May 21, 2021

What is Self-Hatred?

Could it be possible you hate yourself too much? Self-hatred is more than simply not liking yourself. When you suffer with self-hatred, you’ll constantly put yourself down and feel like you aren’t good at anything.  You may focus your hatred on one area of yourself.

Here, we’ll look at what self-hatred is, the impact it can have on your life and how you can stop it in its tracks.

Understanding self-hatred

Self-hatred is basically like having a little bully sat inside your head. You will experience constant criticizing thoughts, pointing out your flaws and mistakes. Some common thoughts you might experience include:

  • You’re a loser.
  • Why did you even try, you knew you would fail.
  • You aren’t good enough.
  • Why can’t you just be normal?
  • No one will ever love you.
  • No one will pick you on a dating app.
  • If someone shows interest in you, it’s because they want to use you.
  • Everyone else is so much better than you.
  • You are unlovable.

When you struggle with self-hatred you put yourself down and compare yourself to others frequently. Self-hatred tends to develop over time and is triggered by more than one event. 

How can it impact your life?

Although self-doubt is healthy, self-hatred is not. If you struggle with self-hatred, it can have a devastating impact on your life. Often the feelings of self-hatred worsen over time and can lead to destructive behaviors as you try and numb the negative self-talk. 

Many people who suffer with self-hatred go on to develop destructive behaviors such as cutting themselves, eating disorders, or turning to drugs and alcohol. It can impact every aspect of your life including your relationships, your career, and the friends you include in your life. You may also stop caring about the things you used to enjoy and avoid things that make you feel better.

The impact it can have on your life makes it important to deal with self-hatred when it rears its ugly head, rather than ignore it. The question is, how can you eliminate self-hatred? 

Ways to eliminate self-hatred from your life

There are many ways to eliminate self-hatred from your life. Learning how to tame your inner bully is a great first step. When you notice that inner voice telling you negative things about yourself, switch it around. Stop those negative thoughts in their tracks and turn them into a positive.

  • When your inner bully says, “you aren’t worth anything,” switch it to “I may feel like I am not worthy, but I know that I am.” The more you counteract the negative with positive thoughts, the more positive your mind will become.
  • You can also make a list of all your strengths. If you struggle to come up with some, ask those closest to you. When you focus on your strengths, you won’t be as caught up in your weaknesses.
  • Finally, work on building up self-compassion. That is, treat yourself the exact same way you would treat a good friend. Would you beat them up for making a mistake? If not, why do it to yourself?

Overall, self-hatred can be a powerful thing to overcome since it builds up over time. However, the tips above can help you to start quieten your inner bully and develop a little more self-compassion. 


For those of you who’d like to learn new techniques to cope with change, stress, and other not-so-pleasant challenges, I have a Coping Strategy eCourse loaded with useful information. https://thriver-academy1.teachable.com/p/coping-strategies-ecourse

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Dr. Monique Belton


Executive Coach and Clinical Psychologist, Monique Belton, Ph.D. helps empower people to create their dreams.

Dr. Monique Belton

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