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Who teaches us to hate ourselves?

(I feel like I have a bit of a theme going on with these last few posts!)

I have a loving family, who has always encouraged me to be the best that I can be. I have not been lacking in support and caring. I have always been told that I could do anything I really wanted to.

So at what point did I start learning how to tell myself, "I'm not good enough," "I'm not smart enough," "I'm not pretty enough"? Where did I learn how to think, "Why would someone like that be interested in someone like me?", or that I am inadequate, undeserving, and unworthy? Who teaches us to hate ourselves, and why??? Where did the cracks come from that allow the self-doubt to creep in?

I'm not superlative by any means - I'm not the "most" this or the "best" that or the anything-est. But objectively, I know that there are good things about me. I know that there are people who care about me and choose to include me in their lives, and therefore, there must be SOMETHING worthwhile about me.

So where does the self-hatred come from? Is this just something we are brainwashed to feel?

This isn't just about our bodies. Obviously, the media plays a large hand in that - not a lot of women can flip through a beauty or fashion magazine without feeling inadequate. (I still constantly struggle with being not thin enough and not pretty enough, even though I don't even know what "enough" really means.) But what about our selves? Looks aside, I still have that tiny nagging voice in my head that muses, "I wonder why they're being so nice to me. Why would anyone be nice to me?"

And it's infuriating. Even while thinking these thoughts about myself, I am embarrassed to be thinking them. I can’t be the only woman who does this. Where does this come from? Even someone like me, who strives for equality, who is all about self-empowerment, is guilty of berating myself and putting myself in a lower position. Why would I tell myself this stuff? Why would I delude myself into thinking that I’m not good enough for someone? It’s total BS. And makes me feel like a bad feminist. Who taught me to think that way about myself? And why? And how do I keep my daughter from growing up feeling this way? I know my family tried to build me up as much as they could, but they are obviously not the only influence in my life.

And one last thing... is this more common among females than males, or is this just more talked about in females than males? Is this a gender issue? Do more girls grow up feeling run over by the self-esteem truck, or do we just not hear about it from boys as much?

PS - I am much less likely to think this way about myself now than I was even a year or two ago. I'm okay - I'm not as plagued with this as I used to be. It just bothers me that I ever felt that way about myself at all - beating myself up for beating myself up, I suppose.