1. Don’t talk people out of loving you. Even if you don’t love yourself, you have to learn to accept other people are going to love you anyway. When that happens, don’t try to convince them they can do better than you. Don’t counter their compliments by listing out every single one of your flaws. If someone says they love you — and acts like they love you — believe they love you.
2. Don’t let other people play with your emotions. When you don’t like yourself, it’s easy to feel like you deserve to be treated like shit. But that is not true. You shouldn’t let anyone walk over you. You shouldn’t let anyone play games with you. You shouldn’t let anyone get away with hurting your heart.
3. Don’t miss out on exciting opportunities. Don’t hold yourself back from putting in an application because you aren’t sure whether you deserve the position. Don’t hold yourself back from attending a party because you aren’t sure whether anyone actually wants you there. Don’t miss out on good days because you’re so worried about them turning them into bad days.
4. Don’t hurt yourself in the emotional — or physical sense. When you experience low self-worth, it’s easy to feel like nothing you do matters, like your body doesn’t matter, like your pain doesn’t matter. But you shouldn’t put yourself through external pain, no matter how small. Don’t burn yourself with the curling iron. Don’t dig your nails deep into your skin. Don’t destroy your beautiful body, even when you feel like beautiful is the last word you would use to describe yourself.
5. Don’t push away people who care about you. Don’t assume everyone else hates you as much as you hate yourself. Don’t assume they’re only being nice to you out of pity. Don’t assume they’re judging you over the flaws you focus on whenever you stare into the mirror. Don’t assume their feelings for you aren’t real because they see sides of you that you can’t even see yourself.
6. Don’t hate on people who do love themselves. Don’t let your jealousy become a poison. When you see someone who is comfortable and confident with themselves, instead of comparing yourself to them, be inspired by them. Try to follow their lead and love yourself more.
7. Don’t settle for a mediocre life. Don’t talk yourself into staying in a toxic situation because you feel like you don’t deserve any better. Don’t convince yourself this is the best it’s ever going to get so there’s no sense in trying. Don’t let your pessimism make you lie to yourself.
8. Don’t lose faith in yourself. Don’t assume the rest of your life is going to be miserable because you aren’t in a great space right now. So many things can change in a day, let alone a year or two or ten. The way you’re feeling right now isn’t the way you’re going to feel forever.
Learning how to love yourself might take time, but you need to put effort into treating yourself better. You need to accept you are deserving of love — especially from yourself.