Know What Is Self-Loathing, Its Causes, And Signs

I hate myself.” “I am not at all good and people consider me a fool.” “There’s no one as stupid as me.” Many of us have cursed ourselves this way. Even if we don’t mean it, there are times when we blame ourselves for things that went wrong. But there are people who are often filled with these kinds of self-loathing thoughts, especially if they have low esteem. They often compare themselves to others and are filled with negativity. 

You may think that these thoughts don’t matter a lot. But if went unchecked, these thoughts can take a toll one’s mental health. They may always have a low-esteem and suffer from depression. Therefore, identifying the early signs of self-loathing and taking combative measures becomes necessary. But before that, let us understand what self-loathing is. 

What Is Self-Loathing

Have you ever found yourself surrounded by thoughts that make you blame your abilities and skills? You may compare yourself to others and believe that you are not at all good, beautiful or competitive. This underlying feeling is what we call self-loathing. It triggers an extreme dislike of oneself. 

Most of the times, it could be in a subtle or habitual manner. A person may find fault in himself/herself and would focus on his/her failures rather than on capabilities. For example, if a person isn’t good at academics despite being good at sports, he/she may often feel inferior. The person may not acknowledge his/her abilities in sports. 

Even though you try your best, you may blame yourself for not getting the desired results. This is when you may think that you aren’t good at anything or have no ability to make things better. 

There could be times when you may think about your shortcomings and take responsibility for your failures. This can help you in taking a cue and doing better in the future. But the problem arises when thoughts such as “I am stupid and I hate myself”, begin to dominate. In this situation, you may tend to listen to your inner critical self more than anything else.

At times, you may want to showcase yourself better than what your inner critical self tells you. For this, you may belittle others, suppress and mock them to make yourself feel better. Instead of challenging yourself to be a better person, you begin to degrade and belittle yourself as well as others.

Where Does It Come From

Now you may wonder where does this self-loathing come from. Well, all of us have an inner coach and inner critical self in us. It’s just that in some people, the inner critic dominates and doesn’t allow them to see their positive side. 

But you may find it surprising that self-loathing mostly begins in the past, especially you were a kid. Yes, you read that right. You might have developed self-loathing while you were just a kid, even without realizing the same. Here are some causes that may help you understand better.

1. At times, the anger of parents can result in the development of a self-loathing behavior in children. When children find their parents angry and excessively critical towards them (read: children), they begin to see themselves as incompetent. They find themselves helpless and of no good use. 

2. Children may find parental anger as a life-threatening element and this can trigger self-hatred in them. They may think that their parents don’t love them at all. Due to this, they may tend to pay more attention to their negative aspects rather than the positive ones. 

3. Constant rejection and bullying during school and college days can also result in self-loathing behavior in many people. Just because they couldn’t live up to certain standards, they think that they are dumb and hopeless.

4. Repetitive exploitation and mental abuse at the workplace can also lead to a self-loathing attitude. But this may not stay for a long time as people eventually discard this attitude once they switch jobs. 

5. Lack of emotional and mental support, especially after things go wrong can also lead to self-loathing. A person whose spirit gets broken every now and then may feel hatred towards himself/herself. This is because when a person has low esteem, he/she may listen to his/her inner critic more often.

6. Excess of ego and self-obsession too can lead to self-loathing. This is because, at times, people are so obsessed with themselves and their egos that they stop seeing what’s good.

Signs Of Self-Loathing

Many times, self-loathing goes unnoticed and people think it is just their conscience. However, your critical inner voice is quite different and dominates when you feel low, disappointed, and helpless. People may not realize how and when they began hating themselves until things get worse. Therefore, to help you identify the early signs of self-loathing, here are some tell-tale signs that you must not ignore. 

1. You Focus On The Negative

The most obvious sign of self-loathing is focusing on what you can’t do and things you lack at. Instead of understanding that different people have different sets of skills, you belittle yourself for lacking what others have. You overlook your good qualities. For example, you may accuse yourself of not having sharp features like your classmate rather than praising your beautiful hair.

2. You Feel Insecure Around Others 

Do you feel insecure and inferior around others, be it your cousins, siblings, friends, or colleagues? Do you feel that you stand no chance when they are around? If yes, then this could be another sign of self-loathing. You may often feel that people around you are better in every sense. Due to this, you may often avoid being around people and would distance yourself from every possible person.

3. You Often Compare Yourself To Others

Self-comparison can be another sign of self-loathing that can be easily spotted. There are times, when people do compare themselves to others, especially to those who are famous and successful. But things become problematic when you do on this regular basis and in an unhealthy manner. For example, you may say, “Look at her, she is so studious and beautiful and you’re nothing but a loser.” Or, “you can never be as smart as XYZ, as you haven’t got that brain.”

4. You Self-Sabotage Your Happiness

Self-sabotaging is one of the other tell-tale signs that one must not ignore. It is the behavior pattern in which one stops himself/herself from doing what he/she wants to do. For example, if watching a movie makes you happy, you may sabotage yourself from doing so. You may curse and blame yourself for willing to watch a movie. When you self-sabotage yourself, you eventually show hatred to yourself. 

5. You Blame Yourself

People do blame themselves for an instance but that’s one thing. Regularly blaming yourself means you have no respect for your own existence. You may blame yourself for everything that goes wrong, even if you aren’t responsible. This is because you may think that just your mere existence can ruin things.

If we look closely, there are more signs of self-loathing such as not paying attention to your overall health. All of us have an internal coach and enemy within us. It is just that at times, we fail to identify the coach and start listening to our inner enemy. We stop listening to our conscience and this is where self-destruction can begin. 

So rather than focusing on what you couldn’t do, focus on the good things that you did. Showing some self-love can never harm you. After all, self-love can make your life better in every sense. 

Also Read: Gaslighting? Know What It Is And If You Are Going Through It

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