5 Things to Think and Do When you Hate Yourself

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Self-hate is a dark, black hole in our soul that can be easy to fall into, but difficult to get out of. Last week I wrote about some of the reasons why people hate themselves.   I want to give you some things to do when you start to hear yourself say things like, “I hate myself,” “I’m no good,” “I’m so stupid,” or “I’m worthless.” The truth is—you are NONE of those things. But it’s easy to think you are, especially if you have been believing all these negative thoughts about yourself.girl in anguish alone

So what do you do to climb out of the dark hole in your soul?

1) Decide you want to change about yourself

Nobody can make you love you—other than you! It’s your responsibility to rearrange your thinking away from all the negative stuff you’ve been thinking, and think more positive thoughts about yourself. It’s often been said, “If I think better, I will act better. And if I act better, I will feel better.”

Cody wrote: “I’ve found that sometimes our greatest enemy is ourselves. And the way we think can hurt worse than any words. And when left with nothing but your own thoughts, and if those thoughts are negative, self hate is born.” It takes a real effort to turn negative self-defeating thoughts into positive life-changing ones. But try it! And if you stick with it, you soon will see you’re feeling better about yourself.

If you don’t like something about yourself that you can actually change, start to do that today.

2) Figure out what you CAN change and do it!

If you don’t like something about yourself that you can actually change, start to do that today. Maybe you don’t like your weight…you can start eating properly, and getting exercise—TODAY! Get involved with a sport or a favorite hobby. You’ll be amazed how good it makes you feel to take care of yourself.

Don’t obsess over what you think are your flaws. Work on what you can change, and ask God to help you accept the rest. Create the healthy life you desire (and deserve!) – some people get trapped living miserable lives, not realizing they have the ability to change their situation. Don’t you get stuck in that trap!

3) Build up your self-esteem

Make a list of your 10 best qualities.

Can’t think of 10? There are more than you think. But try starting with one. For example, “I am a loyal friend” or “I care about others,” or “I am in touch with how I feel,” or “I have a lot to offer my friends,” or “I am a good listener,” etc.

Then add to the list.

Find out what your friends and family value about you. You might be surprised to find out what the people who love you see in you! As you begin to dwell on the good things you offer, your confidence will grow.

Others will take note of it because you will have made yourself more attractive. Betsy wrote: “Since I stood up for something, people started to respect me and I was able to find confidence in myself. You can’t please everyone, so focus on making yourself proud before you expect anyone else to be proud of you.”

Each day, find something to do that makes you feel proud of yourself. Find out the things you love, try new things, go new places

. Make some short-term and long-term goals.

Decide that you will never say the words: “I Hate Myself” ever again. Those words are toxic. Why hate yourself? When in reality there is a lot in you worth loving.

4) Use gratitude as a weapon against self-hatred

You will find people who dwell on the positive things in their life, things of which they are grateful, are usually much happier than those who don’t.

Negative thoughts, mixed with worry, make a person miserable to live with.

So if you are tired of hearing the same old, negative thoughts, make a daily list of the things you are grateful for, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly your attitude begins to change.

Challenge yourself to reflect each day for just a minute or two and think about what you feel grateful about just for that day…maybe it was delicious pancakes for breakfast, a smile from a friend, nice weather, could be something as simple as the color of the grass, or a good grade on a quiz. It doesn’t have to be what you know you should be thankful for but something that you actually feel grateful for.

5) Remember God loves you

The most powerful way to overcome self-hate is to focus on God’s love. After all, if God loves you, and He does with all of your faults and hurts, it should make it easier for us to accept ourselves. Let God change what He wants to change, and you’ll feel much better about your life.

God made you very unique. And it’s this uniqueness that makes you special.

Please stop hating someone God loves so much. YOU!!

