Why Do I Hate Myself - How to Stop Hating Yourself?
Written by: Shreya Manerkar – MA (Psychology)
Last updated date : March 13, 2023
Nina, a 22-year-old adult, sat and thought about all the bad decisions she had made. All she wondered was “why do I hate myself?” “I always mess my life because of this thinking”. Does Nina’s dilemma sound similar to how you see yourself? If yes, we can help you understand how to stop hating yourself.
In this article, you will learn about self-hate and its causes. Along with this, we will also share some insight into how it affects your life. Following this, we will give you some simple tips you can use to stop this self-hate.
Some key terms that will help you understand the article better are:
- Self-Hate – It is a negative feeling towards yourself. You always feel like you are not good enough and you always do something wrong. People who hate themselves feel they don’t deserve anything good in life.
- Guilt– It is an emotion in which people negatively evaluate themselves. People feel that they have done something wrong and this leads to feelings of anxiety.
- Low Self-esteem– This is a >term that people use for lack of confidence. People who have low self-esteem worry that they will let people down. They often feel inadequate or unworthy.
Why Do I Hate Myself?
I hate myself”, are extremely negative, damaging, and strong words you can say to yourself. Sometimes these words come to us like an automatic thought. You are sitting having a good time with your friends, and next thing you know you are thinking of all the negative things you have done in your life.
But have you ever wondered why we start hating ourselves over the years? How did it all start? The simplest explanation can date back to your childhood. Maybe there was a negative event in your childhood that made you feel worthless.
Sometimes when your parents keep criticizing you, it becomes your reality. This means that when parents said “I hate you”, it slowly turned into “I hate myself”.
Another possible reason why you may start disliking yourself is when people around you make fun of you. When Nina was in school, if her classmates called her fat or also teased her, she may have started hating the way she looks and eventually disliking herself. What Nina also did while growing up was comparing herself to others. Because she was teased, she wanted to be like the good-looking girls.
Apart from these reasons, you may start loathing yourself if you have gone through any form of emotional or physical abuse. If as a child you have been constantly hit, beat, or neglected by your parents, you develop self-hatred.
How Does This Affect Your Life?
When you constantly tell yourself “I hate myself, “a few internal changes happen in your mind. This affects our relationship with ourselves, work, and relationship with others.
Relationship With Ourselves
First and foremost, such a strong statement directly affects your self-confidence. As your confidence drops, you find it difficult to perform any task. Before taking up any role or interacting with people, you question yourself. Not only this, but you also avoid meeting people because the past traumas bring back bad memories.
If you have been teased for your looks or weight, you may also develop eating issues and even suicidal thoughts. People also engage in self-harming behavior to deal with these constant feelings of self-hatred.
At work, you may feel worthless or incapable of performing any task given to you by your boss. Additionally, you may compare yourself to other colleagues who you feel are performing better than you at the same task. This may further add to your self-hatred. Your goals and decision-making also get affected because you are not confident about making the right decisions.
Relationship With Others
Facing people who have teased, abused, or neglected you can be very overwhelming. You may also feel unworthy of being loved in romantic relationships. When you constantly seek parental approval, you will always try to behave in way that are ‘perfect’. You may expect parents and others to accept you when you behave in this perfect way, but it may not be what you expect. As a result of this, you will feel let down by people who you care about.
How to Stop Hating Yourself?
Constantly hating yourself can be exhausting and frustrating. It can get very overwhelming if you always believe your negative thoughts. Here are some ways in which you can stop hating yourself.
Be Your Own Best Friend
Be aware of how you talk to yourself when you are stressed. Imagine if your friend spoke this way about themselves, what would you do? We all need a friend who loves us unconditionally. Why not be our own best friend? Start positive self-talk and encourage yourself as a best friend would.
When you know you have been wronged as a child, it can be very difficult to let go. But remember, the more you hold on to the pain, the more you will feel angry or irritated. For your peace of mind, it is important to sometimes take the difficult step and forgive people even if we don’t like it.
Explore Your Strengths and Weakness
First and foremost, stop comparing yourself to others. Remember you are unique and have strengths and weaknesses. Just because you have some weaknesses doesn’t mean you are unworthy or you should
Take a notepad and write down 5 good points and 5 points of improvement. Work on changing these weaknesses into strengths. To change, write down small steps you can take to achieve your self-improvement goal. Write steps that are simple and achievable.
Meet an Expert
If you have gone through a really bad childhood or experienced something difficult, meet an expert to process these emotions. A counselor will help you come to terms with these childhood issues and let go of all the negative feelings.
With their help, you can also work on improving your confidence. Alternately, you can enroll in our self-help courses – DBT for Social Anxiety and Low self-esteem. These are tailor-made to help people build more self-compassion and change their negative thoughts into positive healthy emotions.