In this blog we will discuss ways to combat self hatred if you hate yourself.
We will also discuss why self hatred occurs and how it impacts an individual’s life.
You make me hate myself: Ways to Combat Self-Hatred
If you have been looking at yourself in the mirror and thinking “You make me hate myself”, you are not alone. Plenty of people struggle with self hatred in some shape or form.
However, just because it is common does not mean that you have to live with it for the rest of your life. Some of the ways you can combat self hatred includes:
- Talking to yourself with compassion
- Recognise beliefs are not truths
- Talk back to your inner critic
- Embrace the concept of being “good enough”
- Consider spirituality
- Make amends
- Talk to a therapist
According to Stacey Freedenthal, a contributor for Good Therapy, Self compassion is the antidote to self hatred.
The author builds on the basic idea of Compassion Focused Therapy to foster in people the ability to “soothe, accept, and understand themselves” with empathy and compassion.
Some of the ways that you can do this include:
Talking to yourself with compassion
Treat yourself like you would a beloved friend and in this way you start to talk to yourself in ways that you would talk to a beloved friend that is having a hard time.
Ask yourself this: “What would you say to a good friend who was going through the same thing you are going through?”
Start by stepping outside of yourself and talk to yourself with the same amount of compassion and empathy you would to someone you love and care for. As you learn how to be kind to yourself, learn to extend that kindness in the way you treat yourself as well.
Recognise that beliefs are not truths
Whatever you believe yourself to be- a loser, a bad person, a useless individual- remember that these are not absolute truths meaning that objectively speaking- it is unlikely that you are “bad” or “a loser”
Sure you might have some limitations here and there, but overall, it is unlikely that you are as terrible as you might think.
To be able to recognise your negative beliefs, you can take effort to Catch yourself when you think something negative about yourself. Then, Check whether these thoughts are true, and finally, Change these thoughts by challenging them.
Embrace the concept of “good enough”
Take the effort to embrace the possibility that you are “good enough” the way you are not and that you need not be perfect to be loved and cared for.
Accept your imperfections. Ask yourself what exactly does “Good enough” mean to you and be kind in your own expectations for yourself.
Many individuals find comfort in religion and spirituality as it pushes the message that one is still loved and lovable irrespective of their flaws and mistakes.
This belief can serve as a comfort for people who struggle with self hatred and can foster feelings of compassion towards themselves and others as well.
If you feel like the self hatred you feel is because of something you have done to someone else that makes you a “bad” person. Take the challenge to make amendes.
Apologise, rebuild bridges etc, do something that allows you to make amends and if you can’t do that- do something good for others because beating yourself up does not help anyone.
Talk to a therapist
Talking to a therapist and engaging with them to understand what is happening to you does not mean that you have failed in life. It simply means that you need help like everyone else and that does not make you any less of a person.
Your therapist will help you understand what is happening to you, might prescribe you medication if needed, and can help you tap into your own strengths that can help you adapt to challenges, changes, and overcome them.
Understanding your condition, diagnosis and Engaging with a therapist, being diligent with your medication, and making the changes you need to make to get better will help you during this difficult time.
Why does self hatred occur?
Self hatred develops slowly and over time due to various negative experiences as well as one’s reaction to these negative life experiences.
The most obvious reason as to why you are struggling with self hatred is because you tend to take negatively about yourself and to yourself and constantly put yourself down. This negative self-talk can come from internalised negative beliefs about yourself such as you are not good enough, no one loves you, you are a loser etc.
The more you listen to these words that you tell yourself, the more power you give to it and this can impact the way you see yourself, see others, and even impact the way you behave as well. For example, you might become socially withdrawn because you feel like you do not deserve love from friends.
This negative inner voice develops over time through a myriad of reasons such as:
- Negative childhood experiences where you were brought up by parents who were highly critical of you, you neglected you, or who made you feel anxious all the time. This refers to a traumatic experience of having lived through childhood abuse- physical or psychological- neglected, overly controlled or criticised.
- Another reason could be because you were part of a relationship that was toxic where your partner or friend was overly controlling, critical, and abusive towards you. This could also be in the form of platonic relationships such as your boss, your friend etc where they made you feel inferior or criticised you a lot.
