I Hate Myself: Solutions to Bullying, Malfunctioning Emotions, and Negative Internal Dialog
Why do I hate myself?
Many people have said at one time or another, “I hate myself.” This is a very disheartening place to be. There are a number of reasons someone could get to this point: getting bullied at school, trouble at home with family, abuse (emotional and physical), relationship strife, not fitting in with the “in crowd,” clinical depression, and peer pressure, just to name a few.
A number of ways exist for a person to develop better self-esteem and break the damaging cycle of self hatred as well as squelch all its negative effects. If you are suffering from bullying and abuse, the first step undoubtedly is to protect yourself before you can start healing.
People who hate themselves due to abuse or bullying should take action immediately by telling the police or parents, even if the abuser threatens to hurt loved-ones in retaliation. Predators often make these kinds of threats to keep their victims weak. The first priority is to protect yourself against such people. Healing from self-hatred can be accomplished by improving your personal narrative through mindfulness, meditation, acts of self-love, forgiveness, developing an acceptance of self despite any prejudices from other people, changing your life dynamics, mindfulness, meditation, and therapy.
There are many reasons someone might think, “God, I really hate myself sometimes.” Feeling negatively about your self can taint many aspects of life, such as self-esteem, love relationships, family bonds, friendships, and business dealings. If you think things like, “I hate myself in the morning,” things definitely have to change.
Negative Internal Dialog
Negative internal dialog and self-esteem can be learned during childhood and adolescence if caregivers or other people are too critical or not nurturing enough through pivotal points in the child’s life. Sometimes people hate themselves because of societal standards that they hold themselves too needlessly. It is important to find community, but that community should not involve such levels of stress. Quite possibly, if a person is experiencing such a pressure to fit in, they have chosen the wrong social circle. Listen to your thoughts. If your mind tells you one negative thing after another, you may want to actively choose to be nicer to yourself.
It is important to consider changing many aspects of your life if you consistently have thoughts such as, “I hate me,” or, “I can’t help hating myself.” Forgiveness is a major act of self love. Forgive yourself and other people because resentment will only eat you alive. Change the way you feel about yourself with love. It may sound a bit cheesy, but it is really the only way to move forward. After all, what’s the point of only half living when you could reach your full potential with some loving gestures to yourself and others? You only have one life. Don’t waste it.
Someone experiencing self hatred is not always to blame for their own negative self-esteem. Sometimes there is an aggressor that acts as a catalyst for these emotions, an outside influence that is abusive. Frequently, bullies will target their victims where they feel the weakest. They will say things that they know will hurt. Bullies do this because of their own low-self esteem, possibly achieved through similar abuse that they have sustained that they now wish to act out on others to re-elevate their sense of power.
This is part of the vicious cycle of bullying: if someone feels dominated or abused by someone else, they have a few options to gain resolve and get back the self-esteem that was taken from them. They can dominate someone else, passing on the pain of which they will still have to feel themselves. They can forgive and accept the bully while simultaneously taking steps to protect themselves, like telling a supportive person or two, or they can stand up for themselves in an aggressive fashion. The latter is rarely a good choice, as dominance begets more dominance usually.
Acceptance is the key, because you can’t love yourself if you don’t respect yourself. Thinking things like, “I hate myself for being fat,” or “I hate myself for being gay,” are pointless. Figure out who you really are by writing, drawing, and becoming emotionally literate. No matter what caused your strife, what counts is what you do with it from here on out.
Like a competitive and cutting person, negative thought patterns can cut a person down, make them feel insignificant and small, and or greatly impact normal decision making skills. After all, it is very difficult to make positive choices when the thoughts going through your head are things like, “I hate myself so much,” or “I hate everything about myself.”
Many dynamics can contribute to a healthy thought pattern turning into a toxic internal narrative. An internal narrative is the constant stream of thought that flows with most people through their daily activities and even into sleep. Many people have a rather negative internal voice, one that criticizes and worries constantly, never giving them peace.
Is your internal dialog critical and mean? A surefire way to tell is to simply pay attention to your thought pattern. This can be done throughout the day, before bedtime, and when you first awake. Do your thoughts judge you? Are they down-right mean? When you make a mistake, are your thoughts forgiving or judgmental? It is true that we can be our worst critic.
The key to figuring out how to get out of this cycle is by realizing that your emotions and your thoughts are not you. In fact they are part of you, but the mind has a function to analyze and decipher information. When you think things like, “I hate myself,” it is your minds attempt to rectify something it sees as unsuitable. It is important to ask yourself why you may have the belief that a certain behavior or inaction deserves such harsh critique. Think about this for a second: Would you tell a close friend that you hate them because of something they are, said, or did? Most people, unless you are fairly mean, would not say something so judgmental to someone they consider a friend, so why treat yourself this way?
Upon waking or when trying to sleep is when these kinds of thoughts are at their strongest. This is when your body desires to rest, but your mind continues to be overwhelmed by obsessive thought patterns. You see the mind’s job is to calculate and analyze the day’s events, but if someone’s self esteem is clouded by emotional strife, the mind can become over critical, like an abusive person.
Childhood’s role in self-esteem and self-hatred is paramount. We don’t want to necessarily blame our parents. After all, most parents are just trying to do their best, but we must recognize their role in our cognitive function. Our parents and caregivers are the ones who laid down the frame work for how we see ourselves and interact with the world.
What to do when you hate your life.
There are solutions to feeling this way, so that you don’t have to live in agony, wallowing in self pity. A good way to combat this terrible emotional state is through self exploration and the development of emotional literacy. The difficulty in healing is in that someone feeling so low inevitably finds it hard to even cultivate the desire for improvement, likely thinking thoughts such as, “why bother?” A great place to start is with mindfulness. This is a type of meditation that is easy to use for people who have little to no experience with traditional meditation with no religious associations. Turn, “I hate myself,” into, “I love myself.” This may sound like a difficult feat but I assure you it is well worth the fight.
Writing a gratitude list is another great way to cultivate positivity. No matter how bad things are, stop what you are doing and write down three things you are grateful for. No pressure, let it take all day, but definitely do it. It is easy to get caught up in “I hate myself sometimes” feelings, when you do actually have something to be grateful for that you may be taking for granted.
Here are some “I hate myself quotes” to inspire you out of your funk. It is often wise to look to great people to inspire us to be better people.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” Gautama Buddha
“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” Mark Twain
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Gautama Buddha