Have you ever looked in the mirror and just got disgusted with what you saw? The feelings you have towards yourself are all negative, and at times it can even make you cry…that is know as self-hatred/loathing. Self-hatred can be a symptom of many personality disorders, including borderline personality disorder, as well as mood disorders like depression. It can also be linked to guilt for someone’s own actions that they view as wrongful.
Self-hatred encompasses continual feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and low self-esteem. People may constantly compare themselves to others, perceive only the negative and ignore the positive, and believe that they will never be “good enough.” Living with self-hatred is like living with an inner bully. The bully criticizes and judges constantly, making a person feel worthless, bad, ugly, disgusting, fat, mean, strange or like a failure. The inner bully also convinces someone that people around them view them the same way. This can lead to anxiety and the feeling of not being able to stand one’s own body or personality.It can be subtle, we may habitually compare ourselves to others, for instance, constantly finding fault with ourselves and putting ourselves down, with no real awareness that there is anything amiss. Or, we may listen intently to our critical inner voice while it scolds and berates us, telling us how embarrassing, stupid, or insensitive we are; refusing to challenge it even while we suffer from it.
WHAT MAKES A PERSON HATE THEMSELVES TO THAT DEGREE?
Self-hatred can stem from a variety of reasons:
- The pain of self-hatred can be due Abusive parenting or childhood trauma that happened earlier in life, causing the person to believe that they are worth less than others. That there is something wrong with them and that no one will love them.
- Self-hatred can also be a symptom of depression or emotionally unstable personality disorder.
- Extreme self-criticism. A little bit of constructive self-criticism can help you notice your mistakes and correct them. But once it starts making you feel bad about yourself, it’s no longer useful.
- Unrealistic expectations. If you’re constantly falling short of your expectations, it might be time to reevaluate them. “Lowering your expectations” might sound like a bad thing, but you’re not doing yourself any favors by keep your expectations impossibly high.
- Comparison. It’s easy to compare your weaknesses with everyone else’s strengths. Sure, you have flaws and have made mistakes… but so has everyone else, including the people you look up to and admire the most.
- Mistakes from the past. Maybe you’re holding a grudge against yourself for something you did a long time ago. There’s nothing you can do to change the past, but you can learn from it and move forward.
- Feeling out of place. It’s important to find a group of people who are supportive and appreciate you. This could be a support group, or an online community based on a shared interest E.T.C.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP COMBAT THESE FEELINGS OF SELF-HATRED?
Practicing self-compassion and learning how to forgive others and oneself for past mistakes, whether serious or trivial, are key approaches as well.
Seeking support from a loved one or mental health professional is also an important part of the process.
Journaling, keep a journal to reflect on your day and how you felt about what happened. Reflect on the events of the day, examine situations that may have triggered certain emotions, and be mindful of the root causes of any feelings of self-hatred. As you journal each day, look for patterns and aim to become more aware of how your emotions shift. Research shows that expressive writing such as journaling can help to reduce psychological distress.
Spend Time With Positive People. Instead of hanging out with people who make you feel bad, start hanging out with people who make you feel good. If you don’t have any positive people your everyday life, consider joining a support group.
Practice Meditation. If you find it hard to slow down and detach yourself from your negative thinking, try starting a regular meditation practice. Engaging in meditation is a way to shut off the negative voice in your head. It’s also like a muscle; the more that you practice, the easier that it will be to quiet your mind and let go of negative thoughts.
See a Therapist. If you are struggling with your mental health, you might benefit from seeing a therapist. While it’s possible to shift your mindset on your own, a therapist can help you deal with past trauma more quickly and guide you to more helpful thinking patterns. they can also determine if your self-hatred is a sign of an underlying mental disorder.