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Since Kristin Neff created her research scale to measure the degree of self-compassion, there have been a number of studies to compare the difference between having a capacity for compassion with yourself and being concerned with how others see you from outside. 

Students with a high self-esteem, mostly concerned with how they appear in the eyes of others, get worse results in both physical training and their academic studies than those with a high degree of self-compassion. They do physical exercise because they feel like it, and take setbacks on the exams as learning opportunities.

My interviews with Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer touch upon their research on what happens when we strive for the ”better then others”-self-esteem.

Even the capacity of compassion for others is dependent on the capacity of compassion for oneself. 

Your turn
Read my interview with Emiliana Simon-Thomas, science director at Greater Good Science Center, Berkeley, California, who says that Self-compassion is a Road to Compassion.