8 behaviors of women who sorely lack self-care and self-love, according to psychology

It’s a heartbreaking truth I’ve had to face myself:

I was not loving or caring for myself as I should. I was constantly on the back burner, always prioritizing others over my own needs.

This realization came not through alarm bells ringing or dramatic moments of realization; it was more of a quiet understanding that something needed to change. 

Read on to understand the behaviors that signal a severe lack of self-love and self-care in women, according to psychology.

This is a hard-hitting reality check, but it might just be the wake-up call you need.

1) Always putting others first

We’ve all heard how important it is to be selfless, to give without expecting anything in return.

But when this becomes a constant pattern, with your own needs and desires always taking a backseat, it’s a clear sign of lacking self-care and self-love.

Allowing yourself to be consumed by others’ needs and wants, often at the expense of your own, can be draining.

It’s like you’re running on empty, but you keep pushing through, thinking this is what you’re supposed to do.

But this is far from the truth.

Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s essential. And if you find that you’re constantly sidelining yourself for the sake of others, then it’s time for a change.

You deserve to prioritize yourself just as much as anyone else. Not doing so is a behavior deeply rooted in a lack of self-love and self-care.

2) Constantly seeking approval

This was a hard one to come to terms with.

I found myself constantly looking for validation, seeking approval from others. It was like I was on a never-ending quest for a pat on the back, a nod of approval, or just a simple “well done”.

I would bend over backwards to please others, exhausting myself in the process. It didn’t matter what I wanted or needed, as long as they were happy, I thought I would be too.

But the truth is, seeking constant approval from others is a clear indication of lacking self-love. It’s as if my own opinion about myself didn’t matter unless it was mirrored by others.

This constant need for affirmation from others is not healthy.

If this is you, it’s time you learn to approve of yourself. Because at the end of the day, the most important person who needs to love you is you.

3) Neglecting your well-being

I used to wake up every day, rush through my morning routine, skip breakfast, and work non-stop.

Lunches were often ‘grab-and-go’, and dinners were late-night takeout. Exercise? That was a luxury I didn’t have time for.

I wore my exhaustion like a badge of honor, thinking it showed how dedicated I was, but in reality, I was just neglecting my physical well-being.

The constant headaches, the fatigue that wouldn’t go away no matter how much coffee I drank, the way I always seemed to catch whatever bug was going around—they were all signs that I was not taking care of myself.

But it took me a while to accept it. It’s easy to brush off physical health as less important when you’re focused on everything else.

In truth, neglecting my physical health was another glaring sign of my lack of self-love and self-care. It’s a harsh reality to face, but one that needs to be addressed.

Because if you don’t care for your body, who will?

4) Being a stranger to your own emotions

Here’s something you might not know: those who lack self-love and self-care often struggle with emotional awareness.

And I was no exception.

I found myself often confused by my own emotions. I’d feel upset but couldn’t pinpoint why, or I’d feel nothing when I knew I should be feeling something.

It was like I was disconnected from my own emotional state.

This emotional disconnection isn’t uncommon. In fact, it’s a common behavior among those who lack self-care and self-love.

You’re so used to neglecting yourself that you’ve also neglected your emotional health.

Not being in touch with your emotions is a sign of emotional unhealthiness, and that’s not something to be taken lightly.

Our emotions are a part of us – and understanding them is a crucial part of self-care and self-love.

5)  Being your own worst critic

I used to replay every little mistake I made over and over again in my head.

Every word I said that could have been taken the wrong way, every decision I made that didn’t turn out perfectly, every time I tripped on a sidewalk. It sounds silly, but it was my reality.

I realized that I was holding myself to an impossible standard; one that no one else was expecting of me.

In fact, if anyone else had treated me the way I was treating myself, I would have called it cruel.

This constant self-criticism, this unending loop of negative self-talk, was a significant sign of my lack of self-love and self-care.

We all make mistakes. It’s part of being human.

But harping on those mistakes, beating ourselves up for them, isn’t healthy or productive. It’s a behavior rooted in a lack of self-love and one that needs to change.

6) Dismissing your accomplishments

No matter what I achieved, it never seemed good enough.

The promotion at work? I could have done better. The successful project completion? I could have done it quicker. The compliments from friends and family? They were just being nice.

I was stuck in a cycle of diminishing my own worth, always focusing on the negatives and completely overlooking the positives.

This behavior of downplaying my own successes and accomplishments was not just harmful, it was a clear sign of lacking self-love and self-care.

Recognizing and celebrating our achievements, no matter how small, is an integral part of healthy self-esteem and self-worth.

Neglecting this is a clear indication that self-care and self-love are missing from our lives.

7) Having trouble saying “no”

I found it incredibly hard to say “no”, even when I was already overloaded with tasks or when I just didn’t want to do something. I was programmed to agree to everything, no matter the cost to my own well-being.

This inability to set boundaries and constantly saying “yes” when I wanted to say “no” was a clear indication of my lack of self-care and self-love.

By not setting boundaries, I was allowing others to take advantage of my time, energy, and resources. It wasn’t their fault – it was mine for not speaking up.

But saying “no” is not a bad thing. It’s a necessary part of maintaining our mental and emotional health, and it’s an essential behavior in practicing self-care and self-love.

It’s time we learned to say “no” without feeling guilty.

8) Not making time for self-care

This is perhaps the most telling sign of all.

Despite knowing the importance of self-care, I found that it was always the first thing to be pushed aside when life got busy. There were always more important things to do, or so I thought.

Skipping meals, missing out on exercise, not getting enough sleep, avoiding social interactions. The list goes on. All these were clear signs that I was not taking care of myself.

We need to remember that we’re just as important as everyone else in our lives. And if we don’t take care of ourselves, how can we possibly take care of others?

It’s time to prioritize self-care and self-love, because at the end of the day, you’re all you’ve got.

Final thoughts

If you’ve found yourself nodding along as you read through these signs, it might be time to reassess your relationship with self-care and self-love.

The truth is, it’s easy to fall into these patterns without even realizing it. We’re often our own harshest critics, and we tend to put others before ourselves.

But it’s essential to remember that we can’t pour from an empty cup.

Begin by acknowledging these behaviors. It’s the first step towards breaking the cycle. Then, start making small changes.

Prioritize self-care activities, even if it’s just taking five minutes out of your day for deep breathing or a short walk.

And remember, self-love isn’t about ignoring your flaws or becoming complacent. It’s about acknowledging your worth and taking actions that reflect that belief.

Taking care of yourself is a powerful way to begin to take control of your life.

It won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight. It will require conscious effort and persistence.

But each small step you take towards self-care and self-love is a step closer to a healthier, happier you.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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