Welcome to Season 4, Episode 7, which accompanies Chapter 4, Section 7, “Embrace Compassion.” I love this episode! In it, we’ll discuss:
- why you need compassion
- how to give yourself compassion
- and how, when you do, you mitigate (decrease) negative feelings
While compassion has been a constant theme this whole series, it begs for its very own section of the book. It is that important. Compassion and self-compassion are essential to emotional healing and overall well-being. People want to matter. Mattering means knowing you have value and that other people see your worth, and also you see value in others.
“People need other people to treat them like they matter. Again, some common examples of how to let someone know they matter are feeling appreciated, getting thanked for something you did, being noticed, acknowledged, published, picked, celebrated, touched, hugged, held, given compassion, feeling wanted, needed, having a purpose, and receiving compliments. We need those from others to feel good about ourselves. Other people need these from us so they feel good.” – Dr. Jodi Aman
Listen to Embrace Compassion
Resources for Embrace Compassion
- Practice Self-Compassion for Instant Emotional Relief
- Energy Shield Training for Empaths
- Teen Courses for Confidence, Intuition, and Relationships
- My Secrets to Feeling In Control
- How to DO Self-Compassion
- 3 Steps for Dealing with Life’s Challenges: Deal with Difficulty, Master Life
- Embrace Letting Go of What No Longer Serves You! Podcast Ep. 4:2
- Overcome Burnout With These Two Actions That You Need to Take Right Now
- Dealing with the Negativity of People Around You
- Dealing with Overwhelm, Intense Stress, and Burn Out
Transcription of the Embrace Compassion:
Hey, you’re here with Dr. Jodi, and this is Season 4 of “Anxiety… I’m So Done With You!” This podcast is a teen and young adult guide to ditching toxic stress and hardwiring your brain for happiness. If you’re new here, grab a copy of my book “Anxiety… I’m So Done With You!” because this series goes section by section through it, going a little bit deeper, giving more examples, and telling more stories. In this season, which follows Chapter 4, we’re finally focusing on you making peace with yourself.
Because you can’t get rid of anxiety when you’re still being your own worst critic. Most likely, you have been your own worst critic, even though you don’t deserve it. You deserve kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. In this season, I will give you the practical tools to do that for yourself. Thank you for listening, subscribing, and leaving me five stars on Apple Podcasts. Please spread the word about this book and series because mental health problems have dire consequences that inflict more pain on young people, their families, and their communities. And I would be grateful if you could help me turn the tide by sharing these tips for embracing self-love.
Welcome to Chapter 4, Section 7: “Embrace Compassion”
Hey, it’s Dr. Jodi here. Welcome to this episode accompanying Chapter 4, Section 7, Embrace Compassion. We are finishing Chapter 4, My Time to Shine, on connecting with and making peace with yourself. Today, we are talking about
- why you need compassion
- how to give yourself compassion
- and how, when you do, you mitigate (decrease) negative feelings
While compassion has been a constant theme this whole series, it begs for its very own section of the book. It is that important. Compassion and self-compassion are essential to emotional healing and overall well-being. People want to matter. Mattering is a term introduced to the field of psychology by Morris Rosenberg and Claire McCullough in the 1980s. Mattering means knowing you have value and that other people see your worth, and also you see value in others. They write, “To believe that the other person cares about what we want, think, and do, or is concerned with our fate is to matter.”
This is the thing: Any time you are hurt, there is a devaluing of something precious to you, about yourself, or an extension of you. For example, if someone no shows a plan they made with you, lots of feelings arise. You may feel sad because it had felt nice that they wanted to spend time with you. Or, angry because they didn’t respect you enough to cancel or reschedule ahead of time or hurt they disregarded your time and effort to get to the prearranged meeting spot. You are confused about how they feel about you because the experience made you feel unvalued.
