Ideally, one of the things that we learn from our parents is empathy and compassion for others, and fortunately many of us do. But another developmental accomplishment is the achievement of self-compassion. This, by comparison, is something that many of us continue to struggle with in adulthood. We’re never taught how to befriend and love ourselves. Instead, we only know how to be critical and demanding, even authoritarian, with ourselves. Instead of bringing out the best in us, this negativity directed at the self leaves us at risk for anxiety and depression. And after years of treating ourselves this way, we have difficulty de-conditioning these well-worn patterns of tyrannical self-control. To overturn these patterns, we must make intentional efforts to relate to ourselves differently. Fortunately, there are many good resources available on the subject to help get us started.


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