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Miss Davies' Thought for the Term: Compassion

Posted on: 07/04/2022

Showing compassion for others requires the same emotions and feeling as having compassion for yourself. When showing compassion to someone else, you first notice their suffering or pain. Secondly, compassion requires feeling moved by others’ suffering, so that a desire forms to help ease that person’s pain. Finally, when you feel compassion for someone else it develops the ability to see things from someone else’s perspective and sympathise with their emotions, which in turn allows us to understand ourselves and others better. Self-compassion is the ability to direct these same emotions within, and accept ourselves, particularly in difficult times and times of failure.

Interestingly, we are often supportive, understanding and compassionate to others, but are much harsher and critical towards ourselves in the same situation. Creating compassion for ourselves builds emotional resilience by developing our ability to identify our difficult times and struggles and understand them as common humanity. This is enables us to become more confident in managing with stressful situations and accepting in the fact that not everything will always go the way it was planned.

When considering the benefits of self-compassion, I think back to why I would show someone else compassion. I would show others compassion because I wanted to help them, because I wanted to ease their suffering and because I wanted to increase their happiness. Therefore, when considering the benefits of self-compassion, it should be the same. To build emotional resilience to situations, to understand that things can go wrong and to be kind and forgiving to ourselves.

Things we can do to develop our own self compassion

  • Treat yourself as you would treat a friend
  • Forgive yourself for your mistakes and learn from them
  • Employ a growth mindset
  • Prepare some kind responses to yourself and practice them
  • Practice mindfulness exercises
  • Talk to someone

“If compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete”

Have a lovely Easter break.

Miss C Davies
Assistant Headteacher, Didcot Girls' School

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