- Self loathing is an extreme form of self-criticism and disgust shown to oneself.
- It simply means hating and disliking oneself.
- Feelings of inadequacy and not being good enough is core to self-loathing.
- It involves thoughts of self hatred where one may feel unworthy and not deserving of anything good in life.
- Self loathing is caused due to trauma and false expectations.
- Feelings of perfectionism and social comparisons can also trigger feelings of self-hatred.
- This condition can be controlled by developing self-compassion and stopping expecting too much from oneself.
Do you often feel stuck in your spiral of negative thoughts? Does your critical inner voice keep talking badly about you? Do you tend to find faults in whatever you do?
Are you aware that you have developed an aversion and dislike for yourself? If all these sound good, you should rest assured that you are suffering from self loathing.
This is a tendency where the person suffers from low self-esteem. Feelings of inadequacy and inferiority may surface and make them dislike who they are.
Sometimes feelings of extreme anger and hatred for oneself may start to erode the innermost parts of you. You are constantly comparing yourself with others.
As if a shadow is following and chasing you constantly and you’re unable to help yourself.
Continue reading to learn the signs of self-loathing and how to break free from the spiral of negative beliefs and feelings of worthlessness.
Self Loathing Infographics
Self Loathing – Meaning
Simply speaking, self loathing means dislike and hatred of oneself. It involves intense feelings of not being good enough. You may feel like you’re lacking from within. Self loathing also means you have a negative belief of being imperfect and flawed in some way.
According to the Cambridge dictionary, Self loathing means a ‘strong dislike for oneself.’ Self loathing brings a cycle of constant criticism and feelings of failure. You will subtly accept yourself as an inferior being.
Sometimes your life feels like a hell full of misery, agony, and anguish. You sulk and yell at yourself because you believe that you’re deficient.
There is a constant inner critic chasing you and telling you that you’re imperfect, not good enough. The negative feelings in you pop up to tell you that you’re pathetic and ugly.
There is nothing good left in you and thus you deserve a life of pain and suffering. Self loathing stems from an underlying feeling of insecurity. You may feel like a failure in life.
You are busy criticizing yourself and finding faults in everything you do. There is no happiness in you. Only self-blame, self-pity, and criticism reside in you.
No matter what you do, you feel like no one. An inner voice tells you that you’re worthless, inferior, inept, unwanted, broken, and good for nothing.
Self loathing stems from feelings of extreme inadequacy. You may feel like you’re not good at anything. Feeling completely useless and not able to accomplish goals will become a regular pattern for you.
Sometimes the hatred and negative feelings don’t allow you to see the innate goodness lying in you. You do not have any qualities to prove yourself as a worthy being.
The psychology behind self loathing
When you start hating yourself, you’ll have negative feelings of guilt and imperfection. Maybe shameful feelings will arise if someone else also points out your flaws in some way.
Self loathing leads to poor self-esteem. There is a tendency to compare yourself with others. People who hate themselves are prone to suffer from insecurity. They may focus only on the negatives in life. They may also avoid or don’t see the positives at all.
These people may believe that they can never be worthy of love and respect. A vicious cycle of negative beliefs about oneself leads to dislike and disgust.
People who suffer from self loathing tend to magnify their faults. They are never happy with their achievements.
Slowly, they put weight on what’s lacking in them. This fuels feeling of guilt and shame. Feelings of self-love and compassion are missed out completely.
The person starts believing that they are inadequate and worthless. They develop a false narrative about themselves and start believing it fully.
It is difficult to break the chain of self loathing because it is complex and tangled with fear, worries, insecurities, and grief.
If you are not kind towards yourself, you will criticize yourself more than anyone else. You will always listen to the inner critic and believe in its sayings.
Self-loathing may dominate your thoughts and feelings when doubt and criticism take over your mental processes.
You will seem to focus on the shortcomings and ignore everything that is good and worthy.
Warning Signs of self-loathing that you need to know
All of us have experienced self-doubt at some point in our daily life. There are so many things that we do not like about ourselves.
Sometimes, being aware of your shortcomings can also help you develop yourself for a better living.
But if it becomes habitual and starts to erode your sense of self-esteem, you really need to understand and be aware of the underlying emotional processes.
People who experience self loathing often experience them quite frequently.
Thus, the frequency of negative thoughts and self-hatred tendencies do matter a lot in understanding this complex psychological process.
