How to Turn Self-Hatred into Self-Compassion

GoodTherapy | How to Turn Self-Hatred into Self-Compassion“I’m such a loser.”

“I can’t do anything right.”

“I’m ugly.”

Too often, people brutally judge and attack themselves. If everyone treated others as poorly as they treat themselves, the old biblical adage, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” could be a recipe for war.

Negative Beliefs, Self-Loathing, and Why It Matters

Incessant negative beliefs about oneself may be called self-loathing, self-judgment, self-attack, or low self-esteem, but it all boils down to one menacing problem: self-hatred. At its most extreme, self-hatred can lead people to retreat into substance use, suicidal and other self-destructive behaviors, or violence toward others.

If you beat up on yourself, are disgusted with yourself, or in any other way experience the effects of self-hatred, there are two important things to know: why the self-hatred exists, and what you can do about it.

Why Self-Hatred?

Self-hatred almost always stems from childhood. Trauma experienced after childhood also can fuel negative feelings about oneself.

Children believe what they hear from others. If a parent tells a child that she is good for nothing or can’t do anything right, then that becomes the truth in the child’s mind. It takes a very mature and insightful child to say to herself, “Something is wrong with Mom/Dad for telling me this. An adult shouldn’t say such mean things to me. I’m just a child.”

Instead of saying, “Something is wrong with Mom/Dad,” the child usually thinks, “Something is wrong with me.” That simply is how a child’s mind works. Children need safety and stability. It is much less chaotic for a child to think something is wrong with himself than to think he cannot rely on the people upon whom he depends for food, shelter, and survival.

Sometimes, a child never hears harsh judgment from a parent or other caregiver, yet self-hatred manages to fester. This happens when, for whatever reason (genetics, environment, plain bad luck, etc.), a child experiences anxiety, perfectionism, or other traits that conjure feelings of self-blame in the face of fear, imperfection, or other perceived flaws.

Trauma, too, can inspire self-hatred. It can feel safer to attack oneself over what happened than to accept that bad things happen randomly in the world—and can happen again, at any time. As a result, many people who have endured sexual assault, combat, or other trauma blame themselves for what they endured, and self-hatred grows.

Self-hatred and shame are related but not synonymous. Shame can be healthy, the mind’s tool for helping people understand when they have done something that must not be repeated. However, the majority of shame that people experience is not a healthy tool for learning right from wrong. Instead, it is a manifestation of self-hatred, a message that when they do things wrong (or, at least, differently than they wish they had) then they are wrong, a judgment of the person and not the act.

Many people who feel shame cannot assign it to any particular action. Shame is a feeling of essential badness that they simply cannot shed. Often, people experiencing unhealthy shame feel that if others saw their real self, then nobody could possibly love them.

It is helpful to understand how your own self-hatred is formed. This can help you to develop compassion for yourself. No matter what you did or did not do as a child, no matter what trauma you endured, the hurt part of you deserves love, compassion, and nurturing. No matter what, you possess a fundamental goodness that is not touched by external events, in the same way the clouds can cover the sun but never really touch it.

The Antidote: Self-Compassion

A seminal work on self-hatred and self-compassion is titled, appropriately enough, Compassion and Self Hate (by Theodore Isaac Rubin). More recently, mental health professionals have published quite a few more books on self-compassion, including The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion (by Christopher Germer), Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind (by Kristin Neff), and The Power of Self-Compassion (by Mary Wellford).

There are websites devoted to self-compassion. There also is an evidence-based psychotherapy that cultivates self-compassion. Called compassion-focused therapy, it extends cognitive behavioral concepts to foster in people the ability to soothe, accept, and understand themselves.

The common theme underlying all these works is that self-compassion is the antidote to self-hate. So how do you create more compassion for yourself? Over time, I will write about many different ways to grow the seeds of self-compassion. For now, here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Talk to yourself the way you talk to someone you care about: In Compassion and Self Hate, Dr. Rubin advises readers to tell themselves, “I treat myself as I treat a child I love.” Cognitive behavioral therapists employ a similar technique, often invoking the question, “What would you say to a good friend who was going through the same thing you are going through?” These are important questions. If you hate yourself, you likely say things to yourself that you would not dare say to another person. What would you say to somebody else who has the exact same traits as you? What could you say to yourself?
  • Recognize that beliefs do not equal truths: Often, people believe what they tell themselves. If you think you are a loser, you may believe it is absolute truth. Try this cognitive behavioral technique called “the three C’s”: catch, check, change. Catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself. Check whether your distressing thought is true. Change it, if not. You can talk back to your negative thoughts. Challenge them. Serve as a defense attorney to the prosecutor in your head.
  • Embrace the concept of “good enough”: Many people feel they should be perfect—never angry, always generous, never critical, always right, and so on. These expectations deny that imperfection is the human condition. If you are one of these people with too-high expectations for yourself, ask yourself what is good enough?
  • Consider turning to spirituality or religion: Many spiritual or religious traditions center on the belief that people are flawed but inherently good, not only lovable but also inherently loved. These beliefs can serve as a huge balm for the hurting soul. The practices of meditation and mindfulness, too, can foster feelings of self-compassion as well as loving kindness toward others.
  • If you hate yourself for mistakes you made, make amends: You may be reading this and thinking, “This does not apply to me. I did something so awful that I can never be forgiven.” First, as much as you condemn yourself, ask if you would equally condemn—to their face—someone else who did the same thing. If not, then you are being unfair to yourself. Perhaps you really did do something awful. If you cannot make amends to the person or people you harmed, do something good for somebody else. Beating up on yourself serves nobody. Doing good for others or taking part in a larger movement not only helps others, it helps you—and it can lead to self-forgiveness.
  • Try therapy: A good, compassionate therapist can help you foster self-compassion and better understand the roots of your self-loathing.

My Questions for You

Do you ever hate yourself? If so, what helps you to deal with this brutal judge who lives inside your head? What tips do you have for others in the same situation?

© Copyright 2013 All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • carrie

    November 12th, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Oh this is so hard to turn that hatred into love but SOOO worth it when it comes to actually living a life worth living.

    I spent far too much time loathing myself and what I had become but never realizing until fairly recently just how much of that I let others tell me about myself and not recognizing the good things that I had to offer to other people and to myself! I wish that I had learned all of this a little sooner, but once you finally cut the bad seeds from your life you learn fairly quickly that you are SOOO much better than what they have always told you that you were.

  • Dustin

    November 1st, 2017 at 3:49 AM

    I just can’t get out of it, I am unable to find anything positive about myself, so I just go on hating myself so much…

  • Linda

    November 14th, 2017 at 10:30 AM

    Dustin: I feel for you. You need to find someone you can express everything you feel about yourself to them. I struggle with this and I am coming up 64 yrs old. You need to make a change so you can live a full and healthy life. I cant comment on what I see as positive beyond the fact that you reached out here. You want to get better and that is a positive thing. I feel that mine stems from feeling unloved from a very young age. You need to work on finding out how to love someone else and then you can heal yourself too.

  • En

    December 11th, 2017 at 9:38 PM

    :(((((. I wish I could change your mind. I wish I could change Mine.

  • J

    January 23rd, 2018 at 1:51 PM

    I conquered suicidal ideation, but not self-loathing that subsists from early childhood years.

  • Susan

    December 9th, 2019 at 9:29 AM

    Me too. Before I even open my eyes, an unbearable load of self-loathing cocoons me. I hate waking up. The feelings dissipate once I’ve been up and around for a while, but every morning is nauseatingly the same. Luck and love to those dealing with the same.

  • Kellen

    November 13th, 2013 at 4:35 AM

    Agree with Carrie- such a work in progress, almost like a job, but makes you feel so much better about everything when you learn to free yourself from all of that loathing.

  • Ellie

    November 14th, 2013 at 4:41 AM

    And one thing that I would like to add is that for some of us, who have been teased or taunted by others, you might think that you feel one way until you hear that one little trigger and then boom! you are back to being very down on yourself again. I would like to think that I have overcome a lot of that that I heard while growing up, but this time of year especially, when I know that there are people I will have to be around who made me feel so belittled and diminished I start doing the work for them. I get down on myself so I guess they don’t have to and become all over again when I always felt like they thought about me. I hate that feeling and would love to rid myself of that kind of toxicity in life, but it is so hard when this is family and you don’t know exactly why you should have to cut ties with them or even if you really want to.

  • Poet and I know it

    June 22nd, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    Have nothing new to say because you have said it well already. But I know what that is like

  • Poet and I know it

    June 22nd, 2015 at 6:41 PM

    Have nothing new to say because you have said it well already. But I know what that is like, especially when it’s family. I don’t know either what to do.

  • Lisa

    February 4th, 2017 at 11:00 PM

    When people treat you bad I think it is always best to stay away from them if possible. Even if they are your family ….make a family with people who love and respect you…

  • Kari

    March 2nd, 2017 at 4:42 PM

    I grew up with all forms of abuse and continue to self-loathe. Every day I improve marginally only to have a complete set back when something bad happens. As corny as it seems, watching movies or documentaries about things that inspire me really helps. Like the civil rights movement, slavery, holocaust, women’s suffrage, etc. I feel like wow, people have had it so much worse and here I am complaining about my problems. If these people can be so strong over horrific acts then I can handle this. Usually putting things into perspective like this makes you realize that whatever your issue (while valid) is not as bad as it seems to you.

    I know all too well how family can make you the ‘scapegoat’, make you feel unworthy or unimportant to the point where you act the way they make you feel, falling into those roles they want you to stay in. I am 37 and have stopped talking to my family 10 years ago when my first child was born. I made that difficult decision after about 15 years of thought and anxiety over the what-if’s of that kind of choice. It’s very lonely but I find that I have always been lonely even before I eliminated them from my life. The difference now is I no longer feel all the negative emotions that go along with seeing/talking to them like stress, anger and nausea or constantly thinking less of myself after being belittled for the umpteenth time. I know I’m better off (especially my kids) without those toxic relationships. Shortly after cutting them out, I would anguish over what they’re saying about me, lies to make themselves feel better I’m sure, but it doesn’t matter. For about the last 5 years I find that I really don’t care anymore, they will always be miserable and can’t allow anyone else the happiness they lack but that’s their burden, not mine.

    For the most part, I do really well but now I’ve been beating myself up for the last few months because of a recent traumatic experience my kids and I suffered from someone bitter. I’m constantly thinking that the situation was my fault even that I know I did nothing wrong, but knowing I could have done things differently makes me hate myself because I see this as a reflection of myself as a mother, like this is the horrible person I am rather than it being an unfortunate incident that I’m allowed to make mistakes, learn from them and move on. I never give permission to forgive myself for things like this and I wish I could cause these feelings are difficult to live with. This person was surrounding our car pounding on it while yelling profanities. Instead of driving away, my logic at the time was that I’m picking my kids up from school and I have to be here and deal with this every day so I might as well stand my ground and teach my kids not to tolerate bullying at the same time. So I stayed for a couple minutes while waiting for the police and recorded the incident. I constantly think that was a mistake even that I didn’t feel our lives were threatened but my husband praises my actions, I don’t believe him. Right now I’m trying to tell myself that nothing happened, we weren’t physically hurt, no car damage, so just let it go and move on. It’s a long process, still trying.

