Why do I hate myself? I’ve asked myself this question over and over again. So, I did some deep soul searching to find out. This is what I learned.
No matter who you are or what you do in life, you will come to a place of self-hatred. I think it happens to all of us. It happened to me several times, especially as a young adult. And guess what, I have moments here and there where it creeps up to bite me once more.
But now I know what to do when it happens.
‘Why do I hate myself so much?’
If you ever get an opportunity to see your self-loathing with its true face, you will be well on your way to understanding why it’s there, to begin with.
The problem so many of us have is that we cover it up, or we deny that we hate ourselves. But we cannot keep doing this because it will absolutely destroy us in time. So, getting to the root of the problem is the ideal solution.
1. Dysfunctional family dynamics
One reason you ask, “Why do I hate myself?” is because you’ve stored some things about your family in the back of your mind. Unveiling those truths, when you’re ready to know, will be painful.
You either had a family that neglected you, or you had a family who smothered you. In some cases, the family you were given considered you the black sheep. If you were the black sheep, it’s easy to understand where the self-hate came from.
2. Lost in our egos
Our ego wasn’t present at our birth, so we developed this as we went along. So many of us grew an ego that was flawed because it was enmeshed in a mixture of low and high self-esteem. We learned to survive and sometimes used people to get what we wanted. Come on, we’ve all been less than saintly people at times.
As we treated others in unkind ways, we understood that our ego was to blame. Some of us got stuck in this pattern of negative treatment that led to hating ourselves in the end. The more we hated ourselves, the worse we treated others, and so the pattern developed. This root could go back as far as our early teens.
3. Childhood trauma
Yes, dysfunctional families caused some childhood trauma just by being neglectful or smothering. However, severe childhood abuse, not just by family members, may have caused a thick root to travel throughout our lives and make us hate ourselves.
For years, I hated myself for being abused until someone finally convinced me that it wasn’t my fault. If you wonder, “Why do I hate myself so much?”, look back at the roots of your childhood. Sometimes nefarious could be hiding there.
4. Fake friends
As you grow older, you will encounter what I call ‘fake people’. I try to stay away from them now. There was a time, although, that I tried hard to make friends with people who I thought were popular or influential. This only damaged my self-esteem.
When those friends betrayed me, I couldn’t understand. I ended up hating myself and wondering what was wrong with me. You see, self-loathing comes quickly when dealing with fake friends. Be careful and guard your heart. Not every friend is really a friend at all.
5. Unhealthy intimate relationships
One reason why we end up hating ourselves so much is that a relationship ended badly with a toxic person. Many times, we get involved with someone who turns out to have a personality disorder. The narcissism and gaslighting have us believing lies like, “I’m worthless”, “I’m ugly”, and even “I will never amount to anything”.
This toxic person already hates themselves, and the only way they can feel better is to spread the disease and make other people suffer too. Well, it could just be a root that needs to be cut from another person you thought loved you. Unfortunately, they did not.
6. Body shaming
I’ve known many girls who’ve adopted low self-esteem simply because someone body-shamed them. In case you don’t know, body shaming is when a person is meant to feel bad for either being too big or too small, among other physical differences. They are criticized or insulted horribly.
It’s a form of bullying, and I guess you can say that self-loathing comes from this bullying behavior. This too can have roots from childhood. Even children are body-shamed every day.
It’s time to love yourself
Loving yourself might not be easy at first, especially if you’re still in a relationship with someone who brings you down as fast as you try to get back up. The hate you feel for yourself may even be leading to self-harm. So, if this is the case, getting away from that influence will change your life.
If the roots are deeper and travel into childhood, learning to love yourself may take a bit more time. One thing that worked for me was getting to know myself apart from any other influence. I had to train myself to not dwell on the trauma all the time, and understand that what happened to me isn’t who I am.
Even the people in my family, though they share genetic material still aren’t me. I am a good person. You are a good person too, and it’s important to realize this fact and appreciate the life you have. It’s time to stop asking “Why do I hate myself?”, and instead, start saying, “How can I be a better person tomorrow?”
Be better, do better.
If you feel like you hate yourself, read this article to learn how to cope with this emotional state.
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