I Hate Myself: 11 Ways to Deal With Self-Hatred

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08 February 2024

11 Mins

Have you ever found yourself thinking,"I'm not that good enough?” At times, many of us have an overwhelming feeling of not liking our appearance or doubting ourselves, which evokes a feeling of self-hatred. Thoughts like “I hate myself” can prevent us from reaching our goals and lead to mental health challenges, which can ultimately leave us [feeling completely alone]https://nowandme.com/services/feeling-alone) in our struggle.

When you try to figure out and overcome this self-hatred, it seems like you are dealing with a lot of internal questions. Where do these feelings come from, and why do they stick around? How do they take control of your life? To understand this, let's address these questions that will help drive your inner critic to find a way to be kinder to yourself and live a happier life.

I hate myself

Why Do I Hate Myself? 11 Reasons

Going through the feelings of self hate or self-doubt can be a challenging experience; therefore, figuring out 'why do I hate myself so much? is an important step. Here are 11 possible reasons why you may be struggling with self hatred:

1. Negative thoughts

Sometimes, negative thoughts can dominate your mind, which means you constantly think about your irrational behaviors, wrong decisions, past mistakes, or imperfections. For instance, you make a mistake while working on a project and get the sudden thought, "I can't believe I messed up that project; I'm so incompetent." As a result, you may find it difficult to appreciate your strengths and see the positive aspects of yourself.

2. Past mistakes

It's completely normal for everyone to make mistakes in life. However, continuously dwelling on these mistakes can have a negative impact on your wellbeing.

For example, you forget an important deadline at work, and it results in putting yourself down or negative thoughts about “how can I even do this?" In that case, instead of dwelling on the mistake, you can acknowledge it, understand what went wrong, and use it as an opportunity for growth and improvement.

3. Comparisons

When you look at others and feel like you are not good enough, it can cause you to think negatively about yourself and lead to thoughts of selfhatred. For instance, your friend got a promotion, and you start feeling inadequate in your career. To overcome this thought, remember that everyone is unique and you have your own strengths and destiny to fulfill.


4. Criticism from others

If people around you are being mean or always pointing out your flaws, it can start affecting your self-esteem. For example, if a colleague frequently points out your mistakes rather than offering constructive feedback, it can lead to thoughts of self-hatred and constant criticism.

5. Unrealistic expectations

It's commendable to set high standards for yourself, but it's also important to recognize that setting unrealistic expectations can result in disappointment. For instance, if you strive for perfection in every task, you might find yourself feeling unsatisfied because achieving perfection is often unattainable. While it's okay to aim high and have ambitious goals, it's equally crucial to be realistic in your expectations and celebrate the small victories along the way. This not only boosts your confidence but also allows you to appreciate the progress you are making on your journey.

There can be various reasons for getting strong feelings of hatred for yourself; talk to a professional expert and get to the root cause of it for free.

6. Loneliness

Feeling lonely or like you don't have people who understand you can cause negative thoughts to wander through your mind. For example, moving to a new city for a job leaves you feeling alone and leads to negative thoughts like "I don't have anyone here who understands me or I am not satisfied living here." If you feel that way, actively seeking social connections and joining groups with shared interests can reduce loneliness.

7. Bullying

Bullying happens when someone repeatedly says or does hurtful things on purpose, which could be name-calling, spreading rumors, or even causing physical harm. When you experience this mistreatment over time, you might begin to believe the negative things the bullies are saying about you. For example, if someone makes fun of the way you dress, after a while, you might start thinking, "Maybe I do look weird in these clothes. Maybe I'm not as cool as others."

8. Body image

Body image is how you see and feel about your own body. Sometimes, people compare themselves to others or think their bodies should look a certain way, and this can lead to not feeling good about themselves. When you are unhappy with your appearance, it can make you think you are not as valuable or worthy as you truly are.

Body image

9. Past issues

Unresolved issues are like unfinished business from the past, which could be described as difficult experiences or feelings you haven't figured out yet and can stay with you and affect the way you view yourself. For example, if you had a fallout with a friend a while ago and never talked about it, the feelings of sadness or anger might still be there, influencing how you feel about friendships or trust.

