Self Compassion - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Self Compassion


Hi guys

I just saw an epic TED talk about the importance of having self compassion aka self-love. It is def worth a watch (20 mins runtime). The TED talk is called

The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self Compassion: Kristin Neff
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvtZBUSplr4
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Tobi Atkins View Post
Hi guys

I just saw an epic TED talk about the importance of having self compassion aka self-love. It is def worth a watch (20 mins runtime). The TED talk is called

The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self Compassion: Kristin Neff
That was really great. I've heard about self compassion before and I try to practice but she does a great job of explaining it. It's hard to break the habit of being hard on yourself.

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”

― Kurt Vonnegut
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 11:59 PM
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I think its hard because most people aren't like that and you learn how to treat yourself from other people well I know i have anyway. Someone posted that video on here not long ago and I'm glad to see it's reposted. I hope more people watch it. One of the most important things for me is to learn to not be so hard on myself. It nice to have someone tell you its ok to do that.

know yourself, love yourself
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-11-2015, 12:06 AM
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Hi guys

I just saw an epic TED talk about the importance of having self compassion aka self-love. It is def worth a watch (20 mins runtime). The TED talk is called

The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self Compassion: Kristin Neff
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvtZBUSplr4
This is a life changing video. Highly recommend this ladies' work and this talk. Good post
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-12-2015, 05:59 AM
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I'm so full of self hate, and think most people don't like me, not that I really know anyone anymore. That what years of bullying and being fat did.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-12-2015, 06:03 AM
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Thank you. Can't wait to check this out!!
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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Glad you got something out of the video. Self love, being kinder to myself and stop putting myself down all the time was the #1 thing that helped me overcome social anxiety.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 01:23 PM
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Thanks for the post, I'm still working on this part of myself.

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”
- Christopher Columbus
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 01:32 PM
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Self-compassion is the foundation of mental health imo. It's hard to be healthy when you've been convinced by others that you should hate yourself. No one should hate themselves.

The people who teach other people to hate themselves are as mentally ill as the people they've made ill in turn, but for some reason we treat the victims of bullying instead of treating the bullies who are the true source of the mental health contagion.

Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 09:17 PM
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I do think that self compassion and being comfortable with yourself are huge, and I also agree that I think a lot of SA or similar behavior probably stems from a lack of self compassion and/or self confidence.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to break out of the rut of self loathing that I have always been in. I always think of myself as physically and mentally inferior to everyone else, and I feel like I am a drag on society most days. I have had a coworker(s) tell me many times that I am way too hard on myself, but I don't know any other way. I'm not sure if I would ever be able to get to a point where I feel like I have some self-worth or skill set. If people were to ask me what my talents were or what I am good at, I'm honestly not sure that I could answer. I have had somewhat similar questions asked of me in the past and I just kind of try to skirt around the question.

I look at everyone else around me, and I honestly can't think of one positive or useful item that I can contribute to their lives. There's always someone stronger,smarter,etc. Maybe I'll get there someday. I'm still trying to figure everything out and how to rationalize to myself that I have some worth (I am entirely internally motivated, and if I can't rationalize something then no amount of external influence/people telling me things will make a difference)
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 05:25 AM
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I don't know if I'll ever be able to break out of the rut of self loathing ... I always think of myself as physically and mentally inferior to everyone else ... I look at everyone else around me and I honestly can't think of one positive or useful item that I can contribute ... There's always someone stronger,smarter,etc. Maybe I'll get there someday. I'm still trying to figure everything out and how to rationalize to myself that I have some worth (I am entirely internally motivated, and if I can't rationalize something then no amount of external influence/people telling me things will make a difference)
This is where the distinction between self-esteem and self-compassion is important.

Esteem is essentially about how highly you regard yourself. If you have a lot of some positive quality, you regard yourself highly for having it and feel a positive emotion: high self-esteem. If you lack some positive quality, you regard yourself poorly for lacking it and feel a negative emotion: low self-esteem. This is how culture raises all people to manage their self-esteem. Everyone lacking positive traits automatically feels poorly about themselves. This feeling of low self-worth is the "engine" that is supposed to drive people to improve themselves. But, ofc, you can't be good at something without being better than somebody else, so as you get better at things and feel better about yourself, other people feel worse about themselves by comparison. That's why there will always be low self-esteem people. Other people, in their effort to feel better about themselves, drive other people down by improving their own lives.

Typically, people are advised to work on themselves, to make themselves better; and this does work to improve your self-esteem, assuming you can improve yourself in some way so much that you really start to see that you're superior to other people. But that, imo, is not the best way to go about trying to solve feelings of self-loathing. It's something you can do in addition to self-compassion, but it is fundamentally inferior to self-compassion.

