1
$\begingroup$

I am currently working on translating a book called Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff. Yet, I faced a passage that I don't quite understand. Any help?

BEFORE EXAMINING SELF-COMPASSION IN MORE DETAIL, IT’S WORTH considering what our more habitual, unhealthy states of mind look like. As we begin to see the workings of our psyches more clearly, we start to recognize how much we skew our perceptions of the world in order to feel better about ourselves. It’s as if we’re continually airbrushing our self-image to try to make it more to our liking, even if it radically distorts reality. At the same time, we mercilessly criticize ourselves when we fall short of our ideals, reacting so harshly that reality is equally distorted in the opposite direction. The result can look like a Salvador Dalí picture (extra warped). As we first start to learn about self-compassion as a viable alternative to this madness, it’s easy for us to end up judging our ego dysfunctions themselves. “I’m so full of myself, I should be more humble!” Or else, “I get so down on myself, I should be more kind and self-accepting!” It’s very important to stop condemning yourself for these patterns, fruitless as they may be. The only way to truly have compassion for yourself is to realize that these neurotic ego cycles are not of your own choosing, they are natural and universal. Put simply, we come by our dysfunctions honestly—they are part of our human inheritance

What I understood is that: when we get to learn about self-compassion, we start to judge the flaws in our characters (as she said: being full of myself, or criticizing myself a lot). But, as far as I know, self compassion helps you stop criticizing your flaws and shortcomings, not making it easier for you to end up judging our ego problems.

$\endgroup$
8
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This sort of book isn't really rooted in the science of psychology or neuroscience, it's just an author babbling to the reader. Some readers may find these books helpful, but there's nothing to explain there, usually just authors writing in circular ways so that their readers think there is meaning in there. Note that nothing is cited/referenced. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 14:47
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ As this question was hammered shut, unfairly in my view (although uncited, it is very much rooted in psychology), I will provide some guidance here. Your understanding is a little round the wrong way. What she is saying is that once you learn the value of self-compassion and start to see your habitual self-deprecation (your ego dysfunctions) for what it's worth, you can then start to undo the damage you are doing to your mental health. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 6:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Google points out that the passage quoted is from Chapter 2 of the book written by Kristen Neff. books.google.co.uk/… Kristen Neff is an associate professor in the University of Texas at Austin's department of educational psychology and she created the Self-compassion Scales (doi.org/10.1080/15298860309027 and doi.org/10.1002/cpp.702). The book may lack citations but is very much rooted in psychology. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 7:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @ChrisRogers Thanks for the additional information. However, ad hominem or argument from authority is applicable here: The author's credentials do not impact their book's content. I agree with Bryan: This is a pop-sci / self-help book, and not a science book. The OP can try ell.SE for help translating, but as far as psychology goes, this particular paragraph isn't something that empirical evidence can shed much light on. $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 7:41
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisRogers Thanks man for your help! So what she means is that, and correct me if I am wrong, when we get to know self-compassion we might end up criticizing our own self-criticism and self-deprecation, for example criticizing the following thinking pattern "Why am I too thin! This is embarrassing! I need to left some weight." Then she advices us not to have such criticism, because as humans we all criticize ourselves. These cycles of self-criticism is part of our DNA. Correct? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 10:15

0