If you find that negative thoughts and feelings of hatred are overpowering you, it’s time to look for some warning signs that something is not going right deep within you.
- Irrational thoughts of not being good enough.
- You are unable to take yourself out of your negative thinking.
- Inability to reach life goals and function optimally.
- Poor self-esteem
- Needs constant assurance and validation from others.
- You always feel gloomy as if a dark side is always attached to your thoughts.
- You lack self-compassion.
- There is constant self-doubt.
- There is always an all and nothing feeling in whatever you do.
- Self-loathing leads to depression and feelings of worthlessness.
- You will never be able to accept compliments with an open heart.
- You will remain overburdened by criticism.
- People feel that their self-hating thoughts are continuous and never stop.
- Your inner critic is watching you all the time.
Some self loathing statements
Self loathing may feel like someone who is watching you, following you day and night. Your critical and negative self-talk keeps you in check all the time.
You are judged, criticized, and chided for little mistakes.
At times, your inner voice makes remarks to point out flaws that are absolutely negligible. Your feelings of self loathing may sound like this –
- “Why do you try doing new things, you’ll always fail.”
- “You’re a lesser person. Can never keep pace with others.”
- “I know you can never be successful, no matter what you do.”
- “No one loves you. You don’t deserve it.”
- “You’re not worthy of love and kindness, you deserve to be punished.”
- “Can you make peace with yourself and accept that you’re flawed.”
- “You’ll always let others down.”
- “Others can never trust you because you always mess up things.”
20 Self loathing symptoms that you need to know (a detailed analysis)
Self loathing feels extremely painful for the person who suffers from it. The wounds and hurts may not be seen from the outside. But it’s real and should never be ignored.
Self loathing is damaging because it stops you from seeing the bright side of life. You will always feel like a failure.
There is no Midas touch in you. Whatever you do turns out to be bad and poor.
Even when you have achieved something, you’ll doubt yourself, as if everything that happened was just luck by chance.
When you keep your focus and attention only on the negatives, be sure that you are suffering from self-hatred.
If you feel worthless, inadequate, imperfect, and grossly flawed every day, be sure that you are not feeling anything normal.
After knowing the signs of self loathing, you must be interested to know the symptoms of this mental health condition in detail.
1. Comparison with others happen always
Self loathing makes you compare yourself with others. The frequency of this comparison is much higher than normal.
The purpose of the comparison is not to develop your shortcomings and turn them into positive assets.
You’re comparing yourself with others because you are feeling imperfect and inadequate from within. Your deep-seated insecurities and self-doubt is stopping you from realizing your true worth.
You will focus only on the bad days. There is a tendency to highlight and magnify the wrongdoings, even if they’re perfectly right in reality.
You have fully perceived yourself as a worthless person. Self loathing leads to a lack of self-love.
You’re always busy putting your focus on the negative aspects and downsides. Thus, comparison with others can feed more self loathing.
2. You feel like a loser
We all go through moments of self-doubt and pity. But, if the frequency of this feeling is quite frequent, you need to understand that it’s not normal at all.
People who tend to self loathe feel like a victim. They may blame themselves for anything and everything going wrong in their life.
When something is not working out smoothly, you feel like a victim. As if a part of ‘you’ has gone inside gloom and self-pity. The immediate reaction is feeling insufficient and unworthy.
You may feel that all bad things are meant for you. There is no happiness and hope around you. The feeling of being a loser also means that life is against you and there is no control over it.
3. You have a negative outlook towards life
Self loathing leads to a mental state where you will hardly sound positive. Pessimism has become a habit now. It is difficult to self-love and self-validate yourself if you tend to focus only on the negatives in life.
Sometimes, this can limit your ability to achieve the life goals that you must have set for yourself.
4. You’ll apologize a lot
When you hate yourself a lot, you may find yourself saying ‘sorry’ for no obvious reason. You are guilt-prone and feel shameful for something that is not wrong at all.
Being sorry for something that you have not done is completely unacceptable. It slowly poisons your mind and puts you in a spiral of self-blame and criticism.
The weaker you will become from within, the feeling bad will become a continuous process. It’s going to be an uphill task to appreciate who you are.
Self loathing can make you apologize even for minor things that are negligible. It will further reduce your worth in your own eyes and makes you appear insecure in front of others.
5. You take the onus of others’ feelings
If someone else is not in their best mood, you might think it’s because of you. It could be someone close to you such as your partner, or best friend.
