This chapter by Windy Dryden from the book ‘The Strength of Self-Acceptance’ (ed Bernard M.E.2013) appealed to me, as, not only does he define the all too familiar tropes of concepts of Self-acceptance and Self-compassion, but he explores how these vary from self-esteem building, with the potential unintended consequences of increases in levels of narcissism and self-absorption. I am not keen on the abbreviations for Unconditional Self-Acceptance (USA) and Self-Compassion (SC), I find they get in the way of the flow of the text; however the definitions and discussion of similarities and differences between these two concepts are useful, thought provoking, and make these irritations well worth overlooking, for the value and readability of this article.
Unconditional Self-Acceptance definition:
I do not have intrinsic worth or worthlessness but merely aliveness. I’d better rate my traits and ‘acts’ but not my totality or ‘self’. I fully accept myself in the sense that I know I have aliveness and I choose to survive and live as happily as possible, and with minimum needless pain. I require only this knowledge and this choice – and no other kind of self-rating. Ellis (1996 p6)
..involves showing yourself kindness, recognising you are connected to other humans and mindfully accepting your negative experiences without actively engaging with them.
Judy Hemmons. January 2022
Dryden W. Unconditional Self-Acceptance and Self-Compassion (2013) In: Bernard M.E. The Strength of Self-Acceptance : Theory, Practice and Research. New York, NY: Springer New York. Pp 107 -120