Everyone experiences self-loathing sometimes, but it can hinder your ability to love yourself. If your self-hatred becomes severe enough, it can interfere with your goals and relationships, and it can cause a lack of self-confidence. When this happens to you, you must find a way to stop self-hatred and start loving yourself again.
Sometimes, you will be well-aware that you are self-loathing. Other times, you may not even realize that you are doing it because there are many unexpected signs. There are signs that you can watch for to recognize if you are experiencing self-hatred, including the following behaviors:
- always trying to please others
- you are always apologizing, sometimes multiple times, for the same thing
- your expectations are too low
- a lack of motivation, or you motivate yourself with tough love
- you have negative self-thoughts
- fixating on what goes wrong
- you tell yourself that if something doesn’t work out, you won’t have another chance
If you experience any of these signs, it is normal. It happens to everyone, but there is a way to get through it and start loving yourself again. Work to develop new habits that make it easier to stop self-loathing.
How to Make it Easier to Stop Self-Loathing
Here are some tips to help you stop being so harsh on yourself.
Many situations can cause self-loathing, and overcoming it requires that you figure out what triggers you. If you can figure out the triggers, you can either avoid those situations or make a positive change during them.
One way you can determine your triggers is through journaling. As you write out your problems, worries, fears, and concerns, you can recognize the consistencies. Writing in a journal also helps reduce anxiety and depression, both of which contribute to self-hatred.
Think specifically about the instances you self-loathed throughout the day. Doing this before bed can help because you can reflect on an entire day and acknowledge what you were doing, where you were, or who you were with. Even the time of day the self-loathing began can be a trigger.
Once you have determined your triggers, then you can decide what to do. You can choose to eliminate the trigger, or you can make changes that improve it. Find healthy coping mechanisms to help you overcome the things that trigger you.
While anything can trigger your self-loathing, there are common triggers. Some of the common triggers include:
- recalling a traumatic experience
- being put down consistently
- comparing yourself to others
- life changes, no matter how big or small
- obstacles or challenges
- physical or mental abuse
2. Treat Yourself the Same Way You Treat Your Loved Ones
You wouldn’t treat your loved ones negatively, so stop treating yourself that way. The next time you notice that you are self-loathing, think about how you would treat others in that situation.
If your loved one is in a bad situation, you won’t make it worse with your words. You would likely say uplifting things, give them good advice, and support them. Do the same for yourself rather than being negative, and work to build yourself up.
3. Be Grateful
Practicing gratitude can quickly help you stop self-hatred and start loving yourself again. Focus on the positive things in your life instead of fixating on the things you don’t like. It will be easier for you to focus on self-love and building your self-esteem if you spend time being thankful.
If you have a journal, gratitude is another thing you can add to it. Spend time each day writing down things you are grateful for and include positive things about yourself.
4. Make Changes in Your Life
Changing your life for the better is always a good thing, but even more so if you want to stop self-loathing. Change isn’t bad, and it can push you to be better and challenge yourself. Plus, change can help you get out of cycles of self-hatred so that you can love yourself again.
If you know a particular place or situation triggers your loathing, change it. You can avoid the area or situation or make changes to create a more positive experience. Some of the things that you may need to change include:
- your job
- the people you spend time with
- your home
Change is hard, especially when it is a significant change. Fight your fear of change and dive in knowing that it is for your happiness and self-love. Everything will work out, and you have to have faith and love yourself.
The changes you make don’t have to happen all at once. Take your time and do a little more each day until you are where you want to be.
5. Talk to Someone
When you realize that you are self-loathing, find someone to talk to about it. Make sure it is someone you trust and will help boost your spirit. As you tell them the things on your mind, they will counter it with positivity.
Before you know it, their positive comments will come to mind even when they aren’t around. Plus, their excellent remarks will give you something else to be grateful for.
Additionally, you will feel more motivated to be what that person said you are. If they said you are successful, you would work harder to reach your goals. Likewise, if they said you and kind or helpful, you will do things that enforce that idea.
If you don’t have someone close to you that you are comfortable talking to, then there are other options. You could talk to a therapist that can help you stop self-loathing and learn to love yourself again.
If you continually criticize your appearance, personality, or abilities, you will struggle to love yourself. You will believe those negative thoughts or words about yourself, and you will slow your progress.
Self-criticism is a direct cause of self-loathing, so you must stop if you want to love yourself. When you realize that you are critical, change your mindset and replace the negativity with positivity.
7. Acknowledge Your Strengths
You can’t hate yourself as you think about the things you are good at. Learn to recognize your strengths and remind yourself of them in times of self-hatred.
If you can’t think of what you are good at the first time, ask those closest to you to help you come up with some ideas. They will know your strengths, and as they tell you what they are, you will begin to recognize them, too.
8. Give to Others
Studies show that when you give to others, your negative feelings will decrease. Plus, you will notice a boost in your self-esteem, and your stress levels will reduce. This can help you push away the self-hatred and start loving yourself.
You don’t always have to give gifts. Simply giving your time will be more than enough. Volunteer, help a loved one or friend or do a random act of kindness for someone. You will feel better about yourself right away.
9. Forgive Yourself and Show Compassion
To let go of self-hatred, you must first forgive yourself. If your trigger is thinking about painful moments from the past, then this is what you need to do. Forgiving yourself is the only way to release those negative feelings that the memory brings.
You also must show yourself compassion. Think about the way that you would forgive those your love when they have made a mistake. Then, forgive yourself in the same way because no one is perfect, and everyone deserves forgiveness.
10. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Comparing yourself to others is one of the most harmful things you can do to yourself. When you compare yourself to others, it is an unfair comparison. Remember that you are only seeing what the other person wants you to see.
This is a huge problem with social media because many people don’t post the negative parts of their lives. They often portray their lives to be perfect when, in real life, everyone has issues.
When you compare yourself to others, it can lead to self-loathing, depression, and decreased self-esteem. Instead of comparing yourself to others, try comparing yourself to where you were in the past. As long as you are making progress in your life, you are on the right track and doing great.