- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 23, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061733520
- ISBN-13: 978-0061733529
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (325 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself Paperback – June 23, 2015
The 30 Best Self Help Books
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“Neff’s compassionate tone makes Buddhist principles accessible, and exercises make them applicable in real life.” (Publishers Weekly)
“A portable friend to all readers—especially but not only women—who need to learn that the Golden Rule works only if it’s reversible: We must learn to treat ourselves as well as we wish to treat others.” (Gloria Steinem)
“A beautiful book that helps us all see the way to cure the world, one person at a time, starting with yourself. Read it and start the journey.” (Rosie O’Donnell, talk show host)
“An original and doable blueprint for improving the quality of your life.” (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow and Creativity)
“Neff’s powerful research and her ability to explain how self-compassion affects our everyday lives makes this book a transformative read.” (Brené Brown, Ph.D., author of The Gifts of Imperfection)
“This is an important book. Following its advice can free readers from the chains of self-criticism and replace them with the wings of self-encouragement.” (Steven Stosny, Ph.D., author of Love Without Hurt)
“In this deeply personal, highly practical book, Kristin Neff moves the entire study of compassion forward.” (Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness)
“Drawing on a powerful blend of Western psychology and Eastern meditative strategies, Kristin Neff offers practical, wise guidance on the path of emotional healing and deep inner transformation.” (Tara Brach, Ph.D., author of Radical Acceptance)
“This book and its courageous and compassionate author will become essential reading for all of us seeking inner peace and true, lasting happiness in our lives. Savor and enjoy!” (Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., author of Mindsight)
“Brilliant! Self-compassion is a revolutionary new idea-a better idea-pioneered by the author, Kristin Neff, with profound implications for how to live our lives.” (Christopher K. Germer, Ph.D., author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion)
“Based on state-of-the-art research, Neff provides essential lessons for how to excel personally and professionally through self-compassion.” (Dr. Todd B. Kashdan, author of Curious? and Designing Positive Psychology)
From the Back Cover
The relentless pursuit of high self-esteem has become a virtual religion. Our ultracompetitive culture tells us we need to be constantly above average to feel good about ourselves, but there is always someone more attractive, successful, or intelligent than we are. And even when we do manage to grab hold of high self-esteem for a brief moment, we can't seem to keep it. Our sense of self-worth goes up and down like a Ping-Pong ball, rising and falling in lockstep with our latest success or failure.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to self-esteem that many experts believe is a better and more effective path to happiness: self-compassion. The research of Dr. Kristin Neff and other leading psychologists indicates that people who are compassionate toward their failings and imperfections experience greater well-being than those who repeatedly judge themselves. This book powerfully demonstrates why it's so important to be self-compassionate and give yourself the same caring support you'd give to a good friend.
Using solid empirical research, personal stories, practical exercises, and humor, Dr. Neff—the world's foremost expert on self-compassion—explains how to heal destructive emotional patterns so that you can be healthier, happier, and more effective.
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Top Customer Reviews
Her writing style is very down to earth and she speaks from experience. With the exercises scattered throughout the book she allows you to take a good, honest look at yourself without judgement so you can understand your issues and their roots in a compassionate and loving way, recognizing that we are all products of millions of factors that are out of our control, that we are all imperfect and thus human. Her own stories show that she herself has experienced lack of self-compassion and that her research is not just some dissertation concerning others, but is a real path to self-discovery for her and in turn, for the reader. Perhaps because she is a woman drawing from her own experiences, this book seems especially tailored to the issues faced by women in our day and age, though the exercises and methods are universally applicable.
If you often think you're not good enough, if you judge others or yourself harshly, if you deal with persistent fear or shame, or if you have some issues that just won't go away, give this book a shot. It just might change your life.
