You have found self-love – congratulations, you Feel confident and Powerful! Be careful, don’t’ become self-absorbed instead.
I’ve been many things throughout my life, innocent, abused, neglected, appreciated and much more.
I have gone from self-hatred to self-love, abounding in the newfound confidence of being independent. I have been within a family unit and been completely alone as well. During these transformations, I have learned to love myself. But also during these changes, I have been labeled as self-absorbed.
The truth is, there is a fine line between self-love and self-absorption. Learning to appreciate who you are as a human being, aside from anyone else’s assumptions, is vital for a fulfilling life. But if this love turns into a conceited form of adoration, you will become a dreaded human being in the company of other people. Being self-absorbed can greatly damage your character, your lifestyle and your future.
How do I know where to draw the line?
Self-love is healthy, self-absorption is not. In order to understand the differences, you have to see things from an outside perspective. Otherwise, you will continue to shower positive labels on yourself despite your environment or the ones around you. Here are 7 signs that your self-love may be turning into self-absorption.
1. When your problems become more important that others.
Being self-confident gives you the ability to face your problems head on. You are able to talk about your issues and gather help from friends around you. You are able to take the steps needed in order to fix the situation and bring everything back to normal.
When you have become self-absorbed, these same problems are not only your first priority, but they are your only obsession. Although friends will help you, they will become overwhelmed if your problem is the only thing you care about. Being self-absorbed means putting your issues above the concerns of everyone else. This is a bad thing, plain and simple.
2. When standards become a superiority complex.
There is nothing wrong with having a set of standards for your life and for those you wish to befriend. It’s also okay to know what you will and will not deal with. This just means you are confident enough to pick and choose who and what you will spend your time on and on. Whew, I hope you understood all that.
Now, on the other hand, if you feel like you are cutting away too many things and people, and you are talking down to them, then you are developing a superiority complex. This is one of the most prevalent characteristics of a self-absorbed individual. Take care and make sure your smart choices don’t turn into your judgemental choices.
3. When friendships turn into opportunities.
A person who has healthy self-love will enjoy the company of friends. You will be able to go places and have fun with these friends, all the while loving them and helping them with their issues. A healthy friendship will work both ways, give and take.
Those who are self-absorbed will use friendship as a tool to get things they want. You may befriend others in order to enjoy benefits of their wealth, you may get close in order to borrow material possessions or you may just feed off popularity as a whole. If you are self-absorbed, you will have few real friends, but many opportunities for advancement. It’s just that cold-hearted.
4. Empathy will fade.
Empathy is the ability to feel deeply and feel what others feel as well. When confidence begins to turn into self-absorption, empathy will fade. You will begin to care less about others and more about your own goals and dreams. I’m not saying that your aspirations aren’t important, but they are not as important as being considerate of others. Make sure you don’t grow cold to the emotions and feelings of those you say you love.
5. When self-confidence turns to arrogance.
I moved out on my own with a pocket full of humility. I was submissive to many people, humble and willing to do whatever it took for others to like me. Over time, I developed a bit of confidence. This confidence grew until I felt strong and independent. I was standing up for what I believed and showing no remorse for my choices in life. And then something happened.
Yes, you guessed it, I was approached by another and labeled as “self-absorbed”. I know I have spoken of this on several occasions, but it’s important to understand. The label made me angry and I brushed it off like dust on my shoulder.
The truth was, somewhere in her jealousy, there was logic. I finally looked within and saw the self-absorbed monster. He was small but he was growing. With every strong opinion and haughty laugh, this little beast was gaining momentum. I took some time and looked for ways to create boundaries within myself. I’m still working on it. Now when I get arrogant, I try to stop myself.
6. Strong opinions will become “gospel truth”.
Being self-confident will mean you have strong opinions on various topics concerning your life. You will know whether or not you want to get a tattoo, you will have strong opinions about social issues and you will have a strong idea about what makes you happy in general. You will feel an urge to share this knowledge and that’s okay too.
But when your opinions start to present themselves as cold hard facts, then that’s a problem. Being obsessed with yourself will come with the habit of handing out your opinions like revelations. Everything a self-absorbed person believes, to them, will be facts, tested and proven. This will go beyond annoyance and will drive away others who just don’t agree with you.
7. Criticism from others will make you defensive.
An emotionally healthy person will be able to take criticism, use it or throw it out without blinking an eye. Because all criticism comprises of, honestly, is someone’s opinion. In that moment that you have learned self-love, you will see criticism as a tool. You will welcome it and even ask for it at times.
For those who have crossed the line into self-absorption, criticism will be a thorn in your side. You will hate to see some people approach you because these are the ones who feel confident to tell you when you’re wrong. You will be defensive, seeing every bit of advice as a personal attack. I almost cringed thinking about my own defensiveness.
So, what say you? Are you self-absorbed?
Now, take a few moments, read these signs and ask yourself this question, “Am I learning self-love or becoming self-absorbed?” If you’re not sure, then maybe you already know deep down inside that there are changes to be made.
If not, and you feel good about your journey, then bravo! I applaud your ability to retain a healthy love for yourself and for others as well. I hope my words have helped you see yourself in truth and helped you to love yourself just a little bit more. Until next time, keep heading in the right direction.
The world needs more selflessly strong people, in order for others to learn.
By Sherrie S.