The Truth Behind Why I Hate Myself and Healing Strategies

Last Updated
March 4, 2023

What Is It?
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Self-hatred, also known as self-loathing, is a negative and harmful emotional state where an individual holds an intensely critical view of themselves, often feeling unworthy, undeserving, or inherently flawed.

- Childhood experiences
- Trauma
- Societal expectations
- Mental health issues
- Peer pressure and bullying
- Constantly comparing oneself to others,
- Perfectionism
- Internalized stigma

- Childhood experiences
- Trauma
- Societal expectations
- Mental health issues
- Peer pressure and bullying
- Comparison
- Perfectionism
- Internalized stigma

- Therapy
- Self-compassion
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Challenging negative thoughts
- Journaling
- Support groups
- Building self-esteem
- Surround yourself with positivity
- Self-care
- Professional help

Do you have negative thoughts about yourself often? If so, you are not the only one. Many people feel bad about themselves and doubt their abilities, but it is possible to stop these destructive thoughts.

In this blog post, we'll show you how to move from self-loathing to self-love. We'll also outline some steps that might help you overcome your self-hate.

What does it mean when you think 'I hate myself'?

“I hate myself” - a phrase that’s more than just a fleeting thought. It’s an echo of deeper, underlying issues, often rooted in our past experiences of domestic violence, emotional abuse, gaslighting or verbal abuse. The tumultuous waves of such experiences leave scars, shaping our perceptions and emotions. [1]

“The wounds may not be visible, but they are as real and profound as the air we breathe.”

The Impact of Self-Hatred on Mental Health

Not liking yourself can make you feel sad and worried. If you already feel down or scared a lot, it can make you feel even worse. Studies show that people who don’t like themselves often feel sadder and more worried than others. It’s important to work on liking yourself more to feel happier and healthier. [2]

What causes self-hatred in someone?

  • Childhood trauma
  • A mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety & PTSD
  • Unrealistic expectations (from yourself or adults in your childhood)
  • Low self-esteem
  • A negative inner-critic
  • Constantly comparing yourself to others
  • Rejection
  • Societal pressure

Childhood and Parental Influence

The impact of childhood experiences and parental relationships on an individual’s mental and emotional well-being is well-documented and significant. Early life experiences, particularly those involving parents, play a crucial role in shaping a child's psychological development. Children raised in environments where mental illness is present, where they're forced to care for mentally ill parents, often face unique challenges that can influence their self-perception and mental health.

Narcissistic Mothers

In particular, daughters of narcissistic mothers encounter specific psychological hurdles of which can be read about in our blog 10 Things Narcissistic Mothers Do To Their Children And Why.

The complex dynamics of these relationships are explored in various resources, including books on healing from narcissistic mothers for daughters. These works provide insights into the patterns of behavior characteristic of narcissistic parents and offer strategies for healing and overcoming the associated psychological impacts.

The Impact of Infidelity

Infidelity can lead to a profound erosion of trust, resulting in emotional turmoil and, often, a negative self-outlook. Individuals who have experienced betrayal may grapple with intensified feelings of self-loathing, questioning their worth and value.

In this light, understanding how to build trust after infidelity is not just about restoring a relationship but also about addressing the deep-seated emotional wounds that contribute to negative self-perception.

Signs of self-hatred

  • Feeling worthless and negative about yourself
  • Excessive perfectionism
  • Avoiding social situations or relationships
  • Low self-esteem
  • Difficulty with decision-making
  • Belittling yourself with negative self-talk
  • Black-and-white thinking
  • You tend to focus on the negative
  • You take your feelings as facts
  • You constantly seek approval
  • You can't accept compliments
  • You can not take criticism of personality
  • You push people away before you get attached
  • You're afraid of big ambitions and chase them away
  • You're very hard on yourself
  • You don't put your past mistakes to bed
  • You never feel good about yourself
  • You feel you are not worthy of love
  • Low self-esteem caused by a negative inner voice [3]
A table about Therapeutic strategies for self-hatred