  • Nichole

    April 1st, 2017 at 6:39 PM

    Thank you

  • Debbie M

    March 22nd, 2020 at 6:21 PM

    You calling the police was the mature and safe thing to do. None of us have a crystal ball to see the consequences of our actions. You made the best choice, get the police involved. Your husband may be proud of you but it sounds like YOU should be proud of yourself too. Having that emotionally abusive family not in your life has made you make clearer and better choices, even if your psyche hasn’t caught up (complimented you) with your instincts… will. Good for you! Make sure you look in the mirror tonight and think about saying “well done”

  • Thisbe

    March 10th, 2017 at 11:27 PM

    Why sbould we be obligated to spend any precious time with people who treat us badly, and have done so our whole lives? Family or not, this just seems counterproductive to my healing process. Love them from a distance and give yourself permission to be free of toxic relationships. If it makes you feel bad to be around somebody, family or not, stay away. I may be lonely in many regatds but never miss the maltreatment that inevitably came with any regular contact I had with mine. And I still have a long way to go but it’s been the healthiest choice I made regarding them.

  • marguerite

    June 4th, 2017 at 11:35 PM

    Sometimes family can be toxic, dont hang out with them so much, find people who are uplifting

  • Joan Kloth-Zanard

    November 14th, 2013 at 5:29 AM

    Excellent article. This will be of great help to the hundreds of psychologically abused victims I work with and their children. Thank you!!

  • Donna

    November 14th, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    With the prevalence of Parental Alienation, this is a very important message to get to the kids who are the biggest victims. Thank you for writing this. I will be posting on the high school Facebook page.

  • Laura

    December 12th, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Thanks for the excellent summary.

    You say that shame can be healthy. Some people, notably Brene Brown, make a distinction between guilt and shame, with guilt referring to phenomenon you described in that sentence (knowing you’ve *done* something wrong, and perhaps striving to improve), and shame referring to, well, the shame you described in the rest of the article.

    You might find that terminology helpful in maintaining the distinction between the two. They are, as you noted, quite different! Give it a try, and see whether it works for you.

    Good summary here:
    I would also recommend the book mentioned in that post!

  • Deanna

    April 28th, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Though I would love to, and welcome the day. I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet.
    What scares me? I have always been able to see the light even during a negative challenge. And in 50 years, I have had plenty,
    I don’t allow myself to “talk about it” no matter what I have been through, I don’t want it to sound like a “excuse”. And, that’s what it sounds like to me.
    There is no excuse for bad behavior, so, …..
    Don’t get me wrong, I have tried and tried to “get out of it” and have been successful at it throughout my lifetime. Now, it’s different. Unexplaineable really. Dark, Deep, IDK.

  • Loser

    May 15th, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    I really wish I could like myself. I don’t think its possible. I am very useless, lack confidence. I have hated myself since I was a little boy. Everyone I know is perfect and I’m garbage. I’m currently unemployed. I constantly relive the mistakes of my life. I have so much compassion for others. I can read and go to therapy forever it won’t work

  • Catharine

    October 15th, 2014 at 7:55 AM

    I hear ya.

  • Peace Peace

    August 15th, 2017 at 1:50 PM

    Hello sir!
    No, do not say this! I believe that you are a great person and you can achieve many great things in life! Dear no one is born without talents make him succeed in his/her life!
    Do not believe these negative thoughts and start to think in yourself, be quite and do not think in negativity and start feeling and recognizing yourself more deeply, touch your heart! Start by having the courage of doing the things you enjoy and love!
    I am sure you can be a successful person, it just needs you to LOVE your beautiful soul!
    May Allah’s peace, mercy, and blessings be upon you!

  • work in progress

    May 24th, 2014 at 2:52 AM

    I would like to reply to the last person to let you know that I was convinced I was bad, useless, not worth love or attention or to be alive and felt sure that I couldnt change or be healed. So I plodded along, continued to read self help books, articles, worked on my connection with my higher power and one day recently I felt I could challege the belief that I was worthless. Some days are better than others. I think I will always be a work in progress. I just wanted to say dont give you are changing even by reading this site. I believe in you. If I can push through, and I have alot of baggage I know you can too. Thanks for the opportunity to share this hear and for the information that was important for me to hear right now.

  • My Name Is Stress

    October 9th, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    I’m just a teenager. My name… Is Stress. The cold, hard fact is that if I’m not perfect, I won’t get into the best college. Some times it feels like everyone else is getting in my way, and sometimes I just know that no matter how much I love other people, none of them love me the same. At first, maybe I was too compassionate. But after a while, when no one returned love, something changed for the worse. Suddenly the school work wasn’t even my biggest issue. I was still stressed over it, but now,I was hating people. Who? Well… Everyone. Fir me, life has always been sticking to one decision and not letting go. Logically, I should be able to just, decide, to not hate myself anymore. But for some reason I just can’t. And my family… They’ll be the last ones to know. My friends are never serious.

    Some days I’m rude, antisocial, and just try to do my work. On days like these I hate everyone. Other days I feel live again, and that results in guilt and the ever repeating question of “why don’t they give it back?!” Most days now, it’s just hate. More so for myself than for anyone else.

    I may be smart enough to get good grades, and to not cut myself, but in the end I’m not smart enough to get the BEST grades, or to change the way I feel about myself and others. And not being perfect… it’s like perfection is being dangled in front of my face, but I can’t reach it! I’m smart, but I can’t even manage to care for myself! I fail where others succeed. In the end, the only thing I can come down to is that in the endless battle of stress, and trying to be a nice person, but hating myself and knowing that if I accept “good enough” I’ll never be great… It just makes me feel all the more hopeless. And in the end all I can do is love others and hate myself. That way, at least I won’t blame them for not loving me right. The only person I can blame is me for not being even “good enough.” Not for them, not for anyone, and least if all for myself.

    I don’t have a single clue of what to do with all that.

  • Laura Frizelle

    October 16th, 2014 at 3:31 AM

    Good enough is just fine. You don’t have to be the best or go to the best college. Just do YOUR best. The world needs all of us to develop and share the unique gifts and talents that that we have been given…some will be on a large scale most of us will serve on a small scale. Love and healing are what this world needs most. I am a Christian and I find that I need God’s love so that I can become a more loving person and heal. You are young and have time to search and wrestle and struggle like I did. You can do it!!! Search til you find what your heart needs. Life is worth it!

  • effed up

    September 4th, 2016 at 6:37 PM

    I’m glad to read you are a Christian. I used to go to church as a Christian, some places longer than others, but not any more. Even in small groups there are people who have each other & don’t need me. I had to stop going because it kept triggering self hatred. Not having friends is the most painful & humiliating problem in my life. My relationships with my spouse & children are healthy and happy. This article has helped me to ask myself “would I treat people as badly as I have treated myself?”. The answer is no. It still hurts to not receive positive virtues from others.

  • can't seem to get it right

    October 9th, 2017 at 10:03 PM

    Hi Stress,
    and everyone else. I know my self loathing is unhealthy. But I can’t seem to get over my need for someone, ANYONE, to accept me, just as I am. Why is that so hard? Now, I am not so sure such a person/group even exists and I am starting to think that I am really truly a misfit for life.
    However, somehow I know it will be better one day. God provides. Maybe I am focusing on the negatives instead of recognizing the positives. ONe day at a time, one moment at a time.

  • Sean

    October 11th, 2017 at 6:28 AM

    We all need to be accepted as we are, but we all must be willing to grow up. A good book is “Safe People, how to find relationships that last”. Of the list of eleven types of personal types of Unsafe People, the 11th are stagnant. It says the following: Unsafe people are stagnant instead of growing. Each of us has fixed aspects of our character and others that we can change. For example a naturally aggressive person will not change to be naturally passive, but that person can learn to channel that aggression into acceptable ways. This kind of change is part of the sanctification that we undergo as we place ourselves under the lordship of Christ. Safe people know they are subject to change, and want to grow over time. But unsafe people, do you not see their own problems. They are rigidly fixed, and not subject to growth. Proverbs 17.10. These people can be dangerous, and they were only change when there are enough limits placed on them that they are forced into great pain, humility, and loss. Without this confrontation unsafe people will remain defiant and unchanged.

  • Lauren

    October 12th, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    Dear friend!
    I have been there and it is very difficult as your self-esteem and confidence builts up during your childhood.My life was miserable as well.We live once and die at the end if we do not take good care of ourselves,nobody will.Jesus loves you just the way you are and I regained my confidence back after getting out of my comfortzone and prayed and sang and danced.Lower expectation from people and focus on your life.You will meet people who appreciates you but you have to make the setp first not being shaken by your feelings as feelings change and take good care of yourself love the way you are.We all are precious in God’s eyes.

  • Catharine

    October 15th, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    I go through periods when I want to change my self-hatred. I was all excited when I bought Loving Kindness by Sharon Salzberg, and enjoyed it @ first. But it infuriates me that I should have to read it or anything else that would help me ” love myself.” It’s ridiculous that I should have to learn to love myself. I’ve tried for so long, and my therapist is good, but it’s embarrassing that I still need to do this. I don’t want to talk to my inner child, or speak to myself lovingly like I’m a child. That’s bizarre & I feel foolish. So it makes me hate myself more that I even have to do it. Like I’m some loser that can’t even take care of myself.

  • Fran

    October 15th, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Wow I feel the same!

  • Sean

    August 25th, 2016 at 3:06 AM

    It sounds like you suffer from pride, perhaps narcissistic personality disorder. People with such problems hate receiving any kind of criticism because perhaps they see things in black-and-white. Black-and-white thinking is considered a cognitive distortion. It’s a bad habit that can be broken. In meditation technique that helps and is not childish in anyway is called R A I N. Do a google search on it.

  • Work in progress

    February 9th, 2017 at 11:32 AM

    To know that there are others out there who go through similar emotions is comforting but I can relate in the fact that it’s so damn depressing to come to grips with the fact that I’ve spent so long hating myself. I challenge those negative thoughts but a lot of the days are worse than other. Why do I have to go through this. I don’t want a pity party but it’s hard, honestly one of the hardest things I’ve had to face. I go through bouts of depression when it doesn’t get easier. It crazy some days I can feel on top of the world, ready to conquer. Other days I don’t even want to get out of bed. But I do, I go to work, plaster that smile on my face and keep going..

  • Pat A.

    October 15th, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    I found this very interesting. I must admit I see another aspect. As a Christian I know each of us is called for God’s purpose. I know we will experience strong opposition which is fully intended to prevent us from fulfilling the calling on our lives. It very frequently comes from the ones closest to us who are unbelievably cutting and cruel at moments when we most need their support. If we focus on doing what God has called us to do, despite all opposition, we will weather the storms and become victorious.

  • Caroline

    October 22nd, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    Remember, beliefs aren’t always true. But by all means you just keep “knowing” what “God” has planned for everyone, including people who want nothing to do with “him”.

  • Natasha

    May 20th, 2015 at 6:41 PM

    Really Caroline? REALLY? You were so absolutely compelled to try to bring her down for her belief in God that you tried to destroy her belief even though she says it helps her battle the issue of self hate. Better she should
    forget all that God business and fully loathe herself. Why? Because that will make YOU feel better.

  • Liora

    January 14th, 2017 at 9:12 AM

    Hi Pat- Your thought is a very helpful reminder. Remembering what Hashem wants me to do in this life is excellent strategy to quell the inner forces of destruction. ‘They’ like when I feel lost and directionless, self-loathing and purposeless. ‘They’ seem to get their kicks that way. While the voices of ‘they’ may be that of one person or another in my past, turning up the volume of the voice of Gd Himself, who loves me and gave me a purpose and a calling on this earth, has the capacity to drown those lowly voices.

  • Paula

    August 17th, 2023 at 3:56 PM

    I agree. I too find that I instantly feel happier when I focus on the spiritual quest, and consequently feel that my life has purpose. It is all too easy to fall back into the ‘lower’ feelings, but at least we know that there is someone who cares, when we are ready, as there’s no compulsion involved there.

  • D.

