Do you often wonder if your partner loves you? Or even after having a group of friends, do you still feel left alone? In the end, you wonder: why do I feel unlovable?
Feeling unloved does not always have to do with how you look, talk, walk, or behave. Sometimes, feeling unloved is all about the tricks your mind plays. Your low self-esteem and negative self-image add to your misconception. They make you believe that you are flawed, unworthy, and in a way – inadequate. And let us tell you: you are not alone if you feel unloved.
Not feeling loved is a painful experience. It forces individuals to seek validation. The result? It makes you believe that maybe others like you for what you do but not for who you are. The overpowering drive to feel accepted, appreciated, and loved makes it hard to nurture yourself.
What if we told you that this could change? You won't have to go through the pain of feeling unloved in a relationship or by everyone around. You can learn to deal with this via online counseling sessions.
Why Do I Feel So Unlovable?
Feeling unlovable does not equate to being unlovable. Not feeling loved in no way means that you are not lovable. Our core beliefs define our actions, feelings, and perception. They regulate our thinking and emotions. Often, they push us to feel that we’re not enough or are too much. This realm of being too much, too little, or not enough tends to make up stories. And it is so possible that these stories have no truth to them. They only exist to fuel your core beliefs.
What Causes the Belief of Being Unlovable?
The reason why someone feels that they are unlovable can stem from several things. They can be memories of the past, a chronic mental illness, or something as simple as self-esteem.
The following are a few causes why you might feel unlovable:
When someone believes they have little worth to give to others and the world, they have low self-esteem. It entails having a lot of negative ideas and attitudes about yourself. Individuals with low self-esteem are more prone to ignore their abilities and focus on their flaws, shortcomings, or perceived failures. They may believe deep down that they're not a decent person. This makes it hard to create and achieve objectives, makes it tough to set boundaries with others, and makes relationships more challenging.
Abandonment issues arise from past situations that made you believe you couldn't rely on people to look after you and be there for you. Abandoned individuals believe that they are not appreciated, valued, or cherished. It makes them overthink how others see them, appear clingy in relationships, and feel lonely even when surrounded by others. These sentiments and thoughts gradually become their core beliefs. They may frequently choose partners who would eventually abandon them, confirming their anxieties. Abandonment can manifest itself in other mental health issues, like depression and anxiety.
Selective attention means only paying attention to the information that passes through a filter. This filter varies from person to person. Individuals who believe that they are flawed or unworthy of love and attention are likely to pay attention to only those experiences that confirm these core beliefs.
Let’s look at an example. You’ve just spent an entire day laughing and enjoying yourself with your boyfriend or girlfriend. However, they complain about one of your habits while having lunch. Now, although the day went well, you are particularly aware of that moment during lunch. As a result, you might think: “I am not loved by my boyfriend/girlfriend,” or “I don't feel appreciated by my partner.”
Just like selective attention, individuals with insecurities and low self-esteem hold onto specific memories and play them repeatedly to confirm their distorted core beliefs. Imagine walking down the road and seeing two people you know walking towards you. You wave at them, but they fail to respond to you and walk by you. This particular memory reinforces itself, pushing you to believe that they did not wave at you because something is wrong with you.
For a moment here, step away from that feeling and answer this question: was it possible that they did not see you wave at them? While you noticed them, they may not have noticed you, maybe because they were busy talking to each other or looking at something else.
Individuals who feel unlovable usually fail to look at the bigger picture. They only consider memories and events that confirm their fears and feelings of unworthiness.
Selective interpretation refers to interpreting situations, people, and memories through a lens that confirms the belief that something's inadequate. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, you will overgeneralize or wrongly interpret everything around you as negative.
If an individual feels unlovable, they may view a peer's failure to invite them to a celebration as further confirmation of it instead of understanding that the gathering was exclusively for that individual's family.
Depressed individuals often have a maladaptive representation of themselves, others, and the world. They feel that they’re inadequate and unworthy and overgeneralize their negative experiences. A certain sense of hopelessness shadows their ability to think clearly.
If one feels unloved, they do not need to be actually unlovable. Depressed individuals might think otherwise. They may think, “because they don’t love me at all, I don't feel loved by my family or by everyone.” Is this the truth? The truth may be that they don’t know how to express their love, or there exists a difference in love language.
Borderline personality disorder
Borderline personality disorder makes individuals feel shame and humiliation about who they are. They are terrified of being abandoned or unloved by people close to them and face difficulty developing and sustaining a sense of self. They frequently feel empty, as if nothing is happening inside of them. They may believe that others desert them when they need them the most or that they get too close and suffocate them. When people are afraid of being abandoned, they might experience anxiety and rage. Consequently, they may make frantic efforts to avoid being alone, such as continually messaging or calling someone.
How Can Therapy Help You Stop Feeling Unlovable?
The reason why we think the way we do or indulge in particularly sabotaging behavior lies in the way our mind processes and interprets different things. Therapy can help you unfold and understand the way your mind perceives things, absorbs information, and forms your core beliefs. The following are some relevant therapeutic approaches that can help you overcome the core belief that you are unlovable:
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most widely-used therapeutic strategy for rewiring your ideas. The CBT approach teaches your brain to detect and constructively respond to unpleasant thoughts instead of automatically reacting, allowing you to choose a good action rather than sliding into a downward cycle of negative feelings and activities.
Dynamic interpersonal therapy (DIT)
Dynamic interpersonal therapy is a brief therapy that focuses on determining how your interactions affect your moods and well-being. The assumption is that if you have productive, healthy connections, you will feel better about yourself and the world, and your sadness and anxiety will subside. DIT assists you in identifying, understanding, and replacing prior events and lessons learned that you may have forgotten about but are bringing you distress at the moment.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
Acceptance and commitment therapy aims to assist you in noticing, accepting, and embracing life and yourself. It also focuses on helping you identify your personal beliefs and then taking the appropriate activities to sync your life with them. Rather than modifying your ideas and feelings, ACT maintains that experiences should be acknowledged rather than ignored.
Online counseling is the new buzz in the world of therapy. In contrast to in-person therapy, online therapy sessions are more affordable, flexible in their schedules, and convenient. You can attend your online therapy sessions from the comfort of your home or anywhere in the world. It makes it possible to connect with any therapist irrespective of their location. Online counseling sessions also offer anonymity and the ease of changing your therapist.
From Unlovable to Loved
Wondering “why do I feel unlovable” and searching for answers is a painful experience no one should go through. When it begins to take a toll on your mental health, physical health, and relationships, seeking therapy is a wise option.
We at DoMental seek to assist you in your journey from feeling unloved to loved. Our therapists are best at what they do. They strive to create a safe environment for you and an effective treatment plan that suits you the best. With DoMental, therapy is affordable, accessible, and flexible.