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Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic Into a Compassionate Friend

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Many people are used to showing compassion to others. What many of us have trouble with is showing that same compassion to ourselves. Too often we say things to ourselves that we would never say to a friend. All this negative self-talk can have a devastating effect on our lives.
Licensed marriage and family therapist Kim Fredrickson wants readers to stop beating themselves up. Grounding her advice in the Bible, she offers practical steps and specific exercises to reprogram our thought lives. She helps us learn to show ourselves the kind of grace and understanding we offer to others--and to change our relationships, our outlook on life, and our view of ourselves in the process.

192 pages, Paperback

First published July 3, 2015

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Kim Fredrickson

5 books17 followers

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Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews
Profile Image for Victor Gentile.
2,035 reviews52 followers
July 9, 2015
Kim Fredrickson in her new book, “Give Yourself A Break” published by Revell gives us Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend.

From the Back Cover: It’s time to start treating yourself the way you treat others

As children we’re taught to treat others the way we would like to be treated. But as adults, we often need to turn that old maxim around. We’re good at showing compassion to other people–but many of us have trouble showing that same compassion to ourselves. We say things to ourselves we would never say to a friend. And all this negative self-talk can have a devastating effect on our lives and relationships.

Licensed marriage and family therapist Kim Fredrickson wants you to stop beating yourself up. Grounding her advice in Scripture, she offers practical steps, specific exercises, and compassionate words to say in order to build a loving relationship with yourself. Through inspiring stories of transformation, she’ll help you learn to show yourself the kind of grace and understanding you offer to others–and to change your relationships, your outlook on life, and your view of yourself in the process.

The Dictionary defines “Compassion” as: sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. When we see someone suffering we want to help to stop whatever is causing them to suffer. We do not seem to have that same consideration for ourselves. Ms. Fredrickson understands that we are hard on ourselves when we fail, make mistakes, make poor decisions or could not foresee the future. If you are nodding your head right now then perhaps you might be doing this as well. It is time for self-compassion, interacting kindly with yourself with both truth and grace. If we have self-compassion it will help all of our relationships. Ms. Fredrickson gives us ten chapters to help us deal with our lack and build our necessary Self-Care with Practical Tools To Build A Compassionate Relationship With Yourself. If you want to have a better relationship with yourself and then with both God and others then this is the book for you. It would also be a great gift for friends and family so that they be helped as well.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Profile Image for Rachel DeVaughn.
920 reviews16 followers
July 14, 2015
I really enjoyed reading this book by this licensed marriage and family therapist of over 30 years. I found it extremely helpful in my own life as well as helping and relating to other family members.

The author describes on page 12 her hopes for this book and why she wrote it-“to provide some understanding of why self-compassion is so hard to extend to ourselves, and second, that it provides hope and and practical help in learning to relate to ourselves in healthy and gracious ways”.

This book is all about having self-compassion. She explains that self-compassion is essential for handling and recovering from the difficulties of life.

She defines self compassion as having the same concern for your own pain and welfare. She goes on to describe it is not self-pity but a balance of truth. She goes into further detail with describing the differences between self compassion and self-esteem.

This book is divided up into 10 chapters with concluding reflection questions at the end of each chapter. She always includes an Appendix B in the back with suggestions on using this book and material with groups, which I found very helpful.

Chapter 6 about “Self Care” was extremely helpful to me and I learned alot in that chapter.

I would highly recommend this self help book if you would like to improve your relationship with yourself and show compassion to yourself and others like God did.

“The relationship we have with ourselves impacts all other relationships in her life, whether we like it or not.”

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Books, a division of of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review on my blog and social media-all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Jalynn Patterson.
2,104 reviews30 followers
July 2, 2015
About the Book:
Many people are used to showing compassion to others. What many of us have trouble with is showing that same compassion to ourselves. Too often we say things to ourselves that we would never say to a friend. All this negative self-talk can have a devastating effect on our lives.
Licensed marriage and family therapist Kim Fredrickson wants readers to stop beating themselves up. Grounding her advice in the Bible, she offers practical steps and specific exercises to reprogram our thought lives. She helps us learn to show ourselves the kind of grace and understanding we offer to others--and to change our relationships, our outlook on life, and our view of ourselves in the process.

