5 Ways To Reduce Your Self-Loathing

Disclaimer: As someone who has indulged in some pretty horrific displays of self-loathing in the recent past, the following advice has my name written all over it. Possibly, it has your name written all over it. What follows is not a holier-than-thou critique, but a much-needed dose of tough love. This is a safe place, self-loathing friend. Read on.

1. Refrain from being a hater. I completely understand and empathize with the compulsion to rent a skywriter, throw a benefit party, and get a tattoo in an effort to proclaim how terrible someone is. Some people are just THE WORST and every human — dead or living — should be subject to hearing about it ad nauseum. But is that your job? Is that the best use of your time? You’re not the town crier. You’re not The Grey Lady. If the person, place, or thing you despise is actually that bad, it will ruin its reputation all on its own. It doesn’t need your help. Devoting negative energy to hating something makes you the sucky kind of person you’re rallying against. Just calm the hell down and let nature take its course.

2. Stop complaining about things you can change. Whenever you catch yourself whining about how you’re spending too much money or how you’re tired of sleeping with people who don’t call before midnight or how you’re completely out of shape and it sucks, you suck, life sucks, stop yourself and imagine that this laundry list of self-inflicted grievances belongs to a friend. Wouldn’t it be totally annoying to have a conversation with someone who would rather bellyache for hours than devote the same amount of time to addressing these issues? Yeah. That annoying person is you, gurl. Not a good look. Either attempt to make changes or talk about something else.

3. Exercise some willpower. For whatever reason, self-discipline seems like it’s completely out of reach, like only certain people are graced with the power to say yes, or say no, or to wake up early to run before work, or to not eat their weight in fried chicken just because it’s raining and Tuesday. This is something us lazy, unmotivated people like to tell ourselves so that we’re never expected to do anything that requires restraint or effort. The fact is, you can read more if you want to. You can be that person who puts their laundry away instead of leaving it in an unfolded heap and pecking through it every time you get dressed like you’re a hen at a clothing swap. You are capable of functioning as an adult.

4. Quit stalking your ex. Breakups can send an otherwise stable person down a shame spiral of biblical proportions. Best practice for limiting pathetic and embarrassing displays of emotion? Get over it, ASAP. It’s easier said than done, but not standing in your own way is a start. And dropping by your ex’s Facebook and Twitter accounts thrice hourly? Not helping anyone. You have enough emotional ammunition from memory alone — keeping additional tabs on this person will only prolong your efforts to move on. Make willpower your bitch and step away from the computer.

5. Don’t beat yourself up. Failing to make the right choice once in a while is bound to happen. But all is not lost just because you ate mayonnaise or purposely walked past your ex’s apartment, even though it was completely out of the way, basically in another neighborhood entirely, but who’s keeping track, right? It’s okay to mess up, so long as you don’t completely indulge in your slip or decide that you’re not worthy of something better. Take responsibility for yourself and keep it moving. A life of not being a self-defeating, whiny little baby awaits you. TC mark

image – Joost J. Bakker

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Steph is a former editor at Thought Catalog. Her work has appeared on Glamour, Medium, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, ... Read more articles from Stephanie on Thought Catalog.
  • Rishtopher

    Yes, #3, but how? How do people stay so motivated? What drives you? It seems like some people just have a passion for things that I’ll never understand. 

    Lend me your passion, people!

    • http://summerslowrunner.wordpress.com/ Summer

       Find the things you have a passion for and use your willpower towards those.

      • Rishtopher

        I know what you’re saying, but that’s easier said then done. It seems like it’s pure luck to find something you like that much.

      • Rachel

        No! you have to psych yourself out.  You have to find the thing that motivates you and dwell on it–exactly the way you would if you were belligerently dwelling on, oh say a past breakup as an excuse to eat a tub of ice cream.  Maybe it’s a bad example, but that’s the same logic.  I get up at 5am to go to the gym, and while I enjoy doing it ultimately, the thing that gets me out of bed every morning is this weird game I play in my head to wake up, get dressed and leave the house without waking either of my roommates.  And bonus points if I can come home and get in the shower before they’re out of bed.  You just have to find a detail that works for you.

      • Rachel

        oh, but p.s. I totally cracked up at the laundry comment in #3—that IS me.

      • Rishtopher

        Thanks for the advice! I tried “gamification” before but it didn’t work for me (ironic, considering I’m a huge gamer). I find what generally works for me is the idea of equivalence (if I do X, then I get to do Y, later) but often it isn’t enough. 