Our ultracompetitive culture, the relentless pursuit of high self-esteem and the need to be above average to feel good about ourselves makes our sense of self-worth rise and fall in lockstep with our latest success or failure. She says many experts now see self-compassion as a more powerful and effective alternative to self-esteem. Their research shows that people who are compassionate toward their failings and imperfections experience greater well-being than those who repeatedly judge themselves. The feelings of security and self-worth provided by self-compassion are highly stable and kick in precisely when self-esteem falls down.
Current research shows there are holes in over emphasizing high self-esteem as an indicator of healthy behavior. Neff says high self-esteem is a consequence rather than a cause of healthy behavior. Narcissists and sociopaths generally have extremely high self-esteem (inflated, unrealistic perceptions of themselves) and tend to blame others for negative consequences. Jean Twenge's book, "Generation Me, the Narcissism Epidemic Living in the Age of Entitlement" speaks eloquently about the problem.
Neff says thoughts and emotions have an effect on our bodies: self-compassion triggers oxcytocin the hormone of "love and bonding" and "tend and befriend" whereas self-criticism elicits an increase in blood pressure, adrenalin and the hormone cortisol.
Self-compassion stops self-judgment and actively comforts us just as we would a dear friend. Warm tender feelings towards ourselves (self-compassion) makes us feel safe, calm, content, trusting and stops us from operating from a place of fear.
She says self-kindness, recognition of our common humanity and mindfulness form the basis of self-compassion. Mindfulness is noticing our pain without exaggeration, interpretation and over identification. Self-compassion enables us to face emotions head-on and allows positive emotions to replace the negative ones.
Self-compassion asks us to accept and acknowledge our pain, remember suffering is a part of life, be kind and compassionate with ourselves and learn from our mistakes.
Neff warns that self-compassion is not a magical cure to resist or eliminate pain; it's a way to shift the focus from "cure" to "care."
Self-compassion enables us to define our worth not as a label, judgment, or evaluation. It relates to the mystery of who we are - a dynamic work in progress. It honors our strengths and weaknesses, does not define us by our success or failure, does not depend on an outcome, being special or above average. The emphasis is on the value of experience and on the journey not the destination.
Self-criticism asks, "Am I good enough?" Self-compassion asks, "What's good for me?" It taps into your inner reserve to be healthy and happy.
When tense, upset, sad or self-critical Neff recommends giving ourselves a warm hug and using sympathetic language with ourselves. Pain is unavoidable, suffering is optional.
Her book powerfully demonstrates the importance of self-compassion and the need to give ourselves the same caring support we'd give to a good friend.
This book has the power to change lives.
Trust me: THIS ONE IS. At least if you find yourself stuck in some struggle in your life that you feel is possible to be solved but you don't know how. If you feel fear of the consequences of doing something in your life you'll also find here what may be the origin and to heal this fear. This book is about being stronger, emotionally stronger, in a way that I didn't see any other author talk about. The subject of this book, I think, is the root for all the other strenghts we can have as human beings. I think that, without this, we can't be sucessful getting to the other strengths.
I've been lost in a depression for the last 6 years and I had read lots of books from the top authors on psychology, self-motivation, personal efectiveness and on and on. All I found was some strength to keep searching, but nothing EVER touched so exactly on what could be the reason and the cure for the bad emotions I had for all these years.
I'm sure that , for me , this book is one more piece of the puzzle I've been working on since my depression came into my life. But I can assert that it's the most meaningful piece so far. No doubt. Sometimes while reading I found myself avoiding the book because the transformation was being too intense in my point of view, but I noticed my pattern and kept on reading. It really was worth!
I could keep writing here for hours about how now I can see a path, a light, that I couldn't see before on some of the most difficults aspects of my life. Past and present aspects.
I strongly recommend this book to you, to anyone.
I'm from Brazil and I'm a bit sad that we don't have a portuguese version of this book yet, because I could buy at least one copy to every person that I like or love (truly, I would give also to the people that I could have any reason to don't like). If I was a rich guy I would give one of this to every psychologist on the world so that this practices could be used on their pacients alike.
Kristin, thank you for coming with this for the world! Thank you very much! Spread the talk about it as much as you can.