The Role of Self-Compassion in Development: A Healthier Way to Relate to Oneself

Human Development, 2009;52:211–214.

By  Kristin D. Neff

The idea that people need high self-esteem in order to be psychologically healthy is almost a truism in Western developmental psychology. Parents are told that one of their most important tasks is to nurture their children’s self-esteem. Teachers are encouraged to give all their students gold stars so that each can feel proud and special. Psychologists worry about the dangerous drop in self-esteem experienced by adolescents as they transition out of childhood and try to find ways to give teens a self-esteem boost. The assumption that high self-esteem is synonymous with well- being applies throughout the lifespan. The elderly benefit from high self-esteem as much as anyone, don’t they? The issue is not so simple. In the field of social psychology, scholars are starting to fall out of love with self-esteem. Yes, it is true that high self-esteem is associated with less depression and anxiety, as well as with greater happiness and life satisfaction. However, there are also some dark sides to high self- esteem.

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(Something interesting I found)Posted:Aug 01 2009, 12:00 AM by A. J. Stasic
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