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Last Updated on December 8, 2020

Why Do I Hate Myself And How To Stop It?

Why Do I Hate Myself And How To Stop It?

“I hate myself” is a thought that is more common than it should be.

There are many people walking around with feelings of self-hatred and unworthiness, making the phrase “you are your own worst enemy” ring true, unfortunately.

This is a painful reality, but what is the root cause of the feeling?

What is the real answer to the question, “why do I hate myself?” And how can you stop it?

Why Do I Hate Myself?

“I feel like I am different from others and not in a good way.”

This was the most common statement when a group of researchers tested some subjects for their familiar self-critical thoughts. Most people see themselves as different but not in a positive way.

The number of likes and friends on social media didn’t mean so much, as there were still feelings of being an outcast. Each person has a critical inner voice. This voice expresses the anti-self part of us, which exudes self-hatred, suspicion, and paranoia.

This critical inner voice is ever-present to comment negatively on our lives, influence our behavior, and inspire feelings of low self-esteem. You find yourself being more accepting of negative thoughts such as “you can never be successful,” and “you are not good enough for anyone.”

This inner voice also encourages you to act in self-destructive ways while blaming you for it when you give in. You go from “eat as much cake as you want, you deserve it after a stressful week” to “this is why you will always be a fat loser, you can’t stick to a diet.”

As weird as it sounds, we all have this critical inner voice. It goes unnoticed most times as we hardly recognize it as a destructive enemy.

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It has become so ingrained in our consciousness that we mistake its points for the real thing and believe all the negative words it says about ourselves.

How Self-Hatred Affects Your Daily Life

Your critical inner voice impacts you in several ways. When it repeatedly tells you that you are worthless, you decide to choose friends and partners who treat you like you are worth nothing.

If it tells you that you are stupid, you may lack confidence and make mistakes that you would not otherwise make.

If it tells you that you are not attractive enough, you start to resist the urge to go out in search of an excellent romantic relationship.

When you listen to your inner critic, you empower it over your lives. When these negative thoughts become overwhelming, you may start to project them onto others. At this point, you view the world through a negative lens.

This is where suspicious and paranoid thoughts come into the picture, making you question or criticize people who see you differently than your voices. In this scenario, you could find yourself struggling with positive recognition or feedback, as it contradicts how you perceive yourself.

You may have trouble accepting love since you cannot challenge your inner critic. While this voice is painful, it is also familiar and a huge pain.

How to Stop Hating Yourself

How can you stop the thoughts of self-hatred that creeps in? How can you reduce or eliminate the influence of self-hatred?

Here are some great ways to stop it.

1. Pay Attention to Your Triggers

The first step in addressing any problem is to understand its root. If you are struggling with severe self-hatred, it can be helpful to sit down with that feeling and try to identify where it comes from.

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The first step is to consider what might have caused these feelings. Even though you have heard it a million times, a journal will be handy here.

Try to sit at the end of the day and take a mental walk through your day. Write about the people you spent the day with, how you reacted to your different activities during the day, and what you did.

If you prefer not to write, you can use voice recordings.

You can also just reflect for a few moments on the events of the day. Keep an eye out for the common patterns that occurred throughout the day. This will help you identify what triggers your negative thoughts.

Once you have identified this, you can work to find ways to avoid or minimize them.

2. Challenge Your Negative Thoughts

Sometimes, self-hatred comes when you’re not in a good place to reflect. When this happens, try to have an internal conversation with yourself.

When this thought creeps in: “I hate myself,” you can reply right away with “why?”

Whatever the answer is, try challenging that thought as well.

Say to yourself, “that is not true.” Then think about the reasons why this negative thinking is wrong.

Coping with your thoughts can be daunting. It can also be a great idea to imagine someone else combatting these thoughts on your behalf. Think of that constant figure in your life or your favorite superhero.

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Then, imagine them going in and stopping those negative thoughts. Simply challenging these negative thoughts helps reinforce the idea that self-hatred is not an undeniable fact or truth; it is an emotion.

3. Practice Positive Dialogue

Self-hatred often comes at a time when you have no compassion for yourself. If you have a period when you feel good, try writing a list of what you like about yourself.

You may not be able to think of anything at first, but don’t panic. Start by thinking of things you don’t hate about yourself. Perhaps you have a meal you know how to cook best or take excellent care of your pet.

Keep this list somewhere you can have easy access to every day. When self-hatred thoughts arise, stop, take a deep breath, and say one of the items on your list out loud.

4. Reframe Your Negative Thoughts

This is a therapy technique that is quite common. It is used to address self-hatred and negative thoughts.

It is usually done simply by changing your thoughts to a slightly different perspective. It may involve thinking about the advantages even in a bad situation or considering frustration in a new light.

Here, you train your brain to focus only on the positive. Instead of saying a statement like, “I’m so bad at speaking publicly,” you could rephrase the statement to, “I don’t feel like I spoke well today.”

Yes, it is a small change. But it takes an all or nothing statement and reframes it as a single instance.

With this, the negativity would not feel permanent. This shows that messing up is only at that instance, and it means you accept that you can do better next time.

Anytime you feel like saying, “I hate myself,” shelve the thought and think of a little way that you can rephrase that statement to make it more positive.

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5. Spend Time With People That Make You Feel Happy

Most times, self-hatred comes with the intense desire to isolate yourself. You may feel that you shouldn’t be around your friends or family, or you may feel that no one wants to be near you.

The negative internal dialogue encourages you to believe that withdrawing from social situations is the best action. However, this is counterproductive.

Connecting with others is a significant way to dispel negative thoughts as it helps you feel better about yourself. When you are with people you can easily share laughter with, you are more in tune with an environment that makes you feel valued.

You can combat negative thoughts of self-hatred by spending time with friends or relatives. Take a short walk together, watch a movie, or just go for coffee.

You have no one to contact? Consider talking to others who face similar problems online. There are several online groups for people dealing with a variety of problems.

6. Do Not Hesitate to Ask for Help

Remember, you are never alone on your mental health journey. There is always someone who has been where you are at one time or another.

Most people need a little help getting through tough situations of self-hatred. It is a good idea to seek the help of a mental health expert.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help from professionals. It is one of the best ways to learn to manage your self-hatred and negative internal dialogue.

Final Thoughts

I urge you to feel more confident in your body. As you pursue this goal of discovering your true self, an increase in critical inner voices and anxiety is a high possibility.

However, you must not give up on challenging this inner enemy. No matter how much the negative thoughts of self-hatred come in, be more resolute in confessing your love for yourself.

With time, this voice will become weaker, and you will be able to free yourself from these feelings. You can then open the door to a more fulfilling existence.

Learn to Love Yourself

Featured photo credit: Allef Vinicius via unsplash.com

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Jacqueline T. Hill

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Last Updated on April 14, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

Reference

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