Is your mind often full of self-doubt and low self-esteem? Perhaps you notice the thought ‘I hate myself’ coming up a bit too often in the past few weeks.
Want to discover a way to get rid of self-hatred and gain your confidence back again?
If yes, then read the article we have prepared for you thoroughly. By the end of it, you will fully understand the signs and causes of self-hatred. We will also equip you with tools to battle any negative thoughts that cross your mind.
Let’s start right away!
Dealing with Criticism
The nagging voice in our head that tells us that we are not good enough rarely appears on its own. More often than not, the first thoughts of self-hatred are set in motion by harsh criticism we receive from other people.
It is easy to start questioning your self-worth and dismantling your self-belief piece by piece once our negative thoughts start getting out of control.
The main difference between good and bad criticism is the way you perceive it.
There will be people who will criticize you at every step, and you need to develop a healthy way of dealing with criticism. Most of us figure this out at one point in our lives.
Here are a few quick pointers on how to approach criticism in general:
- Try to understand the true intention behind the words of your critic. Is it honest feedback that can benefit you, or is it directed towards you with the sole purpose of hurting you?
- Stay calm in the face of criticism. Accept that you are not perfect, and that is the most beautiful thing about you! You have room to grow, evolve, and improve. Constructive feedback is one of the best ways to achieve that.
- Don’t engage with destructive feedback more than you have to. Understand that it is not always about you and learn to walk away.
Now, this advice is supposed to help you deal with criticism that you receive from other people. Not knowing how to deal with it is often why we start losing confidence and end up resenting ourselves.
But what happens when it is not the other people who worry you the most?
Self-Hate – Your Biggest Enemy
Learning a new approach to handling criticism may have the power to transform many negative situations in your life into something positive.
However, the issue arises when you are the person who criticizes yourself the most. A few nasty comments and resentful insults towards ourselves can quickly transform into something bigger.
Undoubtedly, moderately and objectively criticizing yourself is a good way to grow and evolve. However, it is easy to go past the point where our introspection becomes toxic.
One thought leads to another, and you may find yourself spiraling down a negative road. It is important to set boundaries for yourself, understand what is happening, and take action before your self-criticism transforms into a large burden.
How do you notice when you have crossed the line?
7 Most Common Signs of Self-Hatred
Let’s go through the most common signs of self-hatred and the thoughts or actions related to them:
Sign #1 – You are too hard on yourself.
- You constantly criticize yourself for every little thing you do.
- You can’t seem to forgive yourself for any mistake you make.
- You have a hard time letting go of the past.
Sign #2 – You think that you are not good enough.
- You feel that you don’t deserve good things in life.
- You think everyone is doing better than you.
- You feel like a complete failure in all areas of your life.
Sign #3 – You have a hard time accepting compliments.
- You often reject compliments because you don’t agree with them.
- You are suspicious of people who compliment you because their intentions might be bad.
- You always try to downplay any praise you receive.
Sign #4 – You view life as black and white.
- There is no middle-ground for you. Everything is either awful or good.
- You think that each little mistake can and will ruin your life completely.
- If you make even the slightest error in your plan, you immediately give up since you feel like you have ruined it.
Sign #5 – You can’t deal with criticism.
- You take every form of feedback personally.
- You get offended at the mere mention of any criticism.
- You never agree with any constructive feedback about your actions.
Sign #6 – You accept your feelings as facts.
- If you feel like you have done something wrong, you accept that to be true regardless of the real situation.
- You always go with the flow of your emotions and rarely consider them objectively.
- You do a lot of things in the heat of the moment.
Sign #7 – You think of yourself as a victim.
- You feel as if the whole world is against you.
- You think that very few people in the world have it as hard as you.
- You don’t believe there is hope for you in the future since you will always be a victim.
Sign #8 – You always focus on the negative.
- Even if you do a good thing, you will focus on what you did wrong.
- You rarely feel grateful for the good things in your life.
- You only notice the bad relationships, mean people, and hard experiences.
Sign #9 – You hate everything around you.
- You don’t like the world you live in at all.
- You are never optimistic about the situation in the world.
- You feel that optimistic people are stupid and delusional.
You might have recognized some of the signs from the list. If you have become aware of the problem you have, you might be wondering why it is there in the first place.
What could have been the first thing that led you to think, ‘I hate myself’?
‘Why Do I Hate Myself?’
There is a handful of underlying reasons that could lead you to develop your negative inner voice. Some of the most common are:
Reason #1 – Negative Early Life Experiences
These experiences can be many things:
- bullying from your childhood peers;
- childhood trauma;
- abusive family relationships;
- overly critical parents, etc.
As children and toddlers, we are particularly sensitive to all influences around us. You may have been conditioned to think negatively about yourself from the early stages of your life.
