The compassion balance : Understanding the interrelation of self- and other-compassion for optimal well-being
Sahdra, Baljinder K., Ciarrochi, Joseph, Fraser, Madeleine I., Yap, Keong, Haller, Elisa, Hayes, Steven C., Hofmann, Stefan G. and Gloster, Andrew T.. (2023). The compassion balance : Understanding the interrelation of self- and other-compassion for optimal well-being. Mindfulness. 14, pp. 1997-2013. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-023-02187-4
|Authors||Sahdra, Baljinder K., Ciarrochi, Joseph, Fraser, Madeleine I., Yap, Keong, Haller, Elisa, Hayes, Steven C., Hofmann, Stefan G. and Gloster, Andrew T.|
Objectives: This study examined the role of self-other harmony in the relations between self-compassion, other-compassion, and well-being. Past research has shown self- and other-compassion to be positively related. But we hypothesised that self-compassion can be perceived as incompatible with other-compassion, and that self-compassion and other-compassion might be uncorrelated or negatively correlated in daily life for some individuals. We termed this pattern lack of self-other harmony in compassion and hypothesised that it would undermine the benefits of compassion.
Method: Using an experience sampling method in patients (n=154) with a variety of diagnoses, we measured self-compassion, other-compassion, life-satisfaction, mood, and contextual variables six times per day for 42 time points.
Results: For most participants, self-compassion was positively associated with other-compassion. However, there was substantial heterogeneity in this effect. The degree of self-other harmony moderated the link between compassion directed towards self or other and well-being. Higher levels of compassion were associated with higher levels of well-being, but only for those who experienced the harmony. When the two forms of compassion were not in harmony, levels of self/other-compassion were largely unrelated to well-being.
Conclusions: The findings emphasise the importance of personalised compassion interventions rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Increasing self-compassion or other-compassion is likely to improve well-being for most people. However, for a minority lacking the self-other harmony, it may be necessary to assess their interpretation of self- and other-compassion, then work with them to promote the compassion balance optimal for their well-being.
|Keywords||compassion; self-compassion; well-being; life-satisfaction; mood; experience sampling methods|
|Journal citation||14, pp. 1997-2013|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-023-02187-4|
|Open access||Published as ‘gold’ (paid) open access|
|Funder||Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)|
|Alexander von Humboldt Foundation|
|Hessische Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst|
|National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), United States of America|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)|
|James S. McDonnell Foundation|
File Access Level
|Online||27 Jul 2023|
|Publication process dates|
|Accepted||04 Jul 2023|
|Deposited||05 Sep 2023|
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