Again, I’m giving a simple scenario as an example here so I don’t trigger anyone with something more serious. Still, being no-showed by a friend or a romantic interest is relatable. It has happened to all of us, and it feels really crappy. Anyhow, you get the concept and can use this understanding to think about other ways people have hurt you. You hurt because someone has made you, or something or someone you love, feel devalued.
Understanding this points us to what you need to do to feel better: To be given value again. There are many ways to feel presently valued, such as feeling appreciated, getting thanked for something you did, being noticed, acknowledged, published, picked, celebrated, touched, hugged, held, given compassion, feeling wanted, needed, having a purpose, and receiving compliments, to name a few.
Mattering is particularly relevant to emerging adults because, developmentally, they are in the process of discovering who they are. In fact, studies show that the more teens feel valued, the less depression and anxiety they experience. Unfortunately, what’s even more evidence for the need to feel valued is that most suicidal behavior happens after an incident of bullying, exclusion, or rejection, all of which are highly devaluing to a person’s sense of self.
People want to matter
People need other people to treat them like they matter. Again, some common examples of how to let someone know they matter are feeling appreciated, getting thanked for something you did, being noticed, acknowledged, published, picked, celebrated, touched, hugged, held, given compassion, feeling wanted, needed, having a purpose, and receiving compliments. We need those from others to feel good about ourselves. Other people need these from us so they feel good. Relationships are a two-way street. These very essential needs are why I suggest you surround yourself with good, uplifting people. This is not because you can’t give value to yourself. You can. (And I will go over that in this episode.)
However, you are only a self in relationship. This means you draw your sense of self from what you see reflected off the people around you. When they are positive, you see yourself positively. When you give and sustain positive self-worth, self-trust, and self-esteem, you draw from these positive relationships. If you are isolated or spend significant time with abusive people, doing that becomes harder and harder.
You are already fighting against American society’s unrealistic expectations. Like, others in Western countries, you have been trained to be unnaturally modest and humble, lest you think “too highly of yourself.” This, unfortunately, makes it feel dishonorable to have a good self-imagine. Rather, your ego tells you to stoically think you are “supposed to see all of the things about you that fall short of being ‘enough’ and be trying to fix them.” In the guise of protecting you from being excluded, the human ego causes so much more suffering.
Listen to Embrace Compassion on YouTube
Back to mattering: To summarize: You want to (need to) matter. When you have at least one person in your life who values you, you can push against unrealistic societal expectations to validate and have compassion for yourself. Let’s go into how to have self-compassion, even if it is a review for some of you who remember me speaking about this before.
During my whole career, over 25 years, I have seen the unrealistic expectation for over-modesty and humility cause undue shame and block self-compassion, causing undeserved and intense emotional turmoil. You have been encultured to judge yourself. If you are not actively granting yourself compassion and would only be if someone taught you to, the judging can get out of hand quickly. And this judgment attaches you to whatever negative feelings provoke it, exponentially increasing it. For example, if someone hurt you and you thought you should get over it fast.
That judgment creates more chaos. You have to defend yourself, trying to tell yourself that you are “not that bad,” which makes you judge yourself harder. To counter this defense, you start to prove that you are that horrible, and you also can get lost trying to figure out why you are so horrible. You see, it adds turmoil.
However, if someone hurt you and you felt hurt but had compassion for this feeling, there’s no conflict. You are allowed to feel, and the feelings can process, and when they are processed, storied, and understood, it dissipates.
Look at Anger
In this section of the book, I use the example of anger. People always tell me that they want to get rid of anger. They hate it, are embarrassed by it, scared that it will make them lose out on things or will make people leave them, and are ashamed of it. Never mind that most of the things that make us angry would make anyone angry.
Also, sometimes when we are triggered, we get angry because anger is so much easier to feel than loss or hurt. I should say that at first, it seems easier to feel. Because anger quickly feels out of control, which makes us feel very uncomfortable. People get angry and then angry at themselves for being angry. Unfortunately, both of those reactions get lumped together and sometimes make us feel like we are overreacting to the original anger trigger, which increases negative self-judgment and on and on it snowballs. You all know what I mean when I use the snowball metaphor, right? Rolling a ball of snow collects more snow and gets bigger and bigger.
