Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

Overview

Our ultracompetitive culture tells us we need to be constantly above average to feel good about ourselves, but there always seems to be someone more attractive, successful, or intelligent than we are. The relentless pursuit of high self-esteem has become a virtual religion—and a tyrannical one at that. Fortunately, there is an alternative that many experts believe is a better and more effective path to happiness: self-compassion. People who are compassionate toward their failings and imperfections experience ...

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Overview

Our ultracompetitive culture tells us we need to be constantly above average to feel good about ourselves, but there always seems to be someone more attractive, successful, or intelligent than we are. The relentless pursuit of high self-esteem has become a virtual religion—and a tyrannical one at that. Fortunately, there is an alternative that many experts believe is a better and more effective path to happiness: self-compassion. People who are compassionate toward their failings and imperfections experience greater well-being than those who repeatedly judge themselves.

In this groundbreaking work, Dr. Kristin Neff, the world's foremost expert on self-compassion, will show you how to let go of debilitating self-criticism and finally learn to be kind to yourself, demonstrating how to heal destructive emotional patterns so that you can be healthier, happier, and more effective. Engaging, highly readable, and eminently accessible, this book has the power to change your life.

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Editorial Reviews

Gloria Steinem
“A portable friend to all readers—especially but not only women—who need to learn that the Golden Rule works only if it’s reversible: We must learn to treat ourselves as well as we wish to treat others.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
“An original and doable blueprint for improving the quality of your life.”
Steven Stosny
“This is an important book. Following its advice can free readers from the chains of self-criticism and replace them with the wings of self-encouragement.”
Sharon Salzberg
“In this deeply personal, highly practical book, Kristin Neff moves the entire study of compassion forward.”
Daniel J. Siegel
“This book and its courageous and compassionate author will become essential reading for all of us seeking inner peace and true, lasting happiness in our lives. Savor and enjoy!”
Tara Brach
“Drawing on a powerful blend of Western psychology and Eastern meditative strategies, Kristin Neff offers practical, wise guidance on the path of emotional healing and deep inner transformation.”
Christopher K. Germer
“Brilliant! Self-compassion is a revolutionary new idea-a better idea-pioneered by the author, Kristin Neff, with profound implications for how to live our lives.”
Brené Brown
“Neff’s powerful research and her ability to explain how self-compassion affects our everyday lives makes this book a transformative read.”
Rosie O’Donnell
“A beautiful book that helps us all see the way to cure the world, one person at a time, starting with yourself. Read it and start the journey.”
Dr. Todd B. Kashdan
“Based on state-of-the-art research, Neff provides essential lessons for how to excel personally and professionally through self-compassion.”
Publishers Weekly
Through her encounters with eastern spirituality, Neff, an associate professor in human development at the University of Texas–Austin, began to understand that having compassion for oneself is as important as having compassion for others: "From the Buddhist point of view, you have to care about yourself before you can really care about other people." As Neff defines it, self-compassion has three core components: self-kindness, realizing one's common humanity, and mindfulness. Self-kindness means being gentle and understanding, rather than harshly critical of our own errors. The recognition of common humanity involves feeling connected to others rather than alienated by our suffering. Mindfulness requires "that we hold our experience in balanced awareness, rather than ignoring our pain or exaggerating it." While exploring these three components in depth, Neff weaves in events that inform her own life, such as the "precipice of despair" she felt while struggling emotionally with her son's autism. By sharing such personal anecdotes, Neff helps readers understand how self-compassion can aid them. Neff's compassionate tone makes Buddhist principles accessible, and exercises make them applicable in real life. (May)
Doctor - Todd B. Kashdan
"Based on state-of-the-art research, Neff provides essential lessons for how to excel personally and professionally through self-compassion."
Brene Brown
"Neff’s powerful research and her ability to explain how self-compassion affects our everyday lives makes this book a transformative read."
Rosie O'Donnell
"A beautiful book that helps us all see the way to cure the world, one person at a time, starting with yourself. Read it and start the journey."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061733529
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/23/2015
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 408,580
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet 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.

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