10. Mental health conditions

Conditions like anxiety or depression can make self hate feelings stronger. These conditions can push you to listen to your negative voice more often, leading to a decrease in confidence and self-love. When you are dealing with mental health conditions, it's important to reach out for help, as it can make a big difference in your thoughts and emotions.

11. Lack of self-love

Lack of self-love is when you don't treat yourself with the care and kindness you would offer to a friend in need. This lack of self-love can lead to negative thoughts about your worth and capabilities. When you are in need, you should understand, support, and practice positive affirmations for yourself.

lack of self love

How Common Is It to Hate Yourself?

Many people experience times when they wonder “why do I hate myself so much,” and research indicates that this intense unhappiness with oneself, called self-hatred, is commonly associated with mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety. For example, one study shows that more than 80% of people struggling with depression express feelings of disgust or dislike toward themselves and question their self-worth.

Some age groups, such as teens and young adults, often struggle with these feelings due to factors such as educational stress, comparisons with peers, and the influence of social media. People who have faced challenging circumstances or a difficult childhood may also suffer from these feelings. However, it is important to understand that self loathing can affect people from different backgrounds and age groups, so if you have ever felt “why do I hate myself so much,” remember that you are not alone in your experiences.

How common is it to hate yourself

Why Hating Yourself Is So Harmful

Struggling with the feeling of "I hate myself" can disrupt your everyday life, make you feel upset all the time, push you to forget your self-worth, and prevent you from growing as a person. On a large scale, self-hatred can turn into irrational behavior and lead to mental health problems, affecting how you connect with others, do your job, and even how you feel.

Here are some negative consequences that can happen when you hate yourself:

  • Body image dissatisfaction
  • Inability to set boundaries
  • Fear of taking risks
  • Chronic stress and emotional exhaustion
  • Limited enjoyment in life
  • Mental health struggles
  • Self-isolation
  • Impaired relationships
  • Academic or professional underperformance

why hating yourself is so harmful

How to Stop Hating Yourself - 11 Tips

To overcome self-hatred, it's essential to engage in activities that bring immediate comfort while also making lasting changes for self-love. In the long run, it's important to figure out why you feel this way, get help from a professional if you need it, and make a promise to regularly take care of yourself by accepting who you are.

Here are 11 tips on how to stop hating yourself:

1. Identify your triggers

As the saying goes, the first step toward fixing a problem is acknowledging it. Start paying attention to your triggers and your self depreciating thoughts—what were you doing, how were you feeling, and who were you with? When you understand these things, it requires conscious and constant work to reduce the factors that bring you down and make positive changes in how you feel.

2. Practice self-care

Taking care of yourself is extremely important, especially when you are struggling with feelings of not being good enough. Self-care means consistently doing things that make you feel good physically, emotionally, and mentally, including going for a nice walk, doing mindfulness meditation, doing something you enjoy, or just taking tough situations a little easier on yourself. And when you are taking care of yourself, remember to be as kind and caring to yourself as you would to a good friend in need.

3. Avoid negative self-talk

Being aware of how you talk to yourself is important to identify the thoughts that put you down. When you are hard on yourself or think negatively, see it as a chance to say kind words to yourself. Instead of letting those hurtful thoughts stick, replace them with statements that remind you of your values, abilities, and strengths. This isn't about pretending everything is perfect; it's more about understanding how to perceive yourself.

avoid negative self talk

4. Accept mistakes

Understanding that no one can be perfect is a huge step in the fight against self-hatred. Every person, no matter what they are, has flaws and makes mistakes; it's just part of being human. Instead of looking at these mistakes as reasons to hate yourself, it's more powerful to see them as opportunities to learn and grow. Accepting imperfections can change your perspective, thereby making them significant experiences that help you become a better person.

5. Set realistic goals

Setting achievable goals is a sensible approach to improving your self-esteem and dealing with self-hatred. Make sure your goals are realistic and match your current capabilities, helping you establish a practical and achievable path. It is equally important to acknowledge and feel good about every small step you take and to celebrate even small victories that contribute to your progress and propel you forward on your journey.

