Am I Unlovable? 21 Ways To Change (2024)

If you keep wondering, “Am I unlovable,” this article is for you. 

You’ll learn:

  • The reasons you feel unlovable
  • Strategies to understand, accept, and love yourself
  • Steps to help others love you
Am I Unlovable
Photo by Mike Greer from Pexels

Let’s dive in!

1. Identify the Reasons You Feel Unlovable

Let’s start with you answering this question: What makes you feel unlovable? Write your reasons. 

  • Mistakes: You might think you made too many mistakes in life so you don’t deserve to be loved. You can also think that if someone discovers the mistakes you’ve made, they won’t love you.
  • Character: You might think you’re inherently too bad to be loved by anyone because you were brought up to believe that bad people deserve love and good people don’t deserve love. Your parents for example might have withdrawn from showing you love when you misbehaved.
  • Abuse: If you’ve been in an abusive relationship, the abuser might brainwash you into thinking no one would want you, you’re unworthy of love, you don’t deserve to be treated any better than they’re treating you, and more gaslighting ideas.
  • Trauma: Like most trauma survivors, you might feel you deserved whatever happened to you and therefore, don’t deserve love as well.
  • Depression: If you’re undergoing mental health problems like depression, you’d be prone to having unrealistic  negative, thoughts regarding even your lovability. These are not based on reality.
  • Low self-esteem: If you have low self-confidence, one of the effects would probably be feeling unlovable.

From the small event in your life to the memorable happenstances, something triggered your feeling unlovable.

So when you understand your reasons for feeling unlovable, it’s easy to work on changing this belief.

2. Understand That You Deserve Love No Matter Who You Are

Whether you think you’re a monster, damaged, flawed, ugly, or dumb, you deserve love as much as the next person. 

See, being loved isn’t about how perfect you are, it’s about someone knowing your perfections and imperfections and loving you anyway. It’s about receiving compassion even when you’re depressed, anxious, overreacting, and overthinking. It’s about someone sticking by your side even when things get hard.

With all those descriptions of love in action, you should by now understand that you can be loved no matter how you are.

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

3. Destroy Irrational “I’m Unlovable” Beliefs with Rational Questions

Self-limiting beliefs like “I’m unlovable” are irrational. They’re lies you tell yourself after being conditioned by your reactions to past experiences to believe so. 

But this is something you can change.

When you’re feeling unlovable, catch yourself in that irrational thinking and pause to reflect on the reality of the situation. You can do it by answering these questions:

  • What is the evidence that I am unlovable in this situation?
  • Am I making assumptions here?
  • Is this feeling based on my emotional reaction or rational evidence I can see?

These questions not only help give yourself a reality check but also help you condition your subconscious to have positive self-improving beliefs you need to improve your well bing and live a fulfilling life.

4. Start Accepting and Loving Yourself

Since you’re riddled with self-limiting beliefs of your unworthiness and ugliness, it’s tough to accept and love yourself with all that you are. Your strengths and imperfections as well.

But all hope isn’t lost. With the following tactics, you can learn to accept and love yourself just as you are:

Forgive yourself

Constantly feeling guilty for your past mistakes? Well, that’s not healthy.

If you acted in ways you’re not proud of or failed to accomplish the goals you envisioned, you probably never forgave yourself and that’s why you feel unlovable. 

Judging yourself over past actions with the wisdom you have now is not only unfair but also irrational.

This is the time to accept your failures, grieve them, take responsibility, and move on.

Get to know the real you

To accept and love yourself, you have to know who you really are. Your beliefs, strengths, weaknesses, quirks, and feelings. This way, you can gradually accept parts of yourself and love them for what they are.

Here are self-esteem boosting questions to help you know who you really are.

Celebrate the real you

In this step, you give yourself a self-acceptance speech. Whenever you feel unloved, you can use the details in this speech, to bring back the belief in the real you.