- Bullying can be another reason. If you were bullied in school or at work or in another relationship, thai experience can create lasting memories that can impact your self in the present.
- Traumatic events like accidents, mugging, loss and experiencing death can also impact the way you see yourself and others. It can lead you to develop a negative bias about yourself which can feel that inner critic.
All of these negative experiences can lead to a negative self-concept, poor self-image, or low self-esteem which can lead you to minimise your own skills, abilities, and strengths.
In such a case,small problems can be magnified into much larger ones and your inherent belief that you are not capable of handling this situation can make you feel even worse about yourself which perpetuates into a cycle of shame and hate.
How does self hatred affect daily life?
Self hatred can have a far reaching impact on your well-being. In some cases, self hatred can snowball and aggravate into depression and anxiety over the course of time.
Let us take a look at how self hatred impact your daily life:
Due to self hatred and low self esteem, you might stop trying to do things because you feel they will only end badly- you give up before giving yourself the chance to try.
You might engage in self-destructive behaviours because you loathe yourself so much. As a way to deal with the pain or as a way of punishment you might engage in behaviours such as using substances, eating too much, or isolating yourself.
You might sabotage your own efforts such as leaving your partner before your partner leaves you because you are convinced that you are not worthy of love.
You might choose to surround yourself with people who are bad for you or who will take advantage of you because you internally believe that this is all that you are good for.
You may struggle with low self-confidence and low self-esteem which can get in the way of your ability to do things such as getting and keeping a job, keeping up with academics etc.
You might have trouble making decisions because you feel like you are not capable enough to make decisions so what you do is you become paralyzed in indecision.
You might demand perfection all the time which makes you overly hard on yourself and when you do not meet your expectations or when others do not meet your expectations you tend to have conflict which impacts your relationship with yourself and others.
Your perfectionist tendencies might also cause you to procrastinate and as a result you might be lagging behind work causing more stress.
You might not be able to take initiative and chase after your goals and dreams because you feel held back by doubt about what you can accomplish.
You might view the future as being very bleak and have no positive expectations and this can lead to a sense of hopelessness.
When you struggle with these effects of self hatred on a daily basis, it is likely that you will eventually develop anxiety and depression if there are no healthy interventions done to prevent it.
The sense of helplessness, anxiety, and despair that you might feel as a result of your self hatred can worsen and develop into a mental disorder such as depression and also anxiety which can futher intensify your self-hatred.
In this blog we have discussed ways to combat self hatred if you hate yourself.
We have also discussed why self hatred occurs and how it impacts an individual’s life.
FAQ related to you make me hate myself
Is it normal to not like yourself?
Yes. It is quite normal to dislike yourself. If you have been looking at yourself in the mirror and thinking “You make me hate myself”, you are not alone. Plenty of people struggle with self hatred in some shape or form.
Can I love someone if I hate myself?
You can have feelings of love for someone while feeling a lot of self-loathing and left hatred however, it is important to understand that the love you have for someone is not a way to compensate for the lack of love you have for yourself.
Why do I hate my body?
Hatred towards one’s body can arise from extreme self consciousness and comparisons with other people’s bodies. It can also be caused by the media’s portrayal of what is the “perfect” body and it can also be a sign that you have body dysmorphic disorder.
Why do I hate attention?
Fear of attention or hating attention is a common sign of social anxiety disorder and this intense hatred can arise becuase you feel like everyone is judging you and hating you which make syou want to avoid it as much as possible.
Stacey Freedenthal. How to Turn Self-Hatred into Self-Compassion. Good Therapy. Retrieved on 11th April 2022. https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/how-to-turn-self-hatred-into-self-compassion-1112135
I Hate Myself. PsychAlive. Retrieved on 11th April 2022. https://www.psychalive.org/i-hate-myself/
Arlin Cuncic. ‘I Hate Myself’: 8 Ways to Combat Self-Hatred. Very Well Mindful. Retrieved on 11th April 2022. https://www.verywellmind.com/i-hate-myself-ways-to-combat-self-hatred-5094676#toc-signs-of-self-hatred