Examining the Relationships Among Self-Compassion, Social Anxiety, and Post-Event Processing


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Abstract

Post-event processing refers to negative and repetitive thinking following anxiety provoking social situations. Those who engage in post-event processing may lack self-compassion in relation to social situations. As such, the primary aim of this research was to evaluate whether those high in self-compassion are less likely to engage in post-event processing and the specific self-compassion domains that may be most protective. In study 1 (N = 156 undergraduate students) and study 2 (N = 150 individuals seeking help for social anxiety and shyness), participants completed a battery of questionnaires, recalled a social situation, and then rated state post-event processing. Self-compassion negatively correlated with post-event processing, with some differences depending on situation type. Even after controlling for self-esteem, self-compassion remained significantly correlated with state post-event processing. Given these findings, self-compassion may serve as a buffer against post-event processing. Future studies should experimentally examine whether increasing self-compassion leads to reduced post-event processing.

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