By Paul Sanders via Tiny Buddha
“By accepting yourself and being fully what you are, your presence can make others happy.” ~Jane Roberts
Several years ago, I was so unhappy with my harsh loneliness that I decided that I was going to try anything under the sun to build a social life and have friends that cared about me.I read all the books I could find and tried all the techniques they shared, but I still had to make a lot of effort to build friendships and hold my social life together.Then I started to learn and apply the principles of self-esteem.I used to think that I needed to be as extroverted as possible. It was exhausting, and people could see that it wasn’t really how I wanted to present myself.As a celebration of my uniqueness, I started behaving a little more like who I am—a little calmer and more interested in the depth of things.While I became less gregarious-sounding, I actually started making more friends, and more genuine ones; and the relationships with them were more solid.I was amazed at those results; I knew that self-esteem would contribute to my happiness, but never thought that being less of a gregarious person would improve my social life.When I met new people, I no longer talked about the trendy subjects that everyone was raving about. I talked about what I wanted to talk about. I expressed my unique perspective.People responded well; it gave them the chance to meet a human being who’s not afraid to express his genuine thoughts and opinions.Self-esteem completely shifted the way I interacted with people and made my social much easier to hold and develop.
Here, I want to dig deeper and share with you 5 reasons why self-esteem can help you have a better, more fulfilling social life. When you have high self-esteem:
1. You have healthy boundaries.
When you like yourself, you no longer have to say “yes” when you mean “no,” and don’t have to make false promises, either. People love to be friends with those who aren’t afraid to say “no.” This strength of spirit inspires them.This character makes people see you as trustworthy. Everyone wants friends they can trust.When you preserve your self-respect and stand up for yourself, you keep more of your energy and value. If you have no boundaries, you and your energy get depleted.
2. You’re naturally a giver of value.
When you like yourself, you believe you have value to offer, so you naturally start to see abundance instead of scarcity. You realize that the world is generous, there is enough for everyone, and we can create even more that didn’t exist before.People can tell that you’re not one of those people who think they have to take value from others to have more.This instantly puts you out of the selfish category. People fear that they’ll end up with selfish friends, who are only there to take whatever they can and give as little as possible. That’s not who they want in their life; they want friends that like them for who they are.Liking yourself indicates that you don’t have any neediness, and therefore, you only hang out with people because you genuinely appreciate them.
3. You know you’re not perfect, and you’re not for everyone; you appreciate your uniqueness.
When you like yourself, you appreciate your uniqueness and have no problem with some people seeing things differently than you. You therefore celebrate your unique talents and opinions.When you appreciate your uniqueness, you tend to cultivate and grow it. That is exactly what makes you an interesting person to be around.For example, if you like Southern Italian cuisine, even if no one you know else does, you start to get more and more interested in it, which means you’ll start to know more about Italian geography, history, and world views. You’ll maybe even go there on vacation.People love being around others who are passionate about something; it inspires them to get passionate about their own interests.
4. You’re cheerful and you can see the good in people.
When you like yourself, you see the good in yourself, but you also see the good in others. This is an instant charmer! People are keen to know if you’ll appreciate who they are and what they have to offer to the world.When you have that positive energy within your own life, you start to project it on to others. First, your cheerfulness catches their attention; second, they realize that you’re not only optimistic for yourself, but for them as well.
5. You’re not overly serious.
Liking yourself means that you’re realistic and can recognize your imperfections, quirks, and mistakes. You know you can improve what you want but will never be perfect, and you’re okay with that.This means you’ll have enough confidence to poke fun at yourself. Other people recognize this, and know that they can have lots of fun around you, as you don’t take yourself too seriously.This also shows a side of you that is vulnerable and completely human. People get fixated on this on the spot because they recognize the same human vulnerability in themselves.Great people reserve a special spot in their life for people who can interact and relate without masks or barriers to hide behind—and that comes from liking yourself.