Saturday, June 9, 2007

Is Self-Compassion More Important than Self-Esteem?


Why do some people roll with life's punches, facing failures and problems with grace, while others dwell on calamities, criticize themselves and exaggerate problems?

The answer, according to researchers from Duke and Wake Forest universities, may be self-compassion -- the ability to treat oneself kindly when things go badly. The results of their research, one of the first major investigations of self-compassion, were published in the May 2007 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

"Life's tough enough with little things that happen. Self-compassion helps to eliminate a lot of the anger, depression and pain we experience when things go badly for us," said Mark R. Leary, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke and lead author of the paper, which includes five peer-reviewed studies.

"American society has spent a great deal of time and effort trying to promote people's self-esteem," Leary said, "when a far more important ingredient of well-being may be self-compassion."

Rest here:

Thanks to the person who posted this on the Appreciative Inquiry Listserve.

A great resource on self compassion is the book Radical Acceptance Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach, Ph.D.

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