Self-compassion is caring for yourself with the same attention you give to someone you love. Treat yourself like a friend.
This episode is about self-compassion, the basics anyway. Because as we learn to regulate emotions and learn to stay in the window of tolerance (explained in Episode 10), we need to give ourselves a dose of kindfulness at the same time.
That’s my way of saying: try to be grounded in the present moment with heart, no matter what arises. It means calling on emotional courage.
A simple definition of self-compassion
- Self-compassion is caring for yourself with the same attention you naturally give to someone you love—a family member, friend, or even a beloved pet.
It’s directing kindness toward yourself like you easily would toward somebody else.
There is a lovely short assessment called the Unconditional Self-kindness Scale, that I use as prompts or conversation starters. Here are just a few questions using, let’s say on a scale of 1-10, never to always:
- How much are you patient and tolerant with yourself when you are criticized or rejected by another person? And,
- How much are you loving and kind to yourself when you become aware of your personal flaws and imperfections?
How would you score? Can you relate? Here’s the thing, we can be pretty mean inside our own minds.
What kind of inner voice do you have?
We all have many parts to ourselves, each with their own voices. All of us have a critical part and a compassionate part.
The Inner Critic can be such a loud and persistent voice in our heads. Sometimes it has a positive intention. The intention usually has something to do with keeping us safe, and protecting us in some way.
For example, if we didn’t do well on an exam or at a job, the voice might reprimand us so that we will try harder for the next time.
If we said something in a group of friends that we later regret, the voice might again be critical, so that we won’t make that mistake again.
Another way our Inner Critic tries to keep us safe is when we criticize ourselves in front of others and use sarcasm. When we put ourselves down in this way, it often makes others feel better so that they like us. This might up our chances of “belonging” and being accepted.
And let’s face it: At times, the Inner Critic goes a bit overboard, right? Listen to todays episode to discern the inner critical voice(s) and begin to invite in a compassionate voice.
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