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Why HSPs are Their Own Worst Critic: Understanding Self-Compassion for Highly Sensitive People

sad dog meme

HSPs are way harder on ourselves than on the other people in our life

Possibly because we know we are going to replay our mistakes over and over, we tend to be hard on ourself to avoid the need for the harsh replay in the first place. What's funny is that if our friend, family member, or coworker makes that same mistake, we typically give them grace. FOR. THE. SAME. MISTAKE.

We are way harder on ourselves than on the other people in our life (HSPs tend to give everyone else a pass)

Why are we our own worse critic?

1.COMPARISON BIAS: As HSPs, we often compare ourselves to others, but we usually see only the surface-level aspects of their lives. This can result in a skewed perspective where we perceive others as more successful or capable, which then makes us critical of our own perceived shortcomings.

2.INWARD FOCUS: Although HSPs are very perceptive, we are more attuned to our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors than we are to those of others. This heightened awareness can magnify our mistakes and perceived inadequacies, causing us to be more critical of ourselves.

3.PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: HSPs often feel a greater sense of personal responsibility for their own actions and choices, which can lead to self-blame when things go wrong. On the other hand, we may be more likely to attribute other people's mistakes to external factors.

manatee meme about being hard on yourself

4.FEAR OF JUDGMENT: The fear of being judged by others can lead HSPs to constantly evaluate ourselves. This self-consciousness can amplify self-criticism and contribute to feeling like our actions are constantly under scrutiny.

5.SELF-COMPASSION: While we might offer kindness and understanding to others when they make mistakes, HSPs can struggle to extend the same level of compassion to ourselves. When we are our own worst critic, cultivating self-compassion can be really powerful. Self-compassion involves treating ourself with the same kindness and understanding as we would offer a friend. This includes talking to ourselves the way we would talk to a friend (and would we call our friend "stupid" or "no good"? I think you know the answer.)

6. PERFECTIONISM: Many HSPs hold themselves to extremely high standards or have perfectionist tendencies. We can set unrealistic goals and then berate ourselves for not achieving them, whereas we might be more understanding and forgiving when evaluating others' performance (for. the. very, same. thing.) If you didn't catch my email on perfectionism, you can check out this blog.


As a highly sensitive woman, it can be really beneficial to understand how self-judgment works and why you may be so self-critical. Then you can practice being kinder to yourself and not feel so judged all the time. It's by accepting yourself, as you are, that your true awesomeness can really shine!

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