Here’s an example:

My name is Scott, I’m 30 years old and definitely no saint I used to wish I were. I have achieved small and big things and failed in small and major ways as well. But I’m learning to love myself whether it’s the promising 10-year-old Scott or the mentally challenged 19-year-old Scott. 

I’m averagely intelligent, have a way with words that makes me quite influential in most circles, and would say I’m quite good-looking. I also have a bit of social anxiety since I always believed I’m not likable enough, have a pretty big ego that hinders me from communicating constructively sometimes, and have some freckles and a pretty lean body I’m striving to love. 

And hey, although I’m growing to a better version of myself, I’m enough as I am, my worth never changing. 

After knowing the real you, give yourself an acceptance speech. Make sure you mean every word you say.

Related: How To Stop Overthinking In A Relationship

5. Remember Feelings Are Not Facts

Feelings are reactions to facts. But they aren’t your identity.

You feel fear, but you are not fear. You feel hurt, but you are not hurt. You feel unlovable, but that doesn’t mean you are unlovable.

See? If you believe and act on feelings as if they’re facts, you’d mostly be following a changing tide of confusion.

That’s why you need to stop thinking you’re unlovable by reminding yourself that this isn’t a fact about you but what you perceive of the reality in front of you.

6. Appreciate Those Who Love You Unconditionally

One of the worst mistakes you’ll make in life is focusing on the things you’re not getting – in this case, the people who aren’t loving you or how much people aren’t showing you love.

But if you want to stop feeling unlovable, begin showing appreciation to those who are loving you the way you really are. 

Sometimes you think you’re entitled to love from the people you’d say, “Of course, they’d love me.” And so you fail to appreciate them. But you’re not only not being kind to those who are kind to you but also are making yourself feel unlovable even more.

  • If your parents/guardians show you love, cherish them
  • If your partner showers you with love, show them how thankful you are to them
  • If your friends stand by you no matter what, show up with acts of gratitude
  • If any of your relatives love you the way you truly are, show them you care

Someone loving you for who you really are isn’t something easy to come by. And we know we get more of something when we appreciate it.

So appreciate those who love you for you.

7. Deal with Comparison Wisely

Comparison is a slippery road to despair of our own loveability.

Often, it starts when we’re young. You think your sister/brother is more loved than you are. You think your friend’s parents love him more than your own do and so forth.

While these thoughts might be true, they don’t mean you’re unlovable. Who people love has nothing to do with your loveability. And the fact that you’re loved differently doesn’t mean you’re not loved.

You’re unique and people would respond to you uniquely according to their own personality so live your life the best way you know how.

8. Surround Yourself with People Who Love You for You

Apart from appreciating those who love you, surround yourself with them so the belief “I am loveable” can become more believable in your subconscious.

Therefore, instead of pushing them away and ignoring them, spend time with these people who don’t think your flaws make you any less loveable.

9. Stop Doing Things to Be Loved and Start Doing the Things You Love

If you feel unlovable, it’s natural to try to compensate for your imagined unlovability. So you can become a people pleaser for someone to see your usefulness and perhaps start loving you.

But true love is never earned. It just exists and is nurtured by acts of love.

So stop trying to make people love you and start doing the things that are truly important to you. When you start living an authentic life, those meant to love you would simply do. 

10. Spread Love Yourself

People think being on the receiving end of love is awesome. Try the opposite.

While to be loved feels great, loving is as much fulfilling – sometimes more fulfilling. Therefore, instead of dwelling on how much you’re unlovable, start showering people with love and see how much better you feel.

However, you have to be ready for heartaches when you love and get nothing or negativity in return. After all, love is risky business – whether on the giving or receiving end.

11. Cultivate Gratitude

Feel Unlovable
Photo by Darina Belonogova from Pexels

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie

Start appreciating every good thing you get in your life every day, even turn challenges into opportunities worth gratitude and see how life changes. You not only start feeling grateful for existing, but also start noticing moments of being loved.