    October 24th, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    I grew up with a strict mom, she fought hard to get where she is against the odds of her familiy background( five girls in rural china, education not very much valued). I played piano when i was 6 and i got slapped on the face if i got one note wrong. i understand she was doing her best and that’s probably the only way she knows how to love me, but until now , whenever i call her about the problems i have in my life, she still opens with the line: i knew that, you always have the problem of being too naive, emotional…i have a very loving and understanding father so it makes things a lot better, however once every couple months, i will feel extremly bad, like i dont deserve to be alive and that i am ugly that nobody should love me at all. i am getting my phd and when i dont get much done, i feel stupid. my friends advice me not to call my mom whetehr i am in such a state and only tell her the good news, maybe they are right. i feel so worthless, lonely and a completely failure that can not bring happiness to people around me…sorry about the negativilties, ever since i noticed i have the problem, i have tried to steer my moods to the other directions by excercising and it helps.

  • Mary

    February 10th, 2015 at 5:17 AM

    I understand. I was reading this article and your comment stuck out. I have issues that stem from my childhood from my mom being manipulative of me. My dad was the kind and compassionate parent. Unfortunately, he committed suicide 2.5 years ago. I find therapy very helpful with handling my mom. You are valued and loved. It sounds like you have been very successful. Sometimes our parents don’t understand the harm their words and actions have.

  • Kristin

    November 8th, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Thanks Stacey.
    This is an excellent article, I’ll be sharing it & posting a link to it onto’s forum in Australia.

    I find great irony in your location. My own self-hatred was very much fanned (tho’ not started) by multiple experiences of childhood sexual abuse. The most painful occurred in Denver General Hospital. Many others happened in Boulder, where I lived for several years as a child. I’m now in my 50s so it has taken decades for me to see and understand this.

    The more I’ve understood the source of the self-hatred the more I’ve been able to find self-compassion, and the less I’m inclined to judge others for their struggles. Those of us who survive multiple traumas often lose or misunderstand much of the narrative of our own journey, and only when we have sufficient support are we able to gather the pieces of our life-puzzle and begin to rejoin our fragmented self.

    Kind regards,

  • Eckie

    May 24th, 2016 at 5:08 AM

    I loved how you explained this – fitting the pieces of the puzzle together. As difficult and painful as it may be, the fifties are a good age to start to do just that – I am finally in a safe place and the ones who hurt me and made fun of me and tried to put a different spin on the trauma that sent me into a daze of drifting confusion for half of my adult life are not in my life anymore. I still wake up with the dreaded self-loathing at times for all the wrongful things that happened in that drifty daze, and I still tend to blame myself for things that I had little to nothing to do with, but in putting the pieces of the puzzle together, I am learning to be a lot more compassionate towards the little girl/young woman who survived it all.

  • sam

    November 8th, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    I think that I’m fine but when I anylise my patterns I know that I deal with extreme self loathing. Many times a day if I do somthing slightly wrong or embarrassing I chant to myself over and over in my head “I hate myself I hate myself I hate myself” since I was little I have felt like I was bad, that even when I do somthing right, I’m just a bad person. That No mater what I do right, I’m just bad. I hate my looks and I hate my own presence in a room and yet I feel happy, I’m confident in life but underneath I feel so self loathing. I avoid places or thoughts that trigger my self hate so that I don’t have to think about it. I just honestly don’t know what to do

  • Manek

    November 30th, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    I’m amazed to hear this sort of thing works for some people. Two years of constant attempts did nothing for this one.

  • Boo

    December 18th, 2014 at 1:51 AM

    I’m in such a sad place I don’t know where to start, I listen to everyone else’s problems and feel so alone, I have a husband and kids and a job, yet feel feel worthless ugly fat, I do like a drink yet it always gets me in a mess or trouble, I’m bored I think , hardly go out socialising with friends husband always critical , then says he’s joking , same stuff different day

  • Coco

    January 10th, 2015 at 3:23 PM

    You need to be good to yourself. I find that when I’m care taking there is usually a pay off for me somewhere it helps me feel worthwhile but then I feel resentful cause others don’t be there for me when I need it. I have same problem with husband I go to a 12 step group and find it really helpful in working ways of not reacting and taking on partners stuff. It can only begin with me. You are a mighty woman don’t ever forget it x

  • Judd

    May 22nd, 2017 at 3:41 PM

    I’ve recently realized that I have extreme self-hatred with myself. Growing up for me wasn’t a great time;
    wasn’t like my brother/cousins in the regard of being good at sports, good looking, tall, etc. I know one isn’t supposed to be envious of others but I would be so jealous of everyone else for being “normal” while I was the short kid with glasses who sucked at sports in a family totally opposite from myself. As much as I try to think positive, there’s really nothing of me to think positive about. I don’t feel sorry for myself, I hate myself. I wish I weren’t here. And while I am not suicidal there have been nights I would pray to not wake up the next day, only to wake up the next day to disappointment. I don’t know what to do.

  • The Team

    May 22nd, 2017 at 4:13 PM

    Dear Judd,

    Thanks for your comment, and please know you are not alone. If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage,, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area.

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

    Kind regards,
    The Team

  • Muhlenrad

    February 11th, 2015 at 12:29 AM

    I already do everything under “the antidote” and it doesn’t work. Instead I just feel worse and worse about myself (probably partly because that sort of thing work for everyone else and I am apparently the only person in the world who struggles with it). But thank you for acknowledging that not everyone who struggles with self-loathing was abused as a child! Every single other website reduces it down to “mummy didn’t hug you enough” which is absolutely ludicrious, so it’s nice to see an article which says “uh, actually, a lot of the time, that’s not the case.”

  • may

    February 15th, 2015 at 6:07 PM

    I’ve been dealing with dissociation and depression, due to a mental breakdown after some painful events last year. Its hard for me to feel anything now, and I can feel myself becoming an old grumpy lady at the age of 21 and I don’t know how to heal. I used to be so awesome. And now I hate myself. And I don’t feel connected to anyone, and I just don’t see a lot of hope.

  • No

    March 8th, 2015 at 12:54 AM

    “Recognise…” does nothing for me. I already logically realise that my self-hatred is not logically sound. That doesn’t make me like myself, it just makes me feel bad for hating myself (especially since other people can apparently just logic their way out of self-loathing), which makes me hate myself even more. And I realise that that’s illogical (and that others can just logic their way out of it), which just makes me feel bad, and then—

  • Beewitchme

    June 6th, 2015 at 2:34 AM

    At last I seemed to have found my thought twin. The arguement never ends. I usr the distraction technique, live music, festivals, and art. Take care.

  • Susan

    December 9th, 2019 at 9:55 AM

    Same. My self-loathing started before I was language capable. I hardly ever read anything about recovering from things that happened pre-verbally. And if I do, the info is that it is almost impossible to recover from trauma that happened before one was language capable. The self-loathing is indescribable, but something like being engulfed in and possessing a core of deep, dark, black shame. To wake up to it every damn day is… bleak. I agree with the earlier comment that it is soothing to listen to others that feel similarly. I’m bookmarking this page. xx

  • marguerite

    June 4th, 2017 at 11:43 PM

    i can relate to that, it feels habitual. I blame myself for the way my life turned out so far but arent I suppose to take responsibility for my mistakes ?

  • AtoZ

    March 18th, 2015 at 6:05 AM

    The hardest thing for me about dealing with self-hatred is that it seems cyclical. I’ll go through a period of it, come out (maybe through meditation or something, but it’s a painful period trying to figure out how to feel better), and think that that’s an issue that’s licked. Then after a time it’s back again–I don’t know why and I blame myself for feeling so awful. So it’s the same struggle again and again and again…

  • Susan

    December 9th, 2019 at 9:57 AM

    I experience that same.

  • Shani

    March 25th, 2015 at 7:35 AM

    I was one of those children with a parent (Mom) that was verbally abusive. At some point I did start to realize that she was wrong for what she was saying, but the damage was done. “Look at you, who would want to be friends with you?” “You’re going to amount to nothing” “Who would want to be around you?” these statements have always been in the back of my mind regardless of how wrong they are and how wrong I know them to be. To this day, at 41 yrs of age, I still have a hard time with female friendships and trust. I was also punished for trying to make my own decisions. If I showed any independance my Mom would mope, sometimes staying in her room for days until I did things the way she wanted. This has also affected my decision making skills which with the help of my Husband have gotten better over time.

    I’m not writing this for sympothy or for others to feel bad for me….but to put it out there that some of the suggestions in this article do work. It takes time….but you can start to drown out the negative thoughts with more positive ones. Practice makes perfect!!

  • Shruti

    May 16th, 2015 at 11:00 PM

    I was the first person in my grade to begin puberty, and then I moved away as soon as I had found some good, reliable friends that wouldn’t judge me. I just happened to move to a school where everyone in my class was Caucasian and had a perfect body and no acne. I was the one non-white with a face that had been smattered with acne since the third grade, was slightly more plump than the other students, and had a developed body. My mom has always been obsessed with looking ‘ladylike,’ and apparently that involved wearing leggings and shorts and tank tops. Naturally, I didn’t want to do this.
    I resorted to wearing the most modest, dark clothes possible- black sweatpants, long navy shirts. People at school began to ask me, “Shruti, how come we have never seen you in shorts?” and I could only ignore them. My mom tried to make me do things that she said ‘most girls didn’t do until around age 16 but since your body is so mature, we might as well do it now,’ and I didn’t know why she wanted me to do that. I started hiding in my room, avoiding going outside, avoiding society. And it didn’t help at all. I had wanted to be an average kid, but instead I had started my teenage years several years too early.
    My friends were no help; with their perfect hair and perfect clothes and perfect bodies, they didn’t understand a thing about this- in fact, they mocked it. They called me fat and useless, and whenever gym class came, I was always hiding in the bathroom, trying to eliminate myself in the best way possible. And when I told the guidance counselor, they said I was ‘pretending to be sad in order to get attention.’ This made me feel horrible, fake; I continued hiding in my room.

  • gail harrison

    June 6th, 2015 at 1:17 AM

    Hi shruti I think 11 to16 years are the hardest. I was a very shy insecure young girl, I believe a lot of people are weather they are boy or girl. My not liking my self continued till I was 26. I do hope youre stronger now and know that you are amazing and wonderfully made and that you are loved. Gail;-)

  • Kellie

    June 5th, 2015 at 1:08 PM

    Great read. I plan on saving the articles for the future. I really needed this today and I fell so fortunate to have stumbled across this. Reading the comments always helps, too. It puts things in perspective for me and let’s me know I am truly not the only one with these types of struggles. Thank you for just existing.

  • Anonymous

    June 14th, 2015 at 2:48 PM

    I’m 38 years old, and sick of never being good enough for anyone. No matter how much I do or how hard I work—I’m called incompetent and useless. Fuck everybody.

  • joy89

    June 22nd, 2015 at 6:31 PM

    Self hatred is really tough to deal with but when I turn to God and tell him how much I hate myself and my life He puts things in my life to remind me just how much He loves me. He has a plan for me. He has a plan for us. Keep your head up, He’ll help us through!There is always hope!

  • Kitty

    October 26th, 2015 at 11:10 AM

    How do we know if God has forgiven us for our past sins?… Are we not told that when we die we will be held accountable for our past sins….?… I feel most of us with shame regret and self hatred, carry these feelings forever, and don’t know how to forgive ourselves because we don’t deserve to be forgiven…. Vicious circle… God gives and God takes away.

