Compassion, which literally means, "to suffer with," is sympathy for the hurt or hardship of others, with a motivation to help. Self-compassion is sympathy for one’s own hardship or suffering, with a motivation to heal, improve, repair.
Both self-compassion and compassion for others require sensitivity to the suffering that lurks beneath the symptoms and defenses that often mask it. The most common masks of suffering are resentment, anger, addictions, and compulsions.
People low in self-compassion tend to get irritated or defensive at the mere mention of compassion for others and are often offended when others show compassion to them. When they think they are being compassionate, they come off as manipulative (trying to get something in return) or morally superior, both of which elicit negative response. They get confused because compassion and self-compassion are really intertwined. You cannot sustain compassion for others without self-compassion nor can you have self-compassion, when cut off from basic humane values. Without self-compassion, compassion for others can seem boundless and overwhelming. Without compassion for others, self-compassion turns to self-obsession.
Based on the interconnectedness of the two forms of compassion, I suggest the following do’s and don’ts.
Respect for self and others
Regulation of impulses, emotions
The milk of human kindness and wisdom