Motivation, Inspiration and Life

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I have been exploring the idea of self-compassion through reading books on Eastern Religion, (Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, etc.) analyzing professional research articles, and practicing it in my daily life. I came across one study that was conducted which I feel has great insight into self-compassion. This study will be broken down into several posts because of the amount of information that is available! THIS IS PART IV


Laura K. Barnard and John F. Curry (Duke University)

Self-Compassion Vs. Other “Self-Themes”


     “Self-critical student’s reported more perceived criticism from others and less perceived social support”

“Self-critical adults reported less trait-based and behavior-based communion with others and less pleasant affect after interactions with others”

it is believed that “self-critics show less intimacy and affiliative strivings perhaps because they fear rejection and disapproval”

“self-critics tended to cope by avoiding situations that presented opportunities for failures (behavioral disengagement) or by avoiding thoughts and feelings associated with self-criticisms (mental disengagement)”

“Self-critics were found to be avoidant rather than mindfully aware”


“self-esteem is positively correlated with negative constructs but self compassion is not. For instance, although self-esteem is positively associated with narcissism, self-compassion is not”

“self-compassion is negatively associated with anger and catastrophizing, self-esteem is not significantly related to these constructs”

“high and low self-esteem are positively associated with distorted self-knowledge (either seeing the worst in others or in themselves respectively), but only low self-compassion is positively associated with distorted self-knowledge”

“even after controlling for self-esteem, self compassion is still negatively associated with self-rumination, anger, personalizing, and negative affect”

“Self-compassion also remains uniquely, positively associated with equanimity, happiness, optimism, and positive affect”

Self-Pity, Self-Centeredness, & Self-Complacency

     “Self-pity is associated with a narrowed scope of vision that is characterized by being engrossed in one’s own suffering to the point of exaggerating it. Self-compassion is thought to break self-absorption by relating one’s own suffering to others’ and by holding pain in mindful awareness”

“self-compassion is not thought to engender self-centeredness because of the common humanity component. Buddhist thought asserts that self-compassion should foster social connectedness and compassion for others”

“distinct from self-complacency, self-compassion is thought to enable clear seeing of one’s failings without a need for being defensive…it’s about understanding faults, not colluding with them… Self-compassion should encourage growth”

Connected People

Barnard, L. K. & Curry, J. F. (2011). Self-Compassion: Conceptualizations, correlates, & interventions. Review of General Psychology, 15(4), 289-303.



  1. Pingback: Getting closer « onbeingmindful


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