The Secret to Success - Be Kind

A silhouette of a man reaching out to help assist another person who is sitting on the ground

What is Self-Compassion?

  • Self-compassion is the act and ability to value ourselves and to treat ourselves kindly just because we are human beings.
  • Caring about ourselves helps us to recognize our similarity and connection with other human beings, who share common sources of suffering and common aspirations.
  • Self-compassion is a life skill that promotes resiliency, the ability to bounce back from daily stress and crisis.
  • Self-compassion is a learned social behavior. Children learn by watching how parents react to them.
  • The essential secret is to acknowledge our own emotional suffering and then deliberately comforting ourselves by generating feelings of warmth and care towards ourselves and others who are suffering.

What are the Benefits of Self-Compassion?

  • Self-compassion helps to enhance our recovery from the harmful effects of chronic stress.
  • Research shows that self-compassion decreases anxiety in job performance evaluations (Neff et al., 2011). When evaluations aren’t dependent on constant proof of achievement, we feel more relaxed about our lives.
  • Self-compassion is associated with more curiosity and exploration. When we are free to make mistakes, we are freer to learn new skills and make amends, rather than hiding in shame or ignoring opportunities for growth.

Adapted by Susan Barger, M.A., MSW Candidate, and Lisa Borelli, LISW-S Ohio State Employee Assistance Program ● 1-800-678-6265