In our highly competitive culture, failure is not an option, nor is it acceptable to be average. Psychiatrists offices, rehab centers, and the self-help aisles of bookstores are filled with people who feel bad about themselves and their lives. For the past few decades the cultural emphasis on self-esteem-puffing ourselves up often at the expense of others-has actually exacerbated the problem. Cases of unhappiness, depression, and anxiety and their most extreme expressions-nervous breakdown, substance abuse, eating disorders, even suicide-continue to rise at alarming rates.
In this thoughtful guide, human development specialist Kristin Neff offers a solution for combating our psychological malaise: the art of self-compassion-going beyond destructive measurements of worth and success to take a caring, supportive, and forgiving attitude towards ourselves. Self-Compassion recognizes that all people have weaknesses and limitations, but this doesn't mean excusing or rationalizing bad behavior. By acknowledging and forgiving imperfections, by deeply caring for our own happiness, we find a powerful motivation for growth and change.
Based on Neff's research and supported with anecdotes and personal examples, Self-Compassion offers proven exercises for developing a healthier way of relating to ourselves and others-the key to a fulfilling life and a better world.
About the Author:
Kristin Neff, Ph.D., is an associate professor in human development at the University of Texas at Austin. A pioneer who first established self-compassion as a field of study almost a decade ago, Dr. Neff gives lectures on self-compassion internationally and conducts workshops for those who want to learn more about developing self-compassion.