Self-compassion and reactions to unpleasant self-relevant events: the implications of treating oneself kindly.

Published

Journal Article

Five studies investigated the cognitive and emotional processes by which self-compassionate people deal with unpleasant life events. In the various studies, participants reported on negative events in their daily lives, responded to hypothetical scenarios, reacted to interpersonal feedback, rated their or others' videotaped performances in an awkward situation, and reflected on negative personal experiences. Results from Study 1 showed that self-compassion predicted emotional and cognitive reactions to negative events in everyday life, and Study 2 found that self-compassion buffered people against negative self-feelings when imagining distressing social events. In Study 3, self-compassion moderated negative emotions after receiving ambivalent feedback, particularly for participants who were low in self-esteem. Study 4 found that low-self-compassionate people undervalued their videotaped performances relative to observers. Study 5 experimentally induced a self-compassionate perspective and found that self-compassion leads people to acknowledge their role in negative events without feeling overwhelmed with negative emotions. In general, these studies suggest that self-compassion attenuates people's reactions to negative events in ways that are distinct from and, in some cases, more beneficial than self-esteem.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Leary, MR; Tate, EB; Adams, CE; Allen, AB; Hancock, J

Published Date

  • May 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 92 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 887 - 904

PubMed ID

  • 17484611

Pubmed Central ID

  • 17484611

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-1315

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3514

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0022-3514.92.5.887

Language

  • eng