Most people are familiar with the Golden Rule—do unto others as you would have them do unto you—but there should be a corollary—do unto to yourself as you do unto others.
It’s called self-compassion, as opposed to self-indulgent.
People who find it easy to be supportive and understanding to others, it turns out, often score surprisingly low on self-compassion tests, berating themselves for perceived failures… People who score high on tests of self-compassion have less depression and anxiety, and tend to be happier and more optimistic.
Compassion: a feeling of deep sympathy
Indulgent: benignly lenient or permissive
It seems that some people don’t apply compassion to themselves in fear of it morphing into indulgence.
Does this describe you or someone you know?
If yes, what can you do?
My own observations tell me that self-indulgent people rarely show compassion, so the fear doesn’t make much sense.
I found the article especially interesting, because I’m often guilty of beating myself up and I could use more self-compassion. I do fine on the big things, but the small stuff not so much.
I believe that self-compassion is part of MAP (mindset, attitude, philosophy™), so what I needed to do was change mine and being me I wanted a simple and as easy as possible way to do it—and I think found it.
How? By thinking of myself in third person—not ‘me’, but ‘she’.
I had a great chance to try the approach out yesterday.
I was moving something, knocked over a favorite plant and more than half broke off.
My immediate reaction was to tear into myself, but I stopped and instead thought what I would say to a guest who did the same thing—which would have been along the lines of “not a big deal; don’t worry about it; it will grow back.”
So that is what I said to me.
And you know what?
Now I just need to do it every time and make it a habit.
Why not give it a try? You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.
Flickr image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sweetonveg/5179031393/