More compassion is needed. Where?? In everyday life, with family, friends,
coworkers, managers, and strangers. Compassion is more than just noticing
someone’s suffering and trying to alleviate their pain. It includes:
1) Sensitivity – Responding to someone’s emotions and perceiving what help is needed. Trust your intuition and notice the signs of suffering and distress.
2) Sympathy – Showing concern for another’s suffering by lending a helping
hand and/or a shoulder to cry on or just being there to really listen.
3) Empathy – Putting yourself in their shoes. When showing empathy, it is best
to remain calm, relaxed, and not cut them off. Be attentive so you can better
understand what they are going through.
4) Motivation/Caring – Encouraging. When someone confides in you, let them
speak. Do not interrupt or give advice too quickly. Have open body language. Lean toward them. Make eye contact and don’t cross your arms and…. make sure your phone is away.
5) Distress tolerance – Tolerate difficult emotions when dealing with someone
else’s emotions. Avoid making a pity face, crying with them, or letting your emotions get the best of you. If you feel yourself displaying distress, take a deep breath and stay focused.
6) Stay relaxed – Stay focused even if they respond aggressively. If they
become angry, maintain your composure and don’t escalate the situation. The
other person will unconsciously mirror your emotions causing them to relax and
allows the conversation to continue.
The best way to become a compassionate person is to practice it!