Updated: Feb 1
Do you feel like you’re not lovable? Do you lack confidence and self-respect? Do you put up with relationships where people are constantly taking more from you than they give?
“Our disconnection from love is the core of almost all our problems. It leads to mundane lives of desperation – imprisoning ourselves in dull routines or stultifying relationships, or needing love, or caring for others at our own expense, or limiting ourselves to what we feel we derive or what others will allow us.” Robert Holden, author of Lovability
Lack of self-love is rooted in things that have happened to us in the past, sometimes before we’re even old enough to remember. Somewhere along the way we’ve picked up this idea, this belief that we aren’t lovable. If you’re like me, you have a belief that you have to earn love, it’s not freely given.
When we have these beliefs we tend to look outside of ourselves for love. This often leads to disappointment after disappointment. True love can only come from within us. It has to start there.
Here are 8 signs of a lack of self-love, or self-love deficiency:
1 People pleasing
INFJs are notorious people pleasers. We’re good at reading people and intuitively knowing what’s needed. Being helpful is not in and of itself bad, but when we lack self-love we take things to the extreme. We go way out of our way to help others, even if it’s harmful to our physical or mental health. It’s almost like we can’t say no.
2 Chaotic relationships
When we are self-love deficient it’s hard for us to believe that we are loveable at all or that we deserve anything good. We tend to settle for much less than we should. This means that our lives are full of friends who take advantage of us and romantic partners who are narcissistic. We often feel like a magnet for narcs because we allow them to stay in our lives, thinking that’s all we deserve.
3 Being scared to be seen
Putting yourself out there is hard enough when you have confidence. But when you don’t it’s next to impossible. We’re scared of what people will say or think, clinging to the belief that we have nothing important to say and nothing valuable to add to the conversation. We don’t want the attention on us at all.
4 Hyper vigilance
Self-love deficiency will cause you to be terrified of making any mistakes. We’re constantly anxious that something bad will happen and hyper-aware of the behavior and mood of those around us. We search for clues on how to act, what to wear, what to say and what to do. We never allow our true self to shine through, mainly because we don’t know who to be without someone else telling us.
5 Poor communication
When we are self-love deficient it’s hard to communicate anything. We live in fear that we’ll make a mistake. We don’t ask for anything that we want or need because we don’t want to be a burned or even an inconvenience. This results in us not feeling that we have been heard and being misunderstood. Our needs are ignored because we can’t communicate them and the people that we surround ourselves with can’t be bothered to ask about them.
We always want things to be done perfectly. We strive to have every hair in place, presenting a perfect appearance. We go to extremes to present a perfect life as well. This extends to our work too, where we often overwork ourselves to make sure everything is done impeccably well. We need perfect feedback or else we’re left feeling devastated.
7 Lack of assertiveness
Lack of confidence and self-esteem leaves us too fearful of upsetting others. Assertiveness requires boldness, which we lack. Due to holding our feelings in and being passive, we let our anger build up until we boil over and become aggressive- defensive.
8 Feeling guilty
We feel guilty any time we are brave enough to do something for ourselves, even if it’s simply taking a couple of hours to watch our favorite TV show or buying ourselves a new handbag. It feels like too much for the likes of us. Sometimes the guilt consumes us and we have no idea why, like we feel guilty to simply be alive and taking up space.
There’s hope for us!
If you are self-love deficient, please know that you’re not alone. I was SLD well into my 30s. I grew up thinking that some people don’t have self-love and I was just one of the unlucky ones. The good news is you don’t have to live with that belief! There is hope for us!
Being aware of the problem is the first step, which you’ve already accomplished! Yay you!!
The next step is understanding where in came from and how to fix it. Join me in the INFJ Woman group that I created just for you! We talk about finding self-love and stepping into your highest and best self!