“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama
You probably know several compassionate people. How come they act in such a loving, caring way towards others? What is their secret and can we get inside the mindset of a compassionate person? Here are 13 things they do without even thinking about it.
1. They do not think that money is so important
Studies show that the more money people make, the less compassionate and generous they become. They will always think twice about giving small change to a beggar. A compassionate person will do this spontaneously. It is interesting to note that the word ’get’ has always been used more in the written language than the word ‘give’ in America since 1800.
2. They expect nothing in return
“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” – Samuel Johnson
True acts of compassion mean that they will give a member of their family $50 without expecting any favors in return. Most people would immediately start thinking about how this could be repaid, even in kind. The great thing about showing compassion is that there is a sort of hidden bonus. Compassionate people experience a release of the hormone oxytocin when they do an act of kindness. They are usually rewarded with healthier and happier lives and it often costs nothing at all!
3. They are great listeners
They are prepared to listen and hear out a person even though they may not have a ready solution. The real compassion is allowing a person to vent their feelings, rage and frustration. Having a sympathetic ear is very important for them and helps to alleviate their suffering, rather than keeping it all bottled up inside. Being compassionate also means giving the person their full attention instead of waiting for a pause when they can jump in and air their own views. This is one of the challenges of being an active listener.
4. They are prepared to give negative feedback
Showing empathy and compassion also means being able to tell a person that they need to try harder or make a greater effort at work. Not an easy thing to do. The compassionate person can do this by asking questions which will help the person to discover what went wrong. A typical one would be, “What went wrong with the plan?” or “What were the difficulties you had not envisaged?” It is always a good idea to start with positive feedback which should outnumber the criticism by about 5 to 1.
5. They are able to find commonality with others
Experiments have actually shown that when people feel that they have more in common with each other, they become more compassionate. It could be thinking that the person you meet is seeking happiness and has known sadness, just like you. It could be more banal such as liking the same local restaurant, following the same football team or tapping to music with the same rhythm. Commonality increases compassion that people may feel for each other and helps them to reach out to help. David DeSteno of Northeastern University has conducted some interesting research on this.Advertising
6. They want to share their knowledge
They never keep their knowledge, experience and wisdom to themselves. They are prepared to teach others to learn from their expertise. That can empower people to do better, go further and develop, whether in the workplace or in the home. Truly sharing without expecting anything in return is a marvelous quality.
7. They are emotionally intelligent
When you have a high emotional intelligence quotient (EQ), you are able to picture and almost feel what another person is suffering or lacking. This is what we call emotional intelligence and is a key factor in almost every type of human relationship. Compassionate people have a high EQ because they are mainly more self-aware of their actions and can also empathize much more effectively. If you have a high EQ, you are able to navigate life much more successfully.
8. They notice people in need
In Daniel Goleman’s TED talk, he tells the story of how most people are so self absorbed that they live in an urban trance and fail to notice or act when people are in need. He was in the subway and noticed a man slumped on the steps. There were hundreds of people stepping over him. It was only when Goleman acted and offered to help the man, that many other people stopped too and offered food and help to this person who had fainted because of starvation. Compassionate people, like Goleman, will always be the first to act and lead the way.
9. They practice self-compassion first
Compassionate people are experts in accepting their own pain, suffering and loss. They are never too hard on themselves and hope that by accepting their own shortcomings and failures, they can be more serene. This is an essential element in self awareness too. Compassionate people learn to be more caring towards others when they practice it on themselves first. This is another great advantage of being compassionate.Advertising
10. They are hard wired to do good
There has been lots of debate about whether compassion is just a rather pedestrian emotion for the do gooders on this planet or whether it is innate. Fortunately, most research now supports the latter view. The philosopher Kant was not convinced though.
“Such benevolence is called soft-heartedness and should not occur at all among human beings.” – Emanuel Kant
It is well known that there are biological and physiological changes in the body systems when we actually do good or treat people kindly. Compassionate people are perfect examples of this and illustrate that they are the models to follow.
11. They know how to use touch
Research seems to now suggest that the use of touch can convey compassion when verbal cues are impossible. The warmth of touch to encourage, soothe and comfort a sick or grieving person are extremely important. It is also an evolved part of our human nature. Compassionate people use touch intelligently and they know that ‘touchy feely’ can be extremely effective and therapeutic.Advertising
12. They are even compassionate towards those who mistreat them
The truly compassionate person knows instinctively that when he or she is treated badly, they need to withdraw. Anger and other negative emotions are useless. This is extremely difficult to practice. They start to think instead of what the person was going through, what they were suffering and what mood they were in. Once they understand this, they can think of the times that they themselves mistreated somebody and reflect on how important it is not to react with anger but, rather, with compassion and kindness.
13. They will change the world
Now that we know that compassion is truly just another aspect of being human, let’s try and go out and make the world a much better place. Compassionate people will lead the way by making the workplaces, schools, hospitals and public offices more caring and compassionate places. Let’s get out there and just do it!
