Over the last few days, we have covered several aspects of our inner monologue that chatters in the background day in, day out. Have you ever taken notice of the language it uses? How do you treat yourself in the context of self-talk? Are you kind? Critical? Comforting? Demanding? Understanding? Abrupt?

Complete the questionnaire below to get an indication of how self-compassionate you are. If you score low on the questionnaire, or feel this is an area you can improve in, don’t be discouraged. Self-compassion is a learned skill. 

Flourish Challenge: Self-Compassion Scale

Test how self-compassionate you are. Please read each statement carefully before answering. To the left of each item, indicate how often you behave in the stated manner, using the following scale: 1 = Almost Never; 2 = Occasionally; 3 = About Half Of The Time; 4 = Fairly Often; 5 = Almost Always. Reference: Neff, K. D. (2003). Development and validation of a scale to measure self-compassion. Self and Identity, 2, 223-250.
  • 1 = Almost Never; 2 = Occasionally; 3 = About Half Of The Time; 4 = Fairly Often; 5 = Almost Always.

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Try these self-compassion exercises:

Flourish Challenge: self compassion

  • Can you think of a time recently when you needed compassion? Perhaps you made a mistake, let someone down, were grieving after a personal loss, or were struggling with an emotional or physical issue. Jot down your answer below (you can just use a couple of words that will remind you of the situation; no need for details).
  • Do you remember your inner response to the event you noted in the previous question? Select the options you remember doing at the time. If you didn't respond in any of these ways, record how you did respond elsewhere, such as in a journal.
  • If one of your friends came to you in the same circumstance as you described in the first question, how would you respond? What advice would you give them? What would you suggest they do to help their recovery? Reflect on the responses you noted in the previous question, and consider whether or not they align with the responses you would have given to a friend. Did you treat yourself as well as you would have treated a friend?
  • Jot down Three things that you are grateful for today. They can be big or small, profound or mundane.

 

Chuck a notebook and pen in your bag, or start a note on your smartphone, and over the next 24 hours, try to pay close attention to your inner chatter. When you notice a phrase you use, jot it down.

Then have a look back at at your list and notice the trend. Does it surprise you, or was it what you expected? You may need to repeat this for a few days – it can be hard to get into the habit of paying attention to these thoughts that usually get away without being consciously noticed!