Reason #2 – Lack of Positive Reinforcements
Just as negative comments and bullying can negatively shape your self-image, so can positive reinforcements and praise do the opposite.
However, when these things are missing in our life, it is easy to think badly about ourselves.
Reason #3 – Difficult Relationships
It is never too late in our lives to develop negative thoughts and think badly of ourselves.
Suppose you have experienced bad, or even abusive, relationships in your adulthood. In that case, it may have affected the way you view yourself today.
Even bullying is not something that happens exclusively in childhood. A tense atmosphere at the workplace and difficult coworkers can largely impact your self-belief.
Reason #4 – Mental Health Issues
We are not here to worry you even further. However, we have to mention that your self-hatred might be caused by something bigger.
If you suspect that may be the case, it is best to deal with it sooner rather than later.
Since we are not qualified to talk about dealing with more serious mental health issues, we suggest you ask for help. We have collected a few useful resources that you may find useful:
- How to Seek Help For a Mental Health Problem
- Getting Help | Mental Health Foundation
- How to Get Mental Health Help
‘What Can I Do to Stop Hating Myself?’
Finally, we have come to the part you were probably looking for ever since you started reading this article.
You now understand the signs of self-hatred and have some practical knowledge about the possible causes of negative self-image.
It’s time to look into how to stop the ‘I hate myself’ thoughts and start feeling more confident at the same time!
#1 – Spend time with people who make you feel like yourself.
Self-hatred arouses feelings of isolation in individuals.
You may not want to spend time with anyone because you do not think you are worthy enough. In fact, at times, the self-loathing gets so intense that you may feel no one wants to be around a person like you.
During such a time, you should interact with people who make you feel like yourself, helping you on your journey of self-love.
There is always that someone who makes you feel like your true self and loves the way you are. Go out with that person, have a casual chat or a deep talk about your feelings, or simply go and grab a bite together.
#2 – Address your problem by identifying its roots.
Do you often spot yourself in situations where you keep blaming yourself for the same problems over and over again?
Do you end up banging your head on the wall just because you are not like the rest?
Do you complain about being who you are?
Well, there is the problem.
You can have feelings of self-loathing for various reasons but know that blaming yourself will not take you anywhere. To defeat self-hate, you need to know what is causing it.
So, sit in the fresh air, preferably anywhere under the sky, and start jotting down your thoughts. Write about the way you are feeling at the moment and continue the practice every day.
You can do it at the end of the day to reflect better on the whole day behind you. For each feeling, write a cause. For instance, if you feel worthless, note down what made you feel that way.
#3 – Know that your beliefs (and emotions) are not always true.
As we mentioned above, one major issue with people who experience self-hatred is that they think that their thoughts and emotions are truths.
However, that is completely wrong.
What you think about yourself is just a belief you have regarding yourself, whereas the truth may be completely different.
Individuals have a habit of judging themselves and others based on one or two vivid incidents.
Never do that!
We are all a product of our successes and mistakes, and we will make mistakes and learn throughout our life.
To deal with this, you can work on the therapy known as the three C’s:
- Catch yourself with negative thoughts,
- Check whether the thought is factual and logical,
- and Change it if it is just a product of negativity.
#4 – Face your negativity.
“I am too fat, so no one is going to like me.”
“I am not confident enough to give a worthy presentation.”
“I mess up everything because of my fear; I cannot do this.”
The statements sound familiar, yes?
The reason is that all human beings tend to think negatively about themselves, sometimes based upon the standards set by society and other times due to some negative people.
However, it is okay to feel this way as long as you know how to give such negative thoughts a tough time.
All you have to do is explain how your negative thoughts are just mere thoughts, and they are not based on facts.
Develop strong arguments that show that what you are thinking is not objectively true. Have a little discussion with yourself – it may even turn out to be fun!
Keep giving as many reasons as you can until you overcome your negative thoughts and feel nothing but good about yourself.
#5 – Accept your mistakes and grow.
The most difficult thing in beating self-hatred is to feel comfortable in your skin, accept your faults, and understand that it is okay to feel that way.
Precisely, you need to self-compassionate to be more confident.
So, forgive yourself for all the past mistakes you have ever made, as holding on to much resentment is just going to make you feel worse.
An interesting way to look at your past mistakes is to be grateful for making them in the first place!
Why should you be grateful for such bad things in your life?
The thing is – only a few things are objectively bad. Every mistake you make can be a wonderful learning experience that brought you to where you are today.
Next time you feel like you hate yourself for something you messed up a long time ago, remember that that same mistake took part in getting you where you are today. It is a part of who you are – and an important one for that matter.
Hopefully, the article has helped you clarify your thoughts and given you a new perspective on the issue of self-hatred. You can feel free to start with the practices today and see yourself rapidly making big steps on the journey to self-love.
But we would also love to hear from you – which part of the article did you find the most useful?
Let us know by leaving a comment!