Is Self-Hatred Real?

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“I hate me.”

This is the thought that has gone through my mind at least once every ten minutes for who knows how many years.

The sentence isn’t even formed correctly. That’s because negative thoughts don’t care about grammar. But, they do care about your future and your potential. Their single mission is to stifle them. Negative thoughts are alive and want to snuff out your very breath.

Sorry if I creeped you out and have you searching for the back button. Just humor me for a moment.

I used to be bogged down with feelings of disgust and self-hatred, but that ended a couple of weeks ago.

I was sitting around thinking as usual and realized that persistent, aggravating thought just isn’t right.

I deal with anxiety and tend to be awkward. I’m like a magnet for embarrassing moments…the dull kind. Chances are I won’t fall down flights of stairs in front of a crowd of people.

More likely I’ll say something meaning to compliment, and it won’t be phrased well, and will actually insult someone.

For example, I met my cousin’s wife for the first time, and later while we were in the hallway, said to my sisters, “He did really good.”  My sister went on to say that he was an excellent choice as well, loudly. I meant to praise his wife, not put him down.

Thanks, sis. I now get the cold shoulder from my cousin whenever I see him.

When something like this happens, I usually get the “I hate me” thought in spades, and I’ll feel sorry for everything. My cousin’s mad, I look like a jerk, I’m annoyed with my sister, the dog’s upset, etc.

This example is one of the reasons I try not to talk in public. My words and actions add fuel to the self-hatred monster that follows me around all the time. He’s a broken record, this one.

Negative thought monsters don’t have to be creative, you see. They just have to say something they think you will believe. So, it follows me around all day muttering “I hate myself” and hoping that I’ll catch on and adopt those words as my own.

Okay, back to my epiphany. That thought is most natural to adopt as my own after I embarrass myself or upset someone, or make a general mistake. So it occurred to me that I don’t hate myself at all.

I care about how I’m doing, and I am hoping that things work out. If I hated myself, I wouldn’t care if I was embarrassed or hurt. Maybe I would enjoy when bad things happen.

I pondered this for a couple of days and noticed that I don’t get those negative thoughts so much anymore. That’s because I am not so willing to think they reflect how I really feel.

I do and say embarrassing things all of the time. Not a day goes by when I don’t regret something I said or did. But, I love myself, and these circumstances don’t change that.

If you get negative thoughts that randomly present themselves throughout your day, or tend to run in a loop, recognize them as suggestions and not your actual feelings.

This idea became more apparent when I would get these kinds of thoughts while nothing upsetting was happening.

If you’re angry or hurt about things in your life, chances are you care about yourself genuinely. If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t be bothered when things don’t go well.

Just some food for thought.

 

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