Your Own Worst Enemy: Self-Bullying

Self-bullying-360 Psyche

“I am my own critic”, “I criticize myself before others do”⁠

Does this sound like you? ⁠

It’s okay to be self-aware and try to make ourselves better, but when we find ourselves telling ourselves negative words or having thoughts that leave us feeling inferior, unloved, incompetent that is a problem called self-bullying.

It may sound weird to bully oneself, however, we may be doing it

How much do you push, pressurize, judge, and criticize yourself to do, feel and think in ways that hurt or sabotage you?⁠

Did you know that bullying – either in childhood, adulthood, or on the internet, has been linked to various mental health challenges, including depression, anxiety, and personality disorders?

Self-Bullying Defined

Self-bullying is the act of sabotaging one’s self. Making sabotaging decisions in career, relationship, school, and family. It also involves telling yourself negative words or thoughts that make you feel inferior, unloved, incompetent; constantly undermining yourself, and talking bad about yourself. It also involves pushing yourself past your mental, physical or emotional level.

It’s at the core, a form of self-harm because what you’re doing is literally hurting yourself. You’re your own worst enemy, your own worst critic. As you read you might think to yourself, “do I bully myself?”

Unlike the physical form of self-harm (which we would be talking about in another article), sometimes we aren’t even aware we’re bullying ourselves.

We can tell ourselves that this is how we get better, how we practice to become perfect or reach the goals we aspire for. While that might be true for some people, it spells disaster for the rest.

More often than we care to admit, self-bullying stems from a place of hate. Other times, it stems from a perceived sense of incompetence or inferiority.

Symptoms of Self-Bullying

  1. Finding the good in others but not yourself.
  2. Appreciating the strengths in others, but not your strengths.
  3. Minimizing the weakness of others and maximize your weakness.
  4. You feel like you have not achieved enough, no matter how much you get done.
  5. Putting yourself down for not meeting expectations you, or others, have put on you.
  6. Deciding to do everything yourself, feeling stressed, resentful, and that the world is on your shoulders.
  7. You pressure yourself to say yes to others, almost every time, even when you do not want to.
  8. Repeating insulting, demeaning, or embarrassing words to one’s self
  9. Causing physical harm to one’s self on purpose or out of anger

  10. Comparing yourself to others

Reasons For Self-bullying

  1. Low self-esteem
  2. Childhood experiences
  3. Self-hate
  4. Past experiences
  5. Perfectionism/workaholism
  6. Undiagnosed mental health challenges
  7. Inability to meet up with deadlines
  8. Comparison
  9. Peer and/or family pressure
  10. Over personalization 

Perhaps the most important thing to realize about self-bullying is that it can be a long journey to recovery and accepting one’s self. If you need a professional to walk with you throughout the journey, contact one of ours.

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