Appreciate me, appreciate you.
On May 26, 2022, I went live on YouTube on the subject of “Communication is not the MOST important part of a relationship” for Dating Kinky. The original presentation was free to all who joined us live, and was recorded for Dating Kinky’s PLUS members to access through the Dating Kinky Library (over 400 videos and 550 hours of content!) and is posted on our YouTube Channel.
Here is a clip from that 30 minute show, where I focus on the idea that appreciating yourself makes appreciating others easier.
So earlier you said, you were talking about what you needed in order to appreciate your partner. You mentioned strange. And I think it — everything kind of starts with appreciating yourself.
Because you can’t believe…I feel like communicating is really a struggle and appreciating others is a struggle if you can’t appreciate yourself. So I think it kind of starts there.
I think that there’s…I think there’s truth in that, and I also think that it can be a trap, and let me explain what I mean by that, because a lot of people kind of get caught up in this idea:
The the main cliche is ‘You can’t love others until you love yourself,’ right?
So people get caught up in this idea, and I don’t want to say, “You can’t appreciate others
until you can appreciate yourself.”
What I do want to say, though, is that appreciating yourself makes appreciating others easier.
So, even if you don’t appreciate yourself, even all of us have times where we’re maybe not so like positive about ourselves, but we can still look at somebody else and say “I am thankful to have them in my life.”
So that appreciation can come from somewhere and then hopefully as we grow, we can start to turn that around and say, “You know what? I have them in my life. I appreciate them. I’m feeling appreciated by them, as they spend time in my life with me.”
So hopefully you can kind of start that spiral up by using the positive feedback, engaging with your partner in a healthy way, and bringing that all sort of back to, you know, the: What works here for me?
So yeah, the thing about appreciation, and the thing about loving yourself and appreciating yourself — from my perspective — is that both of those things, make good communication easier, make setting boundaries easier, and so on and so forth.
It’s not that those things cannot happen without them, but they make those things easier and therefore they make having a healthy relationship, appreciating others, loving others, and being a part of others’ lives, not quite so challenging.
I’ve written bout this before. About five years ago. I said:
“You have to love yourself before you can love others.”
This is the worst sort of trite, mealy mouth, feel-good-pat-yourself-on-the-back, self-congratulatory crap, ever.
ANYONE can love. It’s simple.
I still believe this.
Love is a simple concept, even though we humans like to complicate it.
Appreciation or gratitude are similar.
We do not have to appreciate or love ourselves to feel appreciation or gratitude for others in our lives.
I think what people really mean when they say things like this is that appreciating and loving ourselves makes relating to others and having healthy adult relationships more possible.
Because a huge part of being in a healthy adult relationship is having boundaries and advocating for yourself.
And that’s hard to do when you don’t value who you are as a person or even know who you are as a person.
It’s why as teens, we often have tumultuous over-dramatic relationship patterns, where we mold ourselves to what we think the other person wants, because we are really trying ideas of who we might be on for size. Many people carry this pattern into adulthood, and do the same.
When we appreciate ourselves and the role we play in our relationships, we are more able to choose what we are willing to change, grow in the areas we need to, and to fully appreciate our partners for who they are and what they bring to a relationship with us.
What are your thoughts?
Do you believe that we need to love or appreciate ourselves to love or appreciate others?
Or do you think that we are just better at relating when we have a strong love or appreciation for ourselves?