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Focusing Tip #662 – Teaching someone to love themselves

Focusing Tip #662 – Teaching someone to love themselves
June 26, 2019 Ann Weiser Cornell
What can we do to turn around self-hatred so that we love ourselves instead? Read on...

Focusing Tip #662 – Teaching someone to love themselves

What can we do to turn around self-hatred so that we love ourselves instead? Read on…


Jennifer writes:

I have a client who found a part of him that absolutely hates itself. Do parts hate themselves or is this really a part that hates another part? This client has a huge inner critic and no self love at all.

How do you teach or support someone to learn to love themselves?

Dear Jennifer:

This is painful! Both for your client… and for you, a caring person who wants to help him.

And perhaps you have already noticed that no amount of teaching about self-love, or reminders of good things the person has done, has any effect on the self-hating. Because it is a part… and it is not logical or fact-based.

Probably the biggest change for this client will come from being able to say, and to feel: “Something in me hates myself.”

You can offer this to him as a possibility… and then it might take time for him to feel that difference, between “me” and “something in me.” It might take many months, many sessions.

You can say it to him this way: “Something in you hates yourself.”

At another time you can suggest he say this himself. “You might try saying, ‘Something in me hates myself’. And see how that feels.”

Later, when he seems able to take this in, you can say, “And maybe you can be with that part that hates himself… give him your compassion, because that must be painful to feel.”

Take me, for example. I have done some things I am ashamed of, especially when I was younger. It helps to say, “Something in me did things, and something in me is ashamed.” I can feel my self-compassion awakening.

When we can turn toward the parts of us that are ashamed and afraid, and not be identified with them, empathy seems to arise naturally, like water rising from a spring. We love our own “weaknesses” as well as our strengths. It’s all included in who we are.

Another tip you may find helpful:

“I want to be able to explain to my clients the kind of acceptance that leads to wellbeing and liberation.”(Opens in a new browser tab)

Focusing Tip 588 – My clients want to stay merged with their parts(Opens in a new browser tab)

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