Common strategies to help combat self-hatred

Therapeutic strategies

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This is a special kind of talk therapy that helps people stop thinking bad thoughts about themselves. It helps them realize those thoughts and work to change them
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT): This therapy helps people accept their thoughts and feelings without thinking they are bad. It’s used for many problems like feeling sad, being very worried, or having trouble with drugs or alcohol.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): This therapy helps people handle strong emotions in a good way. It teaches them skills like paying attention to the moment, controlling their emotions, and dealing with stress, which helps them cope with bad thoughts and feelings.
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT): This helps people get along better with others. It’s good for people who don’t like themselves because it teaches them how to talk and build good relationships with others.
  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy: This therapy helps people understand why they have bad thoughts and feelings about themselves because of things that happened when they were little. It helps them figure out these deep reasons and work to change them. [4]

The Role of Therapy in Overcoming Self-Hatred

Going to therapy can help people who don’t like themselves. There are types like CBT and DBT that are super helpful. They teach special ways to feel better, like paying attention to the moment, writing in a journal, or facing scary things little by little.

If you’re having a hard time liking yourself, think about getting help from a professional. They know lots of ways to help you feel better about yourself.[5]

Self-care strategies

  • Acknowledging your own worth and value as a person
  • Practicing positive self-talk and reframing negative feelings
  • Setting realistic goals for yourself, and celebrating every success
  • Focusing on building your strengths and positive qualities
  • Challenging judgmental thoughts and beliefs about yourself by asking questions like “What evidence do I have to support this belief?” or “What would a more compassionate voice tell me right now?”
  • Taking time for self-care activities, such as exercise, journaling, or hobbies.
  • Seeking out positive social support from friends and family members
  • Develop healthy coping techniques and skills to manage difficult emotions and stress
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Challenging unhelpful internal dialogue and replacing it with positive self-talk
  • Nourish your body with good nutrition and physical activity
  • Avoid negative events

Understanding and Acceptance

Understanding is rooted in the exploration of the psychological dynamics that underpin feelings of self-hate. It involves identifying and dissecting the cognitive, emotional, and experiential elements that contribute to negative self-perception.

For instance, individuals can gain insights and reflections through resources like movies about depression and self-harm, which can offer a nuanced perspective on the internal struggles associated with self-loathing.

Final Reflections

The integration of psychological insights, therapeutic interventions, and the supportive scaffolding of relationships and community fosters a space where healing is not just possible, but inevitable. As individuals navigate this path, each step, each revelation, serves as a testament to the indomitable human spirit’s capacity to transcend adversity, rewrite narratives, and emerge, not just intact, but empowered and renewed.


What are some strategies for developing self-compassion?

Here’s an easy way to start liking yourself more: whenever you think something bad about yourself, try to change it into something good. Do things that make you happy and relaxed, and spend time with friends who support you. When times get tough, have healthy ways to cope.

Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings without labeling them as good or bad. If you catch yourself saying something negative, try to turn it into something positive. Also, remember to eat healthy and stay active to make your body feel good.

What are some healthy coping skills to manage difficult emotions and stress?

When you're feeling emotional or stressed, there are healthy ways to deal with those feelings. You can exercise to let out energy, take deep breaths to calm down, or write about your feelings in a journal. Talking to a friend or family member who you trust can also help. Try to focus on what’s happening right now instead of worrying about the past or future. Doing relaxing things like yoga or meditation can make you feel calm. You can also do something creative like drawing or painting to express your feelings and make yourself feel better.


  1. How Childhood Abuse Becomes Self-Abuse - Psych Central
  2. The relationship of shame, social anxiety and depression
  3. Research Gate: Self, self-concept, and identity
  4. Self-Compassion: An Alternative Conceptualization of a Healthy Attitude Toward Oneself
  5. Self-Compassion: Compassionate Mind Training for People with High Shame
  6. USDOA: Strategies for Self-Care & Resilience

⚠️Disclaimer: The information provided on this health blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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Jamie Armstrong
I have a passion for writing. I work as a Senior Marketing Manager for Islomania LLC. I have developed a strong interest in writing articles and website management during my time here. I enjoy both article writing, poetry, and story writing. In my role as a marketing manager, whether I’m writing an article, or a story, or improving other writers’ content, I always try to engage my readers and give them something to think about.
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