“How To Stop HATING Yourself…” Whoa. Slow down.
The title of this post sounds harsh to me no matter how many times I read it.
We grow up being told how hate is this strong, destructive, can’t-take-back, divisive and all-around wrong emotion to carry and channel toward others.
The devastating, “need-not-engage-in” consequences of hate, however, are never emphasized to us as children nearly as much when that hate is carried and directed toward the most undeserving of all: ourselves.
“Hate,” thus becomes this term/emotion that we more often than not, use to elicit a reaction OR… it elicits a debilitating amount of shame, grief, and guilt when we genuinely feel it – especially toward ourselves.
I have definitely hated myself.
I’ve hated myself emotionally, morally, relationally, physically, professionally, superficially and substantially.
I was a nondiscriminatory hater – of myself and everyone around me who always got the things that I was never “good enough” to get, but that’s a whole other issue.
I committed emotional suicide years ago because of the hopelessness associated with that hate.
Hate is a funny thing. Just when you think that you really, REALLY hate yourself, you can still hate yourself some more. And as much as you try to brush it under the rug, the effects of self-hatred will always show up in your relationsh*ts, friendsh*ts, health, skin, familial relationships, (lack of) luck, and the overall level of toxicity in your life.
Hating yourself is okay. Really, I promise. Don’t punish yourself for it by engaging in relationsh*ts and allowing the feelings of defeat and shame associated with the hate to paralyze you like I did.
When you’re in a state of emotional paralysis, the only option is to hand YOUR pen for others to write YOUR story (in accordance with their needs and agenda).
If you totally hate yourself or if you just hate certain aspects of yourself right now at this very moment, guess what?
You’re normal. And you’re far from alone.
Most of your self-hatred is dependent upon how much trauma you’ve experienced and the degree to which that trauma has been acknowledged, processed and dealt with.
We waste so much time thinking that we’re the only ones or that there’s something seriously wrong with us because we full-on HATE certain aspects of who we are.
I would be lying if I said that there wasn’t a part of me that wanted to write “how to stop self-loathing,” instead of “how to stop hating yourself.” It just sounds so much more politically correct, but it isn’t real.
In fact, “how to stop hating yourself” is Google searched 10 times more every month than “how to stop self-loathing.”
We’ve all, at some point in our lives… Failed. Epically. We have failed ourselves and people we care about. We’ve stayed in relationsh*ts and friendsh*ts way past their expiration date and we’ve failed at achieving this emotional, relational and physical ideal that we all have (aka perfection – the lowest standard you can hold yourself to). There are also things that get under our skin that we wish didn’t; decisions we wish we could take back and the overpowering shame that our levels of insecurity freeze us into.
And we f*cking HATE ourselves for it.
We hate being a prisoner to our own self-hate.
The title of this post is “How To Stop Hating Yourself” because I didn’t have the space to write: “How to stop allowing your self-hatred to control, manipulate and take you down – ESPECIALLY after failures, breakups, death of a loved one, not being chosen, not winning, diagnoses, not doing your best, making epic mistakes, falling for your partner’s bs yet again, etc.”
Here’s how to stop hating yourself; how to stop allowing that hate to infiltrate, control, manipulate and disable you from your innate badassery – especially after failures & breakups.
How to stop hating yourself? I want to keep it as straight-forward and simple as possible.
Here are the 5 most impactful steps that allowed me to not only extinguish the chokehold of my self-hate, but disabled its power, influence, and effect over my self-esteem and beliefs.
How To Stop Hating Yourself – Step #1: This is what’s cutting you at your emotional Achilles’
The level to which you suffer from the disease to please will always be in direct proportion to how much you hate yourself.
Allowing yourself to be the resident doormat disables respect from being able to grow, let alone exist. And without (self)respect, you don’t have (self)trust, and without trust, you don’t have a real relationship – with yourself or anyone else. Ever.
The ability to say “no” is such a lost art. It may not feel that great in the moment, but it builds RESPECT. And once you’ve worked hard building something that although hard to build, decimates the destructive hate, you’ll be less inclined to tear it down by bending over to everyone and their Mother.
