December 29, 2017

"We live in a culture that reveres self-confidence and self-assuredness, but as it turns out, there may be a better approach to success and personal development..."

"... self-compassion. While self-confidence makes you feel better about your abilities, it can also lead you to vastly overestimate those abilities. Self-compassion, on the other hand, encourages you to acknowledge your flaws and limitations, allowing you to look at yourself from a more objective and realistic point of view. Both have merits, but many experts believe that self-compassion includes the advantages of self-confidence without the drawbacks.... Dr. Kristin Neff, an associate professor of educational psychology at the University of Texas, [says] 'Self-compassion is treating yourself with the same kindness, care and concern you show a loved one.... We need to frame it in terms of humanity. That’s what makes self-compassion so different: "I’m an imperfect human being living an imperfect life."'"

From "Why Self-Compassion Beats Self-Confidence" by Kristin Wong (in the NYT).

ADDED: Etymologically, "confidence" has the prefix "con-" (meaning with) and the root based on fidere (meaning to trust). "Compassion" has "com-" (which also means with) and root based on "pati" (which means to suffer). These are just words, and as you go forward taking advice from psychologists, you can use them any way you want. It seems to me that you can have too much or to little trust in yourself or sympathy for yourself. The trick is to get the right balance (or at least not to be too delusional about where the right balance is).

36 comments:

tcrosse said...

The key to aging gracefully is to accept ones limitations.

mockturtle said...

What drivel! Self-confidence doesn't imply blindness to one's weaknesses but rather having the courage to put forth one's strengths. 'Self-compassion' smacks of victimhood, the lifelong profession of so many women.

mesquito said...

I think I see another insipid ed-school fad on the horizon.

robinintn said...

AKA Christianity.

tcrosse said...

Does Self-Compassion differ from Self-Pity ?

EDH said...

tcrosse said...
The key to aging gracefully is to accept ones limitations.

"Man's got to know his limitations."

MikeD said...

While my time is too valuable (sarc/) to check out the article, I'm of the opinion the author(s) have conflated self esteem with self confidence.

Michael said...

Horse Shit.

Mark said...

The thing with self-compassion, besides essentially being self-pity, is that it is still centered on the SELF. It is still me, me, me, me, me.

Better than self-compassion is just plain compassion, which is about "suffering with" an other, it is about thinking of someone other than yourself for a change.

Self-compassion does NOT encourages you to acknowledge your flaws and limitations -- it encourages you to feel sorry for yourself. Acknowledging your flaws and limitations is called humility. And people have suggested humility as the best path to success and personal development for at least two thousand years. The last will be first. She who would be a mere handmaid will be the most exalted.

Michael K said...

I guess she agrees with Woody Allan about masturbation.

Luke Lea said...

"many experts believe..." Are there experts?

Richard Dillman said...

Over-confidence may lead to hubris, which should be tempered by humility which requires at least some self knowledge. That is, if Rolande from the Chanson de Rolande had a modicum of humility he would not have suffered his gory premature death. How many reckless CEO's lacked humility? I think that Warren Buffet has high self-confidence
tempered by true humility.

Lucien said...

The annual Chanson de Rolande reference has appeared at last -- just snuck in under the wire.

"Hark, the horn of Roland sounds to summon Charlemagne!"

Oso Negro said...

Oh, bullshit. Self-compassion is surely a way-station on the road to self-indulgence.

Bill Peschel said...

Is this a fad-driven movement I'm smelling? Has she landed a book contract yet?

David said...

Aim Low! Then wait for someone to help you out.

Fernandistein said...

Dr. Kristin Neff, ... by Kristin Wong

Compassionate nepotism.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Self-confidence: trust but verify.
Self-assurance: a pattern of verified trust.

The problem is unearned self-esteem, which is distorted/corrupted through excessive [self-]compassion.

Richard Dillman said...

@Lucian. Where is Charlemagne when we need him? He would straighten out our messy politics. Sound the Olifant; it is not too late.

bagoh20 said...

The last thing an ambitious person needs is self-imposed limitations, formerly known as "fear". Confidence is a step on a ladder that leads to another.

Tim at large said...

You have to find the right balance...

You know what I always wanted to say to Kenny Rogers? Exactly when do you hold them? When, exactly do you fold them? Under what precise circumstances do you walk away, and how do you know for sure it's time to run?

rhhardin said...

I strive for the right imbalance.

Unknown said...

