Comparing self compassion and self - esteem

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  • 1.
    • Self-compassion versus self-esteem
    Kristin Neff, PhD University of Texas at Austin
  • 2.
    • Self-Esteem Movement
    • For decades, self-esteem was seen to represent optimal psychological health
    • Widespread movement (largely failed) to promote self-esteem in the schools
    • Self-esteem no longer held in such high esteem
  • 3.
    • Two forms of self-esteem
    • William James: Perceptions of competence in important domains
        • Perfectionism some feel its important to be good at everything
        • Slacker phenomenon some only value things theyre good at (ex. basketball vs. school)
  • 4.
    • Two forms of self-esteem
    • Charles Horton Cooley: Looking-glass self
        • Self-esteem based on social approval
        • More emphasis placed on approval from acquaintances than close others
        • Can lead to conformity and lack of authenticity
  • 5.
    • Problems with self-esteem
    • Hard to raise self-esteem
    • Lake Wobegone effect need to be special and above average to feel okay about oneself
    • Welcome to Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.
    • Garrison Keillor
  • 6.
    • The pursuit of high self-esteem may be linked to:
      • Narcissism and self-centeredness
      • Me Generation - Self-esteem movement has led to an epidemic of narcissism among college students
  • 7.
    • The pursuit of high self-esteem may be linked to:
      • Prejudice
      • People often derive self-esteem from feelings of superiority (race, politics, religion, culture)
  • 8.
    • The pursuit of high self-esteem may be linked to:
      • Ego-defensiveness (anger and projection)
      • Anger and aggression is often higher among those with high self-esteem
    Isnt it going to be fun to get the respect we deserve?
  • 9.
    • The pursuit of high self-esteem may be linked to:
    • Self-esteem often contingent on appearance, competition, putting others down
  • 10.
    • The pursuit of high self-esteem may be linked to:
    • Self-esteem can be highly unstable, going up and down depending on our latest success or failure
  • 11. Self-compassion vs. self-esteem
    • Both self-compassion and self-esteem involve positive emotions toward the self
      • Self-esteem based on evaluations of the self as worthy, likable or competent
      • Self-compassion does not involve self-evaluation, but entails positive feelings of care and connectedness
    • Both self-esteem and self-compassion offer protection against depression, anxiety, etc.
    • Self-compassion does not have the same drawbacks as self-esteem
  • 12. Self-compassion vs. self-esteem
    • Unlike self-esteem, self compassion:
    • Is not associated with narcissism
    • Helps buffer against ego-threat (less anxiety)
    • Associated with taking increased responsibility for past mistakes while also being less distressed by them
    • Is more stable and less contingent
    • Provides greater connectedness - fewer social comparisons, less anger, better relationships
  • 13.
    • Self-compassion versus self-esteem
    • Self-compassion de-emphasizes view of self as separate from others
    • Does not require defense of the ego
    • Self-compassion is (theoretically) always available
    • May be a healthier way to experience positive emotions toward the self