  • Arthur

    June 15th, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    I have moments when I have real self loathing, and they are HORRIBLE. Truly awful, though I don’t think dangerous, I may say to myself that perhaps I should disappear or end it all, but I don’t mean it. And I think it would be putting an awful burden on my children. Sometimes it comes from being overweight, especially when doctor or gym nurse or so forth has asked me if I need help planning meals or adding calories. Dolts! Do they think I like walking around with a spare tire around the middle?

  • GoodTherapy Admin

    June 15th, 2015 at 3:20 PM

    Thank you for your comment, Arthur. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Tj

    August 9th, 2015 at 10:08 PM

    I have the same exact thoughts. Some days are really bad, I hate myself for hating myself. It is like I know that I have so many blessings and don’t understand why I feel so negative. Not truly suicidal but get feeling like everybody would be better off if I just disappeared.

  • Fran

    July 3rd, 2015 at 5:12 PM

    I think I suffer more from self-blame as a cause for my self-hatred than shame, although that has happened in my life as well in the past. If something goes wrong, I will blame my inaction or procrastination and sometimes my lack of common sense for being so stupid; and at the same time, my procrastination grows, and so does my self-hate. I find it easier to love other people instead of myself, and would never consider doing harm to them, nor to myself, for that matter. I just don’t like me.

  • Kitten

    July 23rd, 2015 at 7:58 PM

    MICHAEL I LOVE YOU <33333333333!!!!!!!

  • eula

    August 2nd, 2015 at 1:11 AM

    I suffer from self hatred..and wasting almost 3 years of my life believing i am not good enough..i know i am a positive,achiever,and confident person but that was 3 years ago.the true me is dead. The version of me now is so weak and worthless…often times i said i hate my life and i hate myself..
    But behind of this thinking and negative feelings i know deep inside of me..that i dont deserve this..but i dont know how to get out of this..

  • Jaynice

    August 5th, 2015 at 12:56 PM

    Imagine a pleasant, open, empty Field dotted with wildflowers, birds and bees.
    See the open Sky. Feel the open Air. Explore the Openness.

    Now Imagine, a city being built on your field, with roads and towers and lights and as many buildings as can fit – with all the vehicles you can imagine – and the noise and pollution.

    Now, Imagine one flower growing up, and out through the tarseal. ,and now the city is slowly crumbling away, disappearing, until all that is left is the empty field once more.

    The REAL TRUTH IS The Field.
    Thats Our Soul.
    It Is the true foundation, Not everything or anything built upon it.
    Your Mind built that city out of your thoughts and feelings and piled them on top of your soul, So much over time that all you see is the City and forget that the Field is still there.

    Embrace the Responsibility. You can rebuild your city into anything you want now … your mind, your feelings .. THEY are The Power within you.
    Free yourself once more xXx

  • Lorraine

    October 8th, 2015 at 9:24 PM

    I so love this thought! Thank you for posting. I am going to write this down and tape it to my desk at work so I can read it a few times a day.

  • Anne

    August 10th, 2015 at 12:58 PM

    I’m in the same boat. It’s been 3 yrs and I don’t know what the root of the problem is or how to make the deep resentment/sadness stop. I think of things that could help (exercise, taking a class, etc), but I keep holding myself back. I feel tired, hopeless, and disgusted with myself.

  • Susan

    December 9th, 2019 at 10:10 AM

    Anne, This reply is years late to your comment, but just wanted to say, me too. Walking, any exercise, makes me feel so much better, but I end up driving to a Fred Meyer two blocks away. I may post an ad on Craigslist looking for a walking partner. I have joined gyms in the past, but have never gone, even once, after signing up.

  • Bob Nemerovski, Psy.D.

    August 5th, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    Well done. Relates to what Control Mastery therapists and others call “pathogenic beliefs.” Little minds by nature make all sorts of false explanations and twisted meaning that lead to some very deep, dark seeds that keep getting watered and nurtured until we learn to treat ourselves better. Nice job.

  • Leslie

    August 5th, 2015 at 9:35 PM

    I’m beginning to realize that a lot of coincidences are really just times that I am finally paying attention to myself and the world around me. I am currently taking an 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion class (created by Kristin Neff) and then see this post. I roll my eyes when I tell anyone the name of the class, because it’s exactly the thing I need and it sounds awkward to acknowledge that to people. And yet…halfway through the class I think I’m starting to really pay attention to what self-compassion might open up in me. I would NEVER talk to a friend the way I talk to myself. It is slow going, but I have to believe it will become integrated into the way I think and talk to myself. Thanks for this post.

  • Arthur

    August 6th, 2015 at 7:33 PM

    I posted earlier about some of my feelings on this topic, but I was very touched when I read Eula’s comment saying the real me is dead. I have sometimes said the same words to my wife “The real me is dead, which is a pity because he was a nice guy, but he could not handle some of the bad things in his life, the man you live with now is just a ghost.” But I have come to recognize that the real me is not completely dead, he is disappointed that he has not actualized all his potential, he has been less happy and less fulfilled than he thinks he deserves and could have been, but he is still hopeful sometimes. But the only real abuse is being told to count my blessings etc. That produces real pain, because my blessings are the reason I feel worthless and trash and a failure.

  • squeebz

    August 18th, 2015 at 3:24 AM

    I have only recently realized that I hate myself. I started to identify the fact I compare myself with almost everyone I see which turned into jealousy which left and just turned into insecurity and has now been identified as self hated. I do expect perfection from myself and when things don’t go as planned or I make a mistake I am extremely hard on myself. It’s not easy for me to forgive or forget myself. When other people point out or bring up the mistakes I already beat myself up for, I beat myself up even more and because I can’t forgive myself I think they can’t either. Maybe that’s not true. I don’t keep friends because I’m selfish and don’t much like people. I have my husband who has helped me through many things but would not understand this. No one would. They all have some love and respect for themselves that I somehow can’t reach. When I was younger I was really skinny but I wore glasses and everyone at school always told me I was ugly. I believed it and still do. Then at sixteen my dad basically made child pornography out of me. My mom never wanted me. I was verbally and physically abused by both she and my step mom when in their custodies. I’ve forgiven them all, though. So why can’t I forgive myself?

  • Margaret

    May 25th, 2016 at 6:41 PM

    What a darling you are. You forgive all those who hurt you. But not yourself: all I can suggest is you use that compassion that makes you forgive others and get involved with helping others, maybe voluntary work? That is the way to peace. Serving others is the true way to feeling better; thinking about ourselves, however understandable, makes us miserable. Chinese wisdom says if you want to be happy, learn to serve others. Jesus said “I came not to be served but to serve”. You are a lovely person. You deserve to be happy. There’s only one way: serve others. Thinking and brooding about ourselves leads to sadness and depression. Follow the path to happiness! Love M

  • Miya

    September 5th, 2015 at 5:41 PM

    I am obsessed with self hate and each day think about how much I hate myself. I am obsessed with myself, I feel like im not normal and feel extremely inadequate and insecure in comparison to everyone else. I feel like this self hate is destroying me inside, and am jealous of people who love themselves and are confident, i aspire to be them because confidence is key. I always, always, always have negative thoughts and sometimes have to tell my self to shut up it gets that bad. Sometimes i have to tell myself “don’t think that” repeatedly because it gets scary. I am really insecure, anxious and on edge, i feel insecure around people and friends and see my insecurities around people because i will just keep quiet. I blame myself for everything, i have many secrets, i don’t know how to open up, instead i just blame myself.
    It feels like an infinite sadness inside of me and i feel so small, it feels like the flat line on a chart, no progress just sadness and self hate. I feel like no one understands me and i don’t confide in people because they don’t ever tell me what i want to hear. I am extremely selfish and only do what i want to do, so inevitably i feel alone and worthless. I am trapped in this bubble of insecurities and need someone to pop my bubble so my personality and existence can explode and shine bright and furthermore do great things. I don’t need advice i need someone to understand and help me love myself because i know that, that is the key to greatness.

  • GoodTherapy Admin

    September 5th, 2015 at 9:51 PM

    Thank you for your comment, Miya. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Emeldah

    October 19th, 2015 at 8:44 PM

    Well trust it is up to you to make that change.People can tell all you need to hear but if you are not ready for change then you wont change.It starts with you,take the first step n the rest will follow.

  • Kristie

    September 14th, 2015 at 9:47 PM

    I had an affair while I was married, we were married for 16 years and have a daughter together. I was unhappy, lonely and tried to reach out to my husband to get counseling together. He thought it was a waste of money and that I was a nagging wife. I met someone while we were married and he made me feel beautiful, loved, important and actually enjoyed having a conversation with me. We started meeting after I would drop my daughter off at school and while my husband was at work. It went on for months and then I started to realize what I had done and the mistake I had made. I began to hate myself, hate the person that I have become and for what I had done to my husband. I had failed everyone. I failed myself, my husband, our daughter, our families and most importantly I have failed God. So I moved out and filed for divorce (never telling him the real reason why…..yes, I’m also a coward) because he deserved someone better and I deserved to be punished. I deal with self hatred everyday. I made the biggest mistake of my life and I hate myself for it. I have never told anyone about this and I probably never will. I thought about asking God for forgiveness but decided that I deserve the punishment I know I will get. Everyone that ever meets me always tells me I’m one of the nicest people they have ever known and it just makes me want to scream at them ….if they only knew. The worst thing is, it wasn’t my first affair.

  • G

    January 16th, 2016 at 6:32 AM

    Wait a minute right there …. You said your husband said it was a waste of money to go to counseling??! Well doesn’t seem he valued your marriage. So, it is not odd or a surprise you’d find the connection you craved elsewhere. That is common for women. He didn’t value that connection so why are you feeling guilty. I think this one is an easy one to see you simply sought what you felt was missing. He should have made you feel all those things. You should be enjoying being without him and not feeling guilty.

  • Shawn

    September 15th, 2015 at 12:06 AM

    I used to hate my self . I always curse my like to be so depressed , I always thought I am not good for anything , I am not enough . Then I started judging myself and started hating myself more . As I thought it was the initial stage , so I started hanging out with my friends and they make me realize that I am good enough as all the people . I use to do things in which I found happiness and feel excited . I will suggest if anyone is feeling depressed the best way to overcome is to talk to some one . Talk to friends , family member or colleagues it helps in calm the person .

  • Geneva

    September 29th, 2015 at 12:03 PM

    My mom let me know I was the worst thing that ever happened to her . I ruined her life so I distance myself because I don’t want to ruin anyone else ……. And I’m almost 50 years old and I still believe this …….

  • D

    December 10th, 2015 at 4:58 AM

    Geneva, I’m so sorry. I went through the same thing as a child. I’m turning 40 soon and I’m still stuck at times. I feel like I’m not worthy of friendships, bonds or deserve ANYTHING. I want so badly this train of thought to go away.

  • Louisdebianchi

    October 16th, 2015 at 1:05 AM

    Excellent, gave me something to contemplate

  • Angie

    October 22nd, 2015 at 5:03 PM

    Brené Brown’s extensive grounded theory research shows shame is never healthy. This is a good, helpful article, except for that.

  • emeldah

    October 23rd, 2015 at 8:28 AM

    My name is emeldah I am 19 years old.I need your advice please.I have a very low self esteem,I cannot stand up for myself.I feel really damaged inside most of the scares are due to the fact that I was bullied n I did not do anything to protect myselfi want to learn to stand up for myself but don’t know where to start please help.

  • Kitty

    October 26th, 2015 at 4:00 AM

    I feel that if you have done something wrong in your past like abortions, no amount of self help books, will make the feeling of self hate and guilt, go away.. You just can’t undo that bad decision…. I will carry this guilt with me to my grave and hope God forgives me.

