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  • Self-Compassion

  • The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
  • Written by: Kristin Neff
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (281 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From leading psychologist Dr. Kristin Neff comes a step-by-step guide explaining how to be more self-compassionate and achieve your dreams in life.

The relentless pursuit of high self-esteem has become a virtual religion - and a tyrannical one at that. Our ultracompetitive culture tells us we need to be constantly above average to feel good about ourselves, but there is always someone more attractive, successful, or intelligent than we are. And even when we do manage to grab hold of high self-esteem for a brief moment, we can't seem to keep it. Our sense of self-worth goes up and down like a ping-pong ball, rising and falling in lockstep with our latest success or failure.

Fortunately, there is an alternative to self-esteem that many experts believe is a better and more effective path to happiness: self-compassion. The research of Dr. Kristin Neff and other leading psychologists indicates that people who are compassionate toward their failings and imperfections experience greater well-being than those who repeatedly judge themselves. The feelings of security and self-worth provided by self-compassion are also highly stable, kicking in precisely when self-esteem falls down. This book powerfully demonstrates why it's so important to be self-compassionate and give yourself the same caring support you'd give to a good friend.

This groundbreaking work will show you how to let go of debilitating self-criticism and finally learn to be kind to yourself. Using solid empirical research, personal stories, practical exercises, and humor, Dr. Neff - the world's foremost expert on self-compassion - explains how to heal destructive emotional patterns so that you can be healthier, happier, and more effective. Engaging, highly listenable, and eminently accessible, this book has the power to change your life.

©2011 Kristin Neff, PhD (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers

What listeners say about Self-Compassion

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    4 out of 5 stars

Absolutely Worth Reading but

This book has many exercises that are incredibly helpful to develop self compassion, and I recommend them highly. I also very much liked how Dr. Neff broke down the scientific research done on self compassion, particularly in how this practice is more beneficial than cultivating self esteem which, done wrongly, can be harmful. I had many aha moments while listening to this book. I gave it 4 stars and not 5 for three reasons: the narrator at times made me cringe with the occasional "poor baby" tone of voice, talking to myself saying "poor dear" can be a trap into victim mentality (as opposed to "hey, things are xyz right now and thats difficult" - same concept but more constructive), and some of the content was far too new agey and hippie for me (I call myself a hippie sometimes but this book has some new levels) like the part with the Mongolia trip and the whipping. I would recommend this book to a friend, I would use these concepts for myself, partner and step son, and I will listen to it a second time to take notes, this time skipping those parts that didn't resonate with me.

2 people found this helpful

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Worth it

An easy listen. Well written. You will come away with insightful ideas to apply to self compassion.

2 people found this helpful

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A foundation for a happier and healthier life!

A great audiobook that conveys the importance of self-compassion and provides you with effective tools to integrate it into your life. Highly recommended! #Audible1

2 people found this helpful

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Spare us the self-pitying autism mom nonsense....

Great - until it wasn't. Why the author found it necessary to include her ableist, self-pitying whine about having an autistic child, I'll never know, because I DNF'd it on the spot.

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Wonderful book. Highly recommended.

Compassion for others is so much easier than self-compassion, though it's hard to recognize how little self-compassion we really have until you start to explore it. The author helps you get at the ways we hide behind compassion for others, or otherwise avoid self-compassion, and recognize how important self compassion really is.

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liked it

very good book to change the view of ourself and become kind to ourselves and others

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Beautiful, so worth the read.

This was such a beautiful book, one I’ll definitely reread, I feel more compassionate towards myself now. And this is coming from someone who is super hard on themselves and a recovering perfectionist. Anyhow, bless.

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This book helped me a lot

Incredible how this book is “simple” as the same time brings new concepts to improve my life!

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  • LJB
  • 2022-07-07

recommended by my therapist

highly recommended. going to relisten now. 10/10
thanks for writing this Kristen Neff, such important work

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Super good book

Love the author and the content of the book. This book helped me a lot.

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  • Erika
  • 2013-03-28

Learning self-compassion is transforming my life.

This book & the techniques taught have tremendously improved my well being. I was raised in a highly critical environment, where I was criticized for which movie I watched (because I had already seen it before), which sport I wanted to play (because I didn't have natural ability), and more recently, going back to graduate school ("your life will be better if you stay in your job"). I internalized this criticism and I have dealt with depression and anxiety for the majority of my life. By relating to myself with compassion, I am happier because I now know am not at fault for every struggle in my life. I am also more resilient because I do not attack myself & get caught in a negative spiral when I make mistakes. I am more productive in my work and more present for my life.

I wish I had learned these techniques as a 12-year-old, but I am so glad to have learned them now. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a negative dialogue inside their mind on a regular basis. I am grateful for Kristen Neff's work.

124 people found this helpful

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  • Lana Abu Ayyash
  • 2012-02-22

Brilliant

This is a really really good book ... it's not a self help book ... it's written after years of study and personal experience ... i found so much sense and wisdom in the words of Dr.Neff ... i can honestly say it's one of the best books i have ever read on the subject ... it altered the way i see things drastically ... i feel happier and a better person after reading this book ... it's a book that one would listen to more than once ... recommended

62 people found this helpful

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  • itwiznet
  • 2012-08-08

Powerful Light on Your Psyche

Where does Self-Compassion rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

By far this is the best self-help and self-development book, I listened. Totally honestly, this audiobook is a must if you have ever listened to people like Anthony Robbins, and other motivational speakers out there.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was shaken by every section of this book especially the Self-Esteem section. I always knew that being untruthful to yourself was not good, yet I failed to understand why? This book just awakened the deeply rooted darkness in my psyche. Those who bought on the idea of self-esteem must listen to this. Thank you Mrs. Neff, you are such a light in this world. This book undoubtedly is your life's mission.

