So you are on this mission to learn how to love yourself. My first question to my therapist was, "where do I start?" "What do I need to do?" He responded with "what do you think you need to do?" I was frustrated, so I said half kiddingly, "I don't know, that is why I am asking you!"
His response was dead on b#lls, accurate! You immures yourself in all things about self love. Read books, google articles, talk to people in the field, study, etc. One of the things that helped me the most, was to watch people who did love themselves and mimic their behavior until I could figure out how to do it. You know - fake it till you make it!
So what does it look like when someone loves themselves. How do you know who to watch and mimic Here are some easy signs to tell:
They speak kindly to themselves and about themselves (their inner dialogue shows love and acceptance of themselves instead of the hate-speech we normally have.)
The know take time to take care of themselves - rest, pampering, having some fun, follow their passions.
The have great boundaries. The don't say yes, when they mean no, they don't allow others to take advantage of them, but do so in a kind loving way.
The believe in themselves and trust in themselves. These are the people who you see taking on challenges in a good healthy way, trusting they can meet experience with success.
They value themselves enough ask for help when needed.
They allow themselves to feel their feelings and process them, not letting them cripple them or downing a pint of Ben and Jerry's.
These are just a few of the signs you can look for in someone to see if they loves themselves. If you are not sure and they are someone you feel comfortable talking to, simply ask them. (You know that thing I said above about asking for help (insert smiley face here.))
Start observing, taking notes, studying, what ever it takes. Think of it like this....I you were trying to learn a foreign language, you would take a class, buy some software programs, practice with other people in your class, etc. Well this is no different, because when you were raised not to value yourself, this is a foreign language, but one you can master. I promise!