Being kind to my socially anxious mind; A study of the relationship between selfcompassion and social anxiety

Guna Schwanen


Self-compassion is a relatively new construct in Western psychology. It involves a kind and accepting attitude towards oneself during failure, when experiencing difficulties, or disliking an aspect of oneself. In the face of social failure, self-compassion might be particularly useful for people with social anxiety. The present study aimed to examine the relationship between social anxiety and self-compassion. A total of 120 individuals completed online questionnaires measuring self-compassion, social anxiety, fear of negative evaluation, and self-focused attention. Results showed that higher levels of social anxiety, fear of negative evaluation, and self-focused attention were strongly related to less self-compassion. Self-compassion might, therefore, be a useful construct for people with social anxiety and explicit training in self-compassion may give rise to a more caring and kinder attitude towards oneself

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