But in our society, we tend to reverse that. We find it easier to be compassionate toward others than toward ourselves.
Being nice to others is a good thing, right? Yes, but it begs the question: Why can’t we be nicer to ourselves?
That Inner Critic
You know that chirping little critic you hear inside your head sometimes? Most of us have one. It’s that voice that says,
“You’ll never be good enough.”
“Why even try? You know you can’t do it.”
“You’re such a hypocrite (loser, slob, dimwit, etc.)”
Kristin Neff, author of Self-Compassion and a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research, says this voice probably developed as a means to keep us safe, a basic need that we all have.
Also, she posits that we may think we need this voice to keep us motivated. After all, wouldn’t we just be completely out of control if we didn’t talk to ourselves this way?
You know the answer to that. We don’t need that inner critic to keep us in line.