Breaking up is stressful, but greater self-compassion helps individuals cope with their own marital separations. Over 100 middle-aged adults spoke about a recent marital separation during a 4 minute stream-of-consciousness recording. Based on judges’ ratings, participants who expressed greater self-kindness (e.g., “you have to…just forgive yourself”), mindfulness (e.g., “you just have to deal with reality”), and common humanity (e.g., “tell yourself you’re not the only person to experience this”) reported less stress 9 months later.
Sbarra, D. A, Smith, H. L., & Mehl, M. R. (in press). When leaving your ex, love yourself: Observational ratings of self-compassion predict the course of emotional recovery following marital separation. Psychological Science.