27 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2018
    1. The researchers anticipated that four aspects of mindfulness would predict higher self-esteem: Labeling internal experiences with words, which might prevent people from getting consumed by self-critical thoughts and emotions; Bringing a non-judgmental attitude toward thoughts and emotions, which could help individuals have a neutral, accepting attitude toward the self; Sustaining attention on the present moment, which could help people avoid becoming caught up in self-critical thoughts that relate to events from the past or future; Letting thoughts and emotions enter and leave awareness without reacting to them.
    1. Think about it this way: How much better might it feel to take a breath after making a mistake, rather than berating ourselves?“All you have to do is think of going to a friend,” Dr. Neff said. “If you said, ‘I’m feeling fat and lazy and I’m not succeeding at my job,’ and your friend said, ‘Yeah, you’re a loser. Just give up now. You’re disgusting,’ how motivating would that be?”This is the linchpin of being kinder to ourselves: Practice what it feels like to treat yourself as you might treat a friend. In order to trade in self-abuse for self-compassion, it has to be a regular habit.AdvertisementSo the next time you’re on the verge of falling into a shame spiral, think of how you’d pull your friend back from falling in, and turn that effort inward. If it feels funny the first time, give it second, third and fourth tries.And if you forget on the fifth, remember: Four tries is a lot better than zero.
    2. But it’s step three, according to Dr. Brewer, that is most important if you want to make the shift sustainable in the long term: Make a deliberate, conscious effort to recognize the difference between how you feel when caught up in self-criticism, and how you feel when you can let go of it.“That’s where you start to hack the reward-based learning system,” Dr. Brewer said.
    3. The second step to self-compassion is to meet your criticism with kindness. If your inner critic says, “You’re lazy and worthless,” respond with a reminder: “You’re doing your best” or “We all make mistakes.”
    4. 3 steps to self-compassionFirst: Make the choice that you’ll at least try a new approach to thinking about yourself. Commit to treating yourself more kindly — call it letting go of self-judgment, going easier on yourself, practicing self-compassion or whatever resonates most. To strengthen the muscle, Dr. Brewer suggests “any type of practice that helps us stay in the moment and notice what it feels like to get caught up. See how painful that is compared to being kind to ourselves.”
    5. core to self-compassion is to avoid getting caught up in our mistakes and obsessing about them until we degrade ourselves, and rather strive to let go of them so we can move onto the next productive action from a place of acceptance and clarity
  2. Jun 2018
    1. But it’s the second part of that definition that has proven the most helpful for me: ‘recognising that one’s own experience is part of the common human experience’. It’s the idea of taking a zoomed-out look at yourself, and realising that you are more similar to others than you are different, even (maybe especially) considering how ridiculous you often are. As Neff herself said in an interview with The Atlantic in 2016: ‘[W]hen we fail, it’s not “poor me,” it’s “well, everyone fails.” Everyone struggles. This is what it means to be human.’In fact, it’s this part of the definition of self-compassion that makes me question whether it should be called self-compassion at all. Neff’s concept isn’t really about adoring yourself, or not entirely, anyway; this piece of it isn’t actually about you. Rather, it’s about the importance of recalling that you are but one small part of an interconnected whole.
  3. Nov 2015
    1. Somewhat surprisingly, self-compassionate people actually take more responsibility for their actions. In one study, self-compassionate people who got neutral feedback about their speaking skills were more likely to attribute it to their personality (instead of, say, a mean observer) than people with high self-esteem. Mistakes and criticism don’t threaten them as much as they do for people who have to perform well all the time.
    2. Self-esteem and self-compassion might seem like opposites, but they actually go hand in hand. Self-compassionate people tend to have higher self-esteem, and both correlate with less anxiety and depression and more happiness, optimism, and positive emotion. But the differences between the two are telling. As Neff explains it, the pursuit of self-esteem is the desire to be special or above average – and since half of us aren’t, we tend to get inflated egos and look down on other people. We may refuse to see our weaknesses and be at risk for narcissism, self-absorption, self-righteous anger, prejudice, or discrimination.
    3. Perhaps the most challenging objection to self-compassion is the idea that we need an admonishing voice in our heads to spur us toward success. And we do – just not the self-critical voice that we’re all so used to hearing. Self-criticism scares us into believing that failure is unacceptable, and self-critical people tend to be more depressed, less confident, and afraid of failure. In contrast, a self-compassionate voice would motivate us with the desire for health and well-being – and we’d be more likely to listen.
  4. Oct 2015
    1. Sirois suggests that interventions that focus on increasing self-compassion may be particularly beneficial for reducing the stress associated with procrastination because self-compassion allows a person to recognize the downsides of procrastination without entangling themselves in negative emotions, negative ruminations, and a negative relationship to themselves. People maintain an inner sense of well-being that allows them to risk failure and take action. 
    2. Often because we fear failing at the task and dread all the negative self-evaluations that might result from that failure.