I don't know if the comment by Blogger robinintn ("AKA Christianity") was trolling, but he's missed virtually everything there is to know about Christianity. Christianity is admitting ultimate failure and the inability to not-fail, accepting that Jesus covers it.

buwaya said...

Progress of all sorts does not depend on peoples concern for themselves, but from a lack of concern.
Anything new and great comes from sacrifice.
We are, individually, expendable.
We are ammunition.

William said...

The key to Harvey Weinstein's success as a producer and in other endeavors is that he didn't waste a lot of time beating himself up for the small failures that are unavoidable on life's journey.

Jupiter said...

"While self-confidence makes you feel better about your abilities, it can also lead you to vastly overestimate those abilities."

These people are confused. A person has an estimate of his own abilities. In the context of a particular task, self-confidence is the estimate that you can perform the task, perform it well. That estimate is accurate, or otherwise. It cannot "lead you to vastly overestimate those abilities". They seem to be talking about a pretended self-confidence. I suppose that a self-confidence which you can choose to have, or not to have, is something other than a best estimate of your own ability.

Jupiter said...

"Dr. Kristin Neff, an associate professor of educational psychology at the University of Texas ..."

This is what really pisses me off about this kind of bullshit. This dizzy twat has concluded, on the basis of numerous peer-reviewed studies, that the citizens of Texas owe her a living. What she needs is more death threats. Credible ones.

Denever said...

"Faking confidence is easy: I pulled my shoulders back and spoke louder and with more assertiveness.
Like many soft-spoken, mild-mannered people, I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to present myself this way."

Ridiculous either/or thinking that caricatures what she's not and pats herself on the back for what she claims to be. Someone should tell her that there are a lot of confident people out there who are soft-spoken and mild-mannered, and they don't worry about how others see them because they are -- ahem -- self-confident.

Steve said...

People are complex and exhibit different aspects of their personality at different times. One can humbly admit one's errors and use that knowledge to not commit those errors repeatedly, and thus by avoiding repeated errors gain self-confidence. As a Christian, you admit God's power and confess your sins, then you strive to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Thus at different times you are humble, and later self-confident that you know yourself and that you can achieve God's goal of showing that love to others. You repeat that effort internally in prayer, externally in communal worship, and externally in your influence with others. It's like physical exercise, which must be repeated daily to even hope to reach one's goals. Your personality is not fixed as is that of a character in a cheap novel, but it is dynamic and requires constant attention. Certainly Christ forgiving sins is a necessary condition, but it it not sufficient without loving one's neighbors, as that love helps us imitate Christ.

rightguy2 said...

Self confidence requires one to be comfortable in his own skin, and, to above-all trust his/her own instincts & thoughts. In my experience, true self-confidence can only be earned.

As for this conflicted Professor of Psychology, her central problem may be that she knows on some level that she doesn't have any idea what she is talking about, and therefore is not so self confident. So she rationalizes & spouts this specious (feminist?) psych-gobbledegook. Totally useless information and advice. Sounds like intellectual virtue signaling to me.

Nihimon said...

"Imagine someone that you treat well, that you love. And try to treat yourself that way."

Jordan Peterson, Rule #2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0KSxcM70xY

Yancey Ward said...

I'm not good enough, I'm not smart enough, and doggone it, People don't like me!

And that's ok.

RichardJohnson said...

Rupert Isaacson, the husband of Kristin Neff, is the author of The Horse Boy: A Father's Quest to Heal His Son.

From the Amazon review:
When his son Rowan was diagnosed with autism, Rupert Isaacson was devastated, afraid he might never be able to communicate with his child. But when Isaacson, a lifelong horseman, rode their neighbor's horse with Rowan, Rowan improved immeasurably. He was struck with a crazy idea: why not take Rowan to Mongolia, the one place in the world where horses and shamanic healing intersected?

THE HORSE BOY is the dramatic and heartwarming story of that impossible adventure. In Mongolia, the family found undreamed of landscapes and people, unbearable setbacks, and advances beyond their wildest dreams. This is a deeply moving, truly one-of-a-kind story--of a family willing to go to the ends of the earth to help their son, and of a boy learning to connect with the world for the first time.

Kansas Scout said...

All this is pure theory. Can she point to any scientific studies concerning her contention? It might be a great idea for someone's mental health but it might not be the most effective path to "success".

Zach said...

Whatever happened to self actualization? As in, gaining a clear understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, and making changes to accentuate your strengths and moderate your weaknesses?