Why Do I Hate Myself So Much?
By Danni Peck
Updated July 29, 2019
Reviewer Christy B.
Hating yourself, or self-loathing, is the feeling that you are just not as good as other people. You may feel like you are not good at one thing or another, that you are not good at anything, or that you mess everything up all the time. You may be feeling like everyone else is better than you or that you are just a stupid loser. This may be due to something that happened recently or something that someone said to you or it may just be a feeling inside that started for no reason. Whatever the cause, the emotional consequences of not liking yourself can be devastating. It is very important to get to the bottom of these self-esteem issues and identify what beliefs are creating them.
Inner Voices of the Past
What many people do not realize is that your self-esteem is usually developed in childhood, usually by five years old. The primary source of a child's self-esteem is usually directly related to interactions with and behaviors of caregivers. Children tend to think in a way that is self-centered. If you had a parent who struggled with anger or mental health issues and reacted as such in front of you, it is likely that it made you feel bad about yourself. Mommy's mad, so it must be my fault. Messages communicated to you throughout your life have also had a strong effect on your self-esteem, whether it was a good or bad effect. If you have been told all your life that you are a failure, that you are no good, and that you are never going to amount to anything, chances are pretty good that you will continue to think that way. This kind of mental abuse that starts as a child can damage your self-esteem, especially if it is from a parent or caregiver who is supposed to love you. This does not mean your parents are the cause of all your problems but your damaged psyche can continue to cause you inner turmoil for the rest of your life if you let it. Of course, nobody had the perfect childhood and not everyone ends up hating themselves as an adult. You just have to know how to deal with it.
How to Deal with It
There are online counselors you can talk to who know exactly how to help you with this problem. They have been trained in these issues and can help you or guide you elsewhere to get the help you need. Also, there are many ways you can help yourself such as talking about it, writing your feelings down, finding something that makes you happy, and you can even try aromatherapy, exercise, or meditation.
Start a Journal
Writing down your feelings always seems to help even when you do not believe that it will work. As a matter of fact, writing down how you feel and then being able to read it back to yourself can help you realize how wrong you are about yourself. Try to find a good reason for thinking that you are a loser and not as good as everyone else and write it down. In fact, write down as many reasons as you can think of. It may not be as easy as you think it will be. And when you read what you wrote, you may just realize that these reasons are wrong. It always helps to get your feelings out and seeing them written in black and white makes a big difference.
Aromatherapy, Exercise, and Meditation
There are also physical things you can do to make yourself feel better such as working out, going for a walk, relaxation techniques, or just taking a bath with some nice scented candles or incense. These may seem silly but just taking the time to do something for yourself can make a big difference in your mood.
Talking About It
Talking to someone seems to help no matter who it is you talk to. Some people have trouble talking to people they know about their personal feelings so talking to a counselor or therapist online is a good choice. Also, there are chat rooms and support groups for every issue, including self-loathing. According to a study by Berkeley Well-Being Institute, 98% of those who talked to someone online made significant progress and 94% preferred online better than face to face therapy.
Assess Your Thought Patterns
Many people do not realize that negative thinking is one of the biggest creators of, and perpetuators of poor self-esteem. Do you disqualify positives and maximize negatives about yourself? Do you make unfavorable comparisons between yourself and others? Do you have rigid expectations of yourself? If so, you are likely sending a lot of messages to yourself that are resulting in your self-esteem continuing to get worse. It is critical to identify, challenge, and replace negative self-talk.