Tag: toxic relationships

Overcoming self-hatred

Have you ever felt unloved as a result of attracting the wrong people? This could be in intimate relationships or friendships. When a person has had a dysfunctional upbringing, seen or felt a lot of emotional pain, they may develop a learnt behaviour which demonstrates self loafing or self-hatred. This could be also triggered by negative experiences later in adulthood. A person could internalise what they have heard or seen during infancy. For instance, when parents continuously put their children down as a result of their emotional issues, family dynamics or insecurities, it can deeply hurt children and have an adverse effect. Many contributing factors could enforce self-hatred, such as;

  • childhood trauma
  • poor family environment
  • low self-esteem
  • sexual, emotional, or physical abuse
  • domestic violence

We all want to feel loved, but a lot of the time we look for others to give us the love that we deeply crave. You may be jumping from one relationship to another and still having fruitless results, or even attracting the wrong people.

You may also consciously or subconsciously avoid being on your own. Although it may seem like you are spending time alone, you could be avoiding connecting with yourself by spending excess time on social media (comparing yourself to others), watching TV but not fully engaging, or spending countless hours on the phone.

There is nothing wrong with doing all these things, however, the problem arises when we avoid connecting with ourselves and continuously looking externally to be fulfilled. Imagine if you have a best friend and you are always looking for ways to avoid him or her. Do you think the relationship would be an intimate or a distant one?

Relationships like these are likely to be distant and detached which could eventually become nonexistent. Similarly, it’s the same with the relationship that we have with ourselves. If we are always looking for ways to distract ourselves, then we subconsciously begin to create a distance relationship with ourselves.

In some cases, people could begin not to like their own company and enjoy other people’s company rather than their own. This type of dependency is known as codependency.

When we don’t like ourselves we begin developing behaviours that demonstrate self-hatred, indulges in behaviours, or belief patterns such as;

  • not feeling good enough 
  • highly critical of ourselves
  • drugs/alcohol dependency or even codependent
  • eating disorders/ problems 
  • being highly stressed and overwhelmed 
  • lack of self-care / chronic self-neglect
  • self-sabotaging behaviour 
  • toxic relationships

We all have a desire to have successful relationships. It’s possible to begin that process of establishing that when having a more healthy relationship with ourselves. Having a relationship with ourselves enables us to learn about ourselves and our emotions, set boundaries to be more assertive, and feel more fulfilled.

We all have an inner child. In some cases where our inner child has experienced trauma, abuse, or negative experiences during infancy or later in life, our inner child becomes wounded. Any wound needs to heal, so we need to heal ourselves from our past so that it does not impact the present.

If you have had a negative childhood or have been treated badly in your relationships, it’s important to begin the healing process by not treating yourself the way the adults who were responsible for caring for you treated you.

When you begin to treat yourself in a similar way to the way that you were mistreated during your childhood, you are repeating the same negative cycle that you had experienced. You cannot always blame others for whatever pain you have experienced, as some of the adults may have treated you based on what they knew (this could be positive or negative).

How to overcome self-hatred

Identify the root cause

In psychology, professionals need to know the root cause of any negative learned behaviour that could be hindering your current behaviour.

Doctors provide a diagnosis for physical symptoms, and psychologists can similarly diagnose psychological issues. When you know the root cause, it will enable you to identify the psychological issues associated with self-hatred. Examples include;

  • low esteem
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • codependency
  • behaviours such as perfectionism, unrealistic expectations from parents, and comparing yourself to others

You cannot change what you don’t know but can change what you know.

Be kinder to yourself

We all mistreat ourselves at some point in lives. However, when we continuously treat ourselves badly, it can be self-destructive. Look at ways that you can be kinder to yourself. One of the best ways to be kinder to yourself is by treating yourself as you would your best friend. Became more self-nurturing. We all have an inner child, so begin to nurture him or her as a loving parent would nurture their child.

