Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

10 More Self-Compassionate Phrases

We could all use more self-kindness. Here's how.

Key points

  • Compassionate self-talk can help tame perfectionism, without loss of performance.
  • Talking to oneself kindly as a daily habit can help make challenges feel less stressful.
  • To cultivate self-compassion, it helps to notice moments where it is needed and deliberately say a kind phrase to oneself.
Tyler Nix/Unsplash
Source: Tyler Nix/Unsplash

Recently, I wrote a post with 13 sample ways to talk to yourself compassionately. It was popular, since who doesn't need more kindness when the world can feel so brutal? So I thought I'd add some more ideas. This will help you build a diverse repertoire of language that feels helpful and authentic to you, and works in a variety of situations.

Here you go.


  • Check off which suggestions feel potentially helpful to you, and adapt to make them your own.
  • Think about the situations you'd use these in. Many relate to when you fear your own imperfections or you feel frazzled.

Kind and Effective Self-Talk Examples

  1. All I need to do today (and all I can do today) is put one foot in front of the other.
  2. If I chose not to approach this perfectionistically, how would I approach this?
  3. Ok, that happened. What would be most helpful now? (This is for acceptance, self- and other-forgiveness, and moving on).
  4. I would love to be able to control this situation more than I can. Lack of control makes me anxious. I'm going to give myself kindness for how scary it feels to lack complete control.
  5. I don't need to rush. I can do this task at a leisurely pace.
  6. I can pause for a few minutes to breathe. There's no immediate danger. Right now, I'm safe and I can take a moment to absorb whatever shockwaves of life I might be experiencing.
  7. Do I need to tell myself a different story about myself? For example, if I recognized my competencies, would it help me feel less anxious and like I had more to offer?
  8. I may not know what struggles other people are experiencing, but I know to be human is to struggle. Everyone has their own battles and challenges. I'm not alone in that.
  9. I want to take away all threats, dangers, and imperfections. I'm trying to do that through endless worry and grind. But that's not effective. I can't fully protect myself that way. No one can. So I can take a break from that. I can't worry myself into a state of calm (by trying to take care of everything and everyone.).
  10. Am I expecting more of myself than other people are of me? Would reality-checking my thinking help me feel less anxious and pressured? If I saw myself as capable of responding to this challenge, would it help me feel better?

Make It a Habit

Aim to make compassionate self-talk a daily habit. "Catch" yourself at some point during the day when you need self-compassion. Use one of these phrases, one from the original post, or your own.

Self-talk is one aspect of self-compassion. Behavior is another. You can learn more about that here.