Self-Compassion… Or Selective Compassion?

I’m participating in the Kindness Challenge from The Richness of a Simple Life… and this week’s topic is self compassion.


So, I lost a subscriber from my mailing list this Thursday.

I know, big deal right? Probably not for experienced bloggers, but for someone just starting it was a bit of a blow, and normally I would’ve tried to find out exactly which post and which opinion did it for them. This time, though, I didn’t.

I didn’t have to try to please everyone.

You see, there’s a little perfectionist in most of us, except for those who are inconceivably lucky, and that perfectionist is always nagging us to try to please everyone and make everything just so, so people can’t criticise us.

Some of us are worse than others. As I mentioned in my Week 1 post, I myself don’t handle criticism very well – I never have, and with this blog I’m opening myself up to it.

So let’s return to me losing one subscriber from my mailing list, a very ordinary event. If your best friend told you about something like this happening, would you tell them it’s because they don’t write all that well? Would you say they deserved it for voicing an opinion, putting themselves out there? Would you encourage them to overthink and overanalyse such a minor occurrence?

I don’t think most of us would, but many of us would do it to ourselves.

“Maybe you just don’t write all that well.”

“You’re just not interesting enough.”

“Your posts aren’t quality posts.”

The same goes with other things. Whenever we fail at something we tend to criticise ourselves. And whenever someone else criticises us we tend to chastise ourselves, too. Not many of us would do that to a best friend, however.

This kind of thinking often leads you to believe you don’t deserve even what you do achieve, or at least that’s what happens with me. If I don’t get a prize for every event or subject I’ve been working on, I’ll shrink from going to the prize distribution even if I am getting a prize for something else, which is something I did today, but I forced myself to go. This becomes more and more of a habit as you try to escape criticism by hiding more and more of yourself and what you do instead of putting yourself out there, and this may give you short-term relief, but in the long-term it destroys the chances of success you may have had.

As a new blogger, putting my self out there for everyone to see what I think and write was my biggest fear, and oftentimes it still is. But I’ve started saying to myself – “So what if I’m imperfect? I can always improve myself.”

You may recognise that as something you might say to a discouraged friend.

You see, friendship is sympathy and encouragement, and that entails compassion. You can even apply it to that special someone, going by last week’s Self Love theme. Every time a friend or loved one falls, we are there to pick them up and encourage them, so why don’t we do that to ourselves and stop beating ourselves up over every little failure and inability?

You are the only person who’s going to be with you until the very last moment, even if nobody else is, even if you end up with many friends and a loving spouse it’ll be just you at the end when you start to lose consciousness, so why not become friends with that person? Show them some sympathy. Encouragement.

Compassion.

If you’re like me, stop taking criticism of what you do as a personal insult, as I’m going to try to do, and if it is a personal insult, learn to stand up for yourself on the inside. You would support a friend if someone called them stupid, not give them reasons to believe it, so try to do that with yourself too. Next time someone criticises you, maybe imagine someone doing that to a loved one. What would you say to your special person? Try saying that same thing to yourself.

With self-compassion will come self-acceptance, and only when you accept who you are without any negative connotations to it can you start on the path of self-improvement. Accept yourself like you accept your best friend or spouse, with all your quirks and imperfections, and learn to work with them.

Only then can you hope to strive for perfection, but don’t forget you’re only human, and you need some support and compassion from your closest friend – you – every time you fail.

Self Compassion.png

Also, I’d just like to share this post from Ramblings of the Claury.

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12 thoughts on “Self-Compassion… Or Selective Compassion?

  1. Perfect – this is a wonderful example of self-compassion, and what a shift it can make for us. You deserve nothing less than to treat yourself as your own best friend. I love the connection you’ve made between self-compassion, self-acceptance, and self-improvement — it’s a beautiful path and one well worth traveling.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There’s no need to panic! People have their like and dislikes, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you, and you can always improve your own content – your life is in your hands after all!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s incredibly brave to open up like this. This is so honest and transparent. I know it’s not easy, but what an amazing demonstration of everyday courage. Vulnerability is uncomfortable but some of the most memorable things come from this place. As a creative, we can’t escape feedback and criticism but we can learn how to handle it both from our inner voice and from others. I love how you voiced that you don’t have to be everything for everyone. The final week of the self-kindness portion of the challenge will support you on this path as it’s self-acceptance. I look forward to seeing how this week goes for you. You’ve made some incredible self-discoveries, I’m so glad you signed up for the challenge.

    As far as losing a reader, it happens. Sometimes people think they’re going to get something different. Sometimes they just want a follow for follow. Sometimes they just accidentally unfollow (I’ve been known to do so on my phone without meaning to!). In any event, I personally choose to focus on the readers that come back time after time, leave comments, and connect with my community. Even those people change over time, and that’s ok.

    I wanted to share a video that you might enjoy. I marked it at the spot that talks specifically about dealing with critics but if you have time, I highly recommend watching the video in its entirety. I hope you find it useful. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, I’m so sorry for such a late reply, I hadn’t been feeling well for the past few days and as you can see I haven’t even posted anything. Sorry! I watched the video in its entirety, and it resonates incredibly with me (in fact, I shared it with my best friend). You always have to have that one person who believes in you amongst all the critics, and sometimes you just have to be that person yourself. I love how your challenge promotes creating the strength to support your own self. Thank you for the kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries! I hope you’ve been resting and taking good care of yourself! I’m glad you enjoyed the video and were able to share it with your go-to person. I believe we have to learn to draw strength from within, I’m glad that you’re finding that useful on your journey ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I really liked this Nash – you write with such an upbeat swing even when you’re writing about the things that get you down! The thought of being on my death bed with my nagging inner voice shouting “What are you doing now, you idiot?” made me crease with laughter – oh boy I don’t want that to be the end!! And the realisation that self-compassion will finally lead to self-improvement was a lovely thought for the future so thank you for such an up-lifting post 🙂
    http://pempispalace.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/kindness-challenge-week-2-reflection.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha you just put the concept in better and more relatable words than I did! Thank you, I really appreciate it! ❤

      Like

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