Self-hatred: what is it and how to overcome this problem
Let's see what self-hatred is, how it damages mental health, and what to do about it.
Many people reject their own way of being and behaving without being aware of it on some occasions, so they have high levels of self-criticism, they value themselves quite little and it may even be the case that they cannot stand listening to their own voice on recordings. These symptoms and some more could be behind a problematic psychological condition.
Self-hatred, or self-hatred, is a form of extreme criticism that a person may carry out towards himself in such a way that it may seem that nothing he does or says is succinctly good or appropriate. For all these reasons, that person would think that she is not unworthy or that she is not worthy of the good things that life could offer her.
In this article we will see what self-hatred is and how it could affect our mental health.
What is self-loathing?
Self - loathing is related to a psychological dynamic in which a person has integrated and reinforced a series of feelings related to a negative view of himself , in such a way that this will prevent him from being able to see and value all the positive traits he has and about of its full potential.
In addition, self-hatred encompasses a series of continuous feelings related to guilt and inadequacy in relation to everything one does , so it can cause people to constantly compare themselves with others, perceiving only the negative and ignoring it. The positive. Therefore, they will believe that they will never be good enough, while the reality is far from this since each person has a value that makes them unique and potentially has the ability to cultivate self-esteem and what they need is to develop the necessary tools for it.
It could even be said that self-loathing could arise from low self-esteem, which can come from various factors and situations. It could start from events that occurred during childhood or adolescence (for example, having suffered some trauma or having been a victim of bullying at school), which have made that person think that they are worth less than others or that they believe that there is something wrong with her and that she is not worth loving.
On the other hand, self-hatred is also linked to various mental health problems such as depression or other mood disorders , some addictions, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, borderline personality, avoidant personality disorder or some eating behavior disorders (ED), among others. In most cases, self-loathing is associated with low levels of self-esteem.
Some of the most common thoughts that people tend to have when they despise themselves can be the following: "I knew I was going to fail", "I don't know why I try, if I'm not going to do well", "I'm a loser”, “I have done everything wrong”, etc.
These examples of thoughts and others like them are quite common when a person suffers from self-hatred, being quite invalidating in various facets of his life, so if he does not find a way to challenge and rethink those negative thoughts, while putting into practice a more positive and upbeat type of self-talk, the associated problems and mental health are likely to worsen. If necessary, it would be best to seek professional help.
Main signs of self-hatred
When a person despises himself, there are a series of signs and behaviors that could help us detect a problem that so considerably affects the mental health and different areas of life of those who suffer from it. Some of these signals are the ones that we are going to briefly present below.
1. Excessive criticism of oneself
One of the clearest signs that can be observed in cases of self-hatred is excessive self-criticism. When these people make a mistake, no matter how small, they regret it enormously and often have a hard time forgiving themselves for it . For this reason, it is common for them to curse out loud when it has happened or for a series of negative thoughts directed towards themselves to come to mind. It is also likely that they will comment on several occasions about their regrets for past mistakes, things they did wrong or opportunities they missed.
2. See only the negative side
In these types of cases, they often always focus on the negative of things, even when they have had a good day or have done things well. Despite this, they will find something negative or that has not gone perfectly to be able to regret it. In this way, they will not be able to stop despising themselves even on the days or times when things are going well or better than usual .
3. Have dichotomous thinking
Dichotomous thinking, also known as "all or nothing" thinking, is a way of thinking through which you see everything around you from the extremes, so that you never notice that there may be a middle ground and In this way, if they make a mistake, they tend to think that everything has gone wrong and they have failed.
4. Trying to fit in with other people and taking criticism very hard
It is quite common that they are continually trying to fit in with other people or groups and see it as a great failure when they do not succeed or things do not go as expected. In addition, they tend to take criticism personally since they do not have the capacity to fit it in properly .
On the other hand, they don't usually accept compliments either and tend to have a rather negative outlook on life. All this makes it even more difficult for their relationships with other people to be as successful as they would like.
Tips to combat self-loathing
To combat self-hatred there are some exercises that a person can put into practice without the help of anyone to start changing those associated negative thoughts and feelings. Next, we are going to briefly explain some of them that are quite simple to put into practice. It should be noted that, if necessary, seek help from a mental health professional .
1. Pay attention to triggers of self-loathing
When trying to combat self-hatred, it would be advisable to start by looking for its root in order to know what the origin is and thus know what could have caused all those negative feelings that have been directed towards oneself. An exercise that could help you do this is to write a diary where you try to write down what you have done each day and the feelings and thoughts associated with each activity. This way we could begin to detect the possible triggers of these negative feelings and thoughts.
Once you have identified the triggers for those negative thoughts, you can start working on finding ways to avoid them or at least minimize them as much as possible. In those cases in which these triggers cannot be avoided, for whatever reason, tools can be sought that can help minimize discomfort and thus tolerate these types of situations.
2. Practice positive self-talk
Because of self-hatred, it is common for the internal dialogue to be quite negative throughout the day so that there will come times when there is no compassion towards oneself. Given this, it could be useful to write down a list of the positive things that one possesses, taking advantage of those moments of the day or times when one feels better .
If it's hard at first, don't worry, this takes time. You can start with things you don't hate about yourself (eg, how well you cook your favorite dish, how well you take care of your pet, etc.). Anything that comes to mind that is positive or at least not considered to be negative is fine.
Once this list is made, it should be placed in a place where it is visible so that it can be read every day and can be used when thoughts related to that self-hatred appear. In those moments you have to stop, try to calm down by taking a series of deep breaths, and then it is time to recite out loud that list of positive things about yourself. It could also be useful to have that list written down on your mobile so that you can refer to it at all times.
3. Challenge and reframe your own negative thoughts related to that self-loathing
In those moments in which it is difficult to avoid self-deprecating thoughts, you can try to have a conversation with yourself, and in this case those types of thoughts should be challenged .
To give a brief example, when thoughts like “I hate myself” come to mind, it might help to ask yourself the “why” of that thought. If the answer is something like "because those clothes look bad on me" or "because he was the culprit of spoiling that date", or any of those, one would have to resort to thoughts that challenge those conclusions that have been hastily and unfounded. . Then you have to say to yourself “all those reasons that I have given are really not true” and then you have to reason why those thoughts are not real .
This is just a simple example and what it is intended to do is explain that the idea of this type of exercise is to find out what is really behind all those self-deprecating thoughts and reason about the reasons why it is real what one thinks of being negative towards oneself. This can help shift negative thoughts into a different perspective that is more realistic and positive.
4. Seek professional help
Finally, it is worth mentioning that we are not alone and, therefore, we should never be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. We can start by seeking support from someone close and trusted, and then seek help from a mental health professional or opt directly for professional support. In any of the cases, it is important to seek help when you are going through a bad time and you do not find a way to get ahead, since a professional will be able to help you manage that self-loathing and all those associated negative thoughts and feelings that cause so much. discomfort.