Difference between Self-esteem and Self-compassion

Self-compassion Kristin NeffWell, the main question is: is there a difference at all between self-esteem and self-compassion. It depends on how we define the two.

Self-esteem is the way we feel about ourselves. Do you feel generally good about yourself, then your self-esteem is considered to be high. Self-compassion on the other hand is about how kind we treat ourselves.


The core of the general discussion points toward the fact that self-esteem can weaken and strengthen through events that happen in life. Self-compassion though stays constant and keeps the person balanced in inner calmness. This means self-esteem can be low or high while self-compassion is present or not.

The question you might answer in order to find out if your self-compassion is there in your life is: Do you understand that negative events just occur in life which sometimes can’t be avoided? If you say yes, your self-compassion is present.

If you answer yes to this question: Do you feel that your value in life and self-esteem is lowered because the bad experience you had to make could have been avoided? Then you deal solely with your self-esteem that you consider do be changeable through your life.

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

Self-compassion Kristin Neff

Book Facts

  • Author: Kristin Neff
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 23, 2015)
  • Paperback, also available as Hardcover and ebook
  • 320 pages

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. 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.

Reader reviews

I usually doubt when someone says that a book, or a concept, is life-changing. Trust me: THIS ONE IS. At least if you find yourself stuck in some struggle in your life that you feel is possible to be solved but you don’t know how. If you feel fear of the consequences of doing something in your life you’ll also find here what may be the origin and to heal this fear. This book is about being stronger, emotionally stronger, in a way that I didn’t see any other author talk about. The subject of this book, I think, is the root for all the other strengths we can have as human beings. I think that, without this, we can’t be successful getting to the other strengths.

Kristen Neff has presented a clear and compelling description of self-compassion.From her book, I have learned new ways of thinking and being. I am hereby resetting my sails and, with renewed enthusiasm, setting off into the future. I am more open to what is, grateful for my strengths, able to savor life’s pleasures a little more. I see myself connected with all other humans facing challenges that inevitably come along the way. I imagine I will return to this book many times to tap back into Neff’s simple, fundamentally compassionate and encouraging words.

Dr Neff’s a true pioneer in the field of self-compassion, and mindful self-compassion. Her book is filled with concepts, stories, and practices to help you bring self-compassion into your mind, and into your heart. She helps you become aware of your messages your giving yourself, and help you to change them to something that’s empowering, encouraging, or at the very least, NOT discouraging!