Chronic Resentment, Anger, Or Emotional Abuse Cause Self-Loathing
Imagine the worst thing you have ever said or done to someone you love. You were upset or felt provoked, and you said or did something that caused that person emotional hurt.
How would you respond if you saw a stranger do or say the same thing as you to the person you love?
Anger, Aggression, Loathing
Emotional bonds carry with them an unconscious, automatic instinct to protect. If you were to see a loved one harmed verbally, emotionally, or physically by someone else, you would experience anger, an aggressive impulse, and loathing. For that moment, you would hate the person harming your loved one; you’d want to hurt him or her in return.
So what happens to the unconscious and automatic anger, aggression, and loathing when you are the one hurting a loved one? Where do the anger, aggression and loathing go?
When you hurt someone you love, the ultimate object of your anger, aggression, and hatred is you. The unavoidable legacy of spiteful, angry, or abusive behavior directed at loved ones is self-loathing. Every harsh word you say to a loved one and every cold shoulder you turn toward someone you love makes you hate yourself a little more.
The inevitable self-loathing of hurting loved ones is usually hidden. Self-loathing makes us feel powerless. You have probably conditioned states of powerlessness to stimulate some kind of adrenalin rush, usually in the form of resentment or anger. Thus self-loathing is easily covered up with a hollow bravado or self-righteousness, which practically guarantees repeated harm of loved ones.
The tragedy of using anger – or any other adrenalin rush – to mask self-loathing is that the self-loathing is not punishment from which we need protection. Rather, it is motivation to be compassionate to loved ones, which is the only thing that will relieve it. Compassion means always treating a loved one with value and respect, especially when you disagree.