Self-love or narcissism? What's the difference?

written by Paula Hartmann


One of my clients asked me the other day:


What is self-love?


Am I gonna turn into a jerk, if I suddenly start loving myself more and do the things that I really want?


I love this question and I thought I’m gonna share with you, what my idea about self-love is and what’s the difference between loving yourself and being a narcissist.


So, this might surprise you, but narcissists don’t love themselves. They are so cut off from feeling good about themselves, that they need other people’s approval to strengthen their self-image. If you take this approval away from them, they become depressed.


If you truly love and accept yourself, you feel so good about yourself and life in general that you want to spread this love to the people around you. Your well is overflowing and you give out more compliments and hugs. Besides, negative people can’t seem to bother you. Quiet the opposite! You feel so good, that even the nay-sayers might suddenly be in a good mood and start dancing with you on the street. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but this actually happened to me a few times. 


So, what does loving yourself really mean? 


It means to honour and accept yourself the way you are.


To honour your talents, strengths, dreams and desires. It means that you allow yourself to feel good, to take your needs seriously, to do the things that you love and surround yourself with people who are supportive and good for you. It means to truly listen to what FEELS good to you opposed to what you might THINK is good for you. 


For example: You’re parents might have told you that it’s honourable to always be there for others. Then your friend Susie calls you to complain about her life and after 20 min. with her on the phone, you feel completely tired and exhausted. Your mind says, “It’s honourable to listen to Susie. I have to help her.” But if you would really love yourself, you would care for what you really need. And in this moment, it might have been better for you to relax on the couch or go for a walk. 


Self-love also means to find out who you really are and what you really love. This is a big part of my 12-week Coaching Program. If you don't know what you truly want, you can't create a life that feels natural to you. 


Loving yourself more will also require from you to set boundaries and not let other people put you down or treat you like a doormat. It’s sometimes hard to figure out what that actually means. Your friend Susie might not mean to harm you, when she calls you to complain about her life. She might not be aware of how draining this actually feels to you. That’s why we have to educate other people about what is ok for us and what’s not. We have to show them how we want to be treated. 


So many people have no idea how to love themselves, that they might not understand your boundaries at first. They might be irritated or offended when you suddenly stand up for yourself and your needs. But soon they will know what you tolerate and that will inspire them to set more boundaries for themselves as well. 


Start by listening to what truly FEELS good to you and allow yourself to make decisions based on love instead of fear. 


Are you in a relationship, because you love your partner or because you’re afraid to live on your own?


Do you love your job or are you doing it just for the money?


Do you spend time with people that really support you or are you hanging out with people just to not feel lonely?


Love yourself more, pamper yourself and you will start noticing that people react differently around you. They will feel your love and so they will start giving you more attention and appreciation. It’s magic. 


If you feel stuck at the moment and you have more questions, you can always hit reply or schedule a free Clarity-Call with me on Skype here


In my 12-week Coaching-Program I help people to love themselves more, to truly get to know themselves and their needs, which is the basis for creating a life that feels 100% natural to you. If you're tired of living a mediocre life and you want to be YOU 24/7 message me. 


Love you so much!


Have a great week!

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