(In answer to Elenchus Philosophy’s article on self-respect https://elenchusphilosophy.com/2020/03/10/about-self-respect/)
Personally, I think self-love is the purest form of self-appreciation apart from your ideals, your achievements and goals. I think self-love begins with compassion and with that compassion comes trust in oneself. This trust you give yourself is a responsibility, it is a contract you sign to be true and kind to oneself, regardless of your actions, ideals or morals. In this sense, yes, self-love can be seen as the most selfish state of being and an utter moral mistake. We leave this discussion in the middle…
Furthermore, I think self-love stems more from the acknowledgment of one’s worth as an individual in a society (with the comprehension of mutual equality, apart from the obligation to be fuel to the engine of the machine) than the need or requirement to attain an ideal or reach a goal. This notion of loving oneself requires time of self-discovering, it requires spending time with yourself and it longs for a direct inner dialogue. In short, self-love revolves around the individual, it sprouts from the seeds you water when you dare look upon yourself and acknowledge your inner interior. It asks for self-recognition and a moral responsibility, apart from ideals and goals which are all outer objectives and are no part of this previously mentioned ‘inner interior’ (*): “It insist that the basic activity of self-understanding or interpretation is central to self-relation” (Weaver, 2002, 81). For a lot of people, self-love is a fundamental necessity for others it is seen as mere hubris.
Self-love is not, however, loving every single last bit of yourself. It is acknowledging your flaws; it is learning to accept them and cherish them without the need to strive for an ideal (read: mind the distinction between ‘loving’ and ‘accepting’). In addition, again, I think self-love is a state that needs to be or can be achieved/experienced without a set of values and goals that need to be accomplished. Self-love is not the finished product you receive after your hard work; it is the ingredient you need produce to the finished product. (**)
(*) on the notion ‘inner interior’; see it as the house you bought without the furniture. It is the foundation, the walls, the roof, the first floor and the second, but all without the added goods. The ‘inner interior’ is who you are without the extra’s.
(**) which is in this case, the previously mentioned ideals, goals, etc.
Weaver, D.F. (2002). Self Love and Christian Ethics. Retrieved from