Criticism vs Compassion

April 7, 2019

 

Happy Sunday all! 🌞

 

We just had a UK Satsang about the power tool of Self-Compassion. It was really interesting to look at where our inner critical voice comes from, what it wants, and whether criticism actually gets us there. In fact, the research suggests that whilst we think we are helping or motivating ourselves with self-criticism, it usually holds us back from getting to where we want to be by bogging us in perfectionism and the paralyzing fear of doing anything wrong. Meanwhile, where the research says self-criticism does tend to take us is into states of depression and anxiety. So kind of a faux ami all things considered!

 

What about when we are criticising others? Usually, we do this when someone is doing something that makes us feel scared or threatened in some way. Perhaps we are watching someone make choices we think are bad for them. We're afraid for their wellbeing, so we criticise them for those choices. Think about the times you've been criticised. Has that made you feel a strong sense of gratitude to the criticizer and desire to change your ways? Or has it made you feel resentful and even more attached to proving someone wrong? Maybe it's different for different people, but it seems a little like this could be another area where criticism is not as helpful as we think it is.

 

Enter self-compassion 💫❤️💫

 

Kristin Neff's research alongside others, has demonstrated that self-compassion makes us more resilient, more likely to move towards our goals, more likely to continue after setback, more humble, self-reflective, responsible and curious about the world around us. Self-compassion has also been linked to reductions in the experience of chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It's honestly a real-world miracle! 🌟🦄

 

Not only is self-compassion good for us, it's good for the people in our lives ❤️. The research has found that self-compassion makes us more compassionate with others. We are more accepting of how we are different from others and how they are different from us and thus we are more able to respect different points of view. People who have higher scores in self-compassion have higher scores in relationship satisfaction. And their partners say they are less possessive, less detached, more emotionally engaged and easy to be with. 👍😃

 

The discovery of self-compassion in my life has made a huge impact on my own relationship with my inner critic. I have been amazed by how fast self-compassion can lift me into contentment and provide the empowerment I need to move forward in the big important projects that matter to me.

 

You know what's really exciting? It's never too late to cultivate self-compassion. If you are interested, there is a whole load of research and self-compassion-increasing exercises to try at home here: www.self-compassion.org.

 

So if you've been feeling a little deflated, defeated or half-hearted about life, or noticing you are being harsh or critical with yourself or others, I really recommend checking out some self-compassion tools. Between the health benefits, the benefits to relationships, and the statistically-based evidence that self-compassion will make you more successful in all your endeavors, you've got nothing to lose!

 

Wishing you loads of self-love and compassion and all the fearless freedom it can bring. ❤️❤️❤️

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