Self-hatred can be very difficult to live with, especially when dealing with other mental health issues. It can cause self-destruction, depression, anxiety, and an overall inability to recover and progress in life. This can all result in feeling stagnant in life which creates even more self-hatred and the cycle continues.
Developing self-love and acceptance can take some time, but it is possible. Here are three easy tips that may seem minor, but will change how effectively you combat self-loathing.
Stop Verbalizing Negative Thoughts
If you experience self-hatred, you probably tend to speak negatively about yourself to others. When making a simple mistake like knocking over a glass of water, for example, you may end up insulting your intelligence or character when that mistake has nothing to do with who you are.
It can be difficult to instantly change that mindset, but a great start is to stop verbalizing negative things about yourself. No matter how much self-loathing you feel at any given moment, don’t express it to others. Completely avoid saying things like “I’m so stupid”, or “I’m a terrible person.” The more you say it, the more you’ll believe it and the more it will hold you back from shifting your mindset.
If you’re around the wrong people, they will also start believing what you say about yourself and treating you accordingly. Having others perceive you based on the negative things you say about yourself will only increase your self-hatred. If you want to be treated a certain way, you have to start with how you treat yourself first. Having respect for yourself and consequently, others respecting you is crucial for developing self-love, or at the very least, self-acceptance.
Write Out Your Thoughts
Negative self-talk is extremely common in those that suffer from self-loathing. If you speak negatively about yourself to others, then you most definitely engage in negative self-talk.
How often have you found yourself just sitting around thinking about every terrible thing that you believe yourself to be? If it happens often and causes your thoughts to spiral, then releasing those thoughts can help your self-awareness. Writing down all the negative things you say about yourself may sound counterproductive, but it’s not the same as verbalizing it to others. Writing your thoughts out allows you to self-reflect, while verbalizing those thoughts to others further reinforces your negative mindset.
For example, if you journal every time you find yourself unable to get out of negative self-talk, the act in itself is releasing you from that thought spiral. After you write everything out and then read them back, you’ll notice how extremely harsh and untrue those thoughts are. It’s much easier to change the way we speak to ourselves when we can actually “hear” or see what we’re saying.
Compliment Yourself & Accept Compliments
A lot of self-hatred stems from the fact that we are only focused on the negative. We all have flaws, but we all also have amazing qualities. It can be hard to recognize those qualities let alone acknowledge them when dealing with self-loathing.
A great first step is accepting compliments from others. If someone compliments you, even if you can’t believe them, just thank them. Don’t say things like “that’s not true” and then follow with something negative about yourself. Simply accept the compliment and genuinely thank them. The more you do this, the more you will start to notice those good qualities about yourself.
To take it even one step further, start complimenting yourself. You don’t necessarily have to go around yelling “I’m great”, but, if you win at a game, for example, allow yourself to brag about it. Or simply tell yourself that you won the game because you were smart, or fast, or whatever skill was required to win. The goal is to allow yourself to acknowledge that, just like everyone else, you have good qualities. Self-hatred can make us feel guilty about thinking positively about ourselves. Complimenting ourselves can slowly break that guilt.
Self-love Is Not Arrogance
Oftentimes, when experiencing self-hatred, self-acceptance and self-love start to feel like arrogance. Because those feelings are so unnatural to us, we often confuse them. But, there is a huge difference between being content with who we are and thinking that we are better than everyone else. As with everything else, it will be challenging at first, but over time, it will come naturally.
1- Practice not expressing your self-hatred to others. When having a conversation with someone, pay attention to how you speak about yourself.
2- When you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk, write your thoughts out then read them back. Recognize how harsh your words are.
3- When someone compliments you, always accept it and thank them.
4- The next time you accomplish something no matter how minor, compliment yourself and acknowledge your good qualities.