Is self-love making us lonely?

That is at least what Maytal Eyal, psychologist and writer, claims in a recent Time article. Self-love generally regards an appreciation of one’s own worth and accepting oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. “Self-love has become the core tenant of modern wellness culture, with the promise that what follows self-love is good health and freedom.” 

She argues that self-love has risen as a way to cope with our increasingly individualized society. “To navigate the harsh terrain of radical individualism, self-love has emerged as our tool for survival.” And that is problematic in a world that is characterized by high amounts of loneliness and polarization, as this form of self-love is mainly a force of isolation, rather than an attachment.

Especially when brands amplify and utilize this narrative to sell us a need for constant self-improvement in order to love ourselves and sell more products. “In its commodified form, self-love is not really self-love at all; instead, it’s more like self-sabotage, convincing us to hyperfocus on ourselves at the expense of connecting with others.”

The article offers an interesting and contrarian perspective on a phenomenon that seems to be taken as a no-brainer in society nowadays.