Compassion is about unconditional love and acceptance. It's about feeling a positive emotion (love), regardless of a person's traits. The correct response to a person (yourself or someone else) who lacks some positive trait is compassion. You feel compassion for people who are poor or sick or unattractive, etc., because you know that their lack of that positive trait makes their life more difficult. Our culture's training when it comes to compassion is very spotty. Many people (though nowhere near all) do feel compassion for other people wrt to the lack of positive traits. They offer sympathy and advice and sometimes even try to help in some way. That's normal, healthy behavior. But what our culture doesn't teach you, and what it seems almost opposed to, is the idea of people treating themselves with the same compassion they show other people. Instead of people feeling sympathy for themselves, people are taught to hate themselves, to regard self-compassion as suspicious, like self-pity, that it will erode their will to improve themselves.

The two processes (self-esteem and self-compassion) work in opposition, in a way. On the one hand, esteem teaches people to strive to better themselves by hating what is inferior about themselves; and on the other, compassion teaches people to feel sympathy for people who are inferior in some way. But the esteem training is so strong that many people learn to despise other people for being inferior, which is why we have bullying. When people are despised (bullied) by other people, they learn to hate themselves even more and it becomes very difficult for them to feel any compassion toward themselves.

The people with the fewest positive traits, then, are not only taught to despise their negative traits, but learn from other people to reject and despise themselves entirely, as people. The conditioning is so strong that they essentially lose the ability to feel any compassion for themselves, though they may (and often do) feel a lot of compassion for other people. What people with low self-esteem need to do, then, is re-train themselves to feel compassion for themselves. (What they should avoid doing is finding ways to despise people who have things that they lack, since that merely reinforces the entire destructive cycle. If you despise a person for having friends, for example, you're going to be motivated to not have any friends yourself so that you can avoid despising yourself further.)

So look at some trait that you lack: let's say the ability to socialize easily with other people. You're shy, you never know what to say, you feel anxious, you make other people uncomfortable, etc. Look at that and instead of going directly to self-harm, instead of thinking "I'm a pathetic loser" think: "SA makes lovetrance's life difficult; it must be hard being lovetrance and never knowing what to say or how to act around other people; s/he must feel miserable a lot of the time". Acknowledge this as if you were acknowledging that it were someone else's problem, as if it were your friend who suffered from SA, not yourself; or your partner, or your child. You have to put yourself into someone else's shoes and look at yourself from outside because your ability to feel true compassion for yourself has been almost completely destroyed by cultural conditioning regarding esteem. You should feel compassion for yourself for having SA, the way you feel compassion for someone else for being ill or poor. You should feel like hugging yourself, not cutting yourself. Because SA does make your life difficult, and it is absolutely not your fault that you have it. You didn't choose to be this way, and it's not fair to punish yourself for being a victim of circumstance.

When you feel genuine compassion for yourself, it's okay to not have some positive trait. It's okay not in the sense that you no longer need it or want it, or that it's absence isn't painful, but okay in the sense that even in its absence you don't hate and despise yourself for not having it. Instead of a painful experience of self-loathing, you have a positive experience of self-compassion. It won't make being lonely less painful, but it will stop you from adding self-hatred to your feeling of loneliness and your loneliness will be easier to bear because the loneliness itself will be a source of self-compassion.

With healthy, functional self-compassion, no matter what your life is like, you always feel self-loving and self-affirming. For those traits that you do excel at, you feel the positive pleasure of high self-esteem; for those traits that you lack, you feel the positive emotion of self-compassion. So you always feel good about yourself, no matter what part of yourself you're thinking about, even when you're miserable about all the negative things that you have in your life. You may still be poor, lonely, etc., but you won't feel self-hatred; you'll feel compassion for yourself for being poor and lonely. And that self-compassion is what makes life bearable; it's what gives you the will and determination to improve your life instead of giving up on it. When you feel compassion for yourself, you give yourself permission to be imperfect and make mistakes and strive for things anyway, whether things go your way or not. It gives you permission to be on your own side, to support and encourage yourself, and to be a good friend to yourself. Without self-compassion, you act against yourself. You're like a bully inside your own head, punishing yourself for every failing. You've taken all the negative, hateful things that others have said to you over the years and internalized it, continuing the work of every person who's ever bullied you long after they've disappeared from your life.

Some people have a great deal of difficultly overcoming their negative self-talk -- the internal bully -- because bullying themselves is as enjoyable, in a way, as bullying other people is for bullies. You can't defend yourself from yourself, so you can just keep being cruel to yourself and reaping all the satisfaction that any bully would take from being cruel to you. This is why people get stuck in self-loathing and self-pity; because without the ability to feel real compassion for themselves, and without self-esteem, the pleasure of self-cruelty is the only pleasure available to them. Self-harm becomes a means to feel pleasure in the absence of any means to feel self-compassion or self-esteem. And this self-harming pleasure can be very addictive; people get addicted to cutting themselves, or starving themselves, or sabotaging their own lives in other ways because it's the only way they can take any kind of pleasure in their own existence.

