Is It Self-Indulgent to be Self-Compassionate?

Our Better Health

Motivate yourself with love not fear

Posted Apr 17, 2011     Kristin Neff Ph.D.    The Power of Self-Compassion

When people ask me what I do and I tell them that I study self-compassion, they often get a hesitant expression on their face. I guess self-compassion is a good idea, they say, but can’t you be too self-compassionate? In fact, the number one reason people give for why they aren’t more self-compassionate is that they’re afraid if they’re too soft on themselves, they’ll let themselves get away with anything. They really believe that their internal judge plays a crucial role in keeping them in line and on track. In other words, they confuse self-compassion with self-indulgence.

As I’ve defined it in my academic writing, self-compassion involves three components: being kind and caring toward yourself rather than harshly self-critical; framing imperfection in terms of the shared human experience; and seeing…

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