“Why do I hate myself?” is a question you have probably asked yourself while soaping in the shower or while stuck in traffic on a crowded highway with too much time to think.
Do not feel like there is something wrong with you for having those thoughts, because everyone feels insecure from time to time. Everyone wonders whether they are good enough. Everyone has trouble sleeping at some point because they cannot stop thinking about all of the mistakes they have made in the past and the mistakes they are worried about making in the future.
If you hate yourself, you are not alone. Your thoughts are more common than you think.
Why Do I Hate Myself?
Your past might be the reason why you hate yourself. If you cannot move passed a heartache or a rejection from years ago, then it’s easy to feel bad for yourself. It’s easy to feel like no one is ever going to love you when you were cheated on in the past. It’s easy to feel like you are never going to succeed when you have been fired or have failed a class in the past. Your darkest memories might make you worried about history repeating itself.
You might also be surrounding yourself with toxic people, people who make you feel lost and insecure. If the person you are dating or your best friend or your parents poke fun at you for the things you like or give you backhanded compliments, then you are going to question yourself. You are going to wonder whether there is something wrong with you since someone who supposedly loves you treats you so horribly and makes you feel so small.
You might hate yourself because you feel lonely and isolated, like an outsider. Because you have trouble making conversation with other people. Because you are worried you are never going to have any friends and are going to die alone.
You might hate yourself because you are an overthinker. You might replay every conversation in your head one thousand times until you remember a moment when you stumbled over your words or told a joke without getting a laugh. You might be actively searching for reasons to hate yourself because you are not comfortable loving yourself.
Even though the nasty thoughts in your head feel like they are true, you have to remember your brain is able to play tricks on you. You are your own worst enemy. You would never talk down to someone else the way you speak to yourself.
Why Is Hating Myself Dangerous?
When you hate yourself, you settle for less than you deserve. You might enter an unhealthy relationships and stay for much longer than you should because you feel like you are never going to find love again. You might settle for a job that makes you unhappy because you do not think you have what it takes to achieve your dreams and never even try.
When you hate yourself, you are more likely to punish yourself. You might do that by smoking or drinking or harming yourself. Either way, it is a dangerous road to go down. You could end up with an addiction or with a close brush with death.
When you hate yourself, you accidentally hurt other people. You withdraw. You stop answering texts. You stop agreeing to attend parties and dinners with friends. You disappoint them, you make them feel like they mean nothing to you, without meaning to do so.
When you hate yourself, you have trouble accepting love and accepting compliments. You feel like someone is playing a trick on you when they act too nice because you do not believe you deserve their kindness. You push others away on accident because you are worried about getting hurt again.
When you hate yourself, every single day feels like a nightmare, because you look for the negative in every situation. You jump to the worst case scenario. You assume people are talking about you behind your back. You assume people want nothing to do with you. You assume you are completely alone, even when you are not.
How Can I Stop Hating Myself?
Speaking positively to yourself and about yourself is the first step toward loving yourself. Practice saying mantras into the mirror like, “I am smart. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am good enough.”
It might also be helpful for you to create a list of all of your positive traits. Write down everything you like about your looks and about your personality. Then jot down a few positive memories about times when you did the right thing, when you made yourself proud.
You have to stop your bad habit of comparing yourself to everyone you meet and you have to keep reminding yourself that no one is perfect — not even the people you wish you were more like. They have their own insecurities. They just keep them hidden. They might be suffering as much as you are, but you would never know the difference.
Another important rule is to only surround yourself with positive influences. Cut the toxicity out of your world. Make sure you only associate with people who lift you higher and get rid of the fake friends and toxic exes who knock you down.
If you want to stop hating yourself, then you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. You have to talk to new people to prove to yourself you can make friends. You have to go on dates to prove you are worthy of love. You have to apply for your dream job to prove you do have what it takes. You might fail a few times along the way, but when you win in the end, you will have an easier time learning to love yourself.
At the end of the day, if you cannot break the cycle of hating yourself, your best course of action is to see a therapist. Talk to them about how you have been feeling. See what advice they have to give. There is nothing wrong about asking for help. It takes courage. It takes strength.