In such a situation, you might go on asking them what’s wrong and why they are not behaving in the usual ways.
The reality could be their personal reasons associated with the bad mood, but you assume that it’s because of you.
You need to stop taking the onus on others’ feelings. Your behavior and attitude may not be the only cause behind their moody wiped-out sulkiness.
6. Sabotaging your relationships
Self loathing never allows you to build quality and loving human connections. If you cannot love and respect yourself, you’ll never be able to shower affection on others.
You are always needy and frustrated. Thus, radiating love and compassion to others may become a difficult job for you.
Maybe you met a good friend or just started meeting someone, but your vulnerable nature stopped you from nourishing the relationships. Ultimately, the relationship could get ruined forever.
You tend to feel like a lesser person and compare yourself with others. This comparison never allows you to feel happy with whatever you have.
Thus, you decide to end relationships because you are afraid of others knowing your real nature. Maybe you don’t want others to get close to you.
7. Harsh self-talk
You will always speak badly about yourself. Lines like “I’m a loser”, “I’m not like others”, “I don’t like anything about me”, “What’s the point in trying again, I’m going to fail all over again”
Negative self-talk reinforces self loathing tendencies because you will become a prisoner of your emotions.
Your inner dialogue is self-limiting. It doesn’t allow you to appreciate yourself, rather stops you from realizing your aims.
Harsh self-talk decreases your ability to bring positive changes. You have forgotten a kinder way to treat yourself. Ultimately, you are robbed of inner peace and happiness.
8. Your silent acceptance
People who go through self loathing tendencies may have accepted their plight somehow. Most of the time, they prefer to stay quiet and suffer silently.
They may just lie back, accept their negative thoughts, start believing untrue things about themselves, but not do anything about it.
Self loathing is a limiting journey. It lowers your ability to see the positive qualities that you already have. Maybe you have never tried to delve deeper to find the hidden treasures in you.
You’re a worthy being and can shine in your own light. But your hatred stopped you from loving yourself. You have become unkind towards yourself.
You may complain bitterly that you are not feeling good but will react passively when someone else tries to help you.
Self loathing can make you cry at heart but you refuse to let it go. You have accepted and imbibed the bad feelings as a part of ‘you’.
9. You have always set a low expectation bar for yourself
Self loathing has always crippled you from within. You have a poor self-image and thus always feel lesser than others.
You tend to set a low bar for yourself because you do not expect anything good from yourself.
Your self-limiting beliefs and negative attitudes have always stopped you from realizing your true potential. You think you are incapable of doing anything big, thus setting low expectations can actually save you from further hurt.
But in reality, you are doing more damage to yourself. By setting a low expectation level, you’re actually telling yourself that you are worthless.
10. You seek opinions from others
Since you are not confident about your ideas and talents, you tend to seek opinions and approval from others. You always ask others whether you’re right.
Your opinion never feels enough. There is a constant need to get permission for what you do. You’re insecure and anxious about your opinions. You doubt yourself in the wrong ways.
Keep in mind that your opinions are equally important and worthy. You actually do not need to ask others about the way things need to be done.
Your views are just enough. Rely on them and build up your broken self-esteem.
11. You cannot accept compliments easily
A sure sign of self loathing is your inability to accept compliments gleefully. You feel they do not mean what they say. This means that you also doubt the intentions of others.
Most of the time, you will reply back with humor or ridicule, or simply appear awkward. Your self-esteem has broken down to such an extent that you are filled with doubt and apprehensions.
As if you have forgotten to look into the goodness that others around you still have in abundance.
12. You’re withdrawn
Self loathing can lead to social isolation. You may not like meeting people or going to parties or social gatherings.
This mainly happens because you feel you’re flawed and imperfect in any way. Others are inviting you out of pity and sympathy.
You feel lonely deep within you because you are a captive of your mind. It doesn’t allow you to think in positive ways and appreciate the love and respect of others.
At times, the feeling of loneliness is intended to be a substitute for self-loathing.
Since you’re not happy being you, there is a tendency to withdraw into a shell so that you need not face your harsh inner critic.
13. You are fearful of love and affection
When you hate yourself, you might develop an incorrect mindset that no one else can love you as you are. Maybe there are so many people around you who love you and accept you as you are.
This may stop you from relating openly with others. You will always be doubtful of whether you can continue with someone in a relationship.
Just because you are scared of showing your true feelings to others, you will keep yourself away from social interactions.