My Review:
While I agree with the author on most fronts. I don't want to ever take the risk of not listening to that part of me that says, ya know maybe those that speak out against might have a point. And usually after this thought I use some time with God and ask Him to help me see their point number and number two change me to suit Him.

We have to sometimes or most offer grace to those around us after all that is what God does for us. He offered us grace in order for us to give it away to others. We need to try harder to do just that. Hating everyone just because we don't approve is not the way to God's heart, and frankly we weren't made that way. God in all His goodness wants us to use Him and Jesus for examples on how to live and to show others the way to Him.

Setting yourself up by talking bad to yourself isn't the way either. Being overly critically of yourself can become a very hard habit to break, I know this first hand but I also want to remain as humble as possible so that I can see my faults more clearly.

The author has wrote a good book with sound advice to get us started down the right road to self acceptance.

**Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from Revell.
Profile Image for Create With Joy.
685 reviews166 followers
July 4, 2015
When you were growing up, you were probably taught that you should treat others the way that you would like to be treated. But, think about how you interact with the people in your life. Do you actually treat yourself as well as you treat the people around you?

* Are you kinder to others than you are to yourself?
* Do you find it easier to forgive others for their mistakes than for your own?
* Do you hear your inner voice saying things to yourself that you would never say to someone else?

If you find yourself answering yes to any of these questions, I encourage you to add Give Yourself A Break - Turning Your Inner Critic Into A Compassionate Friend by Kim Fredrickson to your reading list.

In Give Yourself A Break, licensed marriage and family therapist and certified Christian life coach Kim Fredrickson examines why we have such a hard time being compassionate with ourselves. She also shows why self-compassion is an essential component to a healthy and emotionally balanced life!

Kim provides us with plenty of practical tools to help us take better care of ourselves, shows how self-compassion is foundational to all of our relationships, and points to God as our role model for compassion and tenderness.

She also examines some of the life experiences that make us vulnerable to neglecting our needs and teaches us how to create a positive self-care plan that can help us transform our lives.

Give Yourself A Break is a great Christian self-help book for those who are looking for a biblically-based resource to help them improve their lives.

To read this review in its entirety, visit Create With Joy.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. However, the opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
357 reviews3 followers
July 2, 2015
There is no one harder on themselves in life than moms and probably women in general. We are our own worst critic. It's hard not to play the comparison game, beat ourselves up for our mistakes and suffer from feelings of guilt for no doing it all. Kim Fredrickson reminds us all of grace and loving ourselves in her book Give Yourself a Break.

Why is it so easy for us to show compassion to our kids, friends and family but no ourselves? Why do we continue to beat ourselves up day after day? Fredrickson gently guides us on a journey of self love and compassion.

It's hard to sum up his book because it was so interesting on so many levels and I really like her easy style of writing. One of the things that good out to me the most was the chapter on how self-compassion can help all of our other relationships. For those of us that are focused on everyone but ourselves, this really puts it all into perspective. It's kind of like the same idea that if you don't make time for yourself, you're not going to be your best self. Paying attention to yourself and loving yourself does actually help with all those other people that we tend to focus the most on.

I really liked her use of scripture and how she reminds us Biblically that we need to love ourselves like we love others. There are some interesting tools and exercises to help you figure it out along the way.
Profile Image for Shelly Hendricks.
Author 4 books17 followers
July 9, 2015
Of course, I read this book through the lens of chronic illness and disability. We are probably more in need of this book than healthy readers are, honestly! We're so hard on ourselves, hardly ever granting ourselves grace. And so much of our lives is out of necessity focused on ourselves, we refuse to spend any extra effort of self-care.

