No matter what happened in your life or what you’ve done, you deserve to be loved. I know this might be hard to believe, but it’s true.
It’s a hard fact to digest because you learned from your past experiences that you don’t deserve love.
Or you learned from others that you are not worthy or capable of love.
You might not even have a clue why you feel this way. If this is the case for you, know that there’s always help.
You can get help from a licensed professional such as a therapist or medical doctor, a person who’s got experience with this such as a coach, or even someone you trust like your bff.
You can also learn about why you think you don’t deserve love right here in this article.
I’ll go over the reasons why you feel unlovable, where to get help, and how to cope when you feel like you are undeserving of love.
Because at the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is that you are worthy and deserve love and happiness.
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Why do I feel like I don't deserve love?
You don't feel like you deserve love because somewhere deep down you don't believe that you're worthy of it.
This might be because of your past experiences, what you learned from other people, or what you were exposed to growing up.
I remember being a huge people pleaser growing up and experiencing this well into my adult life.
I didn't have good boundaries or limitations for myself because I was afraid of not fitting in and being rejected.
Part of the reason for this was my belief that I didn't deserve love. I didn't deserve my own love or love from others. So I would always try to prove my self-worth to others by being a yes person.
I thought I could buy love from others by always being the "nice" one; in other words, being a doormat. What I didn't realize was that this was hurting me and was not coming from a place of love. It was coming from a lack of self-love and self-worth.
The turning point for me was when I had health challenges that made me rethink my life and what was absent in my life.
I remember learning early on in my healing journey about the power of self-love. This power is simple, which is why I didn't believe it at first; but it's potent.
Speaking from personal experience, you may not automatically feel the love, even if you know that you need it.
It may take a long time before you can truly feel its effect but it's worth the effort to learn how to love yourself first in order to feel worthy of it.
This is why it's important to understand why you feel you are not lovable. It might give you insight as to why you don't think you deserve love.
It can be your turning point in life where you start to give yourself permission to receive more love instead of second-guessing if you are worthy of love.
Why you are worthy and deserving of love.
You are worthy and deserving of love because you are valuable and you have something unique and precious to offer to the world.
You might not think that there's not enough space for someone like you and that every personality is already taken. This is completely false because there's never been anyone like you and there never will be.
There is a reason why you are living and breathing on this Earth right now. It was by no accident that you are here reading this sentence.
Every little thing you've done in your life has led up to this moment. Each decision and choice you made helped form the person you are today. And each experience and interaction you've had has shaped you mentally, physically, and spiritually.
It might not seem like it, but all of these things have a purpose, even if you can't see it right now. You have made an impact on the world, whether it was big or small.
Let's take, for example, the things you consume. The music you listen to, the things you watch, stuff you buy, people you interact with online or in person, are all energetic exchanges that affect the other beings on Earth.
How you think and react is the energy you are vibrating at in the present moment. They're not insignificant and they're all worthy and deserving.
If you thought of all the infinitesimal things you do every day that affect others, it would blow your mind. So don't think for one second that you don't matter or that you don't deserve love.
You do matter, very much. And you are very much deserving and worthy of love.
You have been through so much already and it's scary to open up to love again and risk getting hurt. You've experienced it all, disappointment, heartache, fear, failure, and anger.
This has led you to believe that you are not lovable and that there is no hope of ever loving again. Yet you're still here. The fact that you're still here means that you still have a chance at love.
It's so important to learn why you think you don't deserve love and the ways that you can get help loving yourself again so you can give love to others.
It's not too late and you are definitely worthy of love. In the next sections will go over the reasons why you feel like you don't deserve love and ways you can get help.
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." - Nat King Cole, Nature Boy
Reasons why you don't think you deserve love.
You are damaged goods.
One reason why you might think that you are not deserving of love is you believe you are damaged goods. What does damaged goods mean? It means something that has been destroyed in some way and can never go back to its original form.
This definition is usually meant to describe a woman who has been through something so traumatic that she thinks she can never recover or trust other people anymore.
You don't have to be a female to feel like you are damaged goods. Many people feel this way. In fact, if this phrase were used to describe a person who has been hurt, then every person on the planet would be labeled as "damaged goods".
