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How Self-Hatred And Denial Can Be Good For Us?

Woman in self-denial

Nobody wants to hate and deny themselves, right? So, how self-hatred and denial can be good for us? Is it even possible in reality? Let’s find out.

How self-hatred and denial can be good for us? Example of a woman in denial.
Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

“Is it possible to hate oneself and still be satisfied with it?”

“How does inner critic work in our favor?”

I guess it is.

Though we are still unsure about how it is even possible. In other words, living with feelings of self-hatred and denial has its side effects. But there is also something good about it that people often do not realize.

One of my closest friends suffers from depression and social anxiety. Even though being a smart and intelligent person, he lacks self-love and is often lost in feelings of self-depreciation.

His deep and quirky love for dark and morbid things is unique on its own and doesn’t require any further explanation. I believe he certainly finds solace in those feelings.

But, I was amazed when he established himself as one of the best poets and writers in the city. To be honest, I never expected him to achieve success due to his self-destructive thoughts.

So, “What should we need to know by this?”

Well, the potential lies in everyone no matter big or small. However, the other side of reality is too unreal for us. Maybe we have judged too early about the implications of self-hatred and denial without looking for its benefits.

So, let us find out how both the above influence us in the next section and look for ways they can turn out to be good for us.

How do self-hatred and denial influence us?

It is only under tough times that we realize the significance of self-hatred and denial. The incessant wallowing and never-ending pain force us to criticize ourselves from time to time.

But, not everyone can deal with such feelings. People are usually trapped in a rut of doing self-destructive activities and sabotaging their lives with various unhealthy traits.

A woman behind a broken mirror experiencing self-hatred and denial
Photo by Maria Orlova from Pexels

The reason why most people are not able to deal with both is due to the expectations we have from ourselves and the perfectionism that reminds us to be perfect in everything we do.

But, this just gives a glimpse of how both influence us.

So, here are 3 significant ways how self-hatred and denial influence us.

1. Both make us identify with our imperfections:

Most people try too hard to gain perfection when they don’t realize they are obsessing over it. When perfectionism becomes maladaptive, it makes them self-critical.

But, self-criticism isn’t the issue here. The important thing is it helps us identify with our imperfections. The more we identify with it, the better we will understand the motive behind self-hatred and denial.

Hence, both influence us by making us identify with our imperfections.

2. Both influence the process of self-reflection and introspection:

Self-reflection is the medium in the process of self-hatred and denial. Introspection is the only way to rationalize the lingering pain of self-criticism. Most importantly, dealing with our expectations is the ultimate goal of introspection.

Unhealthy self-reflection is a completely different thing. One must know the difference between a healthy and unhealthy one. The healthy one helps you in self-actualization, while the unhealthy one imparts an identity crisis.

Therefore, both influence the process of self-reflection and introspection.

3. Both impart us with inner experiences:

Experiences are a part of human identity. Whether outer or inner, experiences have a lot to teach us even under self-hatred and denial. The confusion and restlessness make us value our self-experience.

Also, these experiences provide us with an identity of our own, which is unique in its way. In other words, they are somewhat like a prerequisite to gaining inner experiences.

Hence, both impart us with inner experiences.

So, here are 3 ways how these influence us.

But, “Are self-hatred and denial good for us?”

Let’s take a look at it in the next section.

Are self-hatred and denial good for us?

Exactly, how true is this statement?

Might be true, might be false.

The important thing is whether we look for the good in it or not. There are many drawbacks of self-hatred and denial. Even the words describe the true meaning of it.

But no matter how bad things are, they can be beneficial to us if we learn to use them effectively. Likewise, utilizing both along with the insufferable self-criticism can make things better for us.

But, “How can we use self-hatred and denial for our good?”

Well, here are 6 ways how both can be beneficial to us.

Self-hatred and denial:

1. Can guide us to self-actualization:

“Have you heard about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs?”

It is one of the most important aspects of humanistic psychology which represents the importance of human needs and desires in a hierarchy. It is when the word self-actualization was created.

Self-hatred and denial have a very awkward relationship with self-actualization. In other words, both the above can guide us to the latter by making us dissatisfied with our abilities. The dissatisfaction and the need to express it makes it an inevitable road to a greater understanding of our inner critic.

As a result, we can use both to improve ourselves in this journey.

2. Can force us to deal with our imperfections:

I know it doesn’t seem rational.

“How can self-hatred and denial help us deal with our imperfections?”

If anything, they can amplify it and make us hate ourselves more.

But, dealing with imperfections is the job of an individual. When he constructively uses both, he can understand why those imperfections are important to us. Without hating and denying ourselves, we can never understand how we should use our imperfections for good.

It might be a little offbeat and different from others and can also make us quirky and unconventional. However, utilizing the supposed negativity can give us positive results.

3. Can make us mentally and emotionally resilient:

A person can be resilient in many different ways. Especially, when he tries to be mentally and emotionally healthy. Both self-hatred and denial have a similar role in maintaining our mental and emotional stability.

In other words, both help us to be mentally and emotionally resilient. But how? Well, engaging with hatred and denial makes us identify with our pessimistic side. This, in turn, affects our perspective of negativity and acceptance of it.

We ultimately conclude that establishing a balanced mind and heart is important.

4. Can make us look beyond ourselves:

I think it is how both of these work. When we do not accept things that are good about ourselves, we try to look around experiencing our negative outlook. 

However, if self-criticism is beneficial for us, then so are self-hatred and denial. For instance, doing things that are beyond us or have a common purpose to humanity, such as selfless service, charity, etc. can be the result of self-hatred too.

After all, self-hatred doesn’t necessarily mean world hatred. Hence, both of these can make us look beyond ourselves.

5. Can make us artistic and philosophical:

Artists and philosophers experience self-hatred and denial. Especially, the young ones are prone to self-depreciation and neglect too. Nevertheless, experiencing this pain is one of the important stages to embrace art and philosophy.

Both self-hatred and denial allow us to express ourselves in the form of art, music, dance, etc. Poets and musicians are the best examples of people who have successfully made both the above an ally in their works.

Hence, self-hatred and denial make us artistic and philosophical and help us lead a meaningful life too.

6. Can make us look for the potential in others:

One greatest benefit of self-realization that we often ignore are seeking potential in others. I have experienced self-hatred and denial many times. But, each time, I ended up looking for potential in others unintentionally.

While I did neglect and underestimate myself, I was always amazed by how people had so much potential in them. The abilities they had seemed to be very different from mine. The reason I think I felt like this was envy and jealousy.

Nevertheless, I used to help them look for the good in them and advised them on the possible ways they could do so. Most psychologists and counselors can look for potential in others too.

Final Words:

To sum up, self-hatred and denial might not be necessarily bad. If we decide to use it for self-development, things can be so much easier than before. 

All we need are some pretty good ways how we can utilize it for our gains. However, we should not forget that ruminating on both can be sabotaging, and we should prevent it at all costs.

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