Angie wrote: “Its very easy to find reasons to believe I am of no value to anyone, or to God. But I am of value because God loves me, even if no one else does.” As you start believing in yourself more, you’ll have more good days than bad. It’s easy to find the negative, so look for the positive in each situation. And most importantly, keep your faith in God – this will help lead you to the happiness you seek. Please stop hating someone God loves so much. YOU!!understanding-self-worth

Dawson McAllister Dawson McAllister (born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania) is an American speaker, radio host, and author. He is the founder of Dawson McAllister Association and TheHopeLine and host of the national radio program Dawson McAllister Live, which is aired on Sunday nights. Dawson has been speaking to and in support of teenagers and young adults for over 40 years.
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  • dep

    This is stupid….I still hate myself. Give me something that actually makes.a difference. There is nothing.

    • TheHopeLine Team

      Dep, We want you to know that you matter and you are loved and worthy. How about calling or chatting with a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine? Call 800.394.4673 or click on “get help” to chat anytime 24/7.If you want download our free app to your phone to chat, call, get an email mentor, recieve encouragemet here is the link to download it. http://thehope.dm/thlmobileapp

  • Gene

    Sorry, but I am going to have to agree with dep, I still hate myself too. I don’t get me wrong do love God and knows that He loves me but from all of the things that I have been through in my life and I am wanting to find my other half in life. I don’t want to give up on that but I can’t help but feel that no one loves me and it hurts me to my core that I actually have feelings for someone now and he is offish and there is no one else trying to get with me either so I feel unlovable and unattractive to the opposite sex and i am definitely not gay so…but I get compliments from married men who obviously I cannot have and do not want anyway. I still feel a lot of self hatred for myself right now. I hear people telling me that there is someone out there for me but I feel that I keep having to let go of really great guys so I feel like I am not worthy of a great guy. It makes me think that if anyone comes into my life it is someone that I am not really attracted to that i have to learn to love.

  • santu

    I am not handsomebboy that’s y am I hate my self I fear with girls as they like mevr not rly me wat can I do?

  • anizha

    I tottaly feel now there’s a reason to lovw who i am

  • Dog

    Dont give up god has perfect timeing and just keep praying it gets better

  • seemssohard

    I think there might b something wrong with me in my childhood my step mom hated me and my mother beat me then my dad died and my aunt kciked me out my oldest borther hates me and as far as i can tell my boyfriend doesnt care either… the issue is i dont know what i did wrong in my mind at most im annoying but then everyone iv ever lived with seems to hate me. How can i not know y? I try so hard everyday to make my bf’s life easier and netter to make sure he gets everythung he wants i sold my car to pay bills and my inheritance from my dad dying i clean i make his lunches everyday and for the duration of our 2 year relationship all iv asked for back was to feel wanted such as spending time with me bot all of it i dont want to b needh just like 1 night a week where there aremt any video games and mayb 1 sunday a month but he just doesnt want to then when u get mad and complain i just feel bad like im a b****h and all i do is complain… i think it must b me because so many ppl are like this in my life im just not sure wat im doing wrong i really dont like myself but i also feel like im right when i complain until i start to feel guilty idk i really just am sick of life i miss my dad and i want to feel loved like someone wants me always and i think of that and want to hurt myself but then ppl will b upset with me if i tell them theyl think i just want attention

