What to Say to Someone Who Says They Hate Themselves

Title: What to Say to Someone Who Says They Hate Themselves


Self-hatred is a deeply troubling emotional state that can cause immense pain and suffering for an individual. When someone expresses their self-loathing, it is crucial to respond with empathy, compassion, and understanding. In this article, we will explore effective ways to communicate with someone who hates themselves, providing support and guidance to help them navigate through their struggles.

I. The Importance of Active Listening

When someone opens up about their self-hatred, it is essential to provide a safe space for them to express their feelings. Active listening is key to understanding their perspective and validating their emotions. Here are some strategies to consider:

1. Create a safe environment: Find a quiet, comfortable space where you both can talk without distractions. Assure them that you are there to listen and support them.
2. Give your undivided attention: Maintain eye contact, nod, and use verbal cues to show that you are actively engaged in the conversation.
3. Validate their feelings: Acknowledge their emotions without judgment. Let them know that their feelings are valid, and it’s okay to feel this way.
4. Use open-ended questions: Encourage them to share more about their experiences asking open-ended questions like, “Can you tell me more about what’s been going on?”

II. Empathy and Compassion

Empathy and compassion are essential when dealing with someone who hates themselves. Here are some ways to convey your understanding and support:

1. Express empathy: Say, “I can see that you’re going through a difficult time, and it must be incredibly challenging to feel this way about yourself.”
2. Offer reassurance: Let them know that you are there for them and that they are not alone in their struggles. Say, “I want you to know that I care about you and I’m here to support you.”
3. Avoid judgment: Refrain from making dismissive or minimizing statements. Instead, say, “I can’t fully understand what you’re going through, but I’m here to listen and support you.”

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III. Encouraging Professional Help

While you can offer support, it is important to recognize that professional help might be necessary. Here are some suggestions for addressing this sensitive topic:

1. Suggest therapy: Gently recommend the idea of seeking professional help. Say, “Have you ever considered talking to a therapist? They can provide valuable guidance and support during difficult times.”
2. Offer assistance: Offer to help them find a therapist or provide them with resources such as helpline numbers or support groups.
3. Normalize seeking help: Explain that seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness, but rather a courageous step towards healing and growth.


Q1. What should I do if the person refuses to seek professional help?

A1. Respect their decision. You cannot force someone to seek help, but continue to be there for them and let them know you’re available if they change their mind. Encourage them to reach out to you or other trusted individuals if they need support.

Q2. Can I share my own experiences to relate to them?

A2. Sharing your experiences can be helpful, as long as it does not divert the focus from the individual’s emotions. Be cautious not to overshadow their struggles or make them feel invalidated.

Q3. How can I support someone who hates themselves in the long term?

A3. Consistency is key. Continue to check in on them regularly, encourage self-care, and remind them of their worth. Be patient and understanding, as healing takes time.


When someone expresses self-hatred, it is crucial to respond with empathy, compassion, and active listening. By creating a safe space for open communication, offering support, and suggesting professional help when necessary, you can play a significant role in helping someone navigate through their self-loathing and find a path towards self-acceptance and healing. Remember, your presence and understanding can make a profound difference in someone’s life.

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