Compassion, by literal means, is “to suffer with”. Compassion requires deliberate actions towards a person who is going through a problem or illness. Mostly we do not empathize or even be compassionate to other people, let alone ourselves; but we confuse sympathy with these additional terms. Sympathy is just understanding that someone is suffering, but compassion is a whole package deal of both empathy and sympathy, and a lot more. One becomes courageous and healthy when he/she is compassionate to oneself and others, without any expectations of returning favors.
WAYS TO BE COMPASSIONATE
Compassion can be developed in any kind of person; in these ways:
Self-compassion is a difficult task, but you can achieve it by “Pretend you have what you want” philosophy. It broadly means that to have compassion for yourself, you need to “fake it” until you have it. For instance, you think that your promotion is given to your friend because you didn’t do enough or that you are not as good as she was, to earn it. But if you think that it is acceptable that this opportunity was not for you, maybe I will need to work on myself and bag a much more fantastic opportunity, making myself happy.
REDUCE OVERTHINKING AND SELF-LOATHING
Overthinking is a significant problem both in personal and corporate life. Overthinking, not only takes up your precious time but also drains your positive energy. Overthinking about your employee not feeling good about your project given to him, will only harm than good. It creates misconceptions and miscommunication with the employees. Self-loathing comes from the overthinking you do all day; it brings you unnecessary guilt and shame and nothing else. Imagine, you are project leader in a company, and you have criticized about a subordinate’s work, and now you are overthinking that you could say it in a better way.
UNDERSTAND THE PAIN
Compassion consists of understanding the pain and sorrow one goes through. Understanding the pain points to the act of empathy because when you are trying to help someone, you need first to know what exactly one is going through. Sometimes we don’t listen to our friend who is going through a break-up and just assume what she/he said, and then we can only give our opinions and not be empathetic to them, what they need.
FEEL THE PAIN
Feeling the emotion behind the problem is something very similar to empathy, but the difference is that in compassion, there were no emotions attached. Sympathy is the emotional behavior we do when we want to consolidate someone who is going through some pain. For example, when we got to know that a loved one lost their dog, we can only imagine and feel the pain of losing your pet. We can only sympathize with them. It is very crucial to have emotions to be compassionate.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND ACCEPTANCE
Acknowledgement and acceptance are two important aspects of any compassionate person. If you want to help someone heal, the first thing to do is to acknowledge their situation, whether it is in your personal opinions or not. Also, accepting that whatever is happening to them is fine and there is nothing wrong with them. When someone made a mistake, all they need is someone who acknowledges and accepts that it was not their fault. Acceptance is one of the helpful things you could do.
After having accepted and understood what the problem is, there is another way you could be compassionate to yourself and others. Compassion requires you to help someone in any way possible so least you could do is suggest some ideas to the person. For instance, you are a colleague of a person who has to submit a report but does not know how will he complete it in less time. So you could suggest to him some ideas which will enhance his speed as well as he will have double the images to work on.
HAVE THE WILLPOWER TO ACT UPON
This is a bit difficult for many people, as there is a need of taking a notch up and willpower to implement something. Most employees lack this quality, as they are not initiators in many aspects of their lives. Even leaders sometimes lack this because of personal biases or social responsibilities. But to willingly do something for a colleague or a friend, strengthen your relationship with them. If you were available to do some work, and your friend needs some extra hands on the job, then it would be better if you lend a hand to him.
BECOME A PART OF THE TEAM
Being a team player, has its benefits. Even if you are a leader or a manager, being a part of the team of your subordinates and coordinators will enhance the performance and productivity of the whole group. Imagine you have assigned a project and you are just ordering regardless of the quality and time the employees would have to give, then it only portrays you as a person who has no heart and compassion.
Most of the corporations have a problem-oriented outlook for many issues, but the compassionate leaders should have a solution-oriented strategy for any kind of problem. Rather than looking at what is the problem with the report, a leader should seek solutions to change the necessary. Compassion lessens the negativity in any criticisms.
Last but not the least important, having no personal biases or stereotypes against/for the employees have a significant impact on your compassion. It shows that you see all the employees as equals and that there is no partiality when it comes to helping anyone of them. When someone needs a recommendation, you should not see what this person has done for you but the company and what are his qualities, not just your own biases.
It is concluding with a thought that we should start the compassion journey from within, as once we feel compassionate towards ourselves, it will be easier to give compassion to others.