You are tied in false beliefs and limiting ideas about yourself. Your feelings of imperfection and inadequacies make you all alone from within.
14. A sense of defeat works strongly
Your continuous mind chatting and negative self-talk brings a sense of failure and defeat. It prevents you from developing a positive mindset. You are not happy being ‘you’.
You have lost interest in everything as if given up on hope, happiness, and mental wellbeing.
15. You’re scared of trying out new things
You have already accepted yourself as a failure. Thus, you’re no longer interested in trying out new things. You may feel that whatever you do, you will always fail in your endeavors.
Sometimes, you may seem to lose all hope of doing things because you assume that it will go wrong and nothing will work out according to the plans.
16. You feel jealous of others
This one is a sure shot sign of self loathing. Jealousy stems from comparisons. You are busy comparing yourself with others.
You may constantly focus on your thoughts about how others are better than you.
Even if you’ve achieved something, you may start comparing your performance with others. This leads to self-hatred that is hard to forgo.
By doing all these, you pull yourself down into pessimism and nothingness. You feel lesser than others. This leads to more jealousy.
17. You may show up signs of unhealthy addictions
People who suffer from self loathing tendencies are found to depend on unhealthy addictions.
Since it is hard for you to accept yourself as worthless and useless, you may try to forget the pain by getting addicted to harmful drugs, or alcohol abuse.
You use these substances to get some momentary relief out of the emotional pain and depression. Sometimes you may try to hide your feelings of shame and loss of face.
18. Your focus is always on what went wrong
Self loathing makes you a depressed being. You will always have your focus on the negative things in life. Getting busy with what’s wrong has become a habit for you.
We all make mistakes, big and small. But you never forgive yourself even for the minor mistakes that you may have made.
You need to accept your mistakes and correct them. There is a need to understand that you are a human being.
You cannot be right all the time. There will be moments of rights and wrongs but that doesn’t make you a lesser being.
You are equally competent and able like others when it comes to sound decision-making. Just break free from the false beliefs that you’re still holding onto.
It’s pushing you further on the edge, doing more harm than any good.
19. Self-blaming is evident
Every day you are fighting an endless inner battle. Your shame and guilt feelings have forced you to blame yourself for every small thing going wrong in life.
Your fault-finding habit keeps you away from happiness.
The focus is only on things that are lacking. You blame yourself for being a disgusting and worthless being that is of no use to ‘self’ and others.
20. Your inner critic is watching you
Your critical inner voice is following you. It never allows you peace of mind and happiness. Self-criticism makes you feel not an important being.
It judges and demeans you, makes you fall in your own eyes.
Sometimes, it may attack you saying that you’re bad, incompetent, deficient, and flawed. There is nothing good in you.
This inner critic makes you hate yourself. It produces feelings of guilt and sorrow. Your confidence is completely undermined.
What causes self-hatred or self loathing?
Self loathing is caused by many intertwined factors. It slowly takes shape into complete depression and deep-rooted agony. Probably the major ones are the need to be perfect, false expectations from oneself. Sometimes, it can stem from emotional abuse, neglect from others, and social comparisons.
Self-loathing is an extreme hatred and criticism directed towards oneself. It makes you feel broken and smashed from within. It may feel like whatever you do is less than others. You’re never enough.
The root of self loathing is discussed below for your understanding of the complex psychological dynamics underlying this pathological condition.
Past trauma and emotional abuse are one of the major causes of self loathing. People who had experienced a disturbed family life where parents were non-caring are more prone to self-hate themselves.
Research studies on emotional neglect have shown a high correlation with self loathing.
When children experience trauma, they start viewing the world as unsafe and hostile. They develop mistrust for all those abusive people around them.
If parents are critical and too strict, the child feels unloved. They may feel that they are of no value. They develop a wrong narrative of being inadequate and faulty.
Moreover, emotionally unavailable parents who reject their child can make the child feel lonely. They become isolated and withdrawn in their growing up years.
Sometimes, they stay with a false belief that they are lesser and do not deserve love and affection from others.
This feeling is directed towards self. Thus, no self-love paves the way for further self-hatred.
It becomes difficult to develop a positive self-image because they have always been insulted and let down by some adult in the house.
Kids were forced to believe that they are worthless and cannot do anything. In an effort to develop their self-image they may compare themselves with others.
Whenever they fell short of standards, they sowed extreme hatred for themselves.
