Self-Compassion: Pathway to Better Relationships
Updated: Mar 12
Photo Credit to: Steve Wall | Flickr
The Golden Rule is a simple yet powerful principle that has been around for centuries. It states that one should treat others as they would like to be treated. While this principle is widely recognized and accepted, there is a much-overlooked component that often goes unnoticed – how we actually treat ourselves.
We spend most of our days talking to ourselves, whether it's through our thoughts, self-dialogue, or inner monologue. However, the question is, are we talking to ourselves in a way that we would talk to others? Are we treating ourselves with the same respect and dignity that we would like to receive from others? Or are we being overly critical, negative, and harsh on ourselves?
It's easy to forget that how we treat ourselves sets the tone for how we treat others. If we are constantly berating ourselves and speaking in a negative tone, it's likely that this negativity will spill over into our interactions with others. On the other hand, if we are treating ourselves with kindness, respect, and compassion, this positivity will likely be reflected in our interactions with others.
So, what tactics we can use to improve the way we treat ourselves?
Practice self-compassion. The activity of treating ourselves with the same kindness and understanding that we would offer to a close friend. It involves acknowledging our suffering, recognizing that everyone experiences difficulties, and offering ourselves words of comfort and encouragement. Practicing self-compassion can help to reduce negative self-talk, increase feelings of self-worth, and improve our overall well-being.
Challenge negative self-talk. Negative self-talk can be incredibly damaging to our self-esteem and well-being. It's important to challenge these negative thoughts and replace them with positive self-affirmations. When you catch yourself engaging in negative self-talk, take a moment to reflect on what you would say to a friend in the same situation.
Practice gratitude by focusing on what we are grateful for can help to shift our focus away from negative thoughts and towards a more positive outlook. Take some time each day to reflect on the things that you are thankful for, no matter how small they may seem. This will help to cultivate a more positive and appreciative outlook on life.
Taking care of our physical health is an important aspect of self-care. This can include things like getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and engaging in regular physical activity. By taking care of our bodies, we are sending a message to ourselves that we are worthy of love and care.
Surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people can have a huge impact on our self-esteem and well-being. Seek out relationships with people who lift you up and encourage you to be your best self. Avoid those who engage in negative self-talk or who are constantly critical of others.
How we treat ourselves sets the tone for how we treat others. By focusing on self-compassion, challenging negative self-talk, practicing gratitude, taking care of our physical health, and surrounding ourselves with positive people, we can improve the way we treat ourselves and in turn, improve our relationships with others.
Let's start treating ourselves like we would like to be treated and watch as our relationships with others grow stronger and more positive.