Self-blame refers to a person’s tendency to consider themselves at fault, especially when things don’t go as well as planned, even if the cause or events were beyond their control. A pattern of self-blame leads a person to feel constantly guilty and inferior.
Although the tendency to self-blame can make a person seem humble and unassuming, it can also inhibit them in becoming more creative and wanting to strive to do better.
People who have a persistent habit of blaming themselves for anything that goes wrong will usually avoid taking the initiative. This is because they prefer to stay inconspicuous so they won’t receive any extra needless attention. In doing so, they hope that others will have similar expectations of their capabilities.
Being self-critical is the act of telling ourselves negative and destructive thoughts, such as being inadequate, shameful, or a failure. We almost all have a tendency to be self-critical to some degree.
However, the problem begins when this becomes a habit; a negative, self-reinforcing loop. This is because constant self-criticism causes a person to become stuck with negative thoughts and emotions about themselves. They feel guilt and shame to the extent that they no longer feel any desire to achieve. If left unaddressed, this inaction can lead to depression or other mental health issues.
Self-criticism deprives an individual of being able to look at their own efforts or abilities objectively. It robs them of being able to engage in healthy self-reflection, which would allow them to be more accepting of any past mistakes.
We can get away with a little bit of self-blame and self-criticism occasionally. However, if we continually beat ourselves up and start to do it more often than not, then we may not be able to stop and do an objective reality check.
Remember, your mind is incredibly powerful. If you continually feed it with self-blaming and self-criticizing words, those words will get louder and more believed and ingrained. In turn this can increase your risk of developing anxiety or depression.
They do help us ‘get real’ about ourselves. Sometimes we may be a little guilty of believing our own press. Some critical self-evaluation allows us to identify and accept our imperfections and take conscious steps to improve them. However, if self-blame and self-criticism become the norm, it can paralyze us into inaction.
Consequently, you will be hindered from achieving your full potential. Therefore, it’s important to keep self-blame and self-criticism within healthy levels. Simply, it should be a feedback mechanism, not a tool for consistent self-deprecation.
But what if being self-critical get out of hand? Could it be possible you hate yourself too much? Self-hatred is more than simply not liking yourself. When you suffer with self-hatred, you’ll constantly put yourself down and feel like you aren’t good at anything.
Here, we’ll look at what self-hatred is, the impact it can have on your life and how you can stop it in its tracks.
Self-hatred is basically like having a little bully sat inside your head. You will experience constant criticizing thoughts, pointing out your flaws and mistakes. Just some common self-hatred thoughts you might experience include:
- You’re a loser
- Why did you event try, you knew you would fail
- You aren’t good enough
- Why can’t you just be normal?
You’ll put yourself down and compare yourself to others frequently. Self-hatred tends to develop over time and is triggered by more than one event.
How can it impact your life?
Although self-doubt is healthy, self-hatred is not. If you struggle with self-hatred, it can have a devastating impact on your life. Often the feelings of self-hatred worsen over time and can lead to destructive behaviors as you try and numb the negative self-talk.
Many people who suffer with self-hatred go on to develop destructive behaviors such as cutting themselves, develop eating disorders or turn to drugs and alcohol. It can impact every aspect of your life including your relationships, your career, and the friends you include in your life. You may also stop caring about the things you used to enjoy and avoid things that make you feel better.
The impact it can have on your life makes it important to treat quickly, rather than ignore it. The question is, how can you eliminate self-hatred?
Ways to eliminate self-hatred from your life
There are many ways to eliminate self-hatred from your life. Learning how to tame your inner bully is a great first step. So, when you notice that inner voice telling you negative things about yourself, switch it around. Stop those negative thoughts in their tracks and turn them into a positive.
So, if your inner bully says, “you aren’t worth anything,” switch it to “I may feel like I am not worthy, but I know that I am.” The more you counteract the negative with positive thoughts, the more positive your mind will become.
You can also make a list of all your strengths. If you struggle to come up with some, ask those closest to you. When you focus on your strengths, you won’t be too caught up in your weaknesses.
Finally, work on building up self-compassion. That is, treat yourself the exact same way you would treat a good friend. Would you beat them up for making a mistake? If not, why do it to yourself?
Overall, self-hatred can be a powerful thing to overcome since it builds up over time. However, the tips above can help you to start quieten your inner bully and develop a little more self-compassion.
Try a mindfulness to be more nonjudgmental.
Mindfulness Steps To Keep Your Self-Blaming and Self-Criticism In Check
- Focus your criticism on your behavior.
Behaviors can be changed. This is why when your inner voice starts to be critical, it is time to address your behaviors. Be careful not to criticize your attributes, as you can’t always change them, or need to. Your attributes are a part of your uniqueness.
If you blame yourself for not being super-intelligent, you run the risk of drowning in frustration and depression. If instead you more correctly blame or criticize your habit of spending too much time on your smartphone instead of studying, then chances are you can find ways to rectify the behavior, and therefore change the result.
2. Know the difference between taking responsibility and self-blaming.
Instead of being quick to blame or criticize yourself, try to assess the situation first. It is important that you look into every aspect of yourself, and see how your actions, inactions, and the words you have left unspoken, affected the entire outcome of the situation. Accept your mistakes and come up with ways on how you can improve yourself as well as the situation in the future.
2. Acknowledge your self-critical inner voice.
When your inner voice tells you that you are lazy, not worthy or inadequate, acknowledge these thoughts. Start by creating a journal of the things that you like about yourself, and your strengths. Creating this type of journal will help you appreciate yourself more and criticize yourself less.
If you work on improving yourself, your skills, abilities, and behavior you will find it easier to get rid of your negative self-critical inner voice.