Reverse the Golden Rule

Suzanne DaileyBlog, Self Care Better, Teach Happier


  • Reverse the golden rule. Treat yourself how others would like to be treated.
  • Self-compassion increases your levels of happiness, health, and resilience.

Golden Rule: Treat Yourself How Others Like to Be Treated

Think of one of your closest, dearest friends. Imagine they are in a sad season and going through something challenging. How do you talk to them? How do you coach them? And how do you show support?

I would venture to guess you would show up for your dear friend with abundant kindness, patience, and compassion. You want your beloved friend to know that although times are challenging, their struggles or mistakes don’t define them. You would promise to walk alongside them throughout the season and support them every step of the way.

Right now, you might be in a challenging season, or if you’re one of the lucky ones, maybe you just have little blips during the day when you feel disappointment or even shame. Either way, challenging feelings are inevitable. It’s part of being human. How do you speak to yourself during these times? I would venture to guess that it isn’t always with the same abundant level of kindness, patience, or compassion you would show your friend.

A 2019 report from Berkeley stated that those who are self-compassionate have increased levels of happiness, health, and resilience. Click To Tweet


Can you imagine speaking to yourself as kindly and compassionately as you do to the ones you love? This practice is called self-compassion. According to Dr. Kristin Neff, co-founder of Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, she defines self-compassion as “being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate.”

The research points the same way: practicing self-compassion provides many benefits and is worth prioritizing. A 2019 report from Berkeley stated that those who are self-compassionate have increased levels of happiness, health, and resilience.

This is great news because we already know how to show compassion towards others. Now it’s time to transfer those skills and show compassion to ourselves.  Let’s speak to ourselves and about ourselves in the kind, patient, compassionate way we would speak to someone we care about. We’ve never needed grace and compassion more in our personal or professional lives than we do now. Now is the perfect time to begin.

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Challenge Yourself: Reverse the Golden Rule

Our invitation this month is to try to bring the theory of self-compassion off the piece of paper and into our words, actions, and thoughts. It’s almost like reversing the Golden Rule.

Like author Kelly Corrigan says, “You are in your own head all of the time. Try to make it nice up there.”


Small Shifts. BIG Gifts!

Let’s give this a try! When you find yourself speaking negatively during a challenging time, try speaking to yourself in the supportive, compassionate way you would speak to a dear friend.

About Suzanne Dailey

Suzanne Dailey is a proud member of the Teach Better Family! She is an instructional coach in the Central Bucks School District where she has the honor and joy of working with elementary teachers and students in 15 buildings. Suzanne is Nationally Board Certified, a Fellow of the National Writing Project, and has a master’s degree in Reading. She is dedicated to nurturing and developing the whole child and teacher. Suzanne lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

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