    • Frenchie

      I really do believe that sometimes you can end up in a situation where you have collected a bunch of negative influences/people in your life without it being all something within yourself. Your request of having one night a week with your boyfriend sounds reasonable. However, sometimes people do not see the sacrifices you are making for them (selling car, the effort you put into his comfort) and sometimes you either have to explain/point out that (calmly! and rationally – and listen to their response and make a compromise if the compromise is reasonable). unfortunately sometimes you have to accept that, if this person cannot acknowledge your efforts or try to find a middle ground with you, you cannot be happy with them.
      You should know that I am someone who believes strongly in internal/personal control of one’s life. I recognize that there are some circumstances that come about that you can’t control but I do believe that you are the only person who can make the changes needed to improve your happiness. I can’t say what’s happened in your life that things are as they are today for you. I don’t know you at all. I recognize that making the necessary changes could be really really hard to make without any other support person to help you. But try to take one small step at time. Try to establish a stable job (recognize that this job may not be something you enjoy and you may have to “wear a mask” while at work. at least until a better option comes along. sometimes you have to suck it up for a bit for financial security/independence). Create a budget and stick to it. Make sure this budget includes setting aside savings. When you have some savings built up, rent a reasonably priced place by yourself (dump the boyfriend if he wasn’t listening the conversation about compromises and sacrifices). Through this process try to surround yourself with things that make you feel positively about yourself: drop in/inexpensive volleyball offered by the city, inexpensive/drop in dance classes, hikes/park walks, see people that make you feel good, photography, read at library, drawing. And I know it sounds bad, but sometimes you have to separate yourself from the current people in your life for a little bit to allow yourself to start feeling better about yourself (and maybe be a little lonely for a bit but we’re aiming for a higher goal – you respecting yourself and finding happiness with someone who respects you). Then when you start reconnect with people you are better able to recognize who is bringing you down and be able to curb that sooner.
      You clearly have been through some pretty terrible treatment in your life and it something to consider that you may do better with counselling (maybe with medication depending on many many many things). I am a huge advocate of cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal therapy. These teach you life coping skills and how to monitor and anticipation the reactions of others to your actions/words and how to respond to people to create the most beneficial outcome of a situation. If I knew what I know now about them when I was younger (and they were free where I live at that age) I would have gone into them. You may have insurance that would cover this or their may be programs available that would help cover their cost of these. A good place to start would be a family doctor or walkin doctor and they should have some idea how to get started wherever you live. If that doesn’t pan out and cost in a barrier for you you could ask at some kind of income assistance/employment office (that’s what we have where I live).
      I am reading that you are concerned that you think about hurting yourself but then feel that people will just think you are looking for attention. To me, that sounds like you are asking for help and wanting a change. And maybe the people in your life are not able to recognized that but a healthcare professional should be able to recognize this. Bad things happen but in the end its up to you to decide how much that past experience with affect you today (by asking for help to try to move passed it if you need to). It will be a process, I am sure. It will take time. It will take small steps. You can do it.

  • frenchfire

    what if you don’t believe in god. while i respect every individual’s choice to their own belief system. i don’t believe in God and recognize that it is sometimes used as an excuse to externalize “blame” instead of accepting the consequences of one’s actions. Can ted bundy really say ‘well, God made me this way and he love me’? – as an extreme example.

    • Steve

      It’s ok I don’t believe in Jesus either, part of me wants too but it’s just too incredible and if I really believed I’d have to do a lot more good for other people than I’m doing now. But He helps me anyway, if you’re ever in a bad way just ask Jesus for help.

    • Rikki

      Good question. I do believe in God but respect your honesty in saying you don’t. But if you think about it, even if you say you don’t. ….we are all born with some type of morals. We know rite frim wrong. Even a serial killer! If they didn’t then why would they hide the bodies? And God didnt make them or i ” that way”. Believing that is a calvinistic belief and i struggled with that and their are some very arrogant christians who believe this way. God forbid they ever have to live in pain or watched loved ones struggle with this and feel that they cant change. I’ve always believed God existed. I didnt grow up christian but just accepted Christ four or so years ago. I was sexually physically, and mentally abused throughout my childhood and I struggle with self-worth Still to this day. I used to believe God Wanted NOTHING To Do WITH ME. And if He is such a loving God why was my innocence taken at age four. The answer is SATAN. God gave us the choice to accept Him or deny Him. The ppl who were supposed to take care of me chose to NOT protect me. Free will. Satan is the father of lies. He lies to me everyday and I have to choose not to listen and sometimes I fail. But God has entrusted me with five kids and an amazing youth ministry so I’m choosing to help others and He is keeping good in His promise by working all things out for the good because I love Him. So back to if you don’t believe in God……we still have a choice. And no disrespect cuz I’ve pondered God’s existence and have seriously considered suicide. Because what truly is the purpose of life without God if He doesn’t exist? My answer was, ” I’d rather live like He does exist and die and wake in His presence and spend eternity with Him than to die and be wrong and be eternally separated from Him” .

  • esraa

    good words :)

  • Steve

    Pray to Jesus He will help you. He doesn’t like me much because I’m a loser and don’t do what He asks, but he helps when I need him bad, like when I eat too much and start feeling self hatred. He doesn’t make things perfect but He picks me up off the ground, give it a try nothing to lose!

