515 adults from the general population were recruited through online advertisements. Again, participants were asked to complete the same questionnaires. Once again in line with the researchers’ predictions, self-compassion was found to weaken the relationship between perfectionism and depression in the adult sample. What was true for teens was also true for adults later on in life.
Related: 12 Tips To Self-Love And Compassion
Why it matters
It seems that more than anything, today’s culture values perfection. Parents and teachers may push us towards excellence at school, our friends may judge us by how we dress and act in their company, and perhaps worst of all, our social media accounts constantly fool us into thinking that there are people out there who actually have perfect lives.
Good news, bad news.
The bad news is that we can’t completely eradicate perfectionistic thoughts.
Good news is that we can try to change our relationship to those thoughts through self-compassion.
If we learn to cultivate self-kindness, connection, and mindfulness as we strive toward achieving our goals, any setback we face along the way will be met with greater resilience and mental strength. As a result, we are less likely to fall victim to the debilitating effects of depression, and more likely to live a happy, balanced life.
So, as Ellen DeGeneres reminds us, always be kind to others. But before you do, be sure to look after yourself first. In this case, it’s okay to be a little selfish.
What do you think? Let us know in comments.
Ferrari, M., Yap, K., Scott, N., Einstein, D., & Ciarrochi, J. (2018). Self-compassion moderates the perfectionism and depression link in both adolescence and adulthood. PLOS ONE, 13(2), e0192022. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192022
Hill, R., Huelsman, T., & Araujo, G. (2010). Perfectionistic concerns suppress associations between perfectionistic strivings and positive life outcomes. Personality And Individual Differences, 48(5), 584-589. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2009.12.011
NEFF, K. (2003). The Development and Validation of a Scale to Measure Self-Compassion. Self And Identity, 2(3), 223-250. doi: 10.1080/15298860309027
Stoeber, J., & Otto, K. (2006). Positive Conceptions of Perfectionism: Approaches, Evidence, Challenges. Personality And Social Psychology Review, 10(4), 295-319. doi: 10.1207/s15327957pspr1004_2