can. Some ways to learn to love yourself can be by getting rid of people who don’t accept you for who you are or toxic relationships. Focus on yourself first. Don’t try to help others before you help yourself,” said Farokhrouz.