Any additional comments?

The best self-help book ever. Once again thank you Mrs. Neff.

49 people found this helpful

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  • meredith garner
  • 2013-03-17

Life-Changing!

What did you love best about Self-Compassion?

This is one of the best books I have ever read! It IS life-changing!

In Self-Compassion, Dr. Neff provides us with a detailed, practical guide to having compassion for ourselves and for appreciating ourselves. She helps us become aware of and put an end to our debilitating, destructive habits of self-criticism, and she helps us create a warm, loving, caring space for ourselves. Throughout her book, Dr. Neff supports her messages with numerous, interesting studies and research. She takes her message further and deeper by sharing her own personal stories, so we may directly relate to her messages. Finally, throughout Self-Compassion, Dr. Neff provides countless practical exercises, so we may take practical steps to implementing change in our lives.

I highly recommend this book!!!

What other book might you compare Self-Compassion to and why?

In order for me to find Dr. Neff and this extraordinary book, it first took finding the works of Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat-Zinn and his Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course, Christine Carter's book Raising Happiness and her online Greater Good Science Center, and Sharon Salzberg's books Lovingkindness and The Kindness Handbook. I highly recommend all of these; however, Dr. Neff's Self-Compassion has been most helpful in changing the way I think and relate to myself. As Dr. Neff describes, this is a similar concept to flight attendants asking us, in the event of an emergency, to first put on our masks before assisting children or those in need of help - we must care for ourselves before we can be most effective in our daily lives and in helping others.

What does Xe Sands bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She has a calm, relaxing voice, that nicely complements the concepts she is sharing.

What did you learn from Self-Compassion that you would use in your daily life?

How to care for myself and how to use that care to create wellness, peace and love in my life and in my actions towards others.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Jeanette
  • 2012-09-10

Worth Reading

I really enjoyed this book and got alot out of it. It would have to be the first self help type book I have read where the author shares her stories thereby clearing making her point about us all being imperfect. I liked how the book contained her thoughts but also research that has been conducted. I would recommend everyone read this book.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Amin
  • 2016-12-04

Yes!!!

I can surely say, that this book changed my self image and self perception forever. I really liked that it provide strict borders between self compassion and miserablness/ dwelings; self appreciation between high ego self esteem. I liked this book so much, it really shows how to love and appreciate the most valuable person in you life, without ego ettachment and blowing your self esteem high to fall it down.. Extremly recommend for everyone, especially those who feel problems with cofidence, low self esteem and low level of self appreciation.
PS: I was really amazed by the story about your son, Kristin, I even cried (I do this extremly rarely) and thank you so much, for this book.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Allie_Ay
  • 2012-03-15

Important concepts, flat delivery

Is there anything you would change about this book?

There's some very important information in this book about how the need to be perfect fails us, how recognizing our weaknesses and failures is valuable, and generating self-compassion activates healthy physiological processes (compared to self-judging). However, I wonder if the average reader can pull those ideas out of the writing. I'm a therapist, and I have recommended this book to clients, but I spend some time outlining and preparing clients about the points above.

Would you ever listen to anything by Kristin Neff again?

I've read Neff's research on resilience, and it's informed my therapy practice, as well as my own life. I'll continue to look for her work for sure.

19 people found this helpful

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  • lea of tucson
  • 2013-10-01

Absolutely great listen

Would you listen to Self-Compassion again? Why?

She gives you many diferent ways to have compassion for yourself and others and make the quality of your life so much better. Nice voice for your listening pleasure. I listen over and over again.

What about Xe Sands’s performance did you like?

Great voice and love her expressions. She makes it easy to listen and learn how to take good care of yourself.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

Self comforting...you can comfort yourself in such a gentle way. Helps you get the most from your day and every situation.

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend everyone to listen to this book. What a better world it would be if we all have more compassion for ourselves and others.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • 2016-06-08

Breathy narration

Would you try another book from Kristin Neff and/or Xe Sands?

I would try another book from Kristin Neff if the narrator was not so breathy. Simply because this is a book about self-compassion does not mean that it needs to be read softly. Just read the book. I have heard Kristin Neff speak many times and she speaks normally, not overly soft and tender, and not like she is trying to lull you into sleep.

Would you recommend Self-Compassion to your friends? Why or why not?

I would recommend the hard-copy, not the audio.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Xe Sands?

Perhaps the author. I always prefer it when authors narrate their own books.

Was Self-Compassion worth the listening time?

The book content was good. The narration drove me to distraction.

17 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Patricia M.
  • 2015-03-29

Revolutionary

Wonderful insights, detailed explanations and tender vulnerability displayed through Neff's own stories. Highly recommend if you're seeking a true shift in your life.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-05-13

Truly transformative book, exceptional narration

Couldn't have loved it more! Found several life quality increasing practices to incorporate daily. Recommending!