Exercise: Becoming Compassionate Toward Yourself

  • Think about the most compassionate person you have known—someone who has been kind, understanding and supportive of you. It may have been a teacher, a friend, or perhaps a friend’s parent. Think about how this person conveyed their compassion toward you and how you felt in this person’s presence.
  • If you can’t think of someone in your life who has been compassionate toward you, think of a compassionate public figure or even a fictional character from a book, film or television.
  • Now imagine that you have the ability to become as compassionate toward yourself as this person has been toward you (or you imagine this person would be toward you). How would you treat yourself? What kinds of words would you use when you talk to yourself?

This is the goal of self-compassion—to treat yourself in the same way the most compassionate person you know would treat you—to talk to yourself in the same loving, kind, and supportive ways that this compassionate person would talk to you.