Trauma and neglect from parents, teachers, and close relatives can undermine the self-esteem of the child. Self loathing will become a part of their inner ‘self’.
False expectations from oneself
There is nothing wrong with asking for something more from oneself. You can always want to feel accepted by others.
However, if you set the bar too high and cannot achieve what you have wished for, you may feel imperfect and flawed.
Your overachieving mindset may make you believe that you have failed. If you expect too much from yourself, you may feel down if you cannot make it.
Sometimes, your inner critic pops up to remind you how poorly you performed, or what a worthless person you have been.
This increases the dislike and you will fall into the darkness of self loathing. Even if you know that the expectations were unrealistic, you may not be able to accept the fact.
Your inner critic prompts statements of self hatred and dislike. It keeps telling you that you have failed and you’re a lesser person by all means.
People who self-loathe often display people-pleasing behaviors. They try to please others with the hope of getting attention and social recognition.
Their weak nature prompts them to seek outside validation. They want others to tell them that they are productive and good enough.
You may feel hurt if you cannot meet the expectations of others. Fear of being unloved and not accepted by others may increase your people-pleasing tendencies.
Sometimes, you may feel like a failure. Whenever you fall short of fulfilling the expectations, you may feel that you’re flawed in some way.
You are wrong and imperfect, thus do not deserve the love of others.
Feelings of worthlessness make you less valued in your own eyes. Self loathing clouds the mental processes slowly and you’re a broken person who is weak and submissive from all ends.
You may try hard to become a perfect person with the hope of being loved and accepted by others.
In an attempt to do so, you will not leave room for making mistakes. You expect perfect things to be done always in all circumstances but in reality, this sounds impossible.
It is worthy to point out that perfectionism stems from feelings of inadequacy.
Whenever you feel that you fall short of standards, you may feel imperfect. Imperfection brings emotional pain and suffering.
You wish to feel worthy and avoid the pain. Feelings of shame, embarrassment, and disconnection from others always force you to become a perfect person.
Thus, making mistakes and limitations is never acceptable. If you make an error, you start abusing and criticizing yourself for being flawed.
The result is, self loathing and endless feelings of ridicule, shame, guilt, and embarrassment for oneself.
Comparison with others
People who experience self-hatred tends to compare themselves with others. They always feel that others are much better than them.
There is a tendency to give value to those who are performing better than them in all respects. This tendency undermines their self-worth.
Feelings of being useless start to get inside and self-blaming may occur. De-valuing oneself for not as per society standards leads to self loathing and emotional abuse.
Self loathing occurs due to excessive criticism of oneself. Your inner critic keeps on finding faults in whatever you do. You believe in these sayings and start developing a self-image that is inferior and broken.
Your self-image is poor and you will have trouble accepting the way you are. You may feel that you are a good-for-nothing person. Certainly, this is not the case.
It’s just a false narrative that you have set for yourself. Self-criticism led to feelings of inefficiency. You just feel like a mediocre person with no good qualities.
If these negative attitudes and killing feelings persist for a long time, you may start to self loathe yourself. There will be a complete denial of who you are.
Self loathing and narcissism – an association
Narcissists may appear happy, outgoing, charming but deep down they are filled with doubt and insecurity. They are never happy about their self-image and social identity. This leads to self-loathing that was always present yet never surfaced externally.
There is a misconception that narcissists are filled with self-love. Since these people possess an inflated sense of self, they are filled with pride and charm.
They always appear obsessed with themselves, get busy in displaying a positive self-image that is selfish, and remain busy with themselves and one’s own business.
In reality, deep within they are unhappy souls who are busy with self-blaming and self loathing tendencies.
Ramani Durvasula, professor at California State University commented “Narcissism has never been about self-love – it is entirely about self loathing.”
She further added that narcissists use their inflated sense of self and feelings of grandiose to hide their feelings of shame and emotional suffering.
Narcissists try to regulate their self-image by showing off that they are the best. Their feelings of extreme insecurity and lack of empathy towards others stem from inadequacy and self hatred.
The inner working of self loathing in vulnerable narcissists
Research findings have shown that narcissists suffer from threatened ego and they wish to cover their feelings of inadequacy by showing off.
They remain preoccupied with themselves to reduce their feelings of self loathing. Deep inside the broken parts of the ego shouts out to feel secure and worthy.
Self loathing tendencies are predominant in vulnerable narcissists.
