Book review: Compassion and Self-hate

Author: Theodore Rubin

Recommended by: Aziz Gaziupra

Over the last many years of working on my emotional intelligence, I have discovered all emotional problems could be summarised as one problem: an absence of self love. Self hate is omnipresent. Most times, what stops us from getting what we want, and living the quality of emotional life that we want, is self hate.

But if the diagnosis is that clear, why don’t we simply stop? Problem is it is not “you” that hates “you”. It is parts of you hating “you” or other parts of you. If you are new to this parts language, I recommend checking out my podcast episode on mental parts.

Self hating activities often have the special characteristics of being passed of as virtues. The victim rationalises anticipation of disaster as prudence. (pg 76)

Compassion and self-hate by T. Rubin

Further, self hate can be hard to identify. Sometimes there is an obvious voice in your head that does the hating. But often, all you feel is a sense of doing wrong, being bad, or a reflex to numb emotions using alcohol. Perfectionism and catastrophic thinking are also ways in which we get in our own way.

In fact, being liked by everyone is usually an indication that one has obliterated oneself in favour of becoming a mirror image for everyone else. (pg 115)

Compassion and self-hate by T. Rubin

This book is an absolute classic treatment of self hate, and its antidote compassion. The book is divided into two sections. The first section gives a detailed understanding of the various ways in which we can hate ourselves. The second part talks about compassion, its antidote.

This book is not a mere feel good book. It goes right into the details and talks about nuances. I have never made more notes on any book than this one. Please read it as a gift to yourself. I also recommend reading On My Own Side which is inspired by this book.

We must learn that forgiveness for being human is actually inappropriate. To the extent that we accept ourselves, forgiveness is transcended. there is nothing to forgive. pg 209

Compassion and self-hate by T. Rubin