  • Katarina

    November 18th, 2015 at 12:44 AM

    Hi, I just wanted to share what I did, after having beaten myself up for a long time, because of an abortion. One night I delibrately contacted the soul of that unwanted child, and explained why I didn’t feel able to give birth to it, and there were many reasons. But the healing came in this, beeing very honest on why, and asking for its forgiveness and sending deepfelt wishes for it, to be able to incarnate with a mother who had the resources and ability. It gave me peace, maybe there is something in this, that you can use for your own healing.

    And this is good, Gangaji about selfhatred:

  • Andrea

    October 26th, 2015 at 9:14 AM

    To the nice commenter who hates herself for an affair and the one who cannot forgive an abortion. I look at it differently, i have done some things which were wrong, and i have not corrected all of them. But i cannot go on beating myself up i have to live. I went through a phase where i stuffed my face from self hate. In another stage i had a partner whom i begged to paddle my butt, because i felt i deserved punishment. But i look at the rest ofmy life, and i have done a lot of good too. And when i focus on that, i go on with more purpose

  • Kitty

    October 27th, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    Thank you for taking time to reply to me, gosh life is so complicated, for the past two years I have been doing my best to help the animal shelters, I save money and also buy beds, blankets and food for them, this is never enough but it’s the only way that I feel some self worth… I only wish I could do more for them, .. I stopped eating meat and each mont I subscribe to a charity in Thailand called the Soi foundation…. It’s the only release I get from my guilt, … I somehow feel that animals have something in common with me, the world is a cruel place…and I have seen a lot of cruelty when I was a child …… I have however since reading your reply, put a few positive things about me together so maybe I can build on that.many thanks
    Kindest regards. K

  • It hurts

    November 27th, 2015 at 10:58 PM

    I hope that some of you can find some benefit here. I have recently decided that it is no longer worth it. I am the biggest disapointment to not only those around me but myself. As has been pointed out to me ad nauseum I am a selfish, self centered, selfish baby. I am never happy amd I eagerly look forward to the day I am finally dead. It makes sense that practising self compassion would help. On the other hand I am not worth it and any relief I may feel ( assuming all of my inherent worthlessness does not kill it first) will merely give way to yet another bout of unadulrered self loathing. Good god how I hate me! Good luck to you all

  • The Team

    November 28th, 2015 at 10:26 AM

    Thank you for your comment, It hurts. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • LaToya

    December 12th, 2015 at 3:44 AM

    My life wasn’t bad but bad things happened. Molested, verbal abuse, physical abuse, and emotional abuse. My dad loved me but I could never ask him about life. He was strict on me. Didn’t want me to date, made my decision for me, and got super mad if I asked about sex. I developed at the age of 8. It wasn’t easy in elementary, middle, or high school. I got bullied bad in elementary school. Middle school was hard to cope with cause I was way more developed than other girls. High school got better but still I felt alone. My mom wasn’t around a lot, she’s a drug addict. I’m not fund of her but I love her. She has verbally abused me before, that’s why I don’t go around her much. I was forced to do things that I wasn’t ready to do yet like college. I hate myself for not standing up for what I knew was right. I know I’m beautiful, smart, and talented. My boyfriend doesn’t make it any better cause he have a bad choice of words for when he trying to bring my spirit up. I’m 26 no kids and I feel like crap sometimes. He tells me I shouldn’t even be feeling the way I should be feeling cause I had a good life.

  • Mars

    January 16th, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    It is a shame how some people know all the right answers but don’t know how to express them properly. It is a seriously bad thing to tell someone that they shouldn’t feel is way. I don’t understand where my self loathing comes from or when did it start and even though I know that I don’t have to be perfect it still hurts when my friends point out my flaws or just mess with me. And I don’t even know why it hurts like this let alone if they are true. Don’t worry about your self loathe and the fact that you don’t understand where it cones from. To me it makes sense that you would be self loathing given the things you’ve said. Especially the boyfriend part.

  • horses_water

    December 12th, 2015 at 2:14 PM

    I understand- because I live the daily hell of self hate. never suicidal- but see why people are and do. All the -try religion, join a gym, get therapy, turn that frown upside down… good stuff right there- from the brains of self lovers.

  • free

    December 3rd, 2015 at 12:00 PM

    Self hate is most dangerous disease human can have. Kinda uncurable than cancer. But instead of thinking forever. just live a day. Life is precious and heavenly. i know you may say you do not fit into normal life. But you are here for what ever the purpose. Forget and Live. Working is best cure for self hate. So brain do not have free time.

  • Jamie

    December 13th, 2015 at 11:24 PM

    Thats a very nice thing to say.
    But I cannot forget. All day everyday I am ambushed by reminders and triggers to my past. Also current situation is hopeless in many ways. I am literally not able to change anything. That leads to hopelessness. Then selfloathing. Problem is i know all the answers and all the ways to stop. But being bipolar and off of my meds (100lb wt gain had to go off or die)and I cannot control my thoughts. Daily struggle to live.
    But I am gtateful for your kind thoughts on this matter.

  • Mars

    January 16th, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    I am self loathing to an extent where I fear it might get worse. I don’t want to tell my friends or family as so far they haven’t done much. I feel helpless. What should I do?

  • GoodTherapy Admin

    January 16th, 2016 at 8:21 PM

    Dear Mars,

    If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage,, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area.

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

    Kind regards,
    The Team

  • Gail

    January 24th, 2016 at 4:07 PM

    I live in fear that someone will find out I did something awful and I don’t know if that’s true or not cuz I’ve had a few strokes and remember very little. My sister accused me of stealing stuff when my mom died and tho I have no recollection,
    some of the things did turn up – they were hiding in plain sight
    from both of us, and some things are just gone. I can’t remember anything about them and maybe she’s right.
    Maybe I took something and don’t remember. She no longer speaks to me and I have to accept that she believes I did wrong knowingly. Even with strokes, wouldn’t
    I have remembered that. And then I add in all the lies I’ve told and the memory of things I did do that were dishonest when I
    Was little, and I’m all tangled up again.

  • RangerPink

    January 29th, 2016 at 8:34 AM

    I hope we all can love our selves.
    Thank you for the article

  • Brenda

    February 13th, 2016 at 6:08 AM

    I am 65yrs old. After all these years feelings of unworthiness has emerged. I had these feelings all through school but I thought they were gone. I don’t know when it started but I feel so inadequate to everyone and that I can’t do anything right. I feel I am not liked. My oldest daughter has separated herself from me, my youngest gets mad at me every time I visit her for a couple of days. My elderly mother told me she has always liked boys better than girls. I have two brothers. I know she gets more excited when she sees them. I have no friends that call me and when someone does call to ask me for lunch or anything I feel that they feel sorry for me. I actually thanked a woman in Sunday school for letting me sit by her in class. I cried all through class once for having to give my name. My problem now is that I can’t talk to people. I lose my breath and my chest tightens. I sound really nervous. I can finally order coffee at the drive through at Starbucks without sounding as if I’m scared to death. It’s rediculous! I keep trying to figure out what caused this.

  • Jack

    February 15th, 2016 at 2:34 PM

    This is for Arthur-I agree, hearing “count your blessings” when feeling ashamed and depressed is the last thing we want to hear. What does help is just to tell ourselves, “you’re allright. When you consider the childhood’s many of us had, it is a wonder we are here, and we are “allright”. You are allright, Arthur.

  • Adam

    February 26th, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    I was a sad little lad, I was rejected and hurt by many. I had a lot going for me but I was unaware of it. I turned to addictions and many vices of destruction to blurr the contempt I had for the man in the mirror. I loved my neighbors more than myself, as if I even knew what love was. Then one day I smeared windex on the mirror set before, polished it, and said “I love you”

  • susan vz

    March 16th, 2016 at 2:55 AM

    Thank you for this very helpful article. I think selfdoubt is simply a general human condition; everybody experiences it sometimes. It becomes a problem though, when it turns into selfhatred, and does not get dealt with. One thing we should all stop doing: comparing ourselves and our lives to those of other people and begin pitying outselves for our miserable lives. There is always something ( usually a lot! ) to be grateful for and I find , among those mentioned in the article, genuine gratitude for small things a good antidote.

  • man

    April 5th, 2016 at 7:32 AM

    you guys are lucky, your all mostly women, self hate for you is a problem but you get support from boyfriends and husbands. My self hate has the added bonus I cant get a girlfriend, great hey, when you got model good looks, your super smart and a semi pro artist and you still alone forever at 36 its a pretty miserable place, and its all my fault, god the pain is rediculoius ! added self hate is no fun, being alone forever is just the final straw really ! no support no affection no love no family, the life of a self loathing man is the very worst !

  • Sean B.

    April 10th, 2016 at 8:51 AM

    Hi, Sean here. I can relate to what’s been said here. I truly, utterly hate myself. The firs bully in my life was my father. He told me I was worthless, stupid. He always verbally abused me, but to other people he always ended up smelling like a rose. Fasr forward toI high school, nobody wanted to be friends with me. I never had a girlfriend, never went to the prom, and none of my peers clapped for me on graduation day. In 1994, I started my first job. I thought now people would respect me. WRONG! It was even worse. More bullying. They called me every name in the book, and it was even encouraged by my bosses. I have a learning disability and people never let me forget it. Nowadays, I am going to school and working again, yet still no one wants anything to do with me and I feel intense loneliness. I think of suicide many times, but I am too much of a coward to do it. I know the Bible says he doesn’t make things imperfect and that we are in his image. I think something went wrong with me. Everyone else seems more blessed than me. What comes easily for others is a struggle for me. I have tried therapy, psych drugs, bible reading, talking with friends. Nothing seems to cure this self loathing I have. Everywhere I go I’m a laughingstock. People in the community talk about me and there is nothing I can do about it. I thought going back to school and work would improve my self esteem. It has not. It actually makes me envious of the others around me. I wish I had the grades, the adulation, and the abilities they have. But I won’t, and I never will. I feel I have nothing to offer the world that I just take up space.

  • GoodTherapy Admin

    April 10th, 2016 at 12:55 PM

    Dear Sean,

    Thank you for your comment, Sean. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about self harm at and additional information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Indy

    August 11th, 2016 at 1:18 PM

    I think this is far more common then people realise. I grew up being told on a daily basis that i was useless and would never amount to anything (that is the very polite version). Growing up like that, always knowing that you are inferior and cannot even master the basic social cues makes you build your own little bubble. Too talk about this with friends and partners requires a level of trust, which my own desire to protect myself stops me form committing too. I have had friends, girlfriends and housemates who after a while keep telling me how little they know about me. I tell people i like to keep myself to myself but thats not true. I accept this as my lot in life and learned to live with the solitude plus i dont like bothering people. Yet every morning i get up and put on my work face. Lead meetings, direct teams, laugh and joke – always fearing my mask will drop and people will see me for who i really am. Come home in the evening totally worn out, sit in front of the tv or get wrecked the options i allow myself are suffocating. The worst thing is i do not even know who i am anymore what is it that makes me happy – i fear that feeling sorry for myself and praying for a miracle is probably what defines me. You watch life opportunities pass you by and deep down i know they were never really opportunities for me to start with some people pick up on this and use it for their own advantages. I have dark times, when not at work i can go days without speaking to another person. Trying to get an answer from family on why this went on for my entire life and is still continuing (i’m 38!!) gets me no where but more explanations of how pathetic i am – strangely this reinforces what i know and believe, i cant even get angry about it anymore. If i cant get angry when being abused what kind of human being am I. I allow myself to be a emotional crutch to others when i desperately wish someone would do it for me, oddly when others start feeling better they no longer wish to spend as much time with you. I tell myself that they are better for having known but thats not enough anymore, it never really was. I am destined to be the sad polite loner who everyone wonders why they cannot get their lives together, i really cant stand the thought of that anymore. Getting smashed off my face no longer brings any relief or distraction.

