What is your relationship with YOU?

Do you like yourself? This is the very heart of your ability to have a relationship with other human beings. When you really look at it, why would anyone want to be with you if you don’t even like yourself? And then: Why should you like you?

Liking yourself isn’t quite what you might expect it to be. Perhaps you think that it is possible to just decide to like yourself and it will happen. But the decision to like yourself is just part of it. Think of it this way. Why do you like someone else? Usually, you like another person for many reasons, but you don’t normally just decide to like them for no reason.

You might like them because they make you laugh. Maybe they have an attractive smile. Perhaps they like to do things for you like take you to interesting places or invite you over for a meal. They may notice everything that you do and compliment you often, making you feel important. When you talk, they may be excellent listeners. They may do interesting things that they like to share with you when you meet. You may have similar interests and passions.

This list could be endless. I went through a time once when I was feeling depressed and didn’t like myself very much. Life just wasn’t very much fun. Eventually, I noticed that my work vehicle was in disarray. I realized that I had a hole in my shoe. I hadn’t indulged myself in my favorite pastime, dancing, for a long time. It struck me that I might be able to help myself pull out of my depression by being good to – me!

So I organized my vehicle and got it washed. I had my shoes repaired. And then I went dancing and had a great time. In no time I was myself again. The message was clear: If you want to feel good about yourself, you need to be good to yourself. If you want someone to love you, love yourself first.

Start with your health. Just giving your body the right kinds of foods: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, will be a mood elevator. Going to the gym or riding a bike or walking is another great way to be good to yourself and a great way to meet people. And you you’ll look better too: younger and healthier and more attractive to everybody.

When was the last time you played with your hobby and honored the little boy inside? When was the last time you just went out and had fun, without any agenda? One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to bring men into your life. Reconnect with your boyhood friends if that’s possible. This will satisfy that little boy better than almost anything else you can do.

And here’s a little secret. Go do guy things with other guys – force yourself if you have to. There is nothing more attractive to women than men having a good time with each other and not needing them. There is something mysterious and exhilarating for them there. And they just like to be around a man that knows how to have fun.

Learn to set boundaries for your life. Don’t try to be all things to everybody. Don’t take on everything that people ask you to do. Ask the hard questions before undertaking any task: How much of my time will this take? What, exactly, does it entail? Then let them know what you are willing and not willing to do: which days you can work and when you need time off for personal things. Everybody is attracted to a man who knows what he wants and what he doesn’t want. Most of all, you will be giving yourself what you need, and you loving yourself is the most attractive thing of all.

©2009, Irv Engel

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One's life has value so long as one attributes values to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion., - Simone de Beauvoir

Irv Engel is a successful salesman, builder, husband, father, grandfather and friend. He loves to sing, dance and is currently taking an art class to learn water color painting. He is the creator and coordinator of the Relationship Training Course for Men. This book, The Real Deal: A Guide to Achieving Successful and Real Relationships, is the result of hundreds of hours spent writing down the lessons learned in a lifetime of marriage, divorce, re-marriage and raising four kids. He hosts free telephone conference coaching sessions in the evening or on weekends.The conference is a good way to find out about relationship coaching and to ask any personal questions around your own relationships without risk to your money or your privacy. E-mail him for phone number, access code and schedule. Irv and Monica live in Lake Forest, Calif. They have eleven grandchildren. They have celebrated their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary.

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