They crave attention from others because they do not like themselves, rather hate being who they are. Most of them have low self-esteem. They want affirmations from others to feel good about themselves.
Most narcissists are emotionally needy and cannot live with external validation. Being filled with doubt, they may feel useless and worthless at times.
In an effort to hide this self hatred feeling, they use others to fulfill their objectives, thus becoming manipulative towards others.
Research studies also suggest that insecure narcissists do not want power but they seek affirmation and approval from others to collect the broken pieces of self-esteem.
They suffer from a constant feeling of worthlessness and never show self-love. It is actually self-loathing that prompts them to improve their self-image and safeguard their public image from harm and abuse.
To summarize, narcissism is directly related to self loathing. They constantly seek attention and recognition just to cover up their feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.
Sometimes, their self-centered mindset and self-obsession stem from feelings of nothingness and pessimism. Maybe a big void inside them craves love, care, emotional support, and empathy.
As Pascal Wallisch, clinical associate and professor at New York University rightly pointed out, “Narcissists do not feel good about themselves at all.”
Self loathing and depression – an association
Self loathing and depression goes hand in hand. They are interconnected and walk side by side with each other. With self loathing comes persistent grief, pessimism, and poor self-esteem. Contrary to this, if someone is depressed, self-hatred takes a bad shape. It is because the person blames oneself for everything going wrong in life.
If you are frequently feeling “I hate myself”, “I dislike being me”; it’s time to think about other mental illnesses taking a toll on you.
Self loathing worsens depression because these two conditions are closely connected to each other. For most of us the occasional feelings of self loathing are fleeting and get better with time.
However, for a few of them out there, self loathing becomes a toxic habit. It is an internal enemy that judges, abuses, and puts the person in deep gloom and sadness.
When self loathing becomes a pervasive pattern of self abuse, it may be difficult to demarcate the line between this condition and clinical depression.
The two conditions get blurred and seem like one. When a person suffers from bouts of guilt and severe shame, they may signal towards depression.
The feelings of pessimism and worthlessness overpower their emotions. They may be consumed by negative thoughts from all ends as if there is no hope anywhere.
Research studies have shown that depressed individuals have self loathe throughout their lives. There were feelings of inadequacy and they have blamed themselves for even the small wrong happenings in life.
These people had extreme anxiety about their body image. They always felt lesser than others around them.
Being guilty of their actions, they preferred to stay aloof from others. Thus, the self loathing tendencies overlapped with the signs of clinical depression.
A person who self loathe tends to put themselves down, but may not have suicidal tendencies. But, if clinical depression gets bad, it brings excessive guilt and self-hatred and the person may even think of ending their life.
Depression can disturb a person’s ability to function normally. It also leads to suicidal thoughts and attempts that can be highly disturbing.
It is important to note that self loathing and clinical depression are not the same. Self loathing is not a mental disorder. For some people, this can be an occasional thing also and gets better with treatment. However, clinical depression is a diagnosable mental health illness. It requires treatment.
Self loathing and personal relationships
In relationships, self loathing can bring fear and insecurity. The relationship may appear too nagging without a healthy boundary. Moreover, conflicting ideas, emotional dependency, lack of trust, people-pleasing tendencies can become a regular thing in the relationship.
Do you think that your self-loathing tendencies are actually getting into and harming personal relationships? Are you happy with your partner or feel lesser all the time?
If you think that self loathing is interfering with your daily dose of happiness or marital bliss, you need to take a serious call on this matter.
Self loathing can put you at odds and rift with your partner. Your low self-esteem makes you compare yourself with them.
You may start seeing your partner as a competitor. There is less love and more competition in the relationship.
Moreover, you may also see conflicting ideas working between the two of you. You are always looking at the negative side of things. Your partner wants to remain positive.
You may fear being judged by your partner though, in reality, they are quite compassionate. Your inner critic stops you from loving selflessly.
You are always in a negative state of mind, lacking empathy and kindness.
Sometimes, self loathing can damage the intimate relationship because you are hard to live with. Your partner may feel like a victim with you.
They never feel at home with you. Sometimes, your partner feels tied in a vicious circle of emotional abuse that is hard to break.
Self loathing makes you walk on eggshells because you are cautious putting each step ahead in the relationship.
Maybe you’re scared to get dumped. There is a constant fear of being not loved or left alone in the relationship.
Sometimes the fear of a breakup makes you needy and emotionally dependent on your partner. Thus, the relationship loses its breathing space. Your partner may feel tied up without any freedom.
