I Sometimes I feel like I hate myself

I feel like I hate myself physically and emotionally sometimes. How can I start accepting myself and be more confident?

David Klein
David Klein
Humanistic Psychotherapy for Individuals & Couples

The most important word here is "sometimes." I know it is quite painful, and I can imagine that at times this pain doesn't feel like it will subside. But it sounds like it is not all the time, which means we can easily say that this "hate myself" experience is one part of you. There are many other parts, if you give them some space to also "speak up," that will offer you more positive regard, trust me on that. Generally speaking, we just don't know how to listen to those parts, because...

...it is the "I hate myself" part that is our inner critic. And often, our inner critic has developed a lot of strength throughout our life because of how we've depended on it for certain things. Sounds crazy, but in actuality, some of the most "successful" people, in work mainly, are those that have strong inner critics. They use these critics to motivate themselves, but with people, and in relationships, and in our relationship with ourselves, it completely backfires, because relationships are far more dynamic processes than "doing well at work."

So, try to acknowledge that the inner critic is one part of you, that you've learned to give a lot of space to. But, if you sit with even a remotely positive feeling you have, it can also be given the space to speak up and grow, just like the critic has over time.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Kristi King-Morgan, LMSW
Kristi King-Morgan, LMSW
Social Worker, Psychotherapist

The answer would require a more in-depth knowledge of you and your situation. 

A lot of times, these feelings are the result of the people in your life treating you a certain way. You internalize it and accept it as your reality. 

The first step is to evaluate the people close to you, especially your parents. Even if you are an adult, think back to your childhood. Children who grow up in an unstable home often grow up to be adults with insecurities and emotional problems. The obvious, such as being abused, can certainly lead to a person having little to no confidence and self esteem, but there are other situations that might surprise you to hear they can be damaging to a person.

You may have never been physically or sexually abused, but what about emotionally? Were you yelled at, berated, put down? Were you told you'd never amount to anything? Were you compared to siblings and felt like you always fell short, couldn't live up to expectations? When you hear something over and over again, you start to believe it.

Maybe you weren't yelled at. Maybe it was the opposite. Studies show that children who grow up with a parent who is depressed show signs of emotional neglect. A chronically depressed mother, for example, may have seemed cold, detached, emotionless. She may have been less likely to show interest in a child's life, not give praise for accomplishments or show support by going to ballgames or performances. 

If one of your family members were chronically ill while you were growing up, chances are, a lot of the attention went to them, which could have led to your needs not being met.

Any of these situations could cause a person to grow up feeling unimportant, unheard, unloved, or like they don't matter.

Maybe nothing I've described here fits your situation. If you can't pinpoint what has caused you to feel this way on your own, a counselor can help.

I am not saying "blame it on your parents" or telling you there's nothing you can do to change it! Quite the opposite! Understanding WHY you feel that way is a first step towards making the changes needed to feel better. Cognitive behavior therapy focuses on cognition - figure out the WHY. Then behavior - the HOW. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

This happens slowly and can be done.

You already are at the first step of realizing that you hate yourself, not that the feelings of self-loathing are the best of what you're able to expect from life.

A way to start building confidence is to pay close attention to the way you handle interactions and make decisions.

If you start to notice what you'd like from an interaction, and afterwards, reflect on how well you handled yourself, especially with any unexpected circumstances, you'll build confidence in your ability to be good at something.

Do you know why you hate yourself?

This answer may help you address within yourself , a new type self talk which has more positives in it than what you've been accustomed to telling yourself.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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