What Works for Me May Not Work for You: Predicting Self-Compassionate Responding Using an Interactionist Approach
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Objective: Self-compassion has both trait and state-like properties (Kelly & Stephen, 2016), yet little research has investigated how dispositional and contextual factors interact to influence someone’s ability to be self-compassionate in a given moment. One contextual factor known to influence self-compassion is how “shared” or common one’s problems seem to be (i.e., common humanity; Leary, Tate, Adams, Allen, & Hancock, 2007). The current study investigated whether contextual cues of common humanity moderated the effects of trait self-compassion and self-criticism on state self-compassion following a negative self-relevant event. Method: One-hundred-and-two undergraduates (89 females) completed a trait measure of self-criticism and self-compassion; underwent an induced negative self-relevant event and manipulation; and then completed the State Self-Compassion Scale, the State Shame Scale, and a measure of state affect. Following the negative event, participants received a contextual cue that led them to believe that a peer had experienced a similar event (Common Humanity condition) or had not (Alone condition). Results: Condition moderated the effects of both trait self-compassion and self-criticism on state self-compassion. Higher trait self-compassion was a stronger predictor of adaptive responses to the negative event (i.e., higher state self-compassion, higher positive affect, and lower shame) in the Common Humanity condition than in the Alone condition. However, higher trait self-criticism was related to more maladaptive responses (e.g., lower state self-compassion and positive affect) in the Common Humanity condition compared to the Alone condition. Discussion: The current study supported the importance of applying an interactionist perspective to the study of self-compassion and self-criticism and results suggest that interpersonal contexts that may facilitate self-compassionate responding for self-compassionate individuals, could in fact thwart self-compassion for those who are more self-critical.
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Sydney Vail Waring (2018). What Works for Me May Not Work for You: Predicting Self-Compassionate Responding Using an Interactionist Approach. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/13637