My favorite way to explain self-compassion

medium_280999386My favorite way to explain giving yourself compassion is the analogy of how you would treat a small child. Let’s say your child is learning to walk. After a few wobbly steps, do you criticize him or her and say, “Look at you. You’re so clumsy. What’s wrong with you that you can’t walk yet.”? Of course not. You offer encouragement. You’re excited! You might even clap your hands in delight.

Now let’s say your child wants to eat candy for dinner. You set limits and say, “no” because only eating candy will likely make your child feel sick and it simply isn’t healthy. People mistakenly think that self-compassion always means saying “yes” to yourself. Sometimes it means saying “no”–but doing so with kindness. It’s important to remember that self-compassion involves nurturing and limit-setting.

Here’s another post I wrote about self-compassion and limit setting.

Here’s an interview I did with Dr. Alice Boyes over at her blog, In Practice, at Psychology Today on The Self-Compassion Project.

photo credit:  via Photopin, CC

2 thoughts on “My favorite way to explain self-compassion

  1. I stumbled across your blog in the WordPress reader and I will now be tracking your blog in Google Reader. Not only are you using one of my favorite WordPress themes, but your blog is another of my favorite themes; self compassion! Blessings on your work…

    I blog on ‘wholeheartedness’ at I am also a WordPress consultant; I leave insights for bloggers here; and on my business blog at


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