In previous blogs, I addressed the importance of self-compassion and highlighted how it differs from self-esteem. Unlike self-esteem, self-compassion isn’t born out of criticism or evaluation. It is not dependent upon your performance and therefore allows your worth to remain inherent.
Once we see ourselves as inherently worthy, deserving of love, respect, and forgiveness, a lot can change. Not only does your relationship with yourself, improve, but your relationships with others are more fulfilled as well.
Self-compassion invites more vulnerability
A major part of self-compassion is recognizing that you (along with every other human being) are flawed. These flaws don’t define you, nor do they make you any less worthy. They are just things you need to be aware of or remain open to changing.
Once you accept this, you may be more willing to share your insecurities in your relationships. Instead of being embarrassed by them or worried about “exposing” your true self, you can open up about them. This openness invites vulnerability into your relationships which allows them to grow even deeper. Your relationships will be better fulfilled and authentic when you allow yourself to be human, accessible, and actively practice self-compassion.
Self-compassion encourages you to tune in to your feelings
Self-compassion requires us to check in with ourselves regularly. We get the opportunity to explore our emotions and understand why we feel the way we do in specific situations.
People who don’t practice self-compassion are more inclined to ignore their feelings. Unfortunately, this can cause them to build up anger and even contempt for themselves. When this happens, they may begin to project these negative feelings into their relationships with others. They may lash out at their partner or friends because of internal battles they don’t realize they’re fighting.
When we practice self-compassion, however, we’re less likely to bury pain, judge ourselves for our emotions, or push our feelings harshly onto others.
Self-compassion fosters the ability to admit mistakes
It’s extremely frustrating to be in a relationship (romantic or otherwise) with a person who won’t admit their faults or missteps. They usually do this because they’re too embarrassed to own up to mistakes they’ve made or they’re worried that their reputation will suffer because of them. Some people go as far to believe the lies they tell themselves, claiming no fault at all. People who practice self-compassion, however, have less trouble admitting their faults. They know when they’ve made a mistake and own up to it because they know their relationship will likely not suffer from the mistake itself. They have enough compassion to forgive their own faults while resting assured that their friend, partner, family member, etc. will forgive them as well.
Self-compassion require less validation from others
People who practice self-compassion understand that their worth does not fluctuate. It is not dependent on another person’s opinion of them. They are less inclined to be “people pleasers” or chameleons who change their authentic self in the presence of others. For this reason, they trust in their inherent value and expect respect and to be loved for who they are.
Constantly working to be the best version of themselves
Because those with self-compassion are willing to admit to their mistakes and flaws, they are also willing to improve upon them. This less about performance-based esteem and more about valued-based appreciation. Instead of becoming embarrassed and pushing their mistakes under the rug, they learn from them. This allows them to strive to be the best version of themselves (while honoring their current self), value all experiences (the lows as well as the highs) and appreciate the contributions of their relationships.
The decision to practice self-compassion can occur overnight, but the process of extending this compassion unto yourself may require some support. Contact me if you’d like help working towards enriching your relationship with yourself and others.