Skip to Content

11 Great Ways to Show Compassion

Compassion is the capacity to truly understand the emotional state of another or oneself. It is caring about others and behaving toward them with generosity, affection, and concern.

Compassion is a human quality which everyone possesses, but often, for all sort of reasons, it fails to fully develop.

Here Is A List Of 11 Great Ways to Show Compassion:

#1 Put Yourself In The Other Person’s Shoes

Many of us suffer an unwillingness to see things from the other person’s perspective. A lot of this is due to our preoccupation with social norms of “every man for himself,” ourselves and our personal situation, and the ever-present feeling of “us vs. them.”

Rather than immediately rejecting their ideas or opinions, try to consider their perspectives. Be tolerant, not argumentative. Realize that they have a different background and belief system.

For instance, don’t immediately insult or attack someone simply because she or he has a different perspective or opinion.

#2 Suspend Judgment

Sometimes we become so entrenched in our own opinions and beliefs that we close down and don’t want to hear anything else from anyone else, even those closest to us.

But if we close down, we’re going to miss important messages. Try to let the other person talk. Take in the entire message, no interruptions allowed. Just listen.

When you do that, you will frequently find that even if you do disagree there is at least some shared goals or ground, that makes it easier to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

#3 Practice Empathetic Listening

Put yourself in another person’s shoes to fully understand their point of view. You don’t have to necessarily agree with the speaker, but imagine how he or she feels. Listen not only with your ears, but with your heart, your instincts,  and your eyes.

  • listen with your heart – what do you think the other person feels?
  • listen with your instincts – do you sense that the person is not communicating something important?
  • listen with your eyes – what is the person doing with her or his body while speaking?
  • listen with your ears – what is being said, and what tone is being used?

#4 Be Polite

How much effort does it take to hold the elevator door open for someone or to say, thank you? Not much at all. But, these acts of kindness can make someone’s day.

Note – I decided a few years ago that it doesn’t matter if someone is condescending, rude, or worse. The way someone else behaves is not going to determine my behavior.

#5 Be A Volunteer

The concept of volunteer work is to donate your time to support people in your community, or to support a cause you believe in,  but savvy volunteers know they benefit as much as the organization they are supporting.

Note – before you choose an activity to volunteer for, think about what you hope to achieve from the work you will do.

#6 Be Encouraging

I believe most people really want to be encouraging when a loved one or a friend is going through a tough time.

The problem is that we usually show this by forcing the person to look on the bright side or trying to “fix” the problem. And while our intentions are good, this approach is rarely helpful to the individual in pain.

That doesn’t mean you can’t be encouraging. You just have to be mindful of how you approach it.

Instead of saying, “here’s what I would do” or “it will get better,” remind him or her that he or she is an amazing person who is worthy of love.

Here are several examples:

  • I’m proud of you;
  • I love you;
  • I’m in your corner;
  • You are a warrior;
  • You matter;
  • You are strong;
  • You are talented;
  • You are brave.

#7 Be More Aware

We’re not aware of what’s going on. The main reason for this is because most of the time we’re not paying attention and we’re not looking at what’s going on around us and we’re simply not living in the moment. It’s so easy to fall into a routine and just let yourself drift by on autopilot.

#8 Take Better Care of Yourself

Some people have a serious tendency to neglect themselves at times. Whether it is relationship issues, stress-induced, or poor self-esteem, we let ourselves go. It can even happen when we’re comfortable in a relationship.

However, when you take care of yourself, you demonstrate respect for yourself. People who are concerned about their appearance and health on a regular basis tend to do a better job of serving and interacting with other people. Basically, they are more compassionate. Your spouse, your family, and your friends will all appreciate it.

#9 Be Helpful

Carrying in the groceries when your spouse comes back from the store, assisting a co-worker on a project, giving up your seat to an elderly person on the subway or being helpful is one of the most effective and easiest ways to practice becoming a more compassionate person.

Note – I find that the more I help others, the better I feel about everyone around me and myself.

#10 Be Empathetic

Empathy is the ability to step into the shoes of another person, aiming to understand their perspectives and feelings (‘putting yourself in their shoes’) and to use that.

In a world that spends so much time igniting anger and fear and picking at flaws in people, empathy can be a balm to that anger and fear. It is believed that being able to practice empathy is one of the most important skills you can learn.

#11 Think Before You Speak

The fastest way to prevent hurting other people and to increase your compassion is to think of the ramifications of your words.

When you’re hurt, does it really help you to lash out with your own hurtful expressions? Are you using honesty as an excuse to say something hurtful? How would you feel if it were said to you or about you? Do you really need to say something hurtful?

Many of the wisest people in the world are thought to be that way since they don’t impulsively speak. They allow themselves time to think first.