I recently watched a speaker say that feeling uncomfortable or awkward is a sign of rapid learning. He went on to say that you stop or learning slowly when you are comfortable and cozy. (Learning that made me uncomfortable, 😂). It flipped the script I had about discomfort. Even though I have done intentional work on leaning into unease for years, I still, well, feel uncomfortable about being uncomfortable.
I’m not alone here
Discomfort is too often associated with a problem, vulnerability, or a sign that you are unsafe. It bothers you. Remember from Chapter 1 that when you are bothered, your adrenaline gets triggered. But, if you took to heart what was expressed in this video by thinking, “I’m learning something here,” when you feel discomfort. This changes the connotation or meaning of your feelings, changing how you experience those feelings. Your mammalian brain overrides the “bothered” reptilian brain.
Now, if you feel anger and had compassion you’d allow yourself to feel the anger. You do this by acknowledging to yourself that you understand the anger and why you feel it. Saying “I get it” to yourself. If you do that, you’d feel validated and wouldn’t have to champion the hurt. You know what I mean. When your feelings are invalidated, you have to defend the hurt, hoping that convincing someone (or yourself) WHY you are hurt to encourage them to give you validation. And, when you defend the hurt, it grows in power and intensity. However, when you provide yourself with compassion, the feelings don’t get worse. They get better.
This is how you give yourself compassion
So this is how you give yourself compassion. Whatever you feel, it doesn’t matter what it is; you say, “I get it. I get why I feel that way. This makes sense in the context of what is going on.” A nonverbal feeling also goes along with this, and if I were to describe it, it feels like you are giving yourself a hug –– like you are holding yourself.
When people experience trauma, they have a sense of being un-held or abandoned. Sometimes that is attached to a person (like a particular person abandoned you). And other times, it is a general sense that you are alone and vulnerable during this experience that overwhelms your senses. Anxiety, unworthiness, or depression can also be described as feeling untethered. And so holding yourself is a remedy. Feeling held roots you back into connectedness. This holding feels like being seen, accepted, and mattering, which robustifies your sense of self and gives you the strength to move forward.
This is the magic of self-compassion. It’s amazing! Although it is free and easy to practice, it creates greater physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual impact than anything else you can do this readily, in a way we need so desperately in our world.
This Wraps Up Season 4
I’ll leave you here for this episode. That wraps up Chapter 4, My Time To Shine. In this chapter, I have given you the tools to embrace your whole self. You are embracing your humanity by accepting yourself: your hopes, dreams, skills, commitments, and values, and also your vulnerabilities, mistakes, and shortcomings. You are human, and that means you are not meant to be perfect. We usually have it the wrong way around thinking perfect opens access to your hopes and desires, but it is the opposite. Perfection is limiting. It makes you rigid, anxious, and focused on things that don’t matter, taking your attention away from things that do. It’s mistakes and discomfort that enhance your learning, therefore unlimting you.
Allow yourself to be human. Embrace this humanity. Humans are pretty cool, smart, and resilient beings. We are capable of so much. It is easier to tap your huge potential when you stop trying to be perfect and just allow yourself to be the you that you are meant to be.
Thank you for reading
Thank you so much for listing to this episode of Anxiety… I’m So Done with You! with me, Doctor Jodi.
In this episode, you learned how to DO self-compassion.
Thank you so much for joining me in this season. I appreciate your subscribing, commenting, and leaving me five stars on Apple Podcasts. Next up is Chapter 5, Self-Care is the New Health Care. I love Chapter 5. I think you will love it too. The next episode will cover Chapter 5, Section 1: Prioritize Uplifting Relationships. Read or listen to that, and I will see you there. In the meantime, hang out with me on YouTube and TikTok at Doctor Jodi.