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The secret to Self-compassion (is it all about me?)

Is being nice to yourself selfish, self-centered, or narcissistic?

If you are truly selfish, self-centered, or narcissistic, you will need to feel good about yourself all the time. In other words, you will need to have-it-all for yourself, constantly prove you are right, and always perform above average. Think about it. How is this sustainable?

Being compassionate is all about accepting the life’s ups-and-downs.

No one can always be above average. That is why they call it the law of averages. Everyone, including you, will have ups-and-downs. Here is the secret, being compassionate is all about accepting the ups-and-downs. It’s not about pity or empathy. It’s about acceptance. Once acceptance happens, then compassion turns into action. Loving-kindness is an instance of acting on compassion.

Most of us get it when it comes to being compassionate to others. What about being compassionate to ourselves — accepting yourself the way you are? Why don’t we get that? Are we afraid of coming off as ego-centric?

Studies by Kristin Neff shed light on this topic. Neff’s studies show that people with high self-compassion have a ‘healthy’ self-esteem. Meaning they are on an even keel with their self-worth in good and bad times. There is a link between self-compassion and self-esteem.

When narcissists don’t make the mark, they become upset, angry, or start finger pointing.

People that have more self-compassion are less likely to be upset or delusional about their performance. Bonus: being realistic about your capabilities is a key emotional intelligence skill.1 And the scary part is, a lot of us see narcissistic behaviour. When narcissists don’t make the mark, they become upset, angry, or start finger pointing.

Being self-compassionate is the opposite of selfishness, self-centeredness, and narcissism. Being loving and kind to ourselves releases the burden of perpetual ego-trips. Thus creating more space in our hearts for ourselves and others.

Read more here.

  1. Daniel Goleman, “Emotional Intelligence: What Makes a Leader?”, Harvard Business Review, January, 2004.

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I slung code for Fortune 500 companies in a previous life. Now, I write and make some photographs. I’ve moved on to Portfolio on

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