What You Mean When You Say, "I Hate My Life"

Jordan Brown

It's a strong statement that's not necessarily correct.

When a person says, "I hate my life," you tend to think they know what they're talking about, right?

Not exactly.

There's more going on beneath the surface.

If you've ever caught yourself saying this--or if you've ever tried to support someone else who has--there are some very important things that you need to know.


What You Mean When You Say, "I Hate My Life"

1. I Hate How I'm Feeling

Often, when you say that you hate your life, you hate the way that you're feeling. So let's start there.

The moment that you say, "I hate my life," do you ever notice how you're feeling?

Now, I know it sounds like a silly question, but how often do you blaze your way through the day, your life a blur, only to find that you don't actually know the underlying feelings you had throughout the day? That you simply "went through the motions?"

Before you can say for a fact that you hate your life in its entirety--even this phrase sounds strange to write or say out loud--you need to pinpoint the exact feelings that you are having.

Only then can you begin to pick apart what's truly going on.

2. I Hate How Others Make Me Feel

This is another hate-my-life culprit that doesn't get the attention that it deserves.

When you say that you hate your life, sometimes you're hating how others are making you feel.

Even this statement is a conundrum, however, because no one can truly make you feel any certain way. I know, I know. People have probably said this to you in the past, and you've wanted to punch them in the face.

But if what I just wrote upset you, you need to ask yourself WHY?

What is it about what I'm saying--or what anyone says to you at any point in your life--that causes you to feel a certain way? Because, I'm said to report, It's not real. It's, quite simply, not there.

You are the arbiter of your own feelings. You've learned to deal with hardship in the past, and you will learn again. Once again, it comes back to pinpointing the underlying feeling, with sitting with the difficult emotions that you're having.

3. I Hate The Position I'm In

Or maybe it's not about a specific emotion. Maybe it's about something--shall we say--a bit more geographic or relational?

Look at your environment.

And not just the physical environment.

How are you positioned in relation to others? Whether it's the dinner table or the boardroom table, what are the relationships and the rules, both explicit and implicit, that drive your behavior?

You could be hating that someone else always speaks for you. Or maybe you hate that your boss' chair is raised to the point that she always towers over you. Don't just aim your hatred at the closest target, though. That's a road to nowhere.

Study your environment to find the clues that are causing you to think that you hate your life.

4. I Hate My Lack of Movement

Other times, the environment doesn't hold the skeleton key to unlock the doors to your mind and heart.

In some cases, it's movement--or the complete lack thereof--that is determining how you feel. Humans need to be in motion. We evolved to roam around unhindered. In fact, we may have evolved too much. Because now we are at the pinnacle of our existence, sitting snugly like sardines in a can in an office setting. At least, that's how most of us spend our lives now, myself included.

Maybe you don't hate your life--but you do hate the fact that you aren't free to move around like your body is meant to.

If this is the reason, fortunately, getting more activity can be a quick fix.

If you're going through the ways that you hate your life, and you haven't considered this reason, you could be missing something BIG.

5. I Hate Something About Myself

Oh no. You knew this day would come.You wake up one morning and realize, "I don't like BLAH DEE BLAH about myself."

It could be a lone gray hair one day or a too-hairy eyebrow the next. Maybe your ankles crack when you walk. (I sound like an undead skeleton out for a morning stroll whenever I walk around barefoot...)

Whatever it is, the "I hate myself" comment is a trap. It's picking apart at your being when it's really some other point of unrest that is destabilizing your sense of security.

Plus, if you start to say that you hate yourself, it's only a matter of time before that mindset infects your worldview.

So what's the answer? What's the answer to any of this?

We'll get to that next.

6. I Hate Because I'm Not Able to Love...Yet

Hatred is not an inability to love--it's just a lack of it. It's an unearthing of what is already there.

Hating your life, hating yourself, hating the world around you--these are all just dangerous placeholders.

Beneath the surface is a latent capacity to love. It's hole filled with hope.

Except something is most likely blocking it.

You can pick any of the above points that I've already discussed and fill your hole of hope. You can cover up the lightness of innate states of being like love and desire and trust and respect because you're too busy only seeing the hatred.

The way out is actually quite counterintuitive.

You won't find love--and self-love--by doing more and more and more. You're not going to think your way out of the problem.

No. You need to remove what's blocking the path to what you already have.

You need to dig through the crevices of your heart before you step back and admire the strong heart that you already have.

Some people call it the forest or the trees. I just call it the light coming through, the light that's always been there.

Anywhere you are in the world, you always have the ability to step back and notice it.

It does take practice, but the more you can call the inherent goodness you already have to your full and present attention, the easier it will become in the long run.

It's always been there.

You've always been there.

I think you're starting to love yourself again right now.