Why do I hate myself? Causes and solutions
Have you ever heard the expression "I am my worst enemy"? Surely you've heard it at least once in your life, and the truth is that it entails a deep reflection .
Some people live a life with great deficiencies due to their own feelings of worthlessness and self-hatred . This causes them to have problems relating to others and to be happy. But what are the causes of this type of sensations? To what extent do they alter our thoughts, emotions and habits? And, in short, how can we from psychology help improve this self-perception to people who hate themselves so that this discomfort does not affect them so much?
What is the inner critical voice and why should we silence it forever?
In a study published a few months ago, psychologists Lisa and Robert Firestone They found evidence that the most frequent self-critical thinking among most people (regardless of their cultural, ethnic or religious origins) was "I'm different from the others" . Most people see themselves as different from others, but not in a positive sense, but quite the opposite: in a negative sense.
We all have an "anti-self" who detests our way of being
In fact, even individuals who have a good social image and seem perfectly adapted and respected in the social environments they frequent, have strong negative feelings and the feeling of being showing a distorted face on themselves . This is explained because, according to some experts, our identity is unfolded .
Dr. Robert Firestone explains that each person has a "Real me", a part of our personality that is based on self-acceptance, as well as a "Anti-yo", a part of our conscience that rejects our way of being .
The critical voice or "anti-yo"
The anti-yo It is in charge of boycotting us through that critical inner voice that we all, to a greater or lesser extent, have. This critical voice it's kind of like an alarm from our selfconcept that makes negative comments about every moment of our lives , thus altering our behavior and our self-esteem. He is a specialist in burying our illusions and objectives: "Do you really think you can do it? ... You can never reach that goal, look at yourself, you're not good enough!". It also takes care of despising your past and present achievements: "Ya, well, you were lucky, it was not your merit". In addition, the anti-self is an expert in boycotting our well-being when we enjoy a relationship: "She does not really love you. Why do you think he has so many friends in the faculty? You should not trust her ".
Learning to ignore the voice that tries to boycott us
Every person has this critical voice inside, what happens is that some people pay a lot of attention, while others have learned to ignore it. On the first, the main problem is that when the critical voice is given a lot of attention, the criticisms and reproaches that it launches are increasingly hard and constant . In this way, they end up assuming that, instead of being a voice that represents an enemy that has to be fought, it is a voice that emanates from our "real self" and confuse the criticisms with the real point of view, accepting without further what it tells us
Why do I hate myself?
"I hate myself" it is a recurring phrase that can send us our inner critical voice. What is the origin of this kind of self-destructive thinking?
For the psychologists Lisa and Robert Firestone, are thoughts that are generated in the negative experiences of childhood and adolescence . The way we perceive ourselves in the different stages of childhood and puberty and the judgments of others towards us is shaping our identity and, therefore, a better or worse self-concept.
How others perceive us affects decisively how we value ourselves
When we are subjected to negative attitudes by our parents or people we hold in high esteem, We internalize these assessments and judgments to conform our own image . It seems clear that if receiving positive attitudes from our parents (such as compliments or feeling loved and appreciated) helps us develop good self-esteem, critical attitudes can promote just the opposite effect. This phenomenon is perfectly explained by the "Pygmalion Effect".
In any case, it is not a matter of holding the parents accountable. Educating a child is not an easy task, and our parents also have to carry negative feelings from their own past ; no one is immune to transmit, even unconsciously, judgments or gestures that are not entirely appropriate, especially in times of stress.
A negativity that is transmitted from parents to children
If, for example, our parents made us see that we were naughty or they told us to keep quiet constantly, or even if they simply felt overwhelmed if we were close, we could end up accepting the idea that we really are a hindrance . One of the possible effects of this perception is that we could end up being timid and withdrawn people, or to take a submissive attitude in our daily life and with our interpersonal relationships.
How does the critical voice disturb us in our day to day?
Our "anti-self" can have an impact on our daily life in several different ways. We can try to adapt to the critical voice trying to take their criticisms into consideration. When it repeatedly states that we are a disaster as people, we can come to believe it and choose, under that premise, friends and sentimental partners who treat us in the same way, as if we were worthless.
It is also possible that if he constantly tells us that we are inept,Let's develop a total lack of self-esteem that pushes us to make mistakes that in the end make us look really stupid . Is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you tell us every time that we are very unattractive, we can even decline the option of finding a partner.
Between turning a deaf ear and managing criticism
The moment we listen to our inner critical voice, we confer authority on our thinking and our actions. It is possible until we begin to project this kind of critical thinking towards the people around us. We are at a real risk that the hatred that the critical voice generates towards ourselves ends up tarnishing the glasses with which we see the world. At this point we can begin to suffer some symptoms of paranoid personality disorder, when we begin to question people who perceive us in a different way than our inner voice does.
We can try to remain oblivious to flattery and positive criticism, because they contradict the schemes that we have built on our own person. Even we can instill in ourselves the idea that we are not valid enough to have loving relationships . It is a critical voice that not only attacks us from the outside, but gradually becomes the personality itself, attacking the foundations of personal well-being. Not only is there all the time but there comes a time when, for that same reason, we stop perceiving it, because it is already fully integrated into us.
How can I stop hating myself?
There are several tips that can help manage and try to minimize this hatred towards ourselves , getting to live outside these limiting beliefs that our internal critic generates us.
Overcoming our critical voice, our anti-self, is the first step towards the liberation of destructive thoughts, but this is not easy since many of these beliefs and attitudes are fully rooted in our being, we have internalized them.
1. Identify the critical voice
This process starts with detect and start sowing the foundations to be able to manage this critical voice . Once we have recognized the sources of these critical thoughts that affect us negatively, we must take into consideration what they have for certain (thoughts) and for false.
Sometimes, as we have already mentioned, this identification is going to suppose that you inquire into your interior to recognize the negative traits that you have "inherited" from your parents during your childhood. If you had very demanding parents, for example, you have the responsibility to challenge the demanding habits towards others that you have acquired .
2. Rationalize and start being realistic
We must respond to the attacks of our critical self that causes this hatred towards ourselves by a calm but realistic and rational point of view about oneself .
3. Challenge and relativize
In the last place, we must be able to challenge the self-destructive attitudes that affect our self-esteem that the negative voice pushes us to perform . When we renounce these defense mechanisms that we have been building with the adaptation to the pain that you experienced in your childhood, we will try to change some behaviors that emerge from this circumstance.
For example, if you were a very overprotected child and your parents were constantly watching you, it is possible that you have developed by seeking to isolate yourself from others for fear that they may intrude into your life.
4. Find your own identity
The last step to change the thinking "I hate myself" to "I liked" It means trying to find your own values, ideas and beliefs with which you feel comfortable and calm . What is your idea of how to live life? What are your short, medium and long-term objectives?
When we are liberated from our inner critic, we are closer to finding ourselves.We can then begin to have attitudes and perform acts that are a much more faithful reflection of our needs and desires, which will give much more meaning to our existence.
A path not without obstacles but worth traveling
During the journey in which we try to stop hating ourselves until we find that path that makes us happy, it is natural that we experience a bit of anxiety or a resistance from the critical voice to abandon our recurrent thoughts.
However, if one is persistent in challenging the internal critical voice, This will end up becoming weaker little by little and we can go in this way getting rid of the feeling of hatred towards ourselves . A crucial step towards a more pleasant and happy life.