        When you came up with that game thing for yourself, did it work immediately, or did you have to give it several tries before it took hold and you stuck to it? 

      • Rachel

        haha it happened on accident –out of an effort to be a considerate roommate… and then also to get the first shower.  So yea, it’s like I’d get more competitive about it the more I did it.  Plus, there’s this thrill to early mornings that is just that so few people do it—so 1. you’ve championed mornings, and 2. (probably more importantly), you get to be truly alone for a little while.

    • Blueland08

      Motivation gets you started. Habit keeps you going.

  • Christina Hong

    Spot on! Amazing!

  • http://twitter.com/tannnyaya Tanya Salyers

    #4 ughhhh

    • Veronica

      I read the bold text and immediately thought “wait nooo!” and then realized that was a clear sign that I really, really needed to follow the instruction.

  • http://illittorate.livejournal.com/ Sarah

    Thanks so much for this. I’ve been in somewhat of a slump lately and this is precisely what I needed to read. (This is so well timed I exclaimed to a friend “thoughtcatalog KNOWS me” when I saw the article title.) You’re far and away one of my favourite contributors here, too.

  • Brandon h

    Cheers to this. I know at least 3 people who could stand to read it besides myself.

  • Charlotte

    I needed to hear this. Thanks!

  • Nickaschneider

    If I quit doing all of these things I would seriously have nothing left to talk about.

  • Blerg

    I really needed to hear #1. I keep complaining to everyone about this mean spirited bitch that keeps trying to put me down at work and it just makes me more angry that I am using my energy to talk about her now and every other time. I guess I just keep having to look within myself and wonder why is she bothering me so much? I guess I just can’t understand how a person can go out of their way to make annoying ass/worthless  comments to someone they dont know and it just baffles me and I keep thinking about it etc, anyway, what do ya’ll do when someone keeps trying to shove negative energy at you? Most ppl I talk to just say be the nicest person u can be back. This is why talking/bellyaching to other ppl helps me but i always know its a waste of time. Uhg.

    • Jenny

      ugh, I hear ya!  I’ve been having the same problem.  

  • Deirdre

    love this!

  • Guest

    This used to have my name written allllll over it, until I became friends with someone who was much worse than me! Once you have someone texting you numerous times a day complaining about job hunting/being single/being unfit you start to realise how unappealing it all looks from the other side. This was a good read :)

  • Miyax

    i’m not even trolling. but after i quit reading tc every hour i started feeling much better about myself — not because i was reading less tc, but because i was reading less of what is posted here. but everything in moderation. ever moderation. 

    • Veronica

      I think I need to follow your lead–thank you.

  • Sophia

    ohhh man. the not-getting-over-your-ex one? yeah i’m definitely guilty of that, down to the internet stalking and the biblically-proportioned shame spiral

  • Planet Unicorn

    I Love Stephanie Georgopulos! 

  • http://twitter.com/meganmvo Megan Vo

    I hope the Tuesday and fried chicken was a reference to POPEYES! 

  • spot on

    the topic of conversations with friends lately has been, “everything sucks. everything sucks! EVERYTHING SUCKS!” spring is coming and the world is falling apart. people are breaking up and semesters are crumbling to shit. there are no good shows and we get too drunk at parties and it’s 26 one week and -5 the next. i am nervous to go to sleep because i know i will wake up feeling terrible. i hate this place, and you hate me, and we live in a world of hate and we can’t fuck ourselves out of it, as hard as we try. 

  • http://artfeedsmia.blogspot.com/ mia nguyen

    Preach it, Stephanie!

  • Cthonian130

    Thay make drugs that solve all these problems. Wait, not solve, but make you apathetic enough not to worry about them. Is having a drug addiction better than depression? Gawd, that is depressing. I need some drugs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/discobiscuits93 Kayla Ann Stockman

    Number two was totally me! I was always bitching and moaning about what terrible shape I was in, but I recently started working out and eating better, and it’s only been about three weeks but I’m already seeing improvements and I feel so much better. It’s so easy to change some things, and that’s one of them.

  • Amonghumanity

    Just what I needed to read. Perfectly relevant. 

  • Marvelle-Anne

    You know what, this article is the most relevant to my current feeling like shittyshit mood I could have read right now. Thanks for administering a dose of reality and perspective like a punch up the bracket.

  • Emma H

    This was great. Absolutely what I need. 

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on mysakuranights and commented:
    this can be related to my previous post, narcissism…

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