It is hard work to practice compassion. It is far easier to judge people and criticize them. To be compassionate requires getting off our high horse and giving up the feeling of superiority.
A lot of times, we tend to judge people to validate our own life choices and decisions. Putting others down makes us feel better about our lives but it also comes from a place of insecurity.
Practice Being Compassionate With Yourself
Compassion (from the Latin word, ‘compati’) means to “suffer with.” Compassion acknowledges that we are all connected as human beings. It involves feeling others’ pain as if it were our own. But it also means acknowledging our pain as if it were others’ pain as well.
If you are have a habit of criticizing yourself, chances are you are quick to criticize others too. It becomes a reflexive habit. By practicing empathy for yourself first, you are more likely to be compassionate with others.
Visualize The Needs Of Other People
If you are in disagreement with someone, write down or visualize their rationale. Put yourself in their situation and imagine what you would want under those circumstances. How do their needs and wants factor into their arguments?
It will help you understand what they believe and why they act the way they do. You don’t have to suspend your judgment and like them unconditionally. But understanding their point of view will reduce any feelings of hostility. If you don’t want others to jump to conclusions about you, stop leaping to conclusions about other people too.
Remember that we all have different needs and desires. Not everyone shares the same fears, but we all have fears. Not everyone shares the same struggles. But we all struggle. Being a compassionate person will help you connect with others better while also allowing others to help you be a better human.
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