12. Give without Expecting Anything in Return

The thing that makes us feel most unlovable is expectation. We expect to be loved because we did something, have something, and so forth. So when we don’t get such a response, we sink into the feeling of unlovability.

But when we start doing things expecting nothing in return, we accept and appreciate love when it comes, and continue giving ourselves even when it doesn’t.

13. Cut off the Desire to Hurt Others

If you enjoy seeing other people hurt sometimes, you’ll definitely feel unlovable. Jealousy and pride among other things are usually the cause of this and narcissists feature these traits often. 

That’s why you need to stop hurting others to feel good about yourself if you want to at last feel loveable.

14. Understand That Your Flaws Don’t Define You

Whether you’re prone to jealousy, anger, pride, or any other negative behavior, you need to get it in your head that, it doesn’t define you.

And even if you think your body is flawed by freckles, stretchmarks – whatever it is that makes you think you’re unlovable, that’s just a part of who you are, not everything that you are.

Some flaws can be eliminated (like overcoming pride), and some can’t be done away with (like the way look) – at least you don’t need to. At the end of the day, you have to remember that you’re a beautiful imperfect mixture of many complex things that are loveable nonetheless

15. Quit Looking for Love in the Wrong Places

You see it in movies often. A character trying to hang with the cool guys only to realize they don’t love him/her when things get rough. Or someone keeps holding together a relationship even though their partner doesn’t seem to care.

You might have also seen it in real life. After all, many people are prone to looking for love in the wrong places, only to end up disappointed and wondering, “Am I unlovable?”

Instead of trying to fit in and be loved where you clearly are not, be contented to sit where true love exists, and gradually, you’ll start loving the same way. To clarify:

  • True love is about openness and non-defensiveness when it comes to communication, not anger-fueled responses
  • True love is about honesty, not deception
  • True love is about sacrifice, not selfishness
  • True love is about respecting priorities and boundaries, not rejecting and belittling them
  • True love is about non-manipulative behaviors, not forced dominance

16. Reflect on Memories of Being Loved

As humans, we fall for the negativity bias all the time. This is the tendency to focus on negative experiences more than positive ones. Even if your experiences of rejection were fewer than those of being loved, it’s common to focus on the former and hence feel unlovable.

However, you can overcome the negativity bias and start feeling loveable by recalling the instances people showered you with love. In this case, you’re looking for evidence that you are indeed loveable.

Let’s go:

  • Who has made you feel most special in the whole world? What did they do?
  • What things did your parents do to show you how much they love you?
  • What are the small things that have ever been done to you that showed how much the person/people loved you?
  • When was the last time you felt most valued?

See, you are loved. You just can’t see it sometimes if you keep wondering, “Am I unlovable?”

When asking yourself these questions, remember to stop cynical thoughts in their tracks. You have been loved before and that proves you’re loveable.

17. Treat Your Inner Child with Love

As a child, you get attention from your caregivers whenever you need it. You’re hungry, you cry. You’re bored, you make a fuss. You’re scared, you scream. And in most, if not all instances, you get a response.

In the giant, soft arms of an adult, you experience what it means to be loved. And your adult mind hasn’t forgotten that.

You still have that inner child in you who with much neglect forms the belief “I’m unlovable.” That’s why you need to treat him/her with self compassion. That’s why you need to parent yourself again with love. 

And you’ll feel loveable again.

18. Overcome Self Pity

We all feel sorry for ourselves from time to time. You probably did once or twice today. And it’s normal. As humans, we feel down sometimes. Your reasons could be:

  • You didn’t have loving caregivers while growing up
  • You were abused and hence felt damaged/ugly/undeserving of love after that
  • Some have told you that you’re inherently bad and are therefore unworthy of love

You probably have something to pity yourself for. But the dark hole of wallowing in self-pity won’t help you feel loveable either.

Therefore you must grieve your losses but rise again to overcome them. There’s no other way.

