8 Steps to Become a More Compassionate Person.
Virtually everyone likes the idea of loving and feeling loved. In fact, a Huffington Post article that featured Lisa Firestone, Ph.D., revealed that many people think the key to happiness is simply being loved. However, she notes that it is even more important to have loving emotions for other individuals. This is the true key to happiness and when a person feels these loving, empathetic emotions for others, that individual feels more loved in return.
Therefore, the way to feel loved is to give love. However, there are some individuals that simply do not find it easy to express loving emotions for others. However, it is a skill that can be developed over time and it is also one that produces virtually endless benefits. If you have ever wondered if you have enough compassion or if you need to become a more compassionate person, check out these eight tips below.
1) You have things in common with others.
Firestone notes the vital importance of being able to develop things in common with other people. This is especially true for anyone who is going through an exceptionally difficult period of their life. If you have been in a similar situation in the past and you are then able to identify it with how that person is feeling, it creates an immediate connection and it makes it easier for you to be more empathetic for that individual. In other words, the ability to remember how it feels when things are not going your way and then to tap into those feelings when you are trying to reach out to others who are going through their own difficulties in life makes it much easier for you to develop things in common with them and thereby develop empathetic feelings that lead to feeling more love for other individuals.
2) Money is not really that important to you.
The University of California at Berkeley has created a number of studies to determine whether or not advancing in socioeconomic class compromises a person’s empathy for other individuals. In each case, the findings confirm the idea that as people obtain more money and thus more material possessions, they have less and less feelings for other individuals and they are less concerned with how others are doing. This does not necessarily mean that you should not have goals in mind that will allow you to live comfortably, but it does mean that you should not place your sole emphasis on money or material possessions and that you should instead be more concerned with connecting with others.
3) You are not afraid to express empathy.
Firestone notes the importance of not being afraid to act on empathetic feelings. There are a number of ways that you can accomplish this. You may be the person that all of your friends go to when they need someone to talk to or you may choose to broaden your scope and put your empathetic feelings to good use through volunteering for a good cause. Firestone also notes that people who do these types of things are far happier than those who do not.
4) You are happy with who you are.
Most people have a tendency to give themselves a hard time when something fails to go their way. Some people even carry it to extremes and have a sense of self loathing that could not be rivaled by their worst enemies. However, these things are not productive and actually cause more harm than good. According to both Firestone and the University of California at Berkeley, studies have shown that people that learn to love themselves are actually far more capable of being productive and overcoming the obstacles that they find in their way. For some people, this takes time to learn but it is one of the most important skills because if you fail to be able to love yourself, you cannot really project love for others out into the world.
5) Teach other people.
Jen Groover, a motivational speaker, noted the importance of teaching other people in order to be a more compassionate person. Overall, people that are compassionate have a desire to teach others and thereby improve their skills and help them become stronger individuals. Compassionate people want to make the world a better place and they have a desire to help others. As a result, many compassionate individuals have a desire to impart their knowledge to other people.
6) You are present in the moment.
A compassionate person has a strong desire to help. That keeps the individual’s attention focused on the person they are talking to instead of doing other things. It is rather difficult to get anyone to pay attention in this world of constant distractions, but the most compassionate people do exactly that. They have a way of knowing when the situation warrants their undivided attention and they act on it.
7) You are emotionally intelligent.
Firestone notes that becoming emotionally intelligent means that you fully understand that other individuals think differently than you do and that they have a right to their own thoughts and feelings. Emotionally intelligent people do not try to convince people to become exactly like them or tell them that they are wrong because they disagree. Being emotionally intelligent means that you are able to accept that everyone has a right to their own opinions and you respect those opinions, even when they differ from your own.
8) You have gratitude.
When you have gratitude, you are truly grateful for the things that other people do for you and you are not afraid to let them know how much you appreciate it. Having gratitude also means making it a point to slow down and realize the things that are truly important in life. According to Firestone, it is these individuals that take time to reflect on the important things that experience the greatest degree of gratitude, and thereby the greatest degree of happiness.