Self-compassion has consistently been linked to positive health outcomes. Emerging evidence has been gathered that reveals self-warmth and self-coldness as two distinctive components of self-compassion in cultures that embrace dialecticism (i.e., a belief that change is constant, contradictions coexist, and everything is interconnected). Each of these components contributed unique variances in explaining health outcomes. While self-compassion may be particularly relevant for the stigmatized population such as lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people given their exposure to and internationalization of public stigma, little evidence has been gathered to clarify the links of self-compassion, proximal stressors, and well-being among LGB people in dialectical cultures.
Using a sample of 505 LGB adults in Hong Kong, this study examined how the two self-compassion components were linked to life satisfaction via proximal stressors and whether the self-compassion dimensions moderated the links between proximal stressors and life satisfaction.
Results indicated that internalized homonegativity partially mediated the association between components of self-compassion (i.e., self-warmth and self-coldness) and life satisfaction. The association between self-coldness and life satisfaction was also partially mediated by acceptance concerns. Self-coldness also moderated the associations of internalized homonegativity and acceptance concerns with life satisfaction, such that internalized homonegativity and acceptance concerns were only negatively associated with life satisfaction when self-coldness was high.
Our study shows that supporting LGB people in dialectical cultures to cultivate self-compassion may involve separate processes: acknowledging the survival functions of self-coldness while fostering self-warmth.
This study is not pre-registered.