DBT Skills: Self-Compassion

I’m not good at showing myself compassion. I am a people pleaser and have a long history of hating myself. While I do not hate myself now I still place high expectations on myself. I am the hidden perfectionist that stops trying if they can’t do something right the first time. I know that using DBT skills is an act of self-compassion but when it comes to specifically addressing self-deprecating thoughts I really struggle to call upon skills because those thoughts are harder to make go away when I feel like I deserve them.

My emotional episodes are when I can, 8 times out of 10, show myself compassion. I am beginning to understand why I feel certain waysΒ and that I deserve to not feel guilty when the emotional response to related to trauma. Where the struggle to show myself compassion comes in is when I do not feel like I deserve it. This is where I find myself this morning.

I have a headache. I do not like taking medication for headaches and they usually don’t work if I do. I told work I couldn’t come in today and I feel huge amounts of guilt. I apologised to my employer for not feeling well and have now been telling myself for an hour that I am letting my team down and that I am a horrible person. I tell myself that I should be able to suck it up and go to work. These thoughts are causing physical anxiety which is uncomfortable to sit with.

I am trying to not focus on the emotional thoughts and keep telling myself that it is best that I take care of myself and do other productive things with my day such as send some emails, begin packing for my move and visit my family. I need to replace my negative broken record (“You’re worthless”) with a positive one (“You deserve self-care”).

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12 thoughts on “DBT Skills: Self-Compassion

  1. Truly, I can’t help but relate. I remember growing up, when my mom would tell me that I was my own worst enemy. Looking back on it, I can’t help but wonder if my refusal to show myself compassion has been a hindrance in my own life.

    I think we all deserve to give ourselves a break and sometimes accept the fact that what is or has been is not something we can change at the moment. Can we move forward and do something different next time? Maybe…or maybe it’s just that we did do the right thing and we need to come to that point where the guilt is not attached.

    Granted, I realize that’s easier said than done.

    • Considering that not everyone is going to do for us what we need, self-compassion becomes a must. We need to be able to depend on ourselves. We are our own worst enemy and our own best asset! It takes practice, that’s for sure. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Pingback: Feeling alone today. | Assentively Yours

  3. It took me a long time to learn this lesson, and occasionally I slide back. I can tell the difference, and it is a huge part of recovery. You deserve to take care of yourself :).

    • I think many of us will always be a little hard on ourselves. It is displeasure that makes us want to move forward and improve. In terms of being sick though, I don’t know if those rules can apply :p Radical acceptance time!

  4. You *do* deserve your love and compassion! One great way to practice is to think of someone you love – a person or a cute animal. Notice the feelings that come up, then imagine generating those feelings toward YOU. You are worthy! Great insights. β™₯

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