This book is written in a very caring way. Not only that, but it gives practical guidance and step-by-step instruction on how to go about caring for ourselves in a way that is NOT selfish or neglectful of others. I would highly recommend it!
Profile Image for Michele Morin.
558 reviews22 followers
July 2, 2015
I really don’t believe in coincidence, so when a major oversight on my part caused a disappointing and inconvenient plight for my family, it was not for nothing that Give Yourself a Break by Kim Fredrickson was already on my night stand waiting to be read. I needed to hear its message of “self-compassion” — the truth that I am worthy of the same grace that I would offer to someone else in my situation. Kim makes an important distinction between self-compassion and self-pity, where we “wallow in the shame of what we have done.” Nor is self-compassion the same as complacency where we give ourselves permission to just flop around ineffectively. “Instead, it is the idea that we can be kind to ourselves when we fail and treat ourselves with the caring support we would give another who is struggling.” For me, her most helpful advice was to avoid condemnation, which is a waste of time; and, instead, to forgive ourselves, to analyze the situation in order to avoid a repeat performance, and then to embrace change for the future.

A licensed marriage and family therapist, Kim has credentials and has put in her time as a professional helper, but the voice that reaches out from the pages of her book is that of a friend and a wise counselor, elevating her writing beyond the genre of just another happy-talking, self-help book. Kim shares case studies lifted from her practice as well as situations from her own childhood and her experiences as a mum. The book includes a six-page appendix of verses which trumpet God’s love, care, and compassion which I savored like a long-awaited letter one sunny afternoon.

A huge factor in silencing one’s inner critic is learning to practice positive self-talk.
Having a little trouble finding the words?
No problem! Give Yourself a Break includes scripted messages to read and practice.
I know.
It will feel awkward and stilted, but, with practice, you will learn to speak compassion to yourself in your own words.

Amidst the advice on relationships, self-care, and handling strong emotions, Kim offers some very concise and sagacious words for dealing with life on this fallen planet:
•Mistakes are normal.
•Changing how you care for yourself takes awareness, intentional thought, and a plan.
•We often live as if we should be perfect, and we are devastated when we fail . . .
•Don’t hold things against yourself.

Those are some of Fredrickson’s Fundamentals. Now, hear the Word of the Lord:


“For I am the LORD your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, do not fear;
I will help you,” (Isaiah 41:13).

So, self, what will it be?

Critic or friend?


This book was provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Profile Image for A.C. Cuddy.
Author 2 books5 followers
June 30, 2015
“It's time to start treating yourself the way you treat others. As children we're taught to treat others the way we would like to be treated. But as adults, we often need to turn that old maxim around. We're good at showing compassion to other people--but many of us have trouble showing that same compassion to ourselves. We say things to ourselves we would never say to a friend. And all this negative self-talk can have a devastating effect on our lives and relationships.”

Why is it that we can overflow with love and care and compassion for those around us, even those on the fringes of our lives, yet when it comes to ourselves – well we are our own worst critic? We rarely show ourselves the love and care that we show others.

In “Give Yourself a Break”, author and licensed marriage and family therapist Kim Fredrickson deals with just that with encouragement and scriptural wisdom to help us to stop beating ourselves up and heal our sometimes self-inflicted wounds with self-compassion. She takes the reader through the steps to show ourselves grace and understanding offering practical tools and techniques to help us to begin the personal healing process and offering the reader a new outlook on life, and love, and care.

About the Author: Kim Fredrickson has been a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified Christian life coach for more than twenty-five years. An adjunct professor, speaker, and author, she loves helping people become equipped spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually with practical skills to live more effective and fulfilling lives. Her website offers visitors helpful articles, encouraging recordings, and additional resources. She has been married to her husband, Dave, for thirty-seven years and they have two grown children. Fredrickson lives in Northern California. Learn more and read her blog at www.kimfredrickson.com.

