Self-love has often been seen as a moral flaw, akin to vanity and selfishness.[1] The Merriam-Webster dictionary later describes self-love as to "love of self" or "regard for one's own happiness or advantage". Synonyms of this concept are: amour propre, conceit, conceitedness, egotism, and many more. However, throughout the centuries this definition has adopted a more positive connotation through self-love protests, the Hippie era, the new age feminist movement as well as the increase in mental health awareness that promotes self-love.

Traditional views

Cicero considered those who were sui amantes sine rivali (lovers of themselves without rivals) were doomed to end in failure – a theme adopted by Francis Bacon in his condemnation of extreme self-lovers, who would burn down their own home, only to roast themselves an egg.[2]

Self-love was first recognized in 1563 but was only later studied by philosophers William James and Erich Fromm, who studied emotional human behaviour, such as self-esteem and self-worth. However, it was later defined in 1956 by psychologist and social philosopher Erich Fromm, who proposed that loving oneself is different from being arrogant, conceited or egocentric, meaning that instead caring about oneself and taking responsibility for oneself.

However, Augustine – with his theology of evil as a mere distortion of the good – considered that the sin of pride was only a perversion of a normal, more modest degree of self-love.[3]

Other Languages
Deutsch: Selbstliebe
español: Amor propio
فارسی: عشق به خود
Bahasa Melayu: Penting diri lampau
српски / srpski: Себичност
中文: 自恋