You can work on getting rid of feelings of self-hatred with the help of a professional expert by understanding yourself better and forming a better relationship with yourself for free.

6. Be around supportive people

Building a strong support system is a big help in fighting self-hate, therefore, it’s great to connect with friends and family or join groups where you can feel understood and supported. These people and groups can be like a safety net, giving you validation and encouragement that fights against the lonely feelings of self-hate. When you share what you are going through with people who care, it can give you a new way of looking at things and remind you that you are not alone in dealing with tough times.

7. Build mindfulness

Mindfulness can be a powerful tool to help you deal with self-hate. When you practice mindfulness, you are tuning into a deep understanding of yourself, going beyond just what you are thinking and feeling on the surface. Next time you feel caught up in self loathing thoughts, sit down in a peaceful place and focus on your breathing to bring some calm into your day.

8. Engage in enjoyable activities

Doing things that make you happy and fulfilled is a key way to fight against self-hate. When you get involved in activities you love and that excite you, you are creating positive experiences. These moments of joy help balance out the negative feelings that come with self-hate, make you feel accomplished and boost your sense of value.

engage in enjoyable activities

9. Forgive yourself

Changing the way you think about mistakes and forgiving yourself is a big step in fighting against self-hatred. When you understand that everyone makes mistakes, you are putting your challenges into a perspective that everyone can relate to. This realization can free you from the idea that your flaws are something unusual or something you can't be forgiven for.

10. Start journaling

Sometimes, getting our thoughts out of our heads and writing them down on paper can help lessen their impact. But do not worry if you are not good at writing, because you don't have to be a fantastic writer for journaling to show results. Spending just 5 minutes a day jotting down your thoughts can help you see things a bit differently.

11. See a therapist

Figuring out why I don't like myself can be overwhelming; therefore, it's often best to work with a mental health expert who can dig into why you feel so negative about yourself and how to handle it.

If you are new to therapy, it might be helpful to talk to a few therapists before deciding who to go with. To give you an idea, when a therapist makes you feel safe and comfortable, they are probably a good match. However, if the thought of going to meet a therapist in person stresses you out, maybe think about trying an online therapist.

see a therapist

When to Seek Professional Support

If the constant thought of 'I don't like myself' is affecting your everyday life, relationships, or how you feel in general, it's important to get professional help. When you are unable to deal with self-hate on your own, compassion-focused therapy can help you with coping strategies.

If you think you need therapy, you can easily find a therapist on an online platform, which is convenient, accessible, and offers various options to connect with a mental health expert who can help you with self-esteem, self-compassion, and related situations.

when to seek professional support

How Can Now&Me Help You?

If you are looking for a reliable therapist, Now&Me has trained therapists to help with self-esteem issues and work with you whenever you feel comfortable. They are available 24x7 to support you, find the root cause of your issues, and suggest a customized guide plan, starting at just Rs. 30.

Not only that, but you can also explore our self-help resources and join our free, supportive community to overcome the feeling of hopelessness or self-hate. To begin your healing journey, download the Now&Me app, book a one-on-one consultation call and find the right support you need at the right time.

Loving yourself is a journey that requires consistent patience and effort; talk to an expert to help you with your healing journey for free.


  1. The sense of self in the aftermath of trauma: Lessons from the default mode network in posttraumatic stress disorder. European Journal of Psychotraumatology. 2020. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/20008198.2020.1807703

  2. The impact of childhood abuse on adult self-esteem and emotional regulation. Annals of Medicine. 2021.https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07853890.2021.1896171

  3. Self-esteem consistency predicts the course of therapy in depressed patients. PloS one. 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6059392/

  4. The role of self-blame and worthlessness in the psychopathology of major depressive disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2015. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165032715004309?via%3Dihub

  5. The psychopathology of worthlessness in Depression. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2022. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2022.818542/full

Now&Me articles are written by experienced mental health contributors and are purely based on scientific research and evidence-based practices, which are thoroughly reviewed by experts, including therapists and psychologists with various specialties, to ensure accuracy and alignment with current industry standards.

However, it is important to note that the information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Individual circumstances vary, and it is advisable to consult with a qualified mental health professional for personalized advice and guidance.

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