If we cannot treat ourselves with kindness then it can be difficult to relate to others. It becomes even more difficult to have compassion and empathy with strangers or those we do not like.
Kristin Neff’s work on self compassion urges us to learn to treat ourselves with kindness especially in times of set backs or failure. The research tells us that as we learn to have an automatic response of kindness or compassion rather than being harsh and judgmental we’ll be more able to stay present to the difficulty without fear, distress, or reactivity. Best of all, we’ll learn from the situation, making it easier the next time we encounter a similar situation.
Self compassion gives us a link out of isolation, connecting us to others. Through an awareness of common humanity we are able to reach out for help without feeling ashamed of our perceived failings.
Self compassion has us realize that we flourish when we connect with others. Feeling supported gives us room to listen to ourselves, notice and ask for support, and then accept that support.
Where are you on the self-compassion scale?
To test where you are on the self-compassion scale click here
To develop and practice your self-compassion skills take the Mindful Self-Compassion Course
click here to find out more about the Boston area MSC course that starts October, 2014
click here to find out more about MSC near Hilton Head, SC the last weekend in April and first weekend in May.