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Mental Mondays: How To Deal With The Side Eye Phenomenon When Practicing Self-love

Mental Mondays: How To Deal With The Side Eye Phenomenon When Practicing Self-love



elf-love means caring for and appreciating yourself. It involves accepting and valuing yourself, including your strengths and weaknesses. When you love yourself, you treat yourself with kindness and respect, just as you would a friend. Self-love is essential for good mental health and well-being as it helps you have a positive attitude toward yourself. This can boost your confidence and self-esteem.

One thing is for sure, self-love is not selfishness or narcissism. It’s about finding a balance between taking care of yourself and caring for others. The goal is to prioritize yourself so that you’re whole enough to love and care for those around you. After all, you can’t give what you don’t have.

What is the side eye phenomenon when practicing self-love?

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The “side eye phenomenon” about self-love refers to the negative reactions or skepticism that some people may receive when they express self-love or engage in self-care activities. This can come in literal eye rolls, dismissive comments, or even outright criticism. It’s almost like they’re trying to guilt-trip you.

The side eye phenomenon often occurs when one prioritizes their own needs and well-being over the expectations or demands of others. Some people may see self-love as selfish or self-indulgent, and view those who practice it as self-centered or egotistical. In some cases, this attitude may stem from societal norms that prioritize productivity and sacrifice over self-care and personal fulfillment.

The side eye can be challenging to navigate as it may cause one to feel ashamed or guilty for practicing self-love. However, always remember that taking care of ourselves is a basic human need and that we have the right to prioritize our well-being. By setting boundaries and practicing self-love, we can create healthier and more fulfilling lives for ourselves and those around us.

Resisting the side eye phenomenon

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Overcoming this toxic phenomenon against self-love practices can be challenging, but here are some strategies that may help:

  • Identify your triggers: If you find that the negative reactions of others trigger feelings of shame or guilt, it may be helpful to identify what specific comments or situations are causing those reactions. Once you have identified your triggers, you can work on reframing your thoughts or setting boundaries to reduce their impact.

  • Practice assertiveness: Being assertive involves clearly and confidently communicating your needs and boundaries. If you are facing criticism or skepticism about your self-love practices, it may be helpful to be more assertive in responding to those comments. This can involve calmly stating your perspective or redirecting the conversation.
  • Reframe negative self-talk: In addition to the negative reactions of others, you may also experience negative self-talk or self-doubt when engaging in self-love practices. To overcome this, try reframing your thoughts to focus on the positive benefits of loving yourself. For example, instead of thinking “I’m being selfish for taking time for myself,” try thinking “I’m prioritizing my well-being, which will benefit me and those around me in the long run.”
  • Celebrate your successes: It’s important to celebrate your successes and progress in practicing self-love. This can help reinforce positive habits and boost your confidence in the face of criticism or skepticism. Celebrate your successes by acknowledging your efforts, treating yourself to something you enjoy, or sharing your progress with supportive loved ones.
  • Educate others: Many people may be skeptical or critical of self-love practices because they don’t fully understand the benefits or may have misconceptions about what it means. By educating others, you can shift their perspective and encourage them to practice it themselves.
  • Surround yourself with supportive people: It’s important to surround yourself with people who are supportive of you loving yourself and encouraging you to prioritize your well-being. This can be done by seeking like-minded individuals, joining online communities or support groups, or talking openly with loved ones about your self-care journey.
  • Be confident in your choices: When you are confident in your decision to prioritize self-love, it can be easier to ignore the negative reactions of others. Remember that you have the right to prioritize your well-being, and that self-love is not selfishness.

Importance of self-love

Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Self-love is important because it impacts many aspects of our lives. Here are some reasons why self-love is essential:

  • Improved mental health: When you love yourself, you are less likely to struggle with negative self-talk and self-doubt. This can lead to better mental health and well-being.
  • Higher self-esteem: When you love and accept yourself, you are more likely to feel confident and secure in who you are. This can boost your self-esteem and help you take on challenges with a positive attitude.
  • Better relationships: Practicing self-love enables you to set healthy boundaries and communicate effectively in relationships. This can lead to more fulfilling and positive interactions with others.
  • Increased resilience: Self-love builds resilience as you can cope better with challenges and setbacks in life. This can help you bounce back from difficult situations and come out stronger.
  • Fulfilling life: This practice can lead to a more fulfilling and enjoyable life. When you prioritize your own needs and values, you are more likely to live a life that aligns with your goals and brings you happiness.

In short, self-love is crucial for our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It allows us to live our lives to the fullest and be our best selves.

Featured image: @ronkeraji/Instagram 

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