One of the most unfortunate flaws of the human condition is our capacity for self-hate. Have you ever known a dog, cat, or any other animal to actually loathe itself? You know you can trust your dog to guard your house, but you can’t trust your dog to guard your sandwich. My cats inspire me daily; they inspire me to get a dog!

But seriously, self-doubt will undermine all your efforts, not to mention shatter your spirit.

Do you believe anyone can truly love you? Does your best friend think better of you than you think of yourself? When he compliments you, do you think most often that it is false flattery? We, my friends, do need to develop warm feelings toward our very selves.

If your loved ones greet you with open arms and amore, please feel deserving of that love. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that love comes easily. His choosing you is not a mistake, so do not push him away. How you feel about yourself is not how others feel about you.

If you have absorbed awful ideas about who you are, imagine how an ideal kindly friend would view or treat you. It is in your power to challenge and counteract those negative notions. People can still care deeply for you despite your slip-ups and stumbles.

Believing in your lovability is not the same as self-flattery, sweet friends. You can remain modest and unassuming while allowing yourself self-love. Do not try to escape into someone else. You may feel average and even flawed compared to her. But do not idealize anyone, please.

If he has the good taste to choose you, if she approves of you, please do not respond unwisely to the affection granted to you. Yes, you are good enough and entitled to it. Hanging out with you is like finding an extra fry at the bottom of the bag. You know, you’re almost as wonderful as pizza. Well…almost. You know what they say: Never sit around and wait for someone unless he’s delivering a pizza.

But truly, if you do not believe that you are deserving, then all the adoration you receive will feel misguided and even uncalled for. Please accept those compliments. Heck, if you were any more refreshing, you’d be a software update that actually works. Awww.

Perhaps you think you drove your friend to the limits with your challenging behavior. Let’s face it. It’s hard to truly trust anyone given what can possibly happen. You may be fiercely longing for acceptance and reassurance from him. But can you really reveal the extent of your vulnerability? Indeed, your friend has the power to hurt you and at times it may even feel as though your life is in the hands of your mate.

For your psychological survival, you want her to understand your needs, or you may depend on his good opinion of you. If you seek attention from him, how do you go about it? Do you seek to get attention accompanied by anger instead of love? Sometimes you just want to know that he knows you exist and still cares about you.

You may anger her, but the irony is that it is far from the kind of attention you truly want. Now you are on the receiving end of his frustration or wounded pride instead of his tenderness or compassion.

It should not be frightening to simply ask for reassurance or comfort. Remind your loved ones that you care for them, please. Reciprocate love. Knowing how to love yourself may be the kindest thing you can do for your friends and mate.

Your true friend gives you a chance to truly grow. She may see what is true about you even if it is not always flattering to your ego or pride. How you share your insights is crucial. If you care for him, be a kind teacher. Soften your thoughts when you share an emotional truth with her.

It’s been said: Pretty words are not always true and true words are not always pretty.

If you sincerely want to know more about yourself, encourage psychological information from loved ones. You must direct your sympathy to what you dislike about him. After all, you want him to look past your failings, as well.

Look beneath the surface and try to imagine the pain that makes her behave the way she does. Our loved ones deserve our kindness and forgiveness, as we behave less than admirably ourselves.

He may need time to mature and develop. Allow him to do that at his own pace. And don’t forget to compliment and keep that sense of humor. Then again, the first thing you lose on a diet is your sense of humor. But sincerely, humor dissolves tension and enhances your connection with others. Kind of like social glue. If you pick one trait that will get you through life – by all means, choose a sense of humor.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at