Just because something bad happened to you doesn't mean that you are defective.
Something may have happened to you in the past to make you think this way. Perhaps you were hurt and now this thing that happened to you defines you in some way. Maybe someone violated your trust and now it's hard for you to open up and trust other people.
Or maybe someone did something to you and you think that you are somehow responsible. Or a past event in your life was so traumatizing that you still remember it and feel shameful about it.
It doesn't mean that there's something wrong with you.
Whatever it is that you've done or whatever it is that someone has done to you does not mean that there is something wrong with you and that you can never change how you feel.
It also doesn't mean that you will never be worthy or deserving of love just because of what happened in your past.
You always have another chance of being loved and loving someone else.
You have been rejected in the past.
Rejection is not a fun thing to go through. Chances are, you've felt the sting of rejection at some point in your life. If not, it can make you feel like an outcast or like there's something wrong with you.
Rejection is hard to take because you very much want the other person, or the group, or the employer, etc to accept and embrace you.
What makes rejection tough is we as humans are hard-wired to be part of a group. We crave support from others. We are built to make connections with other human beings because that's how we survive and thrive.
"Humans are wired to connect and this connection affects our health." - Jessica Martino, et al., The Connection Prescription"
Studies have shown that we humans are hardwired to connect with each other and that connection affects us physiologically and mentally. Being connected to one another has been shown to improve our overall health.
At the other end of the spectrum, social isolation can have the opposite effect. When we feel isolated, our health and wellbeing can be negatively affected, too.
- emotional support from your significant other
- positive relationship with others, i.e., low conflict, strain, and stress
- strength of ties with friends
- connections with community such as religious ties
are crucial to our quality of life and our health.
This is why rejection can feel so painful. And if you've been rejected numerous times, it can make you feel like you don't deserve to be loved.
If you experience rejection, it doesn't mean that you are being outcast, attacked, or flawed. We sometimes conflate the ideas of rejection with being an outsider & having character flaws.
It has more to do with the other person than you. But we tend to take full responsibility for the rejection when it may not have anything to do with you whatsoever.
Nevertheless, it doesn't lessen the sting of rejection. So when this happens, remember that it's not your fault and that you can always get back up and try again.
There's no shame or weakness in that. I experience rejection a lot, and though it hurts, I allow myself to feel it by being aware of what is going on inside and out, through mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the practice of awareness of the present moment, how you're thinking and reacting to it, and using this to reduce your suffering. It helps to be aware of your feelings so you can strengthen your emotional health.
Allowing yourself to feel all of your emotions over time can build resilience and create room for other emotions such as love and happiness.
You are a people pleaser.
A people pleaser is someone who is constantly striving to gain the approval of others.
Here are some examples of people pleasing:
- You want your partner to always tell you how good you look.
- When you're invited to a party you always say yes when you really want to say no.
- When you're out with your friends, you drink alcohol with them when you really don't want to.
- You always apologize for something even when it's not your fault.
- You go out of your way to help someone even when you're tired.
- You hide your true personality to make others feel comfortable.
- You agree with other people even when you don't so they won't feel bad.
These are just a few examples of people pleasing but if any of them resonate with you, then you're probably a people pleaser.
You might be someone who tries really hard to please others in hopes of winning them over. You might even think that this makes you look more lovable.
While there's nothing wrong with trying to make others feel accepted by you, constantly bending over backwards to please other people can take its toll on you.
I myself am guilty of this. It took me a long time before I was even aware of what I doing, let alone understand the reason why I was always trying to gain the approval of others.
When you put your self-worth in the hands of others, it can leave you feeling stressed emotionally and can affect your health.
The truth is, people pleasing is a way of seeking validation from other people. It might even put other people off because they might think you have ulterior motives.
You're going out of your way to make people like you at the expense of your own happiness. This doesn't mean that you're always going to be a people pleaser. It just means that you need to practice better boundaries.
Having boundaries and limits means learning how to say no. This may sound harsh but saying no to others is saying yes to yourself. Of course this is easier said than done, especially with people who are close to you such as your spouse, parent, child, or best friend.
