The Unique Challenge of Letting Ourselves Be Loved

Loving another human being is complicated, hence the unique challenge of letting ourselves be loved. Human beings are complicated, and when two humans come together and create a relationship, the complications increase.  

Loving another person, the way they want to be loved, is complex and what is often far more complex, and also difficult, is allowing ourselves to truly receive the love from other.  

Alfred Adler, a world-renowned therapist asserted that most people have an inferiority complex.  Adler believed that we struggle to see ourselves in high regard making it difficult to accept the love and acceptance others give us, especially those closest to us.  

Here are some tips on accepting love from others:

  • When others express affection or love for us, do not immediately dismiss their remarks.  Attempt to take a moment to truly feel the joy and connection the remarks are intended to convey. When we immediately dismiss their remarks, it trains those around us to make less overtures, which can lead to resentments on both sides down the road.
  • When you notice thoughts that invalidate their love and affection, take a breath and look for the counter evidence to those invalidating thoughts in your head.  This will help you make more cognitive room to let in their love.
  • Set aside specific time to offer each other words of love, affirmation, affection, and gratitude.  When we have time set aside to receive, we have time to mentally and emotionally prepare for giving and receiving, which can make the process easier.  

If you struggle to express or receive love and affection with others, therapy is a wonderful place to explore this.  Couples therapy is a dedicated time where you can explore not only your challenges with your partner(s), but also express your love, appreciation, and gratitude and receive it as well.