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Why It’s So Difficult to Love People Who Don’t Love Themselves

self loathing partner

There are some who tend to be too hard on themselves and loving someone who doesn’t love themselves can be quite challenging. Are you in a relationship with a self loathing partner?
If yes then, below are some signs of self loathing in a relationship.

One thing that people fail to acknowledge is that dating a self hating partner can be extremely tough as one is already going through their own set of challenges.

Why Is It So Difficult When Loving Someone Who Doesn’t Love Themselves?

Having written a couple of posts on the difficulty of loving others when you don’t love yourself, I want to turn my attention, below, to the struggles faced by the other person in such rwhat is self loathingelationships. (If you consider yourself self-loathing, try to imagine that your partner is going through some of what I describe below.)

Naturally, some are mirror images of the self loathing person’s issues, though developed further or in different ways:

Loving Someone Who Doesn't Love Themselves
Signs of Self Loathing In A Relationship

Challenges faced by a person who has a self loathing partner

1. Your partner will rely on you

If your self loathing partner finds something missing in himself or herself, he or she may rely on you to fill that gap.

This may feel good at first—most people like to feel needed, after all—but if taken too far, it can turn into excessive neediness or dependency, leaving you feeling less appreciated for who you are, not just for what you can do for your self-loathing partner.

2. Difficult to communicate

It can be difficult to communicate with your self loathing partner if he or she insists on reading the worst into things you say because of projecting his or her own feelings of inadequacy onto you.

You may find yourself closely monitoring what you say to your partner, possibly even letting communication decline altogether as it grows more frustrating and seemingly pointless.

For example, your self loathing partner may not handle praise well, either rejecting it (“No, I’m not that smart”), minimizing it (“I had a good day, it won’t happen again soon”), or diverting it elsewhere (“Sure, but look how much better you did”).

You want to encourage this person, especially if it may help lessen his or her self-loathing, but it is hard to maintain it for long if your partner continues to reject your support.

Read: Self Esteem: The Difference Between Healthy And Impaired Self Esteem

3. Rejecting Help

Similarly, your self loathing partner may reject help when he or she clearly needs it. He or she may not feel worthy of your care and not want to impose on you.

(Oddly, this can coincide with neediness—the self-loathing person may strongly desire some things from you while rejecting others.) It is extremely difficult to see the person you care about suffering. It is even worse when you try to help but are rejected, especially when you strongly believe that you can help if he or she would only let you.

4.  Disheartening

It can be very disheartening to care for someone who does not care for himself or herself. After a while, you can start to feel that your efforts are wasted; you spend time and energy trying to boost your partner up, and he or she tries just as hard to tear himself or herself down again.

(An aside to the self loathing person: This last point may be a core issue with loving others—or, more precisely, being loved—when you don’t love yourself. It may be very difficult for someone else to love you if that person can see that you don’t love yourself, in which case he or she may pour their heart into the relationship for naught.)

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Mark D. White Ph.D.

Mark D. White is chair of the Department of Philosophy at the College of Staten Island/CUNY, where he teaches courses in philosophy, law, and economics. He has authored over 60 journal articles and book chapters in the intersections between these fields, as well as seven books: Batman and Ethics (Wiley Blackwell, 2019), The Decline of the Individual: Reconciling Autonomy with Community (Palgrave, 2017), A Philosopher Reads Marvel Comics' Civil War (Ockham Publishing, 2016), The Illusion of Well-Being: Economic Policymaking Based on Respect and Responsiveness (Palgrave, 2014), The Virtues of Captain America: Modern-Day Lessons on Character from a World War II Superhero (Wiley Blackwell, 2014), The Manipulation of Choice: Ethics and Libertarian Paternalism (Palgrave, 2013) and Kantian Ethics and Economics: Autonomy, Dignity, and Character (Stanford, 2011). He has also edited a number of books, including The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination (with Chrisoula Andreou, Oxford, 2010), Retributivism: Essays on Theory and Policy (Oxford, 2011), and Economics and the Virtues: Building a New Moral Foundation (with Jennifer A. Baker, Oxford, 2016). He is the series editor of Perspectives from Social Economics (Palgrave Macmillan) and On Ethics and Economics (Rowman and Littlefield International) and was the principal founder of the blog Economics and Ethics. Aside from his sole-authored books on Captain America and Marvel Comics' Civil War, Professor White is also a frequent contributor and editor in the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series, which introduces readers to basic philosophical concepts using the movies, TV shows, comic books, and music that they love. He has edited Superman and Philosophy, Batman and Philosophy (with Robert Arp), Watchmen and Philosophy, Iron Man and Philosophy, Green Lantern and Philosophy (with Jane Dryden), The Avengers and Philosophy, Downton Abbey and Philosophy, and Doctor Strange and Philosophy. He has also contributed chapters to volumes in the series on Wonder Woman, Black Sabbath, Metallica, South Park, Family Guy, The Office, the X-Men, Spider-Man, The Big Bang Theory, and Alice in Wonderland. He occasionally blogs on comics and philosophy at The Comics Professor. AUTHOR OF Maybe It's Just Me, But... In this blog, I discuss a wide variety of classic and contemporary issues, most often focusing on issues of ethics (especially in relationships), the strength of character, and the law.View Author posts