However, practicing good boundaries is a form of self-love. It helps you preserve your energy so you have some left to give to others. When you stop being a people pleaser, you start believing that you deserve love and will eventually learn how to love yourself so you can give that love to others.
You are a perfectionist.
A perfectionist is someone who wants to be perceived as perpetually flawless. They strive for perfectionism because they believe that the only way for people to love them is to never have any flaws.
If you're wondering whether or not you might be a perfectionist, then here are some qualities and traits of a perfectionist:
- You feel like you're not X enough (X meaning attractive, smart, funny, interesting, etc.).
- You're highly critical of yourself and others.
- You get anxiety when you think you might fail at something.
- Your goals are unrealistic.
- You stop yourself from doing things or opening up for fear of looking foolish, weird, or less than.
- You want things done a particular way and get upset if the results don't meet expectations.
- You beat yourself up if you fall short of your goals.
- Your standards are very high.
- You are never content with your achievements.
- You like to do things yourself and don't delegate tasks.
- You have a hard time starting or completing something out of fear of failing.
- Your self-esteem depends on how others perceive you.
- You fixate on your mistakes.
If any of these traits sound familiar, then you're a perfectionist to some degree or another. You might think that being a perfectionist is a good trait to have because perfection is the ultimate goal, right?
But this can actually have the opposite effect. You limit yourself because you're less likely to try something because you're afraid of how you'll look or that you'll fail.
Letting go of perfectionism can lead to more acceptance and love for yourself and for others. It's not easy to let go of this mindset though. However, learning to embrace imperfection can help free you from the need to control everything and the fear of failure.
It can help you open up to loving yourself, flaws and all.
You don't feel worthy.
You don't feel like you deserve love because you believe that you're not worthy of love.
You may feel small and insignificant. Or you think that other people's opinions are worth more than yours.
You may even have low self-esteem and self-confidence because you base your self-worth on external factors such as achievements and material success.
When people pay you compliments you tend to deflect because you don't feel worthy of them and you don't think that they're true.
In an intimate relationship, you don't feel worthy of your partner's affection so you struggle to create a genuine connection with your partner and you're afraid to be vulnerable.
So how can you stop sabotaging yourself because of your low self-worth? There are several ways to build your self-worth. Here is a list of ways you can boost your self-worth to boost your self-love:
- Practice gratitude.
- Do a random act of kindness.
- Forgive yourself.
- Practice self-compassion.
- Learn to love yourself.
- Get to know yourself better.
- Find your purpose in life.
- Count your moments of joy.
- Boost your self-confidence and self-esteem.
These are just a few ways to increase your self-worth and start feeling positive emotions such as gratitude, compassion, kindness, joy, and love. Remember that it might not happen instantly. So keep on practicing and give yourself plenty of time to build your self-worth and self-love.
How to get help.
You can always get help from others because having good support can make things feel less lonely and perhaps lessen your stress. There are a couple ways you can get help.
You can either help yourself or get help from others.
Helping yourself is fine if you have the right resources. You can jump to the section down below for helpful articles on how to increase your self-love as well as other ways to lift yourself up.
Seeking help from others.
You can get help from others if your feelings are too much to bear. This can be someone you trust like a friend, family member, or church leader.
Or you can get professional help such as a medical doctor, licensed therapist, or a coach that specializes in your particular need.
It's never a sign of weakness to get help from others and they may be your best resource.
I have personally used the Psychology Today website, where you can find a therapist in your area and tons of helpful material to read.
I even found a licensed therapist who was able to help me process what I was going through at the time and was covered by insurance.
You can also go to SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration if you're going through a crisis.
I know that you might not believe it right now, but you deserve love, even if you don't feel worthy or you don't feel like you're perfect enough.
Just know that this is okay and if it feels overwhelming, you can always ask for help from someone you trust or a trained professional.
Remember it can take time to develop genuine love for yourself and others.
But it's worth the effort because love can increase the quality of your life, relationships, and well-being.
I hope you found article on why you think you don't deserve helpful. Please let me know what you think in the comments!