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Are You Self-Loathing? How to Read the Signs & Take Positive Action

We all go through periods when we don’t like something about ourselves, but when your thoughts turn to self loathing, it’s time for action.

Self loathing is a real affliction. Of course, we’re all a little negative from time to time, but most of us can pull ourselves out of it and try and look on the bright side. The human brain is biased towards negativity in general, which is why you’ll normally see the downside of something before the good. However, it is possible to train your brain to be more positive overall.

Despite that, some people simply can’t see the bright side of anything, and much of it is down to the way they see themselves.

How do you feel about the person you are?

Do you like yourself? Can you list your good qualities? Do you see the glass as half full rather than half empty?

If you can agree in a positive way to the above statements, you’re good. However, if you’re struggling with those questions, it’s time to take action and turn your life around.

If you can’t come up with any good qualities about yourself when put on the spot and you have a demeanor that is more Eeyore than Tigger, it could very well be that you have a self loathing problem to deal with. [Read: How to stop hating yourself and learn to love yourself more]

What is self loathing?

Self loathing is when you do not like yourself at all. It could be anywhere along the scale from general dislike to severe hatred. You struggle to come up with anything good about yourself and have a negative mindset as a result.

Self loathing is a dark cloud to walk under, but it’s entirely by choice. You can choose to love yourself. You can choose to see your plus points, but you do need to put in a little time and effort to retrain your brain towards the positives.

If you’re not sure whether you fall into the self loathing category or you simply need a boost of feel good factor, let’s check out eight signs that you may have a self loathing issue. [Read: 17 ways to focus on yourself and make your own sunshine]

8 signs of self loathing to look out for

I should point out that just because you agree with one, doesn’t mean you actually have a problem. Everyone struggles with confidence from time to time. If you can nod your head at one point, it’s not a huge cause for alarm. However, if you agree with several, start turning your attention to doing something about it.

#1 You compare yourself to others. Do you always compare yourself to other people? Most of us do from time to time. If you do it constantly and always come up short, that is a true sign of self loathing. Everyone is different. We all have our plus points and our downsides, we all have good days and bad days, but we’re unique and we’re not supposed to be the same as anyone else.

Social media is a huge problem for feeding self loathing, so perhaps limiting your exposure to Facebook and Instagram in particular might be a good idea while you work on loving yourself a little more.

#2 You’re generally negative. Negativity comes to us all from time to time, but if you’re hardly ever positive, or if you’re never positive, self loathing could become a huge problem for you. It’s hard to love yourself when you’re constantly looking on the dark side.

Try reframing, a successful cognitive behavioral therapy technique. This involves taking a negative thought and replacing it with a positive one, repeating it and waiting for it to stick. [Read: Feeling unlovable? 12 life changing truths you need to know]

#3 You’re always saying “sorry.” If you find yourself apologizing constantly, you’re either extremely polite, British, or you have a problem with how you see yourself.  You do not have to apologize for everything, especially if it wasn’t your fault!

Before you say that word, assess quickly in your mind whether you really have anything to be sorry for in the first place. The more you say it, the more it sets in your mind and gives you the feeling of blame. This leads to guilt, and you have nothing to be guilty for! Guilt and self loathing work together hand in hand.

#4 When someone is moody, you assume it’s because of you. If your partner is quiet or in a bit of a mood, you might assume at first that it’s something you’ve done. You might ask them if they’re angry at you, ask them what you’ve done, or constantly ask them what’s wrong. The reality is they’ve woken up in a bad mood and nothing else is particularly wrong!

#5 Your main motivational tool is tough love. If you’ve hardly ever been kind to yourself, if you’re always telling yourself that you’re not enough, that you need to try harder, do more, push more, then you’re using tough love as your main tool for motivation.

Some people react well to tough love, but not all the time! We need to be kind to ourselves occasionally. Assess whether this is something you do and then tweak your approach by complimenting yourself on the thing you’ve done well and improving the things you could do better on. [Read: The best inspirational movies for when your motivation lags]

#6 You always have to ask for validation or the opinion of someone else. If you never feel good about anything unless someone else has given you permission to do so, e.g. validation, then that is a sign of self loathing.

You have your own opinions and views. They’re just as worthy as anyone else’s. You don’t need someone to tell you that you look nice in order to feel good about your outfit and the way you look. Your opinion is enough!

#7 You always deflect compliments and assume people don’t mean them. People don’t give compliments for the hell of it. They give them because they mean them and want to tell you something nice! If you’re always deflecting comments with humor or a self-deprecating remark, and you assume that they don’t mean what they’re saying, you have a problem with self loathing.

Try listening to them and taking the compliment for a change. Rather than coming back with a humorous remark, simply say “thank you” and smile. You’ll soon see small changes to your attitude on compliments.

#8 You don’t often try new things, assuming they will go wrong. If you want to do things but you stop yourself because you assume it won’t work or it will go wrong, that could be another sign of self loathing.

You basically don’t have the confidence in yourself to give something a try and see what happens. Sometimes you’ll win, sometimes you’ll fail. Either way, you tried and you might have learned something in the process. Just go with it. If you want to try something, do it and see what happens! The more you do it, the easier it will get! [Read: 15 little changes to be someone who always says, I love my life!]

Breaking the cycle

Learning to love yourself and breaking the cycle of self loathing isn’t easy, but with time it can be done. Changing your mindset towards the positive is a vital part of the puzzle. Follow the advice from above to help you make small changes. Baby steps will get you there, but don’t expect miracles overnight.

[Read: Follow these powerful rules to live a happy and meaningful life]

Self loathing is a huge problem. It can affect the quality of your life in a massive way. We all deserve to feel good and live our best lives. 

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