What Does Self Loathing Mean
There’s a story about two people who were having dinner together and one person was complimenting the other on their new car, saying how nice it looked parked outside with its shiny paint job and gleaming chrome trim. The second person replied “I don’t think anything I’ve ever done has been worth this much money” to which the first countered by saying “Well, at least your work isn’t.” What they mean by this statement is not that the second person’s work wasn’t worth what he had earned but rather that his work didn’t measure up against something else, something greater than himself. This self loathing can be expressed in many ways including when someone says “at least my kids aren’t like yours”, meaning that their children have less problems, better grades or more opportunities for success than theirs. Or maybe someone said “you’re lucky you live here because I could never afford to move out of this dump” indicating that they would prefer to stay where they are even if they had the means to leave and go somewhere nicer. There are many examples of self-loathing in everyday life, whether it’s being jealous of what others seem to have or wanting something that another person seems to enjoy so badly that we become consumed with envy and resentment over them having what we want. When we see someone else doing something well or enjoying something we wish we could experience ourselves, our reaction is often negative and critical. We might say “why does she get to make her own choices while mine are always wrong?” or “why should she get to travel to Europe when I’m stuck working here all week long?” Sometimes these feelings are directed towards people close to us such as family members or friends. They might include our spouse, partner, parents, siblings, co-workers or neighbors. Other times it might be directed towards an idea or situation, perhaps a particular type of clothing or piece of jewelry, a certain activity or hobby, or a place like a restaurant or movie theater. People who tend toward self loathing can also have difficulty accepting compliments from anyone (including themselves) and are likely to view any positive feedback as coming from external sources rather than from within themselves. This is often referred to as the comparison trap. For example, someone who tends toward self loathing might say “well, my friend got the promotion at work so now she gets paid more than me, so it must be because she’s better qualified,” or “my husband doesn’t love me anymore so there must be something wrong with me.” If you find yourself falling into the comparison trap, try remembering that comparisons are meaningless unless they serve some purpose; in this case, comparing your accomplishments to those of someone else in order to recognize the value of your work. You can also help take the sting out of receiving praise by reminding yourself that everyone makes mistakes and that no one is perfect. Another way to look at it is to ask yourself what you would tell a child who asks why you don’t play baseball like Johnny next door? Try using humor instead of sarcasm and remind yourself that you are only human and therefore fallible. In addition, remember that most people around you probably don’t know you as well as you think they do, especially if you haven’t shared your struggles with them. And finally, remember that many times we compare ourselves unfairly, particularly when we use metrics like salary when evaluating our performance. A better metric to consider is time spent doing actual work compared to time wasted procrastinating or engaging in activities that don’t contribute positively to your career goals.
Another way to understand this phenomenon of self-loathing is to imagine that you are sitting alone in a dark room with a light switch on the wall above your head. Whenever the light comes on, it will represent your thoughts, feelings, behaviors and actions. As you turn the light off and on, it represents how you respond to situations. If you are experiencing self-loathing, then you are turning the light off. On the flip side, when you appreciate yourself and accept yourself unconditionally, the light is turned on full blast and shining brightly. Of course, this analogy is just a metaphor and not meant to convey exact proportions or intensity levels. However, it illustrates the point nicely. So, when you notice yourself feeling downcast and lacking confidence, try to shine the spotlight back onto yourself. Make sure the beam stays focused on you and shines brighter than before. Also, keep in mind that sometimes when we turn the lights off, it’s actually due to an underlying cause that needs to be addressed, such as depression or anxiety. Therefore, if you notice yourself feeling negatively about your appearance, consider seeking medical attention to rule out physical causes of low moods. Likewise, if you notice yourself thinking critically about your relationships or social skills, seek professional counseling to address emotional issues. While it may not solve everything immediately, regular therapy can help you deal with your emotions effectively and allow you to grow emotionally and personally.
If you enjoyed reading this article and would like to see similar ones,
Please check out his link!