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through the Revell Blogger Review Program, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review

*Reviews of this book were posted at the following locations:
Amazon, Christian Book, Deeper Shopping, Goodreads, and to be featured on my blog at http://titus3.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Becky Van Daniker.
321 reviews99 followers
July 3, 2015
Licensed marriage and family therapist Kim Fredrickson offers a unique approach to self-compassion. I majored in counseling when I was in college so I found it really fascinating and a useful resource. It is well-written gentle in its text, and Biblically sound. I’m excited that there is a book on this topic because there aren’t many.

As Christians, it can be really difficult to incorporate the practice of self-compassion.

“As children we’re taught to treat others the way we would like to be treated. But as adults, we often need to turn that old maxim around. We’re good at showing compassion to other people – but many of us have trouble showing that same compassion to ourselves.”

“Self-compassion is absolutely essential for healthy, balanced living. It provides huge benefits including emotional resiliency, stress reduction, contentment, and healthier relationships. Without it we are vulnerable to the opinions of others and find it difficult to deal with and let go of our mistakes. It is tough enough to go through a difficult situation, especially when we think we had a part in creating it. It is another kind of torture to never be able to let go of self-criticism and blame… God’s heart is tender toward us in our suffering, frailties, and mistakes. He is our perfect example of balancing truth and grace. He knows we are but dust and is merciful (Ps. 78:38-39).”

When we mess up, we tend to critic ourselves instead of being compassionate. We tend to be more compassionate to others. Fredrickson’s goal is to show the reader that it is okay to be the way you do, mistakes happen, and you can take steps to move on. She also talks about why we struggle with self-compassion, it affects our relationships with others, how to treat yourself with kindness, and so forth. Many of these concepts I was already familiar with and I had read a lot of the books in her bibliography in college so that was fascinating. This can be used both individually or in a group setting.
Profile Image for Joan.
3,547 reviews61 followers
July 3, 2015
I really liked this book. There is much in it that helped me explain much of my behavior and that of others. We are to show the same compassion to ourselves that we do to others and that God shows to us. We are too hard on ourselves, the author writes. We know we are forgiven for our sins, but knowing it in our head is different than knowing it in our heart. I would especially recommend this book to parents. Children do not have the brain development to be balanced in their thinking after they have done wrong. Parents need to help them learn that skill. And much of how we behave as adults comes from our perceptions when kids.
You can see my complete review at http://bit.ly/1C6qBBH.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
Author 1 book6 followers
July 4, 2015
So much useful material here, it's hard to know what to mention and what to leave out. Kim defines self-care as being a good steward of ourselves, whilst being aware of the needs of others. She examines our areas of need (physical, spiritual, etc), different ways of dealing with our emotions, and some of the things that can stop us adequately caring for ourselves. Would strongly recommend to anyone who's suffered with anxiety or depression, to carers, and to all parents, whatever your children's age.
Profile Image for Katrina K.
143 reviews4 followers
July 24, 2015
Goodreads win. Will read and review once received.

I have always been a little apprehensive about books like these, but I gave this book a try. By giving this book a try I found myself to really enjoy it. It was written well. It was also a very well informed book. I can see a lot of people enjoying this book and finding it to help them. I really liked that after each chapter there was reflection questions. It really makes you think about what you just read and helps let it set in.
Profile Image for Shuyi Chua.
Author 1 book6 followers
April 4, 2016
A book that had immediate application and immediate self-soothing effect. Till today, it's my number one choice for gift for friends who tend to be critical of themselves. It really worked like magic. Through this book, you learn what to say to yourself when you make a mistake. You learn not to scold yourself and make yourself feel lousy, but how to be your own encourager and friend. It's so easy and compelling to read. Kim really did a great job writing this book.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
104 reviews2 followers
January 17, 2016
Compassion. I worked through many of the exercises here and discovered a notable absence of it in my life, not towards others but towards myself.
1,173 reviews5 followers
December 28, 2018
Compassionate self-help book about how to treat yourself with both grace and truth.
The book is written from the Christian standpoint, but it is not preachy and non-believer can read it too without feeling influenced by this standpoint.

