• Kirsti Gwynn

Why You Need Self-Compassion

If someone you care for deeply came to you with a problem, how might you respond to them? 

Chances are, it would be something like this:

  • You'd listen and let them know it’s understandable that they feel the way they do

  • You'd remind them that they’re not alone

  • You'd ask: “Is there anything I can do to help?”

You show your loved ones kindness and compassion when they’re struggling because you intuitively know that this will make their burden easier to bear. In the face of acceptance and understanding, their pain might feel just a little lighter, and this means they’ll recover more quickly.

You wouldn’t dream of responding to a loved one’s struggle with nastiness, rejection, or a “get over it”. You know that this would only add more suffering to an already difficult situation.

So when it comes to our own pain, why do so many of us respond to ourselves the exact opposite of how we respond to those we love?

  • We dismiss our feelings as small or silly, telling ourselves we shouldn’t feel this way

  • We tell ourselves that struggling with this makes us weaker or less capable than other people

  • We “soldier on” rather than nurture ourselves

Self-kindness is essential to resilience.

The same way you kindness eases the weight of your friend’s burden, self-kindness will make your pain easier to carry, too. 

Whatever difficult feelings you might be struggling with, ask yourself what you might say to a good friend. Can you offer yourself the same kindness?