  • dore

    i hate mylife even if im happy

  • TheHopeLine

    Please call TheHopeLine. Our HopeCoaches care about you. Many of them have had similar experiences. They want to listen. http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • TheHopeLine

    Many of us have struggled with anger at God, too. We had to search and find answers to our questions and healing for our hurts. Our HopeCoaches want to walk with you on this journey http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • Nicole H

    Exactly what am I supposed to do if the things I hate about myself is unchangeable? I honestly hate mostly everything about myself and I can fix most of it but my skin is unchangeable. I have really bad acne and acne scarring and I’ve tried everything, not even dermatologists know what to do about it. Every time I look in the mirror I just want to cry. Honestly, I’ve always been told I’m worthless and ugly and that I’m never going to be good enough in any aspects. I believe that 100%. I’ve tried to get into groups and clubs, etc, but I’m disowned because I’m so different. Even in my youth group I am. All the girls are so much prettier than I am and I hate myself so much. I can’t change how bad my skin is… I kinda just want to stop trying and cry.

    • Spence

      I read a quote somewhere that says “beauty is only skin deep but ugliness goes all the way to the bone.” I really believe it’s the truth. Those supposedly beautiful people who told you those horrible things are uglier than you can imagine. If any of them have a shred of humanity, I guarantee that they feel the weight of their actions every moment of every day. I went from being bullied to becoming a bully in an effort to be accepted and can’t seem to forgive myself. I was a hero when I stood up for my friends but ended up becoming a villain when I joined in the bullying of others. Somewhere along the way, I lost myself. Giving in to the pressure just to take the focus off of myself is one of the most selfish things I’ve ever done. Ten years after graduating high school, I’ve learned that most adults are still stuck in that mindset. I understand looking out for one’s self, but….! A lot of us just need to take a step back and see where we’ve gotten ourselves and how we feel about the people we’ve walked over to get there. That alone makes me feel justified in hating myself. What am I supposed to do about all the stuff I haven’t mentioned in this post? Nicole H, if someone tells you that you are ugly or not worth anything, don’t hate yourself. Pity the ignorant jerk who knows no better and go on with your day with the knowledge that your spirit will easily outshine their short lived looks 100% of the time.

  • TheHopeLine

    Ken, sometimes it takes us awhile to get to and read all of the comments we receive. I hope others will read your post and respond. I can understand how hard it is to see suffering all around you and to question who God really is. One of my favorite characters in the Bible is Thomas. He sometimes get a bad rap being called “Doubting Thomas,” but he was courageous enough to ask the tough questions in order to find the true Jesus. Ken, keep asking the tough questions until you find the real Truth.

  • Crystal mugg

    Thank you for this post. I am going through the end of a very hard relashonship and he is very verbally abusive to me. I always hear how worthless I am, how much nobody wants me around, and that I’m a poor parent. It’s difficult for me because I have been the only one holding a job ( I lost my job a few weeks ago) he will not work at all. And he will not leave. My landlord is for closing my home and I have no Money and nowhere to go. I’ve been searching for work but when I’m home I can only find my self on the couch depressed and wondering why I am here. Nothing I do is good enough for this family in his eyes. And he has tore me down so much my self worth is completely out the window. It gives me hope that God is there and that he has a wonderful plan for me. But it’s so difficult to pull out of this depression and be the best I can be. I am so overwhelmed with losing my home and having so much trouble finding work that I do feel worthless. I try so hard to tell myself that I’m not but he does his best to say the worst things he can to bring me back down. I’m going to work as hard as I can to do the things in this post day by day to better myself and move forward. Thank you for posting and reminding me that I can get through this and despite him I have god and people who love me.

    • TheHopeLine

      We are so proud of you. You are making progress in the right direction. Remember we are just a phone call away and we can provide additional resources, too. Call or chat with TheHopeLine 24/7. http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/ We are here cheering you on!

  • jake

    I never realized my problems stemmed from hating myself and trying to be perfect, been seeing a councilor and its starting to help, I just recently did something stupid and embarrassing again and I hated myself for it and I want to change, I have a hard time in conversation not knowing what to say that has been getting better, sometimes I have suicidle thoughts I really want them to stop, not sure how, sometimes through the day im in outer space in the past or in the future how do I stop this?