19. See the Ones Who Victimized You for What They Really Are

We’ve been working on changing your mindset toward yourself (which is most important) but now you need to face the one who victimized you. 

You have to receive closure if you’re going to heal and understand that you are loveable.

Most abusers (whatever kind) are hurt themselves hence the famous quote, “Hurt people hurt.”

You might find out that your neglective parent wasn’t well taken care of by their guardians either. Or your partner learned the narcissist behavior from their father and thinks that’s how they treat their significant other. All this isn’t your fault.

The reactions of other people toward you are mostly not about you but about them. So develop empathy for your victimizer to understand that you’re loveable.

20. Volunteer

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

Giving yourself in service of others is a remedy for any sort of mental health issue in that it gives you a platform to engage the psychology practices you receive to improve your life.

Also, when volunteering, you’ll strike new relationships that would not only prove you’re loveable but also give you perspective on past encounters that made you wonder “Am I lovable?”

21. Seek Counselling

As a mental health advocate being a coach, I understand how a question like “Am I lovable” can stem from deeply rooted mental health issues like borderline personality disorder, depression, insecure attachment styles, schizophrenia, and the likes.

Therefore, while this self-coaching free guide can help you with your healing process to realign your core beliefs of being unlovable, deep mental health issues need intervention with the support of a professional.

You might need a coach, clinical psychologist, or therapist to help:

  • Tackle why you feel unworthy of love
  • Process every painful experience that prompted feeling unloved
  • Work on any attachment issues that derailed your self worth
  • Clear your self-doubt and help you feel confident in your lovability

Am I Unlovable? Q & A

Want to learn more? Come along!

How do you accept you are unlovable? Signs you’re unlovable

Don’t accept that you’re unlovable because a lie. You feel unlovable because of the negative beliefs that have filled your subconscious die to trauma, mistakes you’ve done, abuse, limiting beliefs conditioned into you by society, and more. The truth is, you’re worthy of love as much as everyone else, and this article helps you make that your core belief.

How do I stop being unlovable? How to turn it around

Let’s recap the changes you need to start feeling accepted and lovable:

  1. Identify the Reasons You Feel Unlovable
  2. Understand That You Deserve Love No Matter Who You Are
  3. Destroy Irrational “I’m Unlovable” Beliefs with Rational Questions
  4. Start Accepting and Loving Yourself
  5. Remember Feelings Are Not Facts
  6. Appreciate Those Who Love You Unconditionally
  7. Deal with Comparison Wisely
  8. Surround Yourself with People Who Love You for You
  9. Stop Doing Things to Be Loved and Start Doing the Things You Love
  10. Spread Love Yourself
  11. Cultivate Gratitude
  12. Give Yourself without Expecting Anything in Return
  13. Cut off the Desire to Hurt Others
  14. Understand That Your Flaws Don’t Define You
  15. Quit Checking for Love in the Wrong Places
  16. Reflect on Memories of Being Loved
  17. Treat Your Inner Child with Love
  18. Overcome Self Pity
  19. See the Ones Who Victimized You for What They Really Are
  20. Volunteer
  21. Seek Counselling

Can a woman be unlovable? Am I romantically unlovable?

There’s no unlovable woman despite what society tries to make you believe so. Every woman is lovable no matter how they look because everyone is deserving of love. Read on to understand why you feel unlovable and how to turn that around.

I feel unlovable and worthless – Is feeling unloved normal?

Feeling unloved is normal just like feeling sad. However, this isn’t a permanent state of being since everyone deserves to be loved and to feel loved. This free guide to feeling lovable can help you change how you feel.

Final Word

If you’ve been one of the people asking, “Am I unlovable” I trust you got your answer. This piece was to send this message I wish everyone on the planet could hear: “You are lovable, deserving of love as much as everyone else.”

Remember, this feeling of worthiness starts with you. And with the above tips, you can at last start feeling lovable.

Don’t forget to share this message with others to change lives!

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.