If someone in your family or among your friends is having a difficult time, has failed in some way or is too demanding towards him- or herself – then it is probably easy for you to have compassion for that person. You may take on a supporting role, in order to get them out of the self-accusations, help them find constructive solutions and make them move forward. Most of us have no difficulties in feeling for others when they are struggling with problems or when they encounter difficult life events.

It is often a little more uncomfortable when it comes to receive sympathy from others when we have a tough time ourselves. Still, you probably have memories and experiences of others being supportive in such situations.

But compassion for oneself is, also in global terms, the far most difficult issue for us humans. Try to think about how you react on the various aspects of compassion – compassion for the other, to receive others’ compassion and to have compassion for yourself.

Because of the difficulties in feeling self-compassion, this aspect has become one of the most active elements of a new therapy, created by Paul Gilbert, professor of Psychology in the UK. In his book Compassion Focused Therapy you can learn about his method, 

Your turn
Watch the 10 minutes YouTube clip "Talk Nicely to Yourself", in which Paul Gilbert explains how mental images of being kind to yourself stimulate the soothing system.