Philautia is self-respect. The love we give to ourselves. This is not immediately vanity, like narcissism, but our joy in being true to our own values. The strength to care for ourselves so that we can in turn care for others.
The clever Greeks realized there were two types. One was an unhealthy variety associated with narcissism, where you became self-obsessed and focused on personal fame and fortune. A healthier version enhanced your wider capacity to love.
“I cannot conceive of a greater loss than the loss of one’s self-respect.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
The idea was that if you like yourself and feel secure in yourself, you will have plenty of love to give others (as is reflected in the Buddhist-inspired concept of “self-compassion”). Or, as Aristotle put it, “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself.”
See other: Kinds of Greek Love