  • Yulenchka

    Why?

  • Deepak Arora

    I’m a boy from India with age 18 and bmi 14.4 and it is the only reason i hate myself because even the dosctors says i cant gain a single kg. I’m scared of the future because i have to look after a family but i’m too weak and i cant accept it and i dont want to accept it. What should you do when your living in such a condition that you cant change but at the same time its impossible to compromise ? Suicide ?? NO!! i’m not a coward but I need a way.

  • Recluse

    i feel I have a very good reason to loathe myself. I am bipolar. Seems like everyone assumes we are crimes just waiting to occur. I am not going to kill myself. Just hide from the world that hates me so much and spend the rest of my life alone. Goodbye, Cruel World!

  • anonymous

    What if i did a lot of mistakes to God? Do i still deserve Him?

    • TheHopeLine

      You are not the first to feel this way. We are human we make mistakes…we sin. God is love and His love for us is unconditional. All fall short, but God freely gives His grace to us. He knows each of us individually and loves us personally. His is a mighty love that has no beginning and no end. If you’d like to talk more about this…a HopeCoach would love to listen. Call 800.394.4673 or chat online at http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp

  • Kaylee Kochanski

    How do you get through it if you’re unsure about God? I can’t pray to him if I don’t understand why I’ve been struggling with this for almost 10 years. I get a little better and then slip back into the hole. I went to church, went through all the Catholic sacraments. Then when I did try to reach out, I started having panic attacks. I haven’t been the same since then – it’s been an ongoing battle trying to function as a productive adult. I’m not asking as a way to spark a debate about religion or the existence of God, but if you don’t believe or can’t believe or are unsure about all of it, what do you do?

  • unknown

    ive been having a rough time lately, I felt like I was disappearing and no one noticed.. but this article and prayer to my one and only Jesus Christ has helped me to see that im here for a reason. I read some previous comments about how if gods real why are these people suffering and other things like it. it took me a while to realize this also, I use to doubt my faith but god gives the hardest battles to the people who are strongest and sometimes he sees there getting weak so he calls upon them.. gods love is always here for you.. that hasn’t been so clear till now.. and if you choose not to believe theres nothing wrong with that because i know where you come from. its not easy finding yourself or what you want to believe in. but if theres one thing you should tell yourself is carpe diem or seize the day, everday is a new start.. be the person you want to be.. its either now or never.. thank
    you for writing this article, reading it really me realize so much..

  • fernanda

    I’m with you. Right now I’m talking to my teacher. I really trust him. and its weird because I barely talk about my self because i don’t want to make it seem like I want attention. but you should really talk to someone who you know wont say nothing about you to other people. he promised me he won’t tell any one. and so far i haven’t heard nothing from my parents nor my counselor. whats wrong? what is bothering you?

  • Silver

    Ive always hated myself.. and I actually have depression and anxiety, so I kinda bit the bullet there. No matter what I try I cant seem to get myself out of this hole in my chest… Ive tried going to church {insert take me to church} and everything so far… my therapist said my depression was situational and wasnt even my fault. My mom pays a ton more attention to my brother, yes hes eight, yes hes autistic.. but he dosent need her there 24/7…

  • Silver

    Ive never been able to find my way out of this hole.. I tried all of these.. in diffrent orders and diffrent ways. but I never suceeded

  • farahtarek

    Really thank u for telling us this words it is really makes me fells better a lot

  • Blake G

    This has inspired me. I get bullied a lot and I don’t like the way I look. I once thought of suicide but those days are long over. I have a few friends I talk to through the Internet and they make me happy. I think I can make it better now. THANK YOU!

    • TheHopeLine

      Thanks for sharing, Blake! Never forget you matter and you are worthy…no matter what. :)

  • Skye

    I’m really sorry, z. I have no idea what you’ve gone through, but I can tell you without a doubt that God has not abandoned you. He loves you. He will never forsake you. He is like a good father. He wants you to be able to solve your own problems, but he will be with you every step of the way. Please look up the poem “footprints in the sand”. It has helped me through a lot.