There’s a saying that “people treat you how you treat yourself”. Being kind to yourself helps you to boost your self-esteem. Set small daily or weekly goals of things that you could do to be more kinder to yourself. Here are some examples;

  • Stop criticising yourself or putting yourself down. You can begin to stop self-criticism by using positive affirmations. For instance, if you normally tell yourself you’re ugly, start looking in the mirrors and telling yourself that you are beautiful or handsome. Remember that what you tell yourself can negatively affect you, so positive affirmation can boost your self-esteem.
  • Avoid comparing yourself to others. Comparing yourself to others only makes you feel inadequate. This can then negatively impact your self-esteem.
  • Forgive yourself for things that you have done consciously or unconsciously which may have caused you emotional pain or things that you did in the past that you are not proud of.
  • Set some goals, so you can begin to live the life that you have always dreamed of. If you are struggling to do this on your own, then get a mentor or a life coach to help you.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. Negative people only connect with negative people, as they always want to be reminded of how terrible their life is. Positive people, on the other hand, look at the positive in most situations and learn from them.

If you believe that you suffer from low self-esteem, examine the type of people that you surround yourself with. It might be time to start changing your friendship circle to more positive people. Having more positive friends will encourage you to like yourself and support your growth. There is nothing attractive about feeling low and being around people that will bring you down.

Unforgiveness and your health

Unforgiveness is when you are unwilling or unable to forgive someone for hurting, betraying, breaking your trust or causing you intense emotional pain. Forgiving is highly recommended, as there are various researches that have been carried out which shows that unforgiveness causes health issues including:

  • Cancer – 61% of cancer patients have forgiveness issues
  • Suppressed anger – people often get angry for any reason have issues associated with forgiveness
  • Low self-esteem – lack of self-love stem from not forgiving your self or self-acceptance
  • Bitterness – increases the risk of depression
  • Constant worrying increases of the risk sleep deprivation and anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease

When someone has hurt or disappointed you, the logical response would be to think that you’re hurting them by not forgiving them and holding a grudge. The harsh truth is that you’re actually causing yourself more pain by holding on to the anger, and the person that you wish not to forgive has the subconscious power to control you. However, you can get disconnected from the power of control when you forgive.

How to learn to forgive

Decide

When you feel that you have been hurt intensely by someone close to you, it’s very hard to even begin to consider forgiving them, as you want them to feel the pain. However, the first step is to release the emotional pain by making a conscious decision to forgive and let go. This process may take time, due to different emotions that you have to process.

Letting go of the baggage

True forgiveness is when you forgive and forget. However, we are imperfect human beings and although we may forgive we may not always forget as there may be incidents where we are triggered or remaindered of past events. Even if it is a struggle to forget, it’s very important to forgive by letting go of the emotional pain that has been caused.

Take responsibility for that part that you played

You can never control anyone, the only person that you can control is yourself. Taking responsibility for how you allowed someone to hurt you, enables you to set boundaries so you don’t put yourself in the same situation again.

Forgive yourself

It’s easier to forgive others when you learn to forgive yourself. No one can truly hurt you deeply unless you allow them. Sometimes it’s easier to blame others for causing you pain. However, the depth of the pain depends on the boundaries that you set within all your relationships. Forgive yourself for allowing others to treat you with disrespect or emotional pain

Awareness

Be aware of the negative emotions that you feel towards the other person including anger, bitterness, hurt, hatred, and jealousy. Awareness will help you to acknowledge the need to forgive. Holding on to the negative emotions is highly toxic and not good for your health.

Acceptance

You don’t need to make excuses for the person that hurt you. Even if you don’t want them back in your life, it’s essential to accept how you feel and the fact that you can’t change the past.

Learn from the experience

Sometimes we have to go through negative and painful experiences to learn some life lessons, which helps to develop ourselves. In every negative experience, it’s very important to ask yourself, what lessons you have learnt? This will enable you to avoid repeating the same thing over and over again. If you keep doing the same thing and don’t learn from the painful experiences then you will experience the same thing (pain) in your life. Life is like a classroom and people are teachers, and they come into our lives to teach certain things about ourselves. So take the time to learn the lessons regardless of how painful it may be.

Talk about it

When you feel ready to forgive, make arrangements to contact the person that has hurt you and express yourself. Talking things over helps you to let go.

Closure

If you have decided that you no longer want to have the person that has hurt you back in your life, then that is fine. You can write a letter to that person and bin or burn the letter. Writing helps to get rid of any negative suppressed emotions.