Self Hatred - 4 Steps to End it For Good

Jordan Brown

I have good news for you.

Self-hatred is a very common issue that people have.

So if you hate yourself, you're not alone.

It's linked to mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.

And because self-hatred is a well-known phenomenon, there are people who will understand what you're going through.

Even more important, there are ways you can attack your own self-hatred to start feeling better today in your daily life.

We'll cover four of the best ones below.

Why Do I Hate Myself? What Causes Self-Hate?

When you hate yourself, there's a rush to judgment that takes place.

And that rush to judgment is targeted at--you guessed it--yourself.

Let me guess what you've felt before:

Feelings of shame?

Check.

Feelings of unworthiness?

Check check.

If you were the worst person in the world, would you have these feelings that are experienced by hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis?

Feelings good and bad are shared experiences.

And the feeling state of self-hatred is a mental health condition.

That's it. No judgment needed.

Plus, a lot of self-hatred comes from the extreme stress of living adult lives.

I've hated myself many times as an adult, but I don't remember doing it as a kid.

If I did, it was a fleeting feeling. It wasn't an all-consuming feeling state that can become more and more common as you get older.

Look at it this way.

It's easier to say, "I'm a bad person, and everything is all my fault" than admit that the world is impossibly complex and there is no way that any one person could figure it all out.

Think about all the things a typical adult has to worry about in one measly day of their life:

1. Do I have enough money?

2. How are my relationships?

3. Who all is relying on me right now?

4. I have so much work I need to do. How will I get it done?

5. What do others think of me?

6. What do I think of myself?

And these are just the most common examples.

You could probably add 5-10 more specific examples to the list!

I know I could.

It's enough to make any person think they have a mental illness.

And at some point or other in our hectic lives, we probably do have mental illnesses.

Because mental health and mental illness fall on a spectrum.

It's not a final, you have it and now you don't kind of thing. There are shades and degrees and fluctuation in your mental health.

With that in mind, here are the top ways you dig through the weeds of your self-hate and emerge victorious.

Self-Loathing - Ways to Find Health / Happiness

1. Carve out Analysis Time to get to the root of the issue

You may not be a mental health professional, but that doesn't mean you're not a professional of your own life.

Carve out thinking time for yourself.

Make it a dedicated amount of time on your calendar. If not, it's just going to blend in with all the other blobs of feelings and tasks you have going on.

Setting aside time to quietly think about why you hate yourself seems like it's just adding insult to injury, but it's actually astonishingly powerful.

Before you can act, you must know.

Make a list of all the thoughts, feelings, and experiences that could be contributing to how you feel about yourself.

2. Make your Analysis Time more productive

Here's a little trick stolen from the Wide World of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Carry a notepad or a piece of paper around with you for a few days.

Each time you have feelings of self-loathing, write on your paper what is happening in those particular moments.

Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? What time of day is it?

All of these details can help you pinpoint what's going on and if there's anything in particular that's causing your self-hatred.

It's all data. It's all grist for the mill.

Get the data in front of you so you can get a better picture of what's going on.

3. Get some entire-life perspective

This next one is interesting because it helps you zoom out and get a grip on where you are in your life.

When people say that they hate themselves, they normally are talking about a particular moment in time.

All feelings are fleeting. All life experiences are fleeting as well.

Don't obsess over one feeling.

Instead, think about your life as a vast timeline, with point A starting years and years ago when you were a child--and point B happening right now.

What happened in between those points to make you hate yourself?

Was it a particular event? 

Was there one person in your life who said something so awful that it's stayed with you ever since?

Your timeline is massive. There's so much you can do between point A and point B.

Because point B is always moving. It's not over yet.

What would it take for you to change your life story?

What event could you help bring forward to change the trajectory--and the timeline--of your life?

4. Mine your behaviors to find the hidden culprits

Much like you can find the root cause of your self-hatred by carving out thinking time, you can also find your root, most destructive behaviors.

What makes a behavior so incredibly destructive that it contributes to extreme self-hatred?

It's anything that you do that, immediately after, you regret or feel intense shame.

For me, it's picking at my skin and obsessing over blemishes on my body. Without a doubt, I feel intense regret after I do this.

But I've been able to identify this as a source of great shame and hatred.

As a result, I've orchestrated new routines to avoid this bad behavior and replace it with a good one.

This is another technique from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

Many mental health apps can walk you through this approach.

Sanvello is a great one that I've used in the past.

It all starts with becoming mindful of what you're doing.

That's the hard part.

Then it's up to you to figure out what you want to do instead of the bad behavior to get back on the path of self-compassion.

Conclusion - You Can End Your Emotional Abuse

Self-hatred is a serious thing, yes, but I'm also serious when I write that you can end this.

You are not your self-hatred, and you never will be.

No person is just one thing. You are not "anxious person" or "depressed person."

You are a complex human being with flaws and gifts just like everyone else.

Feelings of inadequacy are normal, and it's because they are normal that there are well-documented ways for overcoming them.

So try one or two techniques from the above list.

The worst that will happen is that you get closer to figuring out what doesn't work--and much, much closer to living the kind of life you rightfully deserve.