  • Betty

    May 5th, 2016 at 4:47 PM

    I grew up in foster care. 30+ homes. The biological mother hated me upon conception. In the homes I was sexually, physically and mentally abused. I realize I suffered at the hands of this world. I am now 55 and several years ago was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease. I have never had a family, no husband, no children. No matter how hard I try I feel this world, well my life is nothing more than a joke! I have realized I hate every aspect of my being and no matter how much therapy or searching I do not seem to be able to believe that I was born to be punished. I HATE EVERY ASPECT OF ME AND MY EXISTENCE!! When I try self-compassion, I feel so overwhelmed to destroy myself. The feelings are what I can’t seem to get in the right place to get beyond. I am highly intelligent and have read so many blogs and books and they all say the same stuff. Learn to love yourself. Learn self-compassion! Only you are responsible for loving yourself. Telling me to go love myself, well that is like telling me to go “F” myself. I don’t know what else to try. HELP!!

  • Geoffrey D.

    May 9th, 2016 at 5:44 AM

    I come forth to anyone that has the answer. Hate, not just self-hate has been with me for years alone with several other darker emotions, but the one that stands out from this fog of fealings in my mind is the hatred of everything. Even the ones I love are not spared from this hate and the tend to be the ones who are in the path of some of my outburst. Though lately I have been holding everything in because of my lack of trust in anyone. Starting with the kids at my school who tend to be my sorce of hatred; two of them have died recently in car accidents one being a close friend of mine and the othere I could care less about. Seeing them die in this maner thought didnt make me sad at first but angry that it had to be him because I could have easily traded someone else, but it also made me slightly jelouse because they now know what is truly out there. Now it feels like the hate has just concentrated on my heart with the refusal of letting it out. Now it has condensed into a ball almost post a minature star inside of me that has aged rapidly do to the stress it now feels it is on its last legs, and even I know what hapens when a star dies. Thats why I came here in hopes of stoping myself from actually useing the hate inside of me.

  • The Team

    May 9th, 2016 at 8:15 AM

    Hi Geoffrey,

    Thanks for sharing your comment. A therapist may be helpful for understanding and processing the feelings you described in a safe space free of judgement. If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage,, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area.

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 FREE ext. 1.

    Wishing you relief,
    The Team

  • Kino

    June 27th, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    Well this morning I sent an email to my new landlady and accidentally typed die instead of did and she had thought I sincerely wanted the people to die. I am still slightly obsessing over it, but it was a mistake, and thankfully she could have said I could go find a new place for this Thursday to move into but she didn’t. I’ve been going to lots of sites to help me get through that, and a lot of other self harming thoughts. I love the one suggestion suggesting that if a really close friend was going through the exact same situation as I was, what would I say to them. Sometimes we just don’t take our own advice. I say to most of my friends “Stop harping on this, it’s not worth beating yourself up over, it is going to start to harm my own energy.” And in truth it would because I am affected by many peoples energies. So if I did that to myself too, I would affect my own energy. So what I normally do is just ground and centre everything, and read inspirational quotes, and read that other people go through the same stuff as me. Yes I could have it worse, but I don’t care about that, I only care about making myself mentally better, and continuing on my path to my destination wherever it may take me.

  • Chelsea L.

    July 6th, 2016 at 9:48 PM

    Thank you for the post. It was a great read.

  • Anthony

    September 9th, 2016 at 11:45 PM

    This thing that is trying to destroy me has to have a way to express it in a positive way, I feel helpless and tired of this pain caused by myself to myself. Honestly I lost the love and compassion that the child inside of me have owned by the rights of my pure heart and birth. I will seek help because I know that I can bring back myself from the deepest point that I fell into unconsciously.

  • Garrett

    October 21st, 2016 at 8:35 AM

    This is an area in which I really need to grow. I am so brutal to myself on such a regular basis and say things to me that I would NEVER say to anyone else. Things like, “Why don’t you do this world a favor and not wake up tomorrow” as I’m drifting off to sleep, or “wow, Garrett, it’s truly amazing how you can have the audacity to expect good things for your life when all you contribute to this world is trash.”, etc.. Here’s the interesting part: I had a great childhood with loving parents and I was never abused (as far as I remember), never went through some great trauma or anything, so I’m confused as to where this self-hatred came from- but it’s there & it is thick. I’m starting to wonder if this is the mindset I prefer for some reason. Would that make any sense?? Where is this coming from?

  • Sean

    October 23rd, 2016 at 8:27 PM

    I have the same problem, but I was not raised in a healthy environment. What I am doing about it is working for me though. The first thing I tried was something called cognitive behavioral therapy CBT. This started to work but it required me to write down my cognitive distortions and challenge them with rational clear views. I was not writing things down. I was just talking back to those automatic thoughts, as I had somewhat memorized the cognitive distortions, and was able to label them. Then I discovered mindfulness meditation. When we start haranguing ourselves about what we have or don’t have, or our future outlook, or past failures, we end up getting on what Ronald D. Siegel PsyD calls the self referential treadmill. When we bring ourselves into the present moment it disrupts this treadmill allowing us to get off and view those thoughts in an accepting nonjudgmental objective way. Knowledge about what cognitive distortions are helps balance things out a bit, because it gives a more accurate label to the distortion. It is also possible to deluded oneself to the other extreme, and that too can blind us. So we want to be honest with ourselves but in a loving manner.

  • Bella

    November 18th, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    I have methods to help me but some days I can’t help but go back to thinking the worst of myself. I find I can’t do things right or fast enough. I’ve been in college in years and I don’t feel any closer to graduating. My family and friends have “faith” in me but continue to push that I work faster. I cant. I know my limits. I don’t understand how I can manage so little and I worry that I can’t survive on my own. I don’t think I could ever feel worthy of a partner as I don’t see myself amounting to much. As you say, I could never even think of that for others but it seems to be the truth when it comes to me. I can’t help but take criticism to heart. I hate fighting perhaps that’s why all I know is to fight with myself? Either way, things keep slipping through my grasp…..

  • Sean

    November 20th, 2016 at 6:10 AM

    Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
    Alexander Pope

  • Anon

    December 29th, 2016 at 11:59 PM

    I certainly see a lot of similar feelings in others’ comments, but I also feel so different in my situation and I don’t know where to turn. I am a well educated, happily married father of two of the best children I could ever hope to have. I have a decent job that pays good enough with little stressors, but nothing too serious or abnormal, and my job gives me plenty of time to be off and with my family. I was raised by parents that very much loved me and let me know every day how proud they were of me. Aside from some common school bullying, I can’t really think of anything in my past that was traumatic. There are certainly some regrets that I have, and these are often triggers for the feelings I get, but when I seem to conquer one of them, another one pops up just as easily. It never goes away. I don’t really have any friends outside of my marriage, mostly as I find it difficult to meet others with similar interests. And while I can be friendly with those who don’t share similar interests, it’s just too much work to maintain a real friendship when you don’t.

    But ultimately, I deeply, deeply hate myself. It comes out now and then a little bit when talking with my wife, but I can’t talk to her about this in full. Though she’s a bit cynical about accepting mental conditions (and I don’t blame her; I am too), she would listen to me if I was straight about it all. But really, it would only concern her and it’s not a problem I want her to have to worry about. I would never be able to really physically hurt myself, mostly as I think about my family and how it would affect them, but I certainly dream about it all the time. I try to listen to music or pray to drown it out, but every car ride home from work is another daydream of bullets in my head or me driving the car off the road. Every little thing I say or every little thing I’ve done I relive in a painful way — I can’t stop it. Following the advice given seems to be useless to me.

    Sometimes I think about these things at home and my wife tells me to stop giving “that face.” She thinks I’m thinking about work, or plans (and sometimes I am), but often it’s just another series of thoughts about how much I hate myself, how disappointed I am in myself, and how I could have done something differently.

    On top of this, my 3 year old daughter is demonstrating extremely high levels of perfectionism, a problem that likely has resulted in my self-hate, and I’m worried about her too. It’s not a problem I can figure out how to overcome.

  • Macy

    February 24th, 2017 at 8:02 PM

    You know what is crazy? You never actually feel what youre feeling or seeing in your head untill you say it allowed. And then you come into reality..its crazy that feeling,because your head gets so full of hatred thoughts you have against yourself and you say it allowed and you think your crazy. Well actually it may make you think you’re even crazier because your coming face to face with the dark thoughts in your head. The thoughts you let no one else see. The thoughts and feelings you cover up from people. You know it feels kind of good to see other people having similar thoughts. But tell me have you ever been feeling so sad and disgusted with yourself and at the same time youre at your lowest low you feel a presence in the room, or you see things and it makes you feel even more crazy. You ask yourself am i the only one? So i surround myself with things that get my mind off of it but no matter where i go or what im doing that feeling of self-loathing comes back. Unless im with friends..which is a good thing right? But its weird because you feel like are they really my frends? They dont even know half that goes o in my head and if they did theyd run away. Youre scared that youll die alone and feel even more lonely than you do now. Do you ever feel like all the people around you are constantly judging you and assessing you like some type of test..And you cant help but form to their wants/personality so they dont see the real you..cause the real you is weird.? Right now as i sit here and type this i feel even more crazy. Like im coming again face to face with somethign i always just thought. Because it was just a thought/thoughts it wasnt real..but now i see it is an it makes me hate myself even more. Do you ever continuously ask yourelf wtf is wrong with me. IS this just in my head or is this real?? Do non-hurtful remarks other people make, make you feel offended because you feel they are intended to hurt you? And you look back on them and feel like they were being rude on purpose as if to make you hate yourself even more…sometimes you feel youre overeacting and think to yourelf did that even happen? Or am i just making that up in my head? Or you distort the way they actually acted in a situation to a way to make them intentionally hurt you..which never really happened? Are all of youre memories of things you did wrong and how weird you were and then that stems into hating yourself even more? Almost everything i feel is hatred towards myself…makes me wanna stay home by myself. And idk if that makes it worse or better for that short period of time until i plunge back into my self loathing. I look online for disorders that may apply to see whats wrong with me part of me believes i have that disorder,the other part believes it isnt me at all. And that im just overreacting because everyone has insecurities..right?Then i ask myself is it just insecurties or do i ttruly have a condition a disorder? I cry to try to “relieve” the pain but then i say dont feel bad for yourself people have it worse..then i feel guilty and horrible. Idk just a couple thoughts that ive felt just today who knows what ill feel tomorrow…maybe i need to find a religion i like. Or god or something LMK if youve had similar thought would help…

  • Sean

    February 26th, 2017 at 8:29 PM

    Ask these three questions:

    1. Where is the evidence?
    2. Is it as bad as it seems?
    3. Is there any other way of looking at it?
    After you have thoroughly answered those three questions which may require seeking evidence like a detective on the job, can you be certain it is worth the consequence of making it an issue. Anger untempered usually leads to regret, shame, and unnecessary damage, hard to repair. You might be suffering from automatic thoughts, which can be tamed with a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, & Mindfulness Practice, consider Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). If you think you have a mood disorder see a licensed clinician MD for a proper diagnosis.

