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Why Do I Hate Myself So Much? Self-Hate & What You Can Do About It

These days, we’re far too hard on ourselves, so it’s no wonder people are asking “why do I hate myself.” It’s time to learn how to turn hate into love.

why do I hate myself

Focusing on mental health is more important now than ever before. We’re living in crazy, anxiety-ridden times. This can take its toll on the way you feel about yourself, how you think, and what you experience on a daily basis. While practicing gratitude and smiling for the sake of it can be hard every single day, if you’re asking yourself, why do I hate myself, it’s time to recognize this red flag and work out what to do about it.

The world is a harsh place sometimes, it’s no surprise that we’re harder on ourselves than ever before. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems like bad news is flying at us every single day. Talking to yourself negatively can become a habit if you’re not careful and it can easily lead to self-hatred over time.

Learn how to love yourself and kick self-hatred out of the equation.

[Read: How to stop hating yourself – 20 steps to loving all of yourself]

Why does self-hatred appear?

Self-hatred can appear for a number of reasons. It often builds up over time. If you’re not sure if what you’re experiencing is actual self-hatred or whether you’re just simply feeling a little low *both of which need to be addressed*, then see if you’re experiencing any of the following:

1. Despite the fact there are positives in every day, you only ever focus on the negatives

2. Don’t speak very kindly to yourself [Read: How to master positive self-talk and banish negativity]

3. Don’t have particularly high hopes for the future

4. Assume if you don’t do so well at one thing, everything is lost

5. Believe that your thoughts are the truth, e.g., you think you’re a failure, so you believe you are and that everyone else believes it too. You can’t entertain the fact that you might be wrong

6. You don’t try new things or opportunities that come your way

At the end of the day, asking why do I hate myself comes down to low self-esteem. Working on building that up takes time and effort, but it’s never a waste of time or effort either. [Read: How to build self-confidence – 16 ways to realize you’re worth it]

Asking “why do I hate myself” and what you can do about it

By building yourself up, rather than knocking yourself down, you’ll find that life improves ten-fold. New opportunities come your way and you’re more inclined to take them, while you start to see the positives rather than the negatives every day.

Of course, self-discovery work doesn’t bring you results overnight. If you want to start improving the relationship you have with yourself, you need to commit time and effort to the cause.

Eventually, you’ll start to see results and you’ll feel happier, healthier, and more positive as a result. [Read: How to stop self-destructive behavior and change your life for good]

1. Work out what the root cause is

This is the hardest part of the journey. Asking ‘why do I hate myself’ requires plenty of deep thinking.

Where did this come from? When did these feelings start? Can you even pinpoint it, or does it seem to have been a slow progression that built up over time?

For many people, a dip in self-esteem can often snowball and self-hatred follows close behind. Spend some time really thinking carefully about when you started feeling this way and the events that led up to that.

Understanding the root cause can give you a lot of information in terms of moving forward. [Read: The steps to take to learn how to stop hating yourself]

2. Know what hating really means

When you ask yourself ‘why do I hate myself,’ do you actually understand what hate is? Why do you feel such an extremely negative emotion toward yourself?

Sometimes, we throw words around without actually stopping to think about what they mean. Here, you’re telling yourself that you feel such a harsh thing about yourself, but what have you actually done to deserve that? Probably nothing.

We all dislike certain things about ourselves sometimes, but it should never go as far as hate. Understand what you’re actually telling yourself here.

3. Understand that comparisons are toxic

We’re all individuals. If we were all the same, life would be very boring indeed. However, when you compare yourself to someone else, you’re always going to come up short if you already have self-esteem issues.

Social media doesn’t help with this. We see a filtered version of life, and it’s not at all a reflection of reality. When someone posts a picture, it’s very rarely their actual reflection and often is filtered, tweaked, and positioned so that they look their best.

If it’s a text post, it’s often emphasized and changed to make it sound far better than the situation in real life. [Read: Self-concept – What it is and why it’s crucial to your happiness]

Basically, you’re comparing yourself to a lie. In that case, you’re always going to be second best, and you’re always going to be unhappy.

4. Have a social media break

We’ve just talked about comparisons but they’re rife on social media. If you’re asking yourself ‘why do I hate myself’ then perhaps a social media detox for a while will do you some good.

If nothing else, it will force you to put down your phone and live in the real world for a while. Who knows, you might actually enjoy it and realize that you have a lot more going for you than you first thought. [Read: Here’s how to accomplish a social media detox]

5. Work out what your triggers are to ask ‘why do I hate myself’

It’s likely that you’re fine for a while and then something happens to trigger your feelings of self-hatred. What are those triggers? Is it seeing a person? Is it a specific situation? An event? A day in the year?

Identify your own personal triggers and you can work out how to best approach them. That might be avoiding them completely, minimizing your exposure to them, or facing them head-on and trying to eradicate their effects on you. You can’t begin to work on these triggers until you know exactly what they are. [Read: 11 tips to fall in love with yourself and be a better you]

6. Practice positivity and kick out negativity

Be mindful of how you speak to yourself. The fact you’re asking ‘why do I hate myself’ says that you have a negative mindset in general. [Read: How to be more positive and increase the quality of your life]

Be aware of when you’re putting yourself down and the types of things you’re saying. Then, challenge them. If you’re telling yourself that you’re stupid, stop for a second and challenge it. Why are you stupid? What proof is there?

