Follow These 3 Tips To Learn How Not To Hate Yourself

Updated December 28, 2022by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Want to learn how not to hate yourself? You are not alone. For one reason or another, many people think, "I hate myself" at some point in their lives. Some learn self-hatred from how they were treated as kids and others develop this hate because of specific life events.

It's unfortunate, but sometimes we can be way too hard on ourselves—we can be our own worst critic.

Why You Might Be Down On Yourself

There are many reasons you may be feeling down or negative about yourself. Insecurity is a big reason you may be feeling down on yourself. You may not feel good enough when measured against other people. Social media can exacerbate these feelings too. Looking at snapshots of good moments other people are having can make you question the things you have going on and your life doesn't seem quite as cozy by comparison.

Rejection may get you down, whether its from another person or a company you wanted to work with. It doesn't feel great to get rejected, and it's possible to think of yourself as the problem, even when you aren't the issue at all.

Environmental factors may be causing you to feel down. Your house may not be as clean as you like and may be affecting your mood.

Whatever the cause, there are things you can do to make yourself feel better about yourself. Here are three to consider:

1. Talk To A Therapist 

A therapist can help you pinpoint the origin of your self-hate and help you identify ways to manage those negative feelings towards yourself. Once you are aware of the cause and thought patterns associated with your negative self-image, you can come to terms with your past and start working towards a better future.

A Negative Self-Image Can Seriously Impact Your Mental Health

A licensed therapist, whether in-person or via an online counseling service like BetterHelp, can teach you ways to cope that may help you start to see yourself in a new, better light.

A therapist can work you through identifying your core internal beliefs. Many of these thoughts may not be conscious and may need to be unpacked. A core belief determines to what degree you feel safe, worthy, and loved. You may also examine your ability to make your own decisions and how powerful and competent you feel. A therapist may help you understand how these core beliefs coincide with your sense of belonging and how you may be treated by others.

A counselor can explore many different types of exercises such as using a journal to explore your daily thoughts. Negative thoughts can be tracked by visualizing situations or your emotional space and writing about them. You can also document times at which you've felt anxious, sad, angry, shameful, or hurt. Further, it may help to jot down notes when you've felt uncomfortable and an automatic negative thought popped up.

A thought journal can help you learn more about the situation, your feelings, and the automatic thought expressed. When exploring a situation, think of the who, what, when, and where.

2. Start A Self-Care Routine 

Another way to learn to love yourself is by building up a strong self-care routine. Too often, we focus so much on our work and other responsibilities (like school, raising kids, or taking care of other people) that we forget to recharge and take care of ourselves.

Always putting others first puts our own mental and physical health on the back burner, which can lead to burnout and other negative consequences.

Come up with a list of ways that you can take care of yourself regularly. They don't have to be anything extreme. In fact, they should be easy to implement. For example:

  • taking the time to enjoy a shower

  • getting your hair done

  • prepping healthy meals for the week

Self-care can also encompass activities that keep you happy and healthy, like:

  • weekly exercise

  • making time for a relaxing cup of coffee and reading in the morning

  • taking the time to see friends and family

Learning to prioritize self-care helps you get used to the idea that you are worth setting time aside for. These routines, if kept up, will help you start to feel better mentally and physically, and hopefully they will help you feel less hatred toward yourself.

Good self-care can begin by listing at least 10 activities you do during a typical week. Break them down into smaller chunks. Instead of saying exercising, it could be stretching. Once you have established your 10 items, ask yourself two questions:

  1. Does this activity lift my mood, give me energy, make me feel nourished, or increase my sense of being alive? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then consider this an activity that nourishes you and makes you feel whole.

  2. Does this activity diminish my mood, make me feel drained of energy, or decrease my sense of being alive? If the answer was yes to any of these questions, then that activity may be one that saps your energy and makes you feel depleted.

Keeping track of what you do during the week can change your feelings. You may not realize what is causing exhaustion without exploring it in more depth.

3. Be Kind To Yourself 

The journey towards ending your self-hate will not be an easy one, especially if you have been down on yourself for a long time. Chances are you will experience some setbacks along the way, and that is totally normal.

There are many different limited-thinking patterns that get in the way of a positive outlook. Personalization (Beck, 1976) falls in line with negative self-worth as people often compare themselves to other people. The negative mantra may come in the form of questioning your value, as in "I'm not smart enough to do that job." You may even flip the comparison in a more favorable format, as in "At least I'm smarter than them." The underlying message here is that your worth as a person is somehow diminished.

The other form of personalization is to relate everything around you to yourself. When you focus on negative comparisons, this can be never-ending, not just affecting yourself but affecting how you are as a mother, father, friend, or partner. Maybe you are having a conversation with a friend and they yawn while you talk, When you are personalizing, your first thought may be, "I must be boring; they can't even stay awake while I talk."

Challenge these automatic thoughts. For every negative thought, think of a way to combat it. For example, if you have an angry thought about yourself, find one thing you can do that you enjoy—maybe going for a walk or listening to music.

When you think in absolute terms about yourself like this, take a second to think it over because these things are almost always not true. Start to think of how you can change your thoughts to be nicer to yourself and say, "This is hard, but I'll get better with practice" or "I deserve to be happy."

The key to overcoming these setbacks and not giving up is being kind to yourself. Try to notice when you have negative thoughts about yourself that spiral out of control and counter them with positive mantras instead.

A Negative Self-Image Can Seriously Impact Your Mental Health

Let BetterHelp Help

Online therapy has been shown to be beneficial for people suffering from low self-esteem. A therapist can work with an individual to help sort out where negative feelings are coming from and work on solutions for turning those feelings around.

BetterHelp can match you with a licensed therapist, and you can meet with them on a smartphone, tablet, or computer at any time anywhere you have an internet connection. Let one of our therapists start working with you so you can start thinking more positively about yourself.

For additional help & support with your concerns

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get The Support You Need From One Of Our TherapistsGet Started