Self-compassion is powerful. It promotes inner peace. Self-criticism, the opposite of self-compassion and what most of us are used to practicing, “is an experience of inner conflict,” according to Ali Miller, MFT, a therapist in private practice in Berkeley and San Francisco, Calif. Miller specializes in helping adults live more authentic, empowered and connected lives.
When we criticize ourselves, we’re essentially at war with ourselves, she said. “This inner violence is similar to outer violence, in that it hurts, divides, destroys and takes up a lot of energy.” Self-compassion, however, frees up our energy, so we can care for ourselves and others.
Self-compassion also soothes our pain. “When we relate to our pain with self-compassion, we suffer less. And we feel more connected to others who suffer [and] less isolated,” Miller said.