It is a known fact that most people in the universe have some type of self esteem issue. This can lead to self-hatred. Majority of the world’s population is exposed to this toxin. Ultimately it can impact your mental health and how you suddenly view yourself.
It’s no secret that in this modern world of technology – there are boundless resources to bask in one’s own self hate. Let’s take Instagram for instance… it is so easy to constantly compare oneself to the hot girl with 54K followers. Obviously she starts winning out. Something as simple as “she is so beautiful, she has all these followers” can quickly go to “I’ll never be good enough for anyone.” Suddenly you’re fighting to remain you. Checking yourself in the mirror, picking at small random things that probably only you can notice and creating an atmosphere of negative feedback. This cycle ultimately leads to frustration, anger and self-loathing.
For someone who suffers from depression and/or anxiety having feelings of self-hatred can cause a lot of distress. Especially in a situation like that of Instagram I mentioned. More than often individuals with these kind of mental health conditions are quick to partake in such negativity towards themselves resulting in a spiral of constant negative thoughts and poor self talk. Sure, it’s normal to compare your lives to your friends, families, co-workers, spouses, etc., but when you are constantly evaluating how you measure up to every single person, you’re really bringing harm to your mental state of mind.
There’s a few common symptoms you can look out for to make sure your “comparing” isn’t going overboard.
First: All or nothing statements.
Viewing your life as some type of list of ultimatums, which for the most part will end up sounding way over the top. For example, “If I write a horrible paper, I’ll completely flunk out of college and become a total loser.” Drastic much? But, it’s so true… I myself tend to play this kind of mind game and think the worst of the worst, even when it’s not even close to reality.
Second: When you’re only focusing on the negatives. No matter how great your day may have been you somehow ignore all the glitter and rainbows and only think about what went wrong. You could have gotten a million and one compliments on how good you looked today, but hearing one thing that may not be so appealing like your boss telling you to fix a mistake you accidentally made… well, damn your whole day went straight to shit.
Third: Believing a feeling is a fact.
You may have messed up at work, accidentally and hey, we all do time to time, but instead of “I feel like a failure” you say “I am a failure.” Whaaat ? Why? Why do we do this? Sure, you are allowed to feel like you messed up, because yeah you did, but that doesn’t mean you’re a total fuck up. You’re human.
Fourth: Low self-esteem. Ninety eight percent of people I know have a dose of low self-esteem, and if they tell you they don’t they are liars. Everyone has some degree of low-self esteem when it comes to certain aspect of their existence. It isn’t always looks or it isn’t always smarts. It may be a combination or something else entirely. Who doesn’t feel self conscious once in a while?!? I used to think I didn’t need a body (as dumb as this sounds) because I had a pretty face. Now, all I can think of are the scars around my eyebrows. That brings my self-esteem all the way down. It’s truly horrible. I avoid people, I don’t go out unless I have to, and yeah my confidence level has dropped to its lowest. But how dumb is that? Being someone who has depression and anxiety, this alone messes with my head on a constant basis. I cringe at looking at old pictures of myself because sometimes they make me cry.
Self-esteem is important because that’s where self-hatred tends to start. That is the root of the issue. You may feel like you’re not good enough to have a good relationship, you may feel like you don’t deserve new opportunities, or you think people don’t want to be around you because you’re not that charming. Whatever your issue may be, you need to know you’re worthy of love, especially from yourself.
The first step to get started on the road of self-love instead of self-hate is to address the problem. We have to understand where and when this started and why. Getting to the bottom of it will help you determine the cause of self-hatred. It’s the beginning of leaning towards self-love. This may sound lame but from experience this works. Getting a journal and sitting down at the end of your day, walking through your day mentally is a big help. Jotting down things like what you did, how you felt, who you were with throughout the day, etc., can expose patterns that may identify what triggers your negative thoughts. Once you’re able to identify some of those triggers, you can work on coming up with ways to avoid them or minimize them. Like the hot girl with all those followers, if she constantly makes you feel like shit, unfollow her. Rather, follow something or someone that motivates you instead of putting you down. Now there’s some triggers you won’t be able to avoid, but you can learn to work through them. I am still learning to work through some of my own. I believe everything will happen in due time and with patience.
