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Self-hatred: what is it and how to overcome this problem

Many people reject their own way of being and behaving without being aware of it on some occasions, so they have some high levels of self-criticism, they value themselves quite little and it may even be the case that they cannot bear to hear their own voice in 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 could lead to towards herself so that it might seem that nothing she 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 is self-hatred and how it could affect our mental health.

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What is self-loathing?

Self-hatred is related to a psychological dynamic in which a person has integrated and reinforced a series of feelings related to a negative view of oneself

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, so that this will prevent him from being able to see and value all the positive traits he has and about all his potential.

In addition, self-loathing encompasses a series of ongoing 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 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 what makes her unique and potentially has the ability to cultivate self-love and what she needs is to develop the necessary tools to 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 (p. g., having suffered some trauma or having been a victim of bullying at school), which have made that person think that she is worth less than others or that she considers that there is something wrong with her and that she is not worthy of affection.

what is self loathing

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 disorder of personality, avoidant personality disorder or some eating behavior disorders (EDs), 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'm trying, if I'm not going to do well”, “I'm a loser”, “I've 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 lifeso if you can't find a way to challenge and reframe those negative thoughts, as well as get in touch practice a more positive and optimistic type of inner talk, it is likely that the associated problems and mental health get worse If necessary, it would be best to seek professional help.

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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 mental health and different areas of life of those who suffer. Some of these signals are the ones that we are going to briefly present below.

1. Excessive self-criticism

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 are extremely sorry and often have difficulty 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.

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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. Thus, they will not be able to stop despising themselves even on days or times when things are going well or better than usual.

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3. Have dichotomous thinking

Dichotomous thinking, also known as "all or nothing" thinking, is a way of thinking through which they see everything around them from the extremes, so they never notice that there may be a middle ground and so 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, criticism is often taken personally, since they do not have the ability to fit them 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.

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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, seeking 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 problem is. origin and thus know what could have caused all those negative feelings that have been directed towards one same. An exercise that could help is to write a diary where it is a question of writing down each day what has been done 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 managed to identify the triggers of those negative thoughts, you can start working on finding ways to avoid them or at least minimize them as much as possible possible. In those cases in which these triggers cannot be avoided, for whatever reason, they can look for tools that can help minimize the discomfort and thus tolerate that type 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 might be useful to write down a list of the positive things that one owns, 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. g., 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 has been prepared, it must be placed in a place where it is visible so that it can be read. every day and can be called upon whenever thoughts related to that day arise. self-loathing In those moments you have to stop, try to calm down by taking a series of deep breaths and then it's time to recite out loud that list of positive things about yourself same. It could also be useful to have that list written down on your mobile so that you can refer to it at all times.

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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 that case you should challenge those kinds of thoughts.

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 guilty of spoiling that date", or any style, one would have to resort to thoughts that challenge those conclusions that have been drawn hastily and without basis. Then you have to say to yourself “all those reasons that I have given are really not true” and then You have to reason the reasons 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 truth behind all those self-deprecating thoughts and reason what are the reasons why what one thinks of being negative towards oneself is real same. 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. Anyways, it is important to seek help when you are going through a bad time and you cannot find a way to get ahead, since a professional can help deal with that self-loathing and all those associated negative thoughts and feelings that cause so much discomfort.
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