Overcoming self-hatred: How to love yourself again

self hate
Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / Simedblack

In the case of self-hatred, the relationship to oneself is disturbed: those affected have an extremely negative self-image and feel unlovable. But self-loathing can be overcome with the right strategies.

With self-doubt Most people have something to do from time to time – for example, when they experience failure at work or in their private life and then blame themselves for it. Such doubts can hurt, but they are usually temporary.

Self-loathing is a similar phenomenon in broad terms, but is much longer lasting and more pronounced. Those affected not only occasionally quarrel with their actions or with certain characteristics, but also completely reject themselves as a person.

People who suffer from self-hatred have extremely low self-esteem, do not trust their own abilities, and feel inadequate or even repulsive. They also tend to blame themselves for everything. This does not necessarily only apply to their own decisions or behavior, but also to things and events over which they have no control.

What are the consequences of self-loathing?

Those who suffer from self-loathing are often inhibited in their actions.
Those who suffer from self-loathing are often inhibited in their actions.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / suvajit)

Self-loathing can take a toll on the psyche. It expresses itself, among other things, in persistent negative thoughtsfears, guilt and excessive self-criticism. Depending on how pronounced these signs are, there can be far-reaching consequences for everyday life. People who suffer from self-loathing are because of their lack self-confidence often inhibited in their actions. They have little confidence in themselves, are afraid of failure and therefore avoid social situations in which they could fail from the outset.

In addition, self-loathing can also lead to self-harm behavior. This danger is particularly acute when the self-loathing is related to one’s own body or appearance. Self-harm of this type can be, for example, self-inflicted injuries. Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, which are closely related to the sufferer’s body image, also belong in this category.

How do you overcome self hatred?

There are some concrete ways you can actively counteract self-loathing in everyday life. However, deep-seated self-hatred is not always easy to overcome: those affected often perceive their negative feelings towards themselves as an unchangeable part of their personality. It is correspondingly difficult for them to break away from it.

Self-loathing often goes hand in hand with other clinical pictures, for example with depressions or with dysmorphophobia, a disorder of physical self-awareness. Breaking free from self-loathing can be a lengthy process, and you may need to seek professional help.

Here’s how you can try to change your negative self-perception:

  • Accept the self hate: Of course, acceptance in this case does not mean that you should accept your self-hatred as an unchanging destiny. But it is important to first acknowledge it as a part of yourself. Only by perceiving it and consciously dealing with it can you work on it and ultimately overcome it.
  • Get to the bottom of self-loathing: To address your self-loathing, you need to understand where it comes from. Psychotherapy, for example, can help you with this. In many cases, self-loathing goes back to formative situations in the past in which you experienced rejection from other people for your behavior, your qualities or your appearance. The exact trigger can vary greatly from person to person – it is often a combination of several reasons. Incidentally, this step is not only important for understanding the origins of the problem: it can also help you to see that your self-hatred is not based on facts but on a distorted self-image.
  • concentrate focus on your strengths: Self-hatred directs the focus to the supposedly negative sides of your person and reinforces them in your perception. It can therefore be difficult to recognize the positive – it is all the more important that you try anyway. Think about what strengths you have and what successes you have already achieved in life. Ask family members or friends who you trust what they like about you. It can help to write these things down. So you can see them at a glance and more Self-esteem remind yourself when negative feelings come over you.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others: Self-loathing can increase when you compare yourself to other people. You often find your supposed mistakes and flaws even more stressful because you compare them to the positive qualities of another person and have the impression that you are doing worse. Such thoughts cannot always be avoided. However, you can counteract them by realizing that you are idealizing the other person in an unrealistic way. Realize that all people have certain flaws and “flaws” and are not perfect in every area of ​​life. Try not to focus only on individual characteristics, but perceive yourself and others as complex people with strengths and weaknesses. It can also help you avoid social media when you’re feeling particularly vulnerable to self-loathing. After all, the content there often encourages the urge to compare oneself with others. You can find out how to properly take a social media break in this article: Digital detox: 8 tips to consciously go offline.
  • You don’t have to be perfect: Self-loathing and perfectionism often go hand in hand. The combination of high standards and strong self-criticism can make life unnecessarily difficult for you. Try to be less critical of yourself and allow yourself self-compassion, if you are not feeling well. Admit your mistakes and forgive yourself for failures. You can read how to deal with a perfectionist attitude here: Perfectionism – so high demands do not become a problem.
  • Do what is good for you: You can fight negative feelings by countering them with positive feelings. Think about what you like to do and what makes you feel good. For example, do something with good friends who make you feel accepted. Treat yourself to a short vacation or a staycation. Find hobbies that give you a sense of achievement – for example creative activities such as handicrafts or painting or a sportthat you enjoy.

Last but not least, should you find that you cannot overcome your self-hatred on your own, it is not a sign of weakness or failure to seek help. A psychotherapist can not only help you to better understand the reasons behind your problems, but also develop concrete behavioral strategies with you that will help you in everyday life.

    Read more on Techzle.com:

    • Overcome fear: These strategies will help
    • Getting rid of a bad conscience: How to overcome feelings of guilt
    • Mindfulness: The difficulty of being in the here and now


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