You’re simply not that big a deal (self-compassion replaces self-esteem)

#1
https://aeon.co/ideas/youre-simply-not-t...t-a-relief

EXCERPT: . . . The point, the researchers go on to argue in that paper, subtitled ‘The Implications of Treating Oneself Kindly’, is that the tenets of self-esteem will tell you to try to convince yourself that the stupid thing you did wasn’t really all that stupid – or if it was, that it was someone else’s fault. Self-esteem tells you to focus on all your wonderful, positive qualities. In contrast, self-compassion says it’s best to acknowledge your own role in an unflattering moment; when the memories come back at night, a self-compassionate person will say to herself: ‘Huh, yeah – that really was pretty embarrassing.’

But she’ll also say: ‘So what?’ Plenty of other people have embarrassed themselves in similar ways. In the end, this study showed that those who’d been prodded toward the direction of self-esteem felt worse about themselves after remembering the high-school embarrassment than those who’d been led toward self-compassion.

Self-esteem has fallen out of favour, and it is starting to seem these days as if self-compassion is taking its place. The headlines that keep popping up are: ‘Why Self-love Is Important And How To Cultivate It’ (Medical News Today, 23 March 2018); ‘8 Powerful Steps To Self-Love’ (Psychology Today, 29 June 2017); ‘The Not-So-Secret Secret To Happiness: Be Kinder To Yourself, Okay?’ (The Cut, 22 April 2016). (Fine: I wrote the last one.) The focus in these pop-psych stories tends to stay squarely on the first part of Neff’s 15-year-old definition: ‘experiencing feelings of caring and kindness toward oneself, taking an understanding, nonjudgmental attitude toward one’s inadequacies and failures’. From reading many of these pieces, self-compassion seems like self-kindness, and nothing more.

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....

MORE: https://aeon.co/ideas/youre-simply-not-t...t-a-relief
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#2
"...the tenets of self-esteem will tell you to try to convince yourself that the stupid thing you did wasn’t really all that stupid – or if it was, that it was someone else’s fault."

What utter bullshit. Only false self-esteem forwards self-delusion. Maybe if these people could quit pretending to have self-esteem, they could actually achieve some.
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