You’ll find that when you unpick a negative thought, it loses its power. Then, replace that thought with something more positive, ‘I’m not stupid, I’m a perfect version of myself.’ The more you do this, the more you’ll notice a more positive mindset developing. [Read: How to hone and increase your positive emotions in a negative world]

7. Kick negative people out of your life

It’s possible that there is someone, maybe more than one person in your life, who makes you feel negative and down. It might be a family member, work colleague, friend, or even your partner. Identify these people and limit the amount of time you spend with them.

If you can kick them out of your life completely, even better. Instead, focus on spending time with those who lift you up and make you feel happy and light.

Self-hatred comes down to having the wrong type of circle around you. People who don’t support your positive traits and focus on pulling attention to your negative traits. [Read: Best lesson to live by – Surround yourself with positive people]

8. Give yourself a break

Nobody is perfect. Absolutely nobody. And why would you want to be?

Being perfect must be pretty boring. When we make mistakes, we learn. When we fall, we pick ourselves back up and develop strength and determination. A perfect life doesn’t include any of that.

The question of ‘why do I hate myself’ can best be answered by the type of outlook you have. Do you have perfectionistic tendencies? If so, you’re never going to be happy because it’s not possible to be perfect. Give yourself a break! Allow yourself to fail occasionally.

Laugh when you fall down rather than focusing on the embarrassment. Learn how your negative traits make you who you are, just as your positive traits do.

Being perfect must be pretty exhausting, and quite frankly, nobody has the time for it these days. [Read: I’m not good enough – How to bring yourself back up when you feel low]

9. Never be afraid to ask for the help you need

Asking ‘why do I hate myself’ is a red flag. It shows that you have a problem with negativity and self-loathing that must be solved. This isn’t a happy life and it’s not something you have to deal with.

However, sometimes it’s not possible to overcome such a burden on your own. In that case, never be afraid to reach out and ask for help. There is plenty of help out there, be it from your friends, partner, family members, or even a professional.

By being strong enough to ask for help, you’ll find that your life improves. [Read: How to get to know yourself and reveal your life’s true passions]

10. Cut down on bad news

The world around us is pretty negative at times. It’s no wonder that many of us start to feel down after seeing a constant stream of negativity thrown at us on the news or from our phones.

Just as you’re about to have a social media detox, it’s time to cut down on the amount of exposure to bad news you get from the TV.

For sure, stay up to date with important events, but don’t delve into the details too much. If there’s something you really need to know, be sure that you’ll find out. You don’t need to constantly surround yourself with negative news. [Read: 13 avoidable habits that will change your life for the worse]

11. Do some good deeds for others

When you do good deeds for other people, it has a wonderful side-effect of making you feel good about yourself. So, why not start helping other people and see how you feel afterward?

You could sign up to volunteer on a project you care about, or you could simply help someone in your family with a project they’re struggling with. It can be as small as helping an elderly person cross the road or fundraising large amounts of cash for a charity.

The point is that you’re helping others and by doing that, you’re also helping yourself. [Read: Do you understand and embody the 15 good qualities of a person?]

12. Set some goals and work toward them

Boosting your confidence will help you to avoid those ‘why do I hate myself’ thoughts. So, start setting goals and working toward them. What do you want to achieve in your life? You can either start working toward your huge life goals right now or you can choose smaller ones and tick them off your list as you go.

The point is that you’re giving yourself a direction to move in and you’re boosting your confidence with every success you have.

13. Start a gratitude journal

Learning to be more grateful for what you have may be all you need to cut down on your negative thinking. Every night before you sleep, write down 2-3 things you’re grateful for from that particular day, either in a book or on your phone. It doesn’t have to be huge – it can be the delicious dinner you enjoyed or the coffee you had with a friend.

The point is that you’re starting to see the world around you and your place in it. You’re shifting your focus away from not seeing the good things, to really appreciating them instead. [Read: How to be grateful – 20 authentic ways to appreciate and express it]

14. Write down things you love about yourself

The fact you’re asking ‘why do I hate myself’ says that there aren’t many things you love about yourself right now – but that’s about to change!

As you write in your gratitude diary, you also need to write down two things you love about yourself. It won’t be easy at first but you’ll notice that it does become easier the more you do it. It can be something about how you look, but try and dig a little deeper and think about your personality, your values, and what you offer the world.

Add to your list every day and then once a month, sit down and read it back. That’ll boost your confidence! [Read: Sense of self – 26 steps to raise it and feel like a million bucks]

You don’t have to live with such negative thoughts

While it’s normal for people to have negative thoughts about themselves occasionally, if they persist and they make you feel depressed, it’s time to seek out help. Earlier we talked about the fact that you should seek help if you need to, but it could be that you need to go further and talk to a professional about your problems.

If that’s the case, do it. There is nothing braver than saying “help me.” They are the bravest two words you can utter.

Once you do that, you access the help you need and you can start to make positive changes to your life. Sometimes, there is an issue far deeper than we can unearth ourselves and we need a little assistance to find it, unpack it, and work through it.

[Read: The signs of self-loathing and the damage it can create in your life]

If you find yourself regularly asking why do I hate myself, take stock of your life and work out the root cause. Nobody is perfect. Nobody needs to be.

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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