      This popular explanation, and more importantly, Wikipedia, seem to suggest otherwise - though a nod is given to this hypothesis in the wiki article.

    1. self-compassion tends to promote health related behaviors such assticking to one’s diet or reducing smoking, or seeking medical treatment when it'snecessary and even exercising.
    2. People who were mindful were likely to behappy, but people who were mindful and self-compassionate were more likely tobe happier.
    3. Self-compassion is alsoassociated with positive psychological strengths such as happiness, optimism, curiosityand exploration, personal initiative, and emotional intelligence.
    4. "self-compassion (unlike self-esteem) helps buffer against anxiety" when confronted with threats to one's self-image; it also found that increases in self-compassion are associated with increased feelings of social connectedness and decreased depression, among other indicators of psychological well-being.

      I wonder if the ability to laugh at oneself is subsumed by self-compassion; at least, they seem related.

    5. all the traps that people can fall into when they try to get and keep a sense of high self-esteem: narcissism, self-absorption, self-righteous anger, prejudice, discrimination, and so on. I realized that self-compassion was the perfect alternative to the relentless pursuit of self-esteem. Why? Because it offers the same protection against harsh self-criticism as self-esteem, but without the need to see ourselves as perfect or as better than others. In other words, self-compassion provides the same benefits as high self-esteem without its drawbacks.
    6. In fact, a striking finding of the study was that people with high self-esteem were much more narcissistic than those with low self-esteem. In contrast, self-compassion was completely unassociated with narcissism, meaning that people who are high in self-compassion are no more likely to be narcissistic than people low in self-compassion.
    7. People with high levels of self-esteem, however, tended to get upset when they received neutral feedback (what, I’m just average?). They were also more likely to deny that the neutral feedback was due to their own personality (surely it’s because the person who watched the tape was an idiot!). This suggests that self-compassionate people are better able to accept who they are regardless of the degree of praise they receive from others. Self-esteem, on the other hand, only thrives when the reviews are good and may lead to evasive and counterproductive tactics when there’s a possibility of facing unpleasant truths about oneself.
    8. Those with both high and low self-esteem were equally likely to have thoughts like, “I’m such a loser” or “I wish I could die.” Once again, high self-esteem tends to come up empty-handed when the chips are down.
    9. Participants’ self-compassion levels, but not their self-esteem levels, predicted how much anxiety they felt.
    10. self-compassion steps in precisely where self-esteem lets us down—whenever we fail or feel inadequate. Sure, you skeptics may be saying to yourself, but what does the research show? The bottom line is that according to the science, self-compassion does in fact appear to offer the same advantages as high self-esteem, with no discernable downsides. The first thing to know is that self-compassion and self-esteem do tend to go together. If you’re self-compassionate, you’ll tend to have higher self-esteem than if you’re endlessly self-critical. And like high self-esteem, self-compassion is associated with significantly less anxiety and depression, as well as more happiness, optimism, and positive emotions. However, self-compassion offers clear advantages over self-esteem when things go wrong, or when our egos are threatened.
    11. I slowly came to realize that self-criticism—despite being socially sanctioned—was not at all helpful, and in fact only made things worse. I wasn’t making myself a better person by beating myself up all the time. Instead, I was causing myself to feel inadequate and insecure, then taking out my frustration on the people closest to me. More than that, I wasn’t owning up to many things because I was so afraid of the self-hate that would follow if I admitted the truth.
    12. when we acceptourselves fully, and we embrace who we are, flaws and all, then it actually does allowus to see ourselves clearly (because it’s safe tosee ourselves clearly), and because we care about ourselves and don’t want to suffer,we’re going to try as much as possible to makechanges that, you know, are going to make us healthier and happier, but we also knowthat if we don’t succeed, it’s still OK.
    13. if you really have self-compassion, remember, you are more ableto see yourself clearly. It is safer to see yourself clearly and therefore it’s a loteasier for you to take responsibility because it’sokay to have messed up, to have made a mistake.

      This is to emphasize the difference with making excuses for oneself, and it is a fairly interesting distinction.

    14. Self-compassionisn’t poor me, self-compassion is: it’s hard for all of us. The human experienceis hard for me, for you, this is the way life is. It’s not ego-centric, quite the opposite,it’s a much more connected way of relating toyourself. And also this is why the mindfulness is so important. When we’re mindful of oursuffering, we see it as it is, we don’t ignore it, but we also don’t over-exaggerateit.
    15. “this is really hard. This is difficult. I need a little care and compassion toget me through this.” Then we really aren’tat our best, at our most psychologically stable, when we gotowards trying to fix that problem. So it’s actually something you have to remind yourselfto do before going straight into fixing problems.Just acknowledge and validate how difficult thesituation is.