Increased Self-Compassion Breeds Greater Compassion for Others

One day I was driving through the local shopping center, and I thought about how far removed I felt from the person walking in front of the stop sign in which I was stopped. I was ready to continue driving the instant that person cleared the area. Why I myself am a pedestrian I feel vulnerable to the cars. But when I am in a car I feel protected by a suit of armor, far removed from the pedestrian experience.

Recently I started reading the book Self-Compassion by Dr. Kristin Neff. And I think it is because of this reading that I thought of the following metaphor: When I criticize my husband, I am wearing a suit of armor. I am feeling separate from my feelings, my flaws. So it’s much easier for me to dish out criticism and negative energy to him. He is the pedestrian, and I am the driver in the car. But if I could connect to how it feels to be a pedestrian—if I could relate to my own flaws and remind myself how it feels to be a fragile, imperfect human being—then I think I would be kinder when imparting criticism to my husband.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s