Kristin Neff discovered self-compassion in a difficult time in life, and then created an entirely new field of research around the concept. Since 2003 her self-compassion scale is used to measure how friendly people are toward themselves and how this attitude affects people’s well-being.
Are you typically kind and understanding to yourself when you fail? And do you know that you don’t have to be perfect at all times? Then, according to Kristin Neff’s self-compassion scale, you probably already have a high degree of self-compassion: you don’t judge yourself for your mistakes, and give the same comforting as you would with others in a similar situation.
Supporting yourself in the same way as you would support a good friend in a difficult situation. That’s how Christopher Germer defines self-compassion.
He also asks people to think about how they typically talk to others who have made mistakes – and compare it with how they treat themselves when they fail or feel inadequate.
“This often shows our lack of compassion for ourselves”, says Christopher Germer, PhD, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist in the US. For more than 30 years he has been using mindfulness and compassion in his work with clients.