There are no boundaries in the relationship. You may turn into a nagging partner. You may lose sight of healthy bonding and try to get into the privacy of your partner.
With no boundaries in place, you may start interfering in your partner’s life. You will just try to ensure whether they still love you.
Self loathing can pop up its ugly head by making the relationship bitter day by day. Thus, your constant need for approval from them can damage the relationship forever.
Impact of self loathing
The impact of self loathing can be really bad. The outcomes leave an aftermath that is hard to deal with. Some of the negative effects of self loathing are as follows:
- You will stop trying out new things because you feel that it won’t work out. Anyways, you’ll fail in your endeavors.
- Some self-destructive behavior may take over such as substance abuse, too much eating, smoking, social isolation.
- Sabotaging your efforts and not realizing life goals.
- Feelings of being a failure have destroyed your self-confidence.
- You may suffer from toxic shame much more than expected.
- You tend to focus and rely only on the people who would be bad for you. Most often you do it unknowingly with an urge of being approved by others.
- Poor decision-making may be a side effect of self loathing.
- You may rely on others to take a call on your behalf because you are unsure of yourself.
- Your perfectionist tendency will not allow you to complete tasks on time.
- Excessive worry robs your inner peace. You remain bothered about daily hassles and issues of life.
- You do not expect any positive outcome from yourself.
- Depression and suicidal ideation can occur due to excessive self loathing.
- There is a feeling of being held back in some way. You always feel like a failure.
- For you, the future is bleak and has nothing positive about it. You are living a hell every now and then.
How to stop self loathing behavior? (10 ways to reckon)
You must know that self loathing thoughts and feelings can only become worse if you accept them as a part of reality.
Sometimes, this habitual tendency can make you feel too bad. Though it’s harsh on you, you have the power to combat and change your plight of suffering.
The diagnosis or treatment of the feelings of self hatred depends a lot on the mindset of the person.
It is important to acknowledge that there is a problem that needs to be corrected. If the person denies his /her self-loathing tendencies, treatment goals may get difficult to achieve.
Some ways you can use to liberate yourself from self loathing tendencies are as follows –
1. Shun the critical inner voice in your head
It is important to stop talking badly about yourself. Avoid listening to negative self-talk. Being aware of the triggers of self loathing, you’ll be in a better position to control the maladaptive responses.
You need to ask yourself whether your thoughts and feelings about ‘you’ are realistic or it’s just thought distortions that are making you feel worthless.
Stop behaving like a victim and confront your deepest fears and insecurities. When you know why you behave the way you do, it will be easier to break the cycle of self loathing.
You should talk back to the inner critic who is bullying you constantly. You should counter-argue with negative feelings and stand tall.
Tell your inner critic that you’re worthy of love and compassion. You’re your own light and deserve to be happy always.
It’s all about building up a strong inner voice that can speak for itself. It boosts your self-esteem and confidence.
You will no longer feel insecure. Self-love will slowly wipe away the scars of hatred and self-disgust.
If you are trying to overcome your self-loathing tendencies, you can start keeping a journal. Keep a journal and write down your deepest feelings. Try to reflect on the various happenings and how you felt about them.
Journaling helps you to analyze your thoughts and self loathing triggers. You will be able to regulate your hating tendencies.
Moreover, keeping a journal also helps to be more realistic about your condition.
When you know your triggers and emotional responses, you’ll surely be able to alter the maladaptive behavior.
Research has shown that journaling can be used to overcome deep-rooted emotional conflicts and fear in various psychiatric patients.
3. Learn to accept compliments
Trust people who tell you that you are good enough. Have faith in yourself and accept compliments given by others as good wishes for your positive living.
You may take time to learn that you are a worthy being. It may take practice and perseverance to learn that you’re capable of getting all the good things in life.
If someone compliments you, learn to reply back with ‘thank you’. Stop showing a self-critical attitude to the compliment being given.
Learn to dismiss your self-loathing tendencies just by accepting what is being said.
4. Identify your strength and make it your armor
Knowing your strengths will help to overcome self loathing. You will appreciate who you are. Your self-esteem will improve and the inner critic will stop bothering you further.
5. Be kind to yourself
People who struggle with self loathing are usually harsh with themselves. If you are suffering from frequent bouts of self–hatred, learn to be kind towards yourself.
Practice self-compassion and stop being rude to yourself.