  • AH

    February 28th, 2017 at 12:26 PM

    Like you, I’ve talked horribly, constantly, to myself as long a I remember. My biggest help was after turning to substance abuse to try and numb my feelings, I finally got clean by the grace of God. I didn’t purposely pursue drugs to numb the hateful talking t myself, the rewind, play, rewind, of old tapes in y head I received from someone I needed validation from who wouldn’t give me it. Yet, by very small word, short sentences, and the “looks”, I knew I wasn’t acceptable to dad. Killed me. When I got clean and worked the steps, I got to step 9 and I was scared to death at 40 years old to make amends to him. What I found as I began to write out hpw he hurt me, where I dropped the ball etc…., he was a better man than my head told me he was. A friend in recovery asked me, “what are your parents names?”. I said them out loud, then he told me to refer to them by their name in my head, heart, recovery. It allowed them to become human, HUMAN, and NOT gods. It helped me see them as just other imperfect people trying to make their way. I recognized too that they had their own issues, wounds, in life. Likely from childhood and it harmed them still. They spoke bad to themselves, therefore to others, NOW, I have, am, will, stop the cycle so I’m not casting that torment on my children. My job is to care for the little people God has blessed me with. And talking to them the way I’
    ve talked to me, still do, WIP, is not acceptable or what I want to pass on to them. I speak positive, uplifting, encouraging to them. Validate who they are, what they mean to God and myself. Another HUGE help for me was getting into a men’s accountability group. Not a lame social small group, people wearing mask, only getting into the shallow waters. Gossiping happens often in those half-committed groups. This one had 7 men. We signed a covenant day 1 that we’d never share anything outside the group that was discussed. Not to our spouses, no one. From meeting one, if you didn’t put “skin in the game”, get real real, you were kicked out. We dug deeply into our problems, issues, defects, lifelong self hatred….. Met every week, busted our butts on assignments, talked, exchanged group emails throughout the week. We had become bonded as brothers. It was a Christ based group but not tied into the church. I’m not saying that regular church, small groups, etc…. are less than, just speaking about the difference and depth we went to and how it got past the “fake me” I wanted the world to see. Working the steps 5 times in recovery, sponsoring 25-30 guys and taking them through the 12 steps, 3 years in that accountability group, and over the last 6 years I’ve walked away from it all. Put myself on an island. Tried to please a spouse that later I found out was using and completely insane. W my self hatred, I must’ve thought this is what I deserve in a marriage, all I could get. She suffered from these parental wounds too and was dealing w them the same way I did prior to knowing her. Yet, I was completely blind to what was going on w her and had been for years. Even as a recovering addict, being around thousands of addicts, attending at least a 1000 meetings w addicts, I couldn’t, or possibly wouldn’t, see that she was skitzed out. I thought I was freaking crazy. Basically was. I don’t know now which is more insane, being strung out w no hope of rescue, change, or being married to (in love with a parent or family member of) a using addict/alcoholic. It’s nothing I would wish on an enemy.
    Rambling and off subject, just writing what comes to mind here. Maybe it’ll be just what someone else needs to hear.
    With my removing myself from a support group, recovery and friends trying to save that marriage, was basically demanded to leave them. I quickly reverted back to the “old me”. Today, I have to work hard to tell myself positive and healthy things. It’s just natural to rag on myself constantly. As I’ve heard, if you talked to me the way I talk to me, I’d whip your ass. Or fight at least.
    I’m no victim. These things happen and come from humans. My Father doesn’t talk to me crappy, though I have to separate my dad’s voice from His. If you get that. I now refer to Father God, as Daddy quite often. I wanna know Him closely, believe He loves me and ACCEPTS me just as I am. He made me. Made me the perfect me. Wants me to heal, heal me, help me, and remove the damn fear and insecurity I’ve been plagued by in life. Still today I struggle in relationships, seeing my true value to people, bosses, and so on. Gotta run. Seems I needed to get this out, vent, share. We all help each other. Difference between telling someone something and sharing experience is huge. I’ve had people tell me to “quit doing this, don’t be like that, just STOP, blah blah. Only makes me feel sh*tty. BUT, when we share our experience w others, there’s no better than or less than. No right or wrong really. We just share what we’ve been through, done, and let the other decide if they can benefit from it. STOP comparing myself to others. I make them look PERFECT and set expectations that there’s ZERO way I can achieve, Hence, the beat down continues. It’s been and can still be earth shattering in my life. I will continue to seek help, healing, new ways of treating myself better. Hopefully forever. And let my Daddy keep telling me, I’m proud of you, I accept you, you’re cool man, I like being around you…… Daddy, again referring to my Father God. Bless you if you’re reading this and had the patience to hear me ramble. I pray something in this helps you, inspires you, causes you o seek God in your heart. Love you fellow humans who have experiences like I do. Let’s find the way out, together. :)

  • Sean

    February 28th, 2017 at 6:14 PM

    Hi AH, God bless you. I believe it’s very healthy to talk it out, but to do it with healthy self control. Typing it out helps, especially if you type really slow. It is sometimes difficult to slow the thoughts down to actually be in present moment; however, when it happens notice how thankful you can be, for whatever it is that catches your attention, a dragonfly, an line of ants 🐜 a caterpillar 🐛 whatever it is, God made it for us to delight in. Thankfulness, confession, feelings of contrition, forgiveness, giving apologies, mercifulness, a healthy self love, these seem to arise out of us when we stop drowning our cares in the past, or the future, or with substances/idols, and it is then that we see freedom is possible. This freedom requires practice, effort, self motivation, and thus grace from Our Heavenly Father. Closet Prayer 🙏🏽 is a simple work of faith, and so we can ask for that grace from on high.

  • AH

    March 3rd, 2017 at 11:41 AM

    Thx Sean for your feedback. I have a hard time staying on track w thoughts to express in any way.
    I did mean to address the shame and guilt talk.
    As believers I know God doesn’t shame me, nor put guilt on me.
    Rather His Spirit convicts me when I do wrong. Though it often is very uncomfortable, I need it. My job then is to clean up the wrong I did as best as I can. I dig these articles and have never commented till this one. Just hit a spot in me. I was speaking ugly w curse words in first comments and I apologize to the readers for that. It was uncalled for. I pray you all find Our Father, and in His son your salvation. The healings are His business and I do my part, then leave the results to Him. My absolute favorite verse, tattooed on my arm, is Rom 8:28. It’s very comforting to know that “ALL things work together for my good”. Evry single thing I’ve walked through, regardless of how awful it was, has become a cornerstone in my life. At the least, I gain the experience to empathize w others who go through the same things. And hopefully share something that can bring them hope and healing. Just knowing we’re NOT ALONE is a huge comfort. The enemies big LIE is that we’re not worthy. We’re unique with the pains we have. No one understands us, or ever will. That’s all LIES from the enemy of God and His children (us). We are worthy because God says we are. Nice to get that affirmation from people but always know that our Father accepts, approves, has mercy and grace on us. ALWAYS in EVERYTHING. He made us the perfect us. No one is like me, I’m his Andy and I’m in His care always. If those around me don’t see my value, disrespect me, put me down, it’s best I set boundaries against them. Even in my own home/family. I’m not who THEY say I am. I am who God says I am. And know that I’m dearly loved by Him. He pursues me, desires a great, deep, intimate personal relationship with me. He is my comfort, my shelter, my provider-healer-deliverer-savour- and very present help in times of trouble. Just turn to Him. He’s the only way guys. I pray He touches your heart, soul and mind this moment, this moment and this moment. ty and have a great day.

  • Vanessa

    February 28th, 2017 at 1:57 PM

    Ive had alot of emotional verbal abuse as a child. Then on top of that have received other types of abuse (sexual, spiritual) Ive been in therapy for about 5 yrs. This seems to be the hardest part to even start…I have so many blocks to even attempting to have self compassion for myself.

  • Sean

    February 28th, 2017 at 6:39 PM

    I will pray for you Venessa, my prayer for you is something that happened to me. when the dove 🕊Appears Allow it to enter your heart, don’t be afraid. After it enters the demons in you will be very upset, they are not you, you tell the demons in you to get out, and stay out. They may not leave immediately, but the dove will help you evict them from your house. John 8.31-32

  • Sean

    March 4th, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    I extend this prayer to all who read this and who want it. 🕊May the comforter aid you too.

  • Neil

    March 9th, 2017 at 9:33 PM

    I have developed a mental list of critical failures in my life, and this list has become almost an instinctive mental recital when I start getting down on myself.
    * I didn’t graduate college even though I went off and on for ten years.
    * I never really established a serious relationship.
    * I don’t have many friends.
    * I don’t really have a place of my own–this is debatable, since I’m renting the former home of my parents from my parents.
    * I don’t really have a great job. Not to mention, I may no longer have the back for any physical job, anymore.
    I consciously know it’s a pretty harsh list. However, whether by too much caffeine, not enough water, or some sort of sugar low, I get it to where my brain is chemically wired to just beat myself down about every little mishap or obstacle that comes in my way. Then, Lo and behold, faster than an eye can blink, here comes my list of nasty, unanswered failures that jump out at me to gang up on my mentality teamed up with whatever new problem has come. It’s tough. I look around at a number of my acquaintences in my generation, and they seem to have done everything right, the way I originally wanted to do for myself. But, instead, I have my list of what I failed at, and not too many positive future aspects to look forward to and grant some sort of hope. I’d hate to leave you with “here’s how I hate myself.” So, I figure my next project would be to take each item from my nasty list, and right out solutions to what maybe solves these things or add it to my plan in life to where they may be completed in time. Like maybe I can try to repeat that better list to myself and turn it into a positive. Nevertheless, I know I need to turn this list of failures into something else because it sucks, and I’m not getting any younger (36).

  • Thisbe

    March 11th, 2017 at 12:21 AM

    It feels so strange to say this but u would need to know why: what I wouldn’t give to go back ro 36! Ax I quickly approach an inconceivable 50, my oldest part of me is stuck at 20-22. I am positive if we compared lists u would come away with a renewed sense of gratitude. Ive so far had the misfortune of having the worst of accumulated life trauma stories in any group of people who gathered with such a common cause and hope if healing. But comparison isnt the solution. Your pain is no less than mine. I just want to say I feel u and encourage u to make a list of all the attributes u do have. And even in my well versed practice of self hating suicidal ideology I know I have them too because people forever tell me them till I cant stand it! Im strong, a survivor, so insightful, and soforth. Now I can counteract this with a bunch of negative facts of all the mistakes ive made, and what a failure I am but im not cuz why bother doing something somebody else is likely to do anyways (I call these people haters because they secretly wish they had what u got). And I need to google late bloomers because many people who did great things did so at twice ur age! Give urself a break! Ur a baby and it’s a harsh economy and plain crazy stressful world. Make that list and hang it up . Best of everything to u!

  • Neil

    October 15th, 2017 at 1:14 PM

    Thank you, Thisbe, for replying to my post. I’ve been busy keeping track of website reporting, attorney and work correspondance, and fighting my work comp insurance company, for an injury I sustained at work. I’ve been trying a few things pertaining to keeping with my own positive mental self-reinforcement. I’ve needed it, being mostly unemployed, I have only to think about my current situation, since I can’t really work right now. I’ve taken a few mood-enhancing vitamins. I wanted to address the brain chemicals that seem to cause the “feeling down” or that which may be the physical cause to getting down on myself without explanation. I don’t revert to that old list as often as I used to, months ago. I’ve tried to look more positively to potential that I have, but I have also been looking at the few steps in front of me, rather than at the entire ‘mountain to surpass’ further down the road. It helps. Like in college, people can overwhelm themselves by looking at how much work their degree or planned major is going to take, or they can take the road one-class-at-a-time each day at a time (like they are supposed to). I realize that there is a whole lot of life left at age 36, but to hear someone of fifty years engaging in or recognizing similar troubles, tells me that maybe this rocky road is just going to be rocky. On the other hand, how I perceive it is the challenge, and my own personal growth, the reward. I would never say someone older should be out of the woods. In fact, people like you are great guidance to people like me because I feel that I’m not in this alone. Also, Thisbe, when I was mountain biking, two guys in their sixties passed me up like I was holding still, on the mountain biking trail. Have you thought to try a new, different recreation that may make your spirits rise? Like you, my head tells me I’m still 21-22 years-old (still 36), but I think that’s okay. I want to have those young motives for people that are much younger–they’re going to need guidance, too. I want to be able to relate to the kids or young adults with the idea that I won’t lose touch to what they may be going through. I also want to mountain bike through my sixties, and, God willing, my seventies. This little kid likes to play outside! I rediscovered the outdoors and physical recreation, in my twenties. I want to take that and ride it through to my death bed. I just wish that I didn’t have to write-off pretty much this entire year of physical recreation because of my work injury. Is there a hobby, something new, out-of-the-ordinary to try, or a former past time to rediscover for Thisbe to be free from and rebuild from what ails?

