I hate self hate

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The painful truth in the phrase “you are your own worst enemy” may hit home for many of us, even if no one talks about how self loathing may affect them.

More often than not, people are predisposed to have a negative view of themselves due to their physical appearance, a disability, or other reasons we may not even know ourselves, which causes us to overlook the good parts of ourselves.

People who dislike themselves may acknowledge they have positive attributes, but the bad outweighs the good. 

A study was conducted by the Dove Self Esteem Fund, and it shows that among more than 3,000 adolescent girls, 7 out of 10 believe that they are not good enough. Furthermore, 62% of girls feel insecure or not sure of themselves, and 78% of girls with low self-esteem admit that it is hard to feel good in school when you do not feel good about your appearance. 

The negative views we have of ourselves often stem from others’ expectations. 

Trained psychotherapist and psychological consultant Emily Roberts compiled a list of truths to test the relationships in your life.

Roberts said, “A friend who gossips about others will gossip about you. … A true friend won’t judge you on your looks; they love you for who you are on the inside. … A true friend is supportive. … A true friend doesn’t make fun of you or tease you about shortcomings.”

The opinion of friends and family should be the most important in our lives, but someone close can hurt your self esteem, as well. It is up to us to know when friends are not being friends, and when it is time let them go.

It is important to realize that all opinions given are not bad. There is a multitude of delightful characteristics about ourselves that we do not even realize we obtain. Yet, those are the reasons why people appreciate us.  

We must not be afraid or defensive when the people who love us give a glimpse as to why they do— embracing a genuine compliment means believing in yourself enough to trust the sincerity of the the person giving the compliment.

Brené Brown writes in her book Daring Greatly “. . . believing that we’re ‘enough’ is the way out of the armor— it gives us permission to take off the mask. With that sense if ‘enough’ comes an embrace of worthiness, boundaries, and engagement.”

Brown urges us to be courageous by showing and letting ourselves be open to the world, because— although it might be terrifying— we may eventually feel worthy to ourselves, which should be above pleasing anyone else.

Looking for the good in others may, in the long run, help us see the good in ourselves, as well. This is not a matter of denying or ignoring detrimental attributes, but this is a simple way for us to train ourselves to accept and see people wholly and thus hopefully see ourselves this way, too.

Notably, we must realize that we are not the things that have happened to us. I cannot stress, emphasize, or accentuate enough that we are not the sum of all the bad things that have occurred. What we can do with the our traumas is to learn from these experiences and use it to build ourselves stronger, whether it be for the next hit from life or to be stronger for others.

Finally, I would like to let you know that I am here with you, and I understand how you might be feeling. It is okay to be where you are, but never doubt your self worth. When we share our own stories, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same—and liberate both ourselves and them in the process.

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