Treat yourself with love and affection. Identify your areas of expertise and feel happy about whatever you have achieved till now. Never be harsh on yourself and leave some room for making mistakes.
You should stop making judgments about your inadequacies. Remember that you are good enough and capable of doing anything in life.
Compassion-focused therapy will teach you kindness and understanding. It will help you to face your personal failures in a better way.
There is no need to prove yourself to anyone. You are good in your own ways.
6. Spend time with kind and loving people
You should spend time with positive people who can show you the light of wellbeing. They will talk good about you and in return, you will feel good about yourself.
When you hear good and kind words from family members, friends, or well-wishers, you will start to build up your broken self-esteem. Your confidence will boost up to a great extent.
Meditation helps you to connect with yourself. You can calm down your inner critic. Negative thoughts will be replaced by more positive ones. You will be at peace with yourself.
Self loathing can make you a restless being. Thus, it is important that you take control of your negative feelings. Meditation helps you to be more aware of your inner world.
The more you practice mediation, the better you’ll be able to stop the negative self-talk. Challenging those negative thoughts will become easy and free-flowing.
You will learn to let go of the hurts and pains that have forced you to think and feel like a victim.
8. Self-care is the key
We know that a healthy mind lives in a healthy body. Thus, it is important to do a lot of self-care, both physical and mental. You should follow a healthy diet; get enough sleep to keep yourself fresh and agile.
However, spend time doing things that you like. You may choose a hobby and focus your attention in pursuing something productive.
Keep yourself engaged all the time. An idle brain self loathes and blames, but if you keep yourself busy, you won’t have time to ruminate about your false beliefs. Maybe, you’ll start to love yourself.
9. Talk to a therapist
If you are self loathing a lot these days and feel like a failure, you can talk to a mental health professional to understand your condition better.
They will help you to overcome past trauma and guide you with good coping skills. Medical advice at the right time is essential to overcome feelings of inadequacy and imperfection.
Sometimes, your therapist may also advise you to join support groups of like-minded individuals. Sharing each other’s experiences may go a long way in healing.
10. Reframe negative thoughts
Self loathing comes from negative thoughts. The moment you feel like criticizing and abusing yourself, stop for a while and try to reframe the way you think.
Instead of focusing on what is not good about you, shift your thoughts and modify them in a different way.
For example: Instead of saying “I’m worthless”; say to yourself “I should do something to improve my skills”.
Reframing is used to modify your negative thoughts and see things in a new light. It is a form of mind training that helps you to focus on the positive things in life.
If you shift your mindset in positive ways, you’ll walk along the path of healing and recovery.
The small change in the way you think helps to reduce the negative feelings that you have for yourself. The next time you feel like hating yourself, try to reframe your thoughts and experience the magic that happens.
The video link shared below shows the signs of self loathing. Do check out.
Self Loathing Statistics
Summing Up from ‘ThePleasantMind’
Self loathing is a silent killer. It may slowly undermine your self-confidence. But do not sulk because you are not the only one suffering from this maladaptive condition.
The occasional experiences of self loathing are fleeting and pass away easily over time.
But, if this condition interferes with your normal functioning and resides in you deeply, it may show signs that are difficult to be dealt with.
Otherwise, self-loathing could be associated with mental disorders such as major depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. If these conditions influence your thought patterns regularly, your negative self-image becomes a reality.
You can no longer see the goodness lying deep in you. Your ability to love yourself wears out completely and you are in the grip of guilt and worthlessness.
Fortunately, you can use good coping skills to alter your attitudes and improve your negative feelings. Remember, you are a worthy being and capable of loving yourself.
Just learn to let go and walk along a path of emotional healing. You deserve love, compassion, and robust self-esteem.
The journey may be hard but not impossible because you are not born with self loathing. You have the power to empower yourself all over again. Just have faith in ‘you’.
“No one is born hating themselves because of who they are. A person must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”-Nelson Mandela
A Psychologist with a master's degree in Psychology, a former school psychologist, and a teacher by profession Chandrani loves to live life simply and happily. She is an avid reader and a keen observer. Writing has always been a passion for her, since her school days. It helps to de-stress and keeps her mentally agile. Pursuing a career in writing was a chance occurrence when she started to pen down her thoughts and experiences for a few childcare and parenting websites. Her lovable niche includes mental health, parenting, childcare, and self-improvement. She is here to share her thoughts and experiences and enrich the lives of few if not many.