Self-compassion is the only way to get over an addiction to self-cruelty. Self-compassion is unconditional. It's giving yourself permission to be the completely f***ed up, messed up, pathetic, inadequate person you are. To say to yourself: "It's okay if you suck, I love you anyway." (Note that self-love is NOT the same as self-like -- you have no obligation to like things about yourself that you don't, eg. your appearance; it's not about conning yourself into thinking something's good when it's bad; it's about saying "it's okay if it's bad; it's okay to be miserable about it". In fact, self-compassion is the very basis of self-improvement; when you feel genuine compassion for yourself, you give yourself permission to try to change your life for the better instead of wallowing in self-pity. Because "it's okay to want to change it, too". Genuine self-compassion is unconditional.)

With genuine self-compassion, any person, regardless of circumstance, can feel good about themselves, even if they hate everything else about their life.

Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 05:54 AM
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I'm so full of self hate, and think most people don't like me, not that I really know anyone anymore. That what years of bullying and being fat did.
I love you. (Im not kidding). Good luck.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 11:24 PM
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...

Self-compassion is the only way to get over an addiction to self-cruelty. Self-compassion is unconditional. It's giving yourself permission to be the completely f***ed up, messed up, pathetic, inadequate person you are. To say to yourself: "It's okay if you suck, I love you anyway." (Note that self-love is NOT the same as self-like -- you have no obligation to like things about yourself that you don't, eg. your appearance; it's not about conning yourself into thinking something's good when it's bad; it's about saying "it's okay if it's bad; it's okay to be miserable about it". In fact, self-compassion is the very basis of self-improvement; when you feel genuine compassion for yourself, you give yourself permission to try to change your life for the better instead of wallowing in self-pity. Because "it's okay to want to change it, too". Genuine self-compassion is unconditional.)

With genuine self-compassion, any person, regardless of circumstance, can feel good about themselves, even if they hate everything else about their life.
Hmm, thanks for the info. I can see the point and difference, but it's going to take a lot for me to get there.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2016, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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Excellent info. We are taught to dislike ourselves from childhood for our flaws. Breaking this habit of self-rejection can be hard, but not impossible. If you work on being a little kinder to yourself each day, it will become easier to do.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2016, 01:56 AM
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After being bullied, one is expected to hate themselves, being bullied by all classmates and rejected by all cousins and kicked to the curb by every single friend you ever had, that can really make someone hate themselves, but we have to realize that its not us, the problem is we are just surrounded by toxic people who want us to hate ourselves, we really do have to love ourselves and be nice to ourselves, because at the end of the day we are all we have, just ourselves. And if we feel compassionate toward ourselves, then we can be nice to someone else, even if they don't deserve it, its better to not be cruel to someone no matter how cruel they are to us, its really really hard to do that but sometimes if you get the special feeling once in a while you can occasiaonlly fight off the urge to be hostile back to someone hostile. 99% of the time everyone around us will be hostile, 99% of the time, people we meet will put on a nice face with the intention to hurt us badly, but no one has to be like that, maybe those people are hostile because they hate themselves somehow or they might just be plain sadistic who knows, maybe just maybe the cycle would break if people liked or loved themselves more and then they would feel the need to be nicer to others. Maybe just maybe, who knows. I won't ramble on anymore, I need to go go bed.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2016, 12:23 PM
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Beautiful words. I am working on learning to love myself and practice self compassion. It will probably help my relationships, too. Thanks for posting!

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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-03-2016, 05:50 PM
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Havent watched the video yet, but i definitely will, but i wonder if theres a risk of crossing the line between "self compassion" and "(only) self caring"? Cuz i think
thats one thing that can happen. Like overcompensating for all the time we havent been as self compassionate as we should be. Might cause us to become egotistical (to others)
and not care about anything else.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-03-2016, 07:19 PM
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I have not watched it yet, but as someone who has always have had immense trouble with accepting and being kind to myself I'm glad you decided to make a thread to share this. Even when I do make progress with my goals, there's always that part of me that tells me it's not good enough and therefor I'm not either. Thanks again.

edit; haha identically started my sentence as DarkmanX's sentence.

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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-03-2016, 07:28 PM
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I think my problem is that I have too much self-compassion. I'm way too easy on myself and rarely push myself to do things I find unpleasant.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-03-2016, 08:40 PM
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really liked that! thank you.

self esteem is tough. self compassion is tough too but its more loving. can be very helpful for SA.
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