How To Stop Hating Yourself – Step #2: Know the difference
A very wise, well-known and successful person (relationally, financially and professionally successful. MASSIVELY), who I love, look up to and respect a great deal once told me this. The moment I applied it, my life was never the same:
“The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is the ability to walk away. Period. Unsuccessful people keep going back to and kicking around the same ideas, relationsh*ts, friendsh*ts, etc., and wonder why they keep getting the same result. Truly successful people come into it for the long-haul, but they also recognize when to get the f*ck out of dodge.”
They know when to fold.
When you make decisions in light of having your own back (aka having boundaries), as much as you may truly HATE having to negate your head, heart, and libido… trusting your gut and acting upon that knowingness of when you have to fold will always elicit RESPECT. The kind of respect that murders the paralyzing self-hate and allows any residual aspects of yourself that you hate to be preschool-level manageable. You’re no longer being held captive.
Stand by your decision to walk away from a toxic relationship instead of engaging in “punishment” mentality. Walking away is not a self-imposed punishment. It’s the greatest gift you could ever give yourself. If you can’t physically walk away because of life circumstances, EMOTIONALLY do so. Either way, the offending party won’t know wtf to do.
One thing they won’t have any doubt about: the level of respect that you have for YOURSELF.
How To Stop Hating Yourself – Step #3: Clean up
Plain & Simple: Clean up your contradictions. Contradictions are the root of all misery, shame, guilt, hate, and blame – internal and external.
You can’t preach and post on social media about how “hate needs to end,” and that we all need to love, respect, accept, embrace and Kumbaya-empower one another as you secretly hate the living sh*t out of yourself.
It will just make you feel like more of a phony and, you guessed it… you’ll end up hating yourself even more because you can’t build a rose garden of self-respect from the hangover puke foundation of being a walking contradiction.
How To Stop Hating Yourself – Step #4: The big F’s
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Forgive – yourself and others. To me, forgiveness is not about condoning behavior or magically “letting go” of the bullsh*t and pain associated with it. It’s about accepting someone or something for who/what they have unfolded to be, not holding onto who they were when they were in bed with you in Hawaii.
Forgive yourself for hating on YOU. Until then, you’ll never be able to claim your role of CEO over Y.O.U.
The other big F? Failure. Whether its relational failure – the worst breakup of your life or any other kind of failure, understand that your ego will do everything it can to allow the feelings associated with failure to scare you into emotional submission.
You can either use the emotions associated with epically failing to motivate you out of the self-hate zone or, you can allow those emotions to fertilize the environment for self-hate (and make you a very poor decision maker and f*cktard magnet in the process). The choice is yours.
How To Stop Hating Yourself – Step #5: Know what to kill
Don’t treat your hate with an emotional antibiotic. I try to stay away from antibiotics as much as I possibly can. Of course, there are times where the benefits of taking them outweigh the drawbacks. However, no one can refute that while antibiotics decimate all of the bad bacteria, they also murder all of the good bacteria. You don’t need to put your red laser light on the hate and make murdering that hate your top priority. What you need to put to pasture and allow to rest in peace are all the things that breed your self-hatred.
You are not your hate. In fact, you’re pure light and love. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be feeling hatred towards yourself right now.
One of my favorite quotes by Elie Weisel: “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”
When you hate, there are still.feelings.there.
You are not your hate. You are the AWARENESS with a bird’s eye view to that hate.
Own your narrative. Get real with yourself, stop cock blocking your innate ability to accept by arguing with reality and ACKNOWLEDGE what it is that’s causing the hate. Is it insecurity? Un-dealt-with anger, resent, other people’s hurtful bullsh*t, jealousy, anxiety, etc.?
Whatever it is, aim to kill THOSE things.
Don’t try to swallow a hate antibiotic and get rid of it all in one sweep. 15 times out of 10, you’ll choke and eventually, if you allow it to go on for too long… You’ll die an emotional death.
If you’re fresh off a breakup, use the hatred that you feel to CREATE. I’ve created some of my best work in my most ugly emotional states.
“The most beautiful people in this world are made of the ugliest moments of their lives.” – A.D. Woods
Don’t kill yourself in the process of trying to kill the hate – Cutting down a weed and refusing to water it will not kill the weed. Weeds can grow through the concrete without any water or sun.
Addressing the cause and uprooting the weed – that’s what truly cuts off its air supply.
And when you cut off the air supply of the toxicity associated with hate, you’ll finally be able to exhale because YOUR emotional air supply is no longer scarce.
Let’s all exhale.