Psychological Self-Help

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Accept yourself and share yourself
If you don't like yourself, you aren't likely to freely reveal yourself
to others you care about. This doesn't mean you have to be in love
with yourself--you don't have to think you are the greatest; you don't
have to be satisfied with every aspect of your personality. You just
have to accept yourself and assume you can continue to improve. If
you are tolerant of yourself, it is easier to believe that others will
accept you, warts and all. Also, you must not be desperate to be liked.
If you believe that someone else will love you even if the person you
are disclosing to right now starts to loose interest in you, it is easier to
take risks and honestly self-disclose. In chapter 6 we saw that some
self-critical persons drive others away and become lonely. Self-
acceptance and self-confidence enhance most relationships (Powell,
1974). Learning to like your self better is dealt with in chapters 6 and
14. 
Self-disclosing does not automatically occur as soon as one sees
the advantages for doing so. It takes skill, courage, and practice. Bach
and Deutsch (1970) have written a book about Pairing. They deal with
many situations faced by new lovers or potential lovers, namely,
meeting, getting acquainted, selecting a person to date, playing
"games," handling sex, breaking up, etc. They illustrate, via many
case reports, common conscious deceptions: pretending to be
brighter, more confident, more sophisticated, more or less interested
in sex, marriage, sports, politics, etc. than we really are. Their solution
is to be honest and straight with the other person. Buscaglia (1972)
makes the same point with a story about a student in his class who
begins to realize that she may be the best banana in the world but
when a plum-lover comes along, she tries to make herself into a juicy,
delectable plum instead of waiting for a banana-lover. Then when the
plum-lover tells her to "split," she doesn't know who she really is. If
you have difficulty meeting and getting intimate with someone of the
opposite sex, read some of these books about love and practice
empathy and honest self-disclosure (see chapters 10 and 13). 
At bottom every (person) knows well-enough that he/she is a unique being, only once on
this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of
diversity in unity as he/she is, ever be put together a second time.
-Friedrich Nietzsche
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