10 Rules of Compassion
Compassion is a real nice word isn’t it? It makes us feel more human and more connected to people around us. It makes us feel that we belong to this world and this community of humans and we all have a certain role to play. Needless to say, it really feels amazing to be compassionate and connect to people at the time they need our help.
Just like everything else, even compassion has a few rules to follow. Or else it becomes a charity affair! And no one wants that! Charity kinda leaves a bit of conceit and upper hand or a high hand and it really feels bad when that is used in the name of compassion. For most effective ways of compassion, here are 10 rules you need to follow:
The 10 Rules:
1) What is compassion?
As always, we start with our question as to who, what and why. And this time too, we need to understand what compassion means to us – not to the world, not to the dictionary, but to us. What does compassion mean? – It simply means being in someone else’s shoes, understanding their problems and responding to it. It doesn’t mean patience, it doesn’t mean going out of your way to help people, it just means being considerate.
2) Why should you be compassionate?
What is the reason for your compassion? Why do you feel for someone else? Is that someone your friend or someone who has helped you in the past or is it someone you don’t even know. I am not here to say that you should be compassionate to people who don’t even matter to you. There will be people who will take advantage of you if you do that. We are trying to understand what makes you compassionate, what in you drives to take that step!
And your reasons are personal and we completely respect that. We would be condemned if we have any judgement associated with that cos even we have a list of things for compassion to kick in and we are just worried about how best we can show our compassion to the people who matter to us.
3) Step into the situation
Most people when asked for help jump into an advisory mode. On a previous post we had talked about the 10 things you have to be careful about people’s advice to you. It is a pretty dangerous place to step into when someone is in a bad phase of life. Sometimes all they need is support and reassurance. Don’t stand outside the situation and try to offer your help. It is not going to be of any!
Instead, step in! Understand what the other person is going through. Listen, be sympathetic. Show your empathy to that person. No matter how unrealistic it might sound, step into their shoes and then try to talk to them. If you are trying to talk without doing that, then don’t bother talking at all.
4) Give them what they want, not what you want!
Compassion is not just about having a good heart and trying to help out people. It is also about really helping someone and about making a difference. People can easily claim compassion cos it is a very easy thing to do. But that’s just a claim and that is all it will be. It is not going to mean anything more unless you understand what they want and try to help them with that.
Ofcourse we can’t always give them what they want, but we can certainly understand and see if there are any alternate arrangements we can make
5) Never play the blame game!
It is a horrible thing! But people do end up blaming the victim. I don’t understand the joy in someone saying “I told You So” or “I was right all along”. No one ever likes that. The first question I would ask is – what is the point of a “told you so”? Is it to prove that you were right?
And even if you were, then what is the point? Did your being right solve anything?
The moment you say this, you seem like a total ass who doesn’t understand people who matter to you. Don’t ever do that! A mistake has happened, move past it and look towards solution. Show a little class!
6) Know what you are trying to do!
You need to know what you are trying to accomplish for the other person. You need to know what you are talking about and the purpose of it. Sometimes the words don’t matter at all, sometimes all you need to do is just hug them and say that things are going to be ok.
You need to offer the solace, you need to show that you understand the problem. You need o show that you are not going to make a mockery of it and their problems are completely safe with you. If you want to be the listening ear, it comes with a few rules as well and you have to follow those.
7) Point out the positives
When someone is feeling a little lost and hopeless about life, you need to tell them and show them that life is beyond these silly little negative things. You need to show them the positive side of life and show them that there is a lot to look forward to and a lot to feel happy for. It is your responsibility to make sure that they see the larger picture and not wallow in the details.
8) Remind them who they are
Pain is a horrible thing sometimes. It gets us into a very bad phase of life and everything around us seems very negative and painful. It kinda makes us forget who we are as a whole and makes us respond to only the negative side of us. And it is simple common sense isn’t it – the more we respond with our negative side, the stronger it gets.
So, if someone is feeling bad and in a negative state, the onus is on you to get them out of it. The onus is on you to remind them who they are as a person. It might take some persuasion, it might take some proof, it might take going through the oldalbums but it is not the most difficult thing in the world.
9) Belittle the problem
Sometimes we all tend to make the problem as big as possible in our brain and think that it is everything and world seems utterly hopeless. Look at the problem, make it as small as possible. Beware though – don’t do it at the cost of offending the other person – do it in a way and ask them how it feels if you/he looks at the problem like this, in a lighter way?
Sometimes we all are so caught up in the problem that the solution doesn’t appear even if we are very close to it. And sometimes all we need is to simplify the problem to a much lower scale.
10) This too shall pass!
This is perhaps the one mantra, the one solution which will keep us all going. Every phase we go through is a temporary one and each of these phases makes us very strong. The one thing that matters is how fast we get out of those phases in life. We need to respond and act to the situation than letting it take over us. Cos every problem we face, we have an amazing solution for it. We just need to enable people to do that.
To sum up, compassion has got nothing to do with you. It is everything to do with the other person and about how you respond to them. Finally the solution is in the action. So, get them to act. No matter how silly the action is, get them to act on it and the solution is going to appear. It is not going to come to us when we sit idle in the room. The solution is outside!
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