Everywhere I go I see self-hate and negativity. It is strewn all across social media, tweets, Instagram, Facebook posts, and Snapchats. When I am walking on campus I hear the same self-hating comments. It is no different when I hang out with my friends. I can’t remember hanging out without someone saying a comment that puts themselves down. Why has this negativity become so commonplace? I think what might be even more worrisome is that it seems like you are more socially accepted with this hurtful mindset rather than if you were to think of yourself in a positive manner.
In the fear of being socially shamed, I am admitting I don’t hate myself. I know it is a crazy thing to say, but I have always been kind of loony. I am not saying that I have an ego the size of Mt. Rushmore. Heck, I’m not even saying I don’t have insecurities. I have a lot of insecurities just like anyone does. I am simply acknowledging that I like parts of who I am. I think that is vastly important since unlike anyone else, I am stuck with myself for the rest of my life.
I am not perfect, I catch myself getting caught up in this negative mentality about myself. Instead of staying bogged down in it, I fight back by thinking about the aspect of myself I like. For instance, I like that I am an open-minded person. When I was younger I was extremely opinionated and would never listen to anyone else’s perspective. Now, I enjoy listening to different opinions and perspectives than my own, I have learned a lot by doing so. I like that I am a perceptive person, I can pick up on a person’s gestures, the tone of voice, and word choice. This has helped me know when something is bothering someone or if they are lying. I like my legs. It is plain and simple, but since it is a physical trait about myself I believe it is the hardest to be okay with, for me personally as well as others. Admit it, when you hear someone say a physical feature they like about themselves a part of you judges them as arrogant or egotistical. I will admit that I sometimes do it, but then I will cheer them on. I realized my initial reaction to someone being positive about themselves is met with hostility. That is why I am bringing it up, I think it is important to stop this perpetual self-hating cycle.
I am not saying this to make anyone feel bad about themselves. On the contrary, I believe people want to like themselves but some stupid societal standard has made it more important to take our insecurities and blow them completely out of proportion, to the point that they are all other people can see. Why is having insecurities the only thing that makes people relatable now? Why can’t it be relatable to like something about yourself?
I don’t have the answers to all these questions. I do know that behavior that started out as a way to connect with people based on similar insecurities has grown out of control and into a pattern of self-hatred. Now it is time to think positive about who we are while accepting we have insecurities. I hope someone else reading this can join me and say I like who I am.