I recognize the deep truth that one can be the worst enemy to themselves, to treat themselves more harshly and untruthfully that the real enemy would. And also that we are precious, created by God Himself and we have been given the stewardship of us (our body, mind and soul) by Him, too.
But it is very hard to really do that, to treat ourselved like that, in real life. And how we treat ourselves vcan (and will) affect the other areas of our lives, too.
Simple truths? Yes. everybody knows them? Yes? Do we behave like that? No.

Ms Fredrickson gently points these truths and offers a lot of in-depth, well-explained information about the nature and consequences inner/learned attitudes and the tips to self-soothing procedures.
I, coming from the cultural background where the honest (which sometimes means honest without any grace) approach is considered the part of the culture, have been a bit discouraged first - by the supposed "too much sweetness". I say "supposed" - because I came to understood that the authoress does not mrean to skip out the truth - but to treat ourselves gracefully while realizing/admitting the truth and acting on it graciously to both us and the other persons related (if there are any).
And I quite like that. I need to incorporate this attitude more.
And I can well use some of the offered practices, too.

I find this book being complementary to another wonderful self-help book I have read recently: "F*ck Feelings: One Shrink's Practical Advice for Managing All Life's Impossible Problems" (non-Christian and quite to-your-face book, but very beneficial when leaving out all the (truly innecessary) cussing).

This book well promotes the gentleness and the value of every person - and this person should be us, too, as we walk with ourselves daily every day and truly, we are the only one person we are responsible for.

Recommended read.
Profile Image for Eric.
455 reviews7 followers
April 20, 2021
Having self compassion is vital and necessary. And the insights shared by this author are spot on. Still, I had trouble really engaging with this book as the examples of suggested self-talk just seemed unrealistic. I found myself struggling to even imagine speaking to myself in the ways the author kept suggesting. But, maybe the problem is me and not the book.

The book does offer good insights from Scripture as it relates to this subject, as well as some wonderful examples of how self-compassion dynamics are seen in daily life.
Profile Image for Roxanne.
408 reviews8 followers
March 29, 2019
This was a pretty cheesy read. There were some good practical points and I appreciated the chapters on how self-compassion influences relationships as well as the emphasis on self-care but otherwise, I felt like there was a lot of cheesy fluff to read through. I wanted to put the book down on more than one occasion but pushed through to the end.
Profile Image for Timothy Taylor.
6 reviews3 followers
March 23, 2017
Not too bad

Overall had some good principles. Had some strange ideas too though. I was disappointed to see so much reliance on "self-help" instead of on God for help. Jesus is the best friend we could ever have. Relying on Him for compassion is the best way, not relying on self. We will always let ourselves down. But Jesus never will. We need to look to Him, not to self.
Profile Image for FAITH YUEN.
Author 2 books2 followers
Read
October 7, 2020
A fantastic book to understand our yourself. How to turn our own critical voice into self compassion.
Profile Image for Rebekah.
94 reviews3 followers
February 22, 2020
/*disclaimer: first reads*/
Fredrickson comes across as a patient therapist, gentle mom, and happy Christian.

She also comes across as a terrible, cheesy writer. Her style makes me cringe, like making me eat one of those fluffy meringues that I detest. Especially the monologues that she uses too liberally.

She also takes some liberties with interpreting biblical quotes, like when she takes loving your neighbour as yourself and turns it into loving yourself as your neighbour. Sure, it could have been argued that one should love oneself such that fulfilling "love your neighbour" would manifest in the ways defined as good neighbour-loving. But she didn't take that tack.
Profile Image for Kasey Cocoa.
954 reviews39 followers
June 20, 2015
I didn't end up finishing this although I believe this is no fault of the author. I just didn't connect with what the author was saying. I believe this will fit well with certain readers, just not readers like myself. Overall it's intelligently written and I do believe will be the perfect book for someone out there. I received an ARC through the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.
26 reviews3 followers
September 9, 2015
I would recommend this book to everyone to read. I just recently went through survivors guilt and it was something I never thought would happen to me. This book actually helped me through this by showing me how to have compassion for myself. Great book and written very well.

I received this book for free through goodreads for my personal opinion.
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