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” – Dalai Lama
Featured photo credit: Young attractive girl with her pet dog via shutterstock.comAdvertising
Last Updated on September 12, 2019
12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life
Even the most charismatic people you know, whether in person or celebrities of some sort, experience days where they feel lost in life and isolated from everyone else.
While it’s good to know we aren’t alone in this feeling, the question still remains:
What should we do when we feel lost and lonely?
Here are 12 things to remember:
1. Recognize That It’s Okay!
The truth is, there are times you need to be alone. If you’ve always been accustomed to being in contact with people, this may prove difficult.
However, learning how to be alone and comfortable in your own skin will give you confidence and a sense of self reliance.
We cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to become self reliant when we look for constant companionship.
Learn how to embrace your me time: What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It
2. Use Your Lost and Loneliness as a Self-Directing Guide
You’ve most likely heard the expression: “You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”
Loneliness also serves as a life signal to indicate you’re in search of something. It’s when we’re in the midst of solitude that answers come from true soul searching.
3. Realize Loneliness Helps You Face the Truth
Being in the constant company of others, although comforting sometimes, can often serve as a distraction when we need to face the reality of a situation.
Solitude cuts straight to the chase and forces you to deal with the problem at hand. See it as a blessing that can serve as a catalyst to set things right!
4. Be Aware That You Have More Control Than You Think
Typically, when we see ourselves as being lost or lonely, it gives us an excuse to view everything we come in contact with in a negative light. It lends itself to putting ourselves in the victim mode, when the truth of the matter is that you choose your attitude in every situation.
No one can force a feeling upon you! It is YOU who has the ultimate say as to how you choose to react.
5. Embrace the Freedom That the Feeling of Being Alone Can Offer
Instead of wallowing in self pity, which many are prone to do because of loneliness, try looking at your circumstance as a new-found freedom.
Most people are in constant need of approval of their viewpoints. Try enjoying the fact that you don’t need everyone you care about to support your decisions.
6. Acknowledge the Person You Are Now
Perhaps you feel a sense of loneliness and confusion because your life circumstances have taken you away from the persona that others know to be you.
Perhaps the new you differs radically from the old. Realize that life is about change and how we react to that change. It’s okay that you’re not who you used to be.
Take a look at this article and learn to accept your imperfect self: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable
7. Keep Striving to Do Your Best
Often those who are feeling isolated and unto themselves will develop a defeatist attitude. They’ll do substandard work because their self esteem is low and they don’t care.
Never let this feeling take away your sense of worth! Do your best always and when you come through this dark time, others will admire how you stayed determined in spite of the obstacles you had to overcome.
And to live your best life, you must do this ONE thing: step out of your comfort zone.
8. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious
When we’re lost in a sea of loneliness and depression, it’s all too easy to reflect on regrets of past life events. This does nothing but feed negativity and perpetuate the situation.
Instead of falling prey to this common pitfall, put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge every positive step you take. By doing this, you can celebrate the struggles you overcome at the end of the day.
9. Remember, Things Happen for a Reason
Every circumstance we encounter in our life is designed to teach us and that lesson is in turn passed on to others.
Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to figure out the lesson to be learned, while other times, we simply need to have faith that if the lesson wasn’t meant directly for us to learn from, how we handled it was observed by someone who needed to learn.
Your solitude and feeling of lost, in this instance, although painful possibly, may be teaching someone else.
10. Journal During This Time
Record your thoughts when you’re at the height of loneliness and feeling lost. You’ll be amazed when you reflect back at how you viewed things at the time and how far you’ve come later.
This time (if recorded) can give you a keen insight into who you are and what makes you feel the way you feel.
11. Remember You Aren’t the First to Feel This Way
It’s quite common to feel as if we’re alone and no one else has ever felt this way before. We think this because at the time of our distress, we’re silently observing others around us who are seemingly fine in every way.
The truth is, we can’t possibly know the struggles of those around us unless they elect to share them. We ALL have known this pain!
Try confiding in someone you trust and ask them how they deal with these feelings when they experienced it. You may be surprised at what you learn.
12. Ask for Help If the Problem Persists
The feeling of being lost and lonely is common to everyone, but typically it will last for a relatively short period of time.
Most people will confess to, at one time or another, being in a “funk.” But if the problem persists longer than you feel it should, don’t ignore it.
When your ability to reason and consider things rationally becomes impaired, do not poo poo the problem away and think it isn’t worthy of attention. Seek medical help.
Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!
Loneliness and a sense of feeling lost can in many ways be extremely painful and difficult to deal with at best. However, these feelings can also serve as a catalyst for change in our lives if we acknowledge them and act.
Above anything, cherish your mental well being and don’t underestimate its worth. Seek professional guidance if you’re unable to distinguish between a sense of freedom for yourself and a sense of despair.
More About Finding Yourself
- How to Find Purpose in Life and Make Yourself a Better Person
- 14 Books That You Should Read When You Feel Lost In Life
- Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again
- How to Be Happy Again: 13 Simple Ways to Shake off Sadness Now
Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com