  • Eternally Entwined

    March 26th, 2017 at 11:46 PM

    Wow. I think I have been trying to hide the fact that I hate myself all of my life because I am so ashamed. My family puts on this false self, so it always appeared to me that there must be something wrong with me because everybody else is happy. And even that, I am incapable. Recently I have realized that I am afraid of the unknown: living without self-hatred. It is what is normal for me. It is what I know. So, sickly, there is a part of me that is scared to change because pain and self-hatred is the only love that I know. Everything else is unsafe. It seems like I believe that I can only exist within the margins. That must be my false self or ego. Good luck to us.

  • Burl

    August 3rd, 2017 at 6:34 AM

    Amazing short article! I really get pleasure from your hard work!

  • Anue Nue

    October 26th, 2017 at 10:47 AM

    “The most sustainable way to turn Self-Hatred into Self-Compassion is by releasing any hatred you have for those who came before you and replacing it with a level of empathy that leads you to finally understand that continuing to hate them, or from wherever you came, is actually about hating parts of yourself. That’s Self-Compassion in a nutshell.” ~Anue Nue  

  • Vic

    November 8th, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    We’ve all been there… Questioning your actions, feeling angry, sad, depressed about things you could have done differently. But here is the thing… Usually psychologists boil the whole self hate thing down to “mommy didn’t hug you enough” and I think it’s absolute bull****…

    I was raised in a kind, loving and supportive family with wonderful parents that loved me and let me know that they were proud of me. I fondly think about everything they have done for me and wish to do the same for them in their elderly years. I wasn’t bullied in school. Nothing out of the ordinary school conflict. I went to university and got a degree in economics and I have a good paying job with little stress and get 4 weeks paid vacation every year. I have a loving girlfriend who lives with me and is there to support me every step of the way and I love her dearly. I even managed to save enough money to start up my own business and bought a 1980s E24 635CSI BMW (dream car of mine), car guy thing…

    But deep down I hate myself. I hate all the mistakes I’ve made, all the times I’ve been an idiot and made the wrong choice! I could have had enough money to retire by 30 if I played my cards right.

    And it’s the same thing every day. I would get up, think about how I hate myself on the way to work, work, lead meetings, talk to people and seal deals and on the way back I’d lose myself in fantasies about crashing into something at 200kmh and just ending this nightmare, but I know I could never do this. My parents and girlfriend would be devastated… I could never put them through such a nightmare. So I go home, I act normal, I have dinner with my girlfriend and we watch something together on tv and after she falls asleep, I drink whiskey. A couple glasses of Chivas, or whatever else we have lying around usually help me to get to sleep and numb the negative feelings. I would go to bed happy and relaxed. I’d sleep soundly, only to wake up to a new fresh hell…

    And the worst part is that I was never like this. I was always an optimist. A go-getter, a dreamer who would surge forwards. But in the past 6 months, I have turned into a self-loathing mess. I hate this person, that I have become. I hate being this pathetic mess! I hate this me! I want to be the old me, the lucky, smiling sarcastic guy, but sadly he is gone. It’s like this me is like a ghost that replaced the old me. Even the ****ing classic car I bought doesn’t bring me any joy. I had plans for it, I wanted to restore it an go on a Riviera trip with my girlfriend, but here it is sitting under a tarp for five months, while I continue this destructive loop… I’ve even neglected my Mercedes. Every summer, I would spend hours happily waxing and polishing it. This summer I skipped this little ritual. This summer while I was back home with my parents, I was sitting outside, while they were sleeping. A stray kitten came up to me and hopped on my lap and started purring. All I could do is look at it and break down and cry. Why would the poor little thing want to be with me?! I hate this me with a passion! I want to change, but I can’t… I don’t need pity. I don’t want to talk to my inner child, or do yoga, or any of that junk! That’s ****ing nonsense! I tried to distract myself with stuff… going to the gym, seeing my friends more often, computer games, drawing… But at the end of the day the only thing that soothes me is drinking. I wouldn’t say I’m a drunk, I’ve always liked various drinks. Sadly now I don’t drink because I simply like said drinks, I drink to forget.
    I don’t want to talk to my girlfriend, or parents, or anyone close about this, because I don’t want them to worry about me. It’s like I’m stuck on repeat in a never ending nightmare. The worst part is that I’m starting to think that this self-loathing me is the real me and it took some time for it to come out. I don’t want to think that, but it somehow seems logical at the time…
    How do I get out of this hole? And is there anyone else with similar feelings?

  • Sean R.

    November 9th, 2017 at 4:53 AM

    Hi Vic, it is good that you see a problem and are seeking help. “Drink doesn’t drown care, it only waters it and makes it grow.” – B. Franklin. But you knew that. It sounds as if you lack the ability to be intimate, something that we must learn to do. You might consider a book by Henry Cloud & John Townsend “Safe People”. The book actually helped me to see how and why I was unsafe. I attend group meetings with safe people at my Church. There is also Co-Dependents Anonymous International, they have a webpage, consider attending one in your area.

    You have my prayers

  • Joseph

    December 19th, 2017 at 7:51 PM

    I had self loathing issues since I was a teenager, much due to my way of handling critisism from authority figures. One thing that never occurred to me as a child was that perhaps my parents were sick. There emotional sickness tranferred to me and I never knew it, let alone deal with it. I always looked at my parents as perfect. It never occurred to me that they were not. I always thought I was flawed or “bad” because of their reactions to me performance. Theres a little bit of bad in the best of us and a little bit of good in the worst of us. Perfection is like the biggest number……….exactly. Keep gowing, keep going…… to infinity and beyond. Thats perfect.

  • David

    December 28th, 2017 at 2:32 AM

    I was unloved by my father. Bullied by others. I came to believe that everyone in the end will abandon me. So I find myself always doing my best to make that happen.

  • Scott

    March 8th, 2018 at 12:35 PM

    David, I can relate completely. I’m no longer suicidal like I was as a teen, but I do hate myself. I find myself unable to accept love and compassion from others. It sucks.

  • Evany E.

    April 22nd, 2019 at 5:58 AM

    its a miracle that for some odd reason I came up reading this, you really have your ways in making your words of truth touch me.
    I recently turned 18, and I have lived my life in a total lie and blur, reading this makes me feel as if I wasn’t alone, with feeling the pain of hatred and the pain in what life throws to you. I am in the process though, in changing myself into a positive and committed person, because I cannot and will not allow myself to let the past stop me from reaching my goals.
    I just want to thank you and tell you how much I am
    blessed to come across reading this.
    May god bless you.

  • Alex

    August 1st, 2019 at 8:16 AM

    Mindfulness is a complete waste of time if you want to end self-hate. It merely attempts to appease an opponent that is savage and dominant, usually with the same futile and tragic results of the League of Nations in trying to appease Hitler. I tried mindfulness therapy for 16 years with various CBT therapies and all I gained was more aggression than ever before. Suicide is the only thing that gives me any consolation, which it always has, thus, I should soon be no more!

  • The GoodTherapy Team

    August 1st, 2019 at 8:27 AM

    Hi Alex,

    If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, in danger of hurting yourself or others, feeling suicidal, overwhelmed, or in crisis, it’s very important that you get immediate help! Information about what to do in a crisis is available here:

  • En

    August 5th, 2019 at 8:34 AM

    Hi Alex. Please read this comment.
    Listen, I know how you feel, I DO. No matter what your religious beliefs (more or less), if you commit suicide you’re making a New Spiritual problem for yourself. Don’t become a ‘lost’ soul, or put yourself in a spiritual plane you Don’t want to be in.
    Being under duress; if you are angry, bitter, emotionally torn up; that is not the time to commit suicide believe it or not. When you perform that permanent act in that emotional state, your soul is directed to an ‘agony plan’ or ‘lost’, for lack of a better term.
    “As you are, so that is where you’ll go”.
    I did a lot of research on this because I didn’t understand ‘lost’ souls in the spiritual plane. One way to get ‘lost’, or be sent to the agony plane ( I don’t want to say ‘hell’, because that’s not what I learned, or, not my understanding of what I learned); is to commit suicide when you’re emotionally upset.
    Also, you have Choices on This Plane (human/Earth); once you leave, you have No More Choices. You don’t want to have No Say in where your soul goes. At least while you’re alive you can choose when to get up, go to bed, what to wear, what to eat (or not), who to talk to (or not); you have choices here. So Please Don’t go, Please Don’t go. You Can fix Something Here; once you leave it’s Done, you can’t fix Anything, & you get to be a lost & tormented soul with no choices. You don’t need Mindfulness, you need to practice Gratitude. Cheezy I know, but thinking of even the Little things you Love will bring them to you more often; then hey, be ridiculous dream big, why not? I hope this changes your mind & maybe helps you think of things that make you happy so you stay here.

  • Jeff

    February 7th, 2020 at 4:58 PM

    I find drugs and alcohol help stop the constant self-hate and regrets.

  • Susan

    February 8th, 2020 at 1:34 PM

    Hi Alex,
    I understand as well as I can without knowing you. Every morning as I wake up, as I come to the surface, I feel emotionally like I am being slapped in the face, back and forth, and I also feel emotionally like someone is frantically, roughly molesting me, all while making me lock eyes while it’s happening. It is a terrible way to wake up, every single day, so I lightly use benzodiazepines to take the edge off. Alcohol, no — it just makes me feel worse, and I’m too old for hangovers. And I have a grown, married son, so I won’t do suicide, although he has often been the only reason I don’t.
    I’m a housekeeper and in so much pain during and after work that I also use 10mg/day of methadone to cut the edge. I get the side benefit of having more energy and feeling better emotionally, but next week I am scaling back on cleaning (I have a small other income) and detoxing off drug use, to study and learn to write personal essays. Writing is the thing I live for, and I find that the more I write, the less shitty I feel. This is how I’ll be doing life and handling self-loathing, which seems to go down the more I do what my heart cannot live without. Writing things out gives me a lot of relief, and eventually I’ll be turning the writing into personal and reported essays. What do *you* love to do? Are there any creative things that make you happy doing them?
    For now,

  • starlit

    July 8th, 2021 at 10:13 PM

    being trapped in a repeated cycle, makes me wonder if there is a way out of this. i am 23, in the country i live there is no real therapists left, if i were to find an online therapist it costs more than the food i eat per month. i have tried self therapy for more 5 years now. the disgusting feeling does go away for a few months or till i get triggered again. i really wish i could get help from someone who could get me out of this hell like loop.

  • nils

    July 1st, 2022 at 7:13 PM

    “instead of hating yourself choose to feel positively about yourself instead”. Useless.

  • Niti

    August 22nd, 2023 at 9:31 AM

    Fantastic article! Self-hatred is very damaging to our mental health, and we need to build a healthy and positive mindset to deal with it. Some effective methods that might help you deal with self-hatred are positive self-talk, journaling, saying positive affirmations to yourself, and self-care.

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