Often self-hatred pops up when you’re not in a good place to journal or reflect. When that happens, having an internal conversation with yourself helps. Let’s say you think “I hate myself”, follow up with the question “why?.” If your response is something like “I’m such an idiot, I forgot to hand in my assignment.” Try challenging that thought… say something like “I’m not an idiot, I’m human, I forgot, let me ask my professor if I can email it in.” Standing up to your negative thoughts can seem dumb, but honestly it’s the only way to change the negative way you talk to yourself. Don’t be discouraged if the positive talk doesn’t always pull through, simply challenging those negative thoughts eventually (with lots of practice) helps reinforce the idea that self-hatred isn’t a fact or some sort of raw truth – it’s just a very bad emotion.
Self-hatred often comes in a moment when you don’t have compassion for yourself. If there’s a moment in your day that you’re feeling really good, try to write a list of things you love about yourself. Don’t panic if you’re at a low point and can’t seem to find even an ounce of love for yourself. Instead, maybe write down things you like or don’t hate about yourself. When I’m sad and journaling, I would write “I like that I’m so attentive” or “I don’t hate the eyeshadow I wore today.” Sometimes simple is all you need. They are like baby love notes to yourself, that are kind of cute. Men don’t hate me, but you know you want to get cute love notes, lol. Affirmations is where it’s at! Keep a small list you can see everyday, like a post-it on your bedroom mirror. “I look great in red lipstick.” That alone will make you smile and start you off having a good day.
When self-hatred thoughts start to possess your mind, stop and breathe and say out loud one of the items of your list. Build positive self talk into your daily routine. I learned this word today “reframing” and it’s a therapy technique that is used to address self-hatred and negative thoughts. Reframing simply means to shift your thoughts to a slightly different perspective. You have to train your brain to find and focus on the positive. For instance, instead of saying “I totally suck at being quick at work” you can say “I didn’t work as quick as I could have today.” Sure, it’s a minor change in thinking but the point is you’re taking an all or nothing statement and reframing it as a single instance. That helps the negativity not feel so overwhelming or permanent. There’s days at work when it’s so busy that you can’t work as fast as you would like. Then the key here is to understand that the feeling is temporary. Everything may shift the next time around. There is no permanence and therefore reframing would really help in this case.
Self-hatred isolates individuals a whole lot. Withdrawing from social situations may feel good at the moment, however it’s not a good idea. Connecting with other people is crucial for our mental well-being because social interactions helps us feel better about ourselves. It creates an environment in which we feel valued and cared for and honestly that’s what most people want, to feel that way. The best way in combating negative thoughts is to spend time with people we love and who love us. This may be the hardest thing to do but it is the most helpful way of diminishing those negative thoughts.
Self-compassion is a different form of self-love. It means accepting your negative thoughts, mistakes, failures, and understanding them as messy human situations. It means forgiving yourself the way you would if someone you loved hurt you in a moment of anger. The next time you’re spiraling down the self-hatred hole, cut yourself some slack. Acknowledge that you aren’t feeling great and remind yourself that that’s okay. Dwelling on certain actions you aren’t proud of isn’t good. Remind yourself that you’re human, and everyone makes mistakes. Those actions do not have to define you. Self-compassion doesn’t happen over night, but it is a trainable skill. Learning how to go from “I hate myself” to “I will do better tomorrow,” is one of the greatest life skills someone can have. It’s not easy, but nothing that is worthy ever is. So, stop with the negative self talk and whisper sweet nothings inside your ears. Self-love is the greatest love of all times.
Good bless everyone 🙂
Write yourself an affirmation on a post it and stick it on your bedroom mirror…I’ll start. “Having bipolar is my super power.”
Your turn ;)…