Community//

4 Easy Ways To Cultivate Compassion

If you struggle to show compassion for yourself or for others, these simple tips are sure to help you get started.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

In your day-to-day interactions, do you find yourself using compassion both to yourself and towards others?

If the answer is no or you aren’t sure, you’ve come to the right place. Compassion allows yourself to recognize the suffering and pain in others and feel for what they’re experiencing. Even further, it encourages you to alleviate that pain by showing support and empathy.

If you fail to cultivate compassion, you’ll struggle to build successful relationships, develop confidence, and understand others. It’s crucial to have compassion for people so you can let love be the driving force of your actions and live prosperously. 

If you want to build on your compassion, here are 4 easy ways to get started. 

Start with Yourself

Before you can love or understand others, you must first love and understand yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and if you try to love others without already having love for yourself, it’ll prove difficult.

When you love yourself, it’s much easier to pass that feeling onto others. When you feel bad about yourself and suffer from low self-esteem, it’s harder to empathize with others’ struggles because you feel your own so deeply.

If you don’t have a strong sense of self, you’ll find it difficult to show compassion in any situation. You can spend many hours thinking about how to better empathize with others, but the real journey starts with loving yourself. It helps to look at yourself in the mirror and repeat loving mantras, such as telling yourself you’re smart, beautiful, successful, etc.

Practice Kindness Daily

When showing kindness to others, it’s important to do so without expecting anything in return. Kindness means doing selfless acts out of the good of your heart because it’s the right thing to do.

Kindness is contagious. The more people spread it, the more palpable it becomes. It can turn someone’s day around in seconds, so it’s crucial not to underestimate the effect it can have.

The great thing about kindness is that there are endless ways to practice it and show it to others:

  • Compliment a stranger
  • Pay for the next person’s order at the cafe
  • Smile at others
  • Communicate your ideas with patience
  • Hold the door for someone
  • Give up your seat on the bus

These examples are simple, easy ways you can show selfless acts of kindness to others. You can get as creative with it as you’d like, but the point is that you do it without expecting anything in return.

Volunteer

Volunteering is the perfect way to cultivate compassion and strengthen that quality in yourself. The act of volunteering is selfless and encourages you to help others despite the fact that you don’t get anything in return.

But the catch is that you actually do get something in return, and that’s satisfaction. It feels good to cater to others out of the goodness of your heart and to do so without having expectations. You spend your time giving back to the community and helping those who may not have the same advantages or opportunities as you.

You can use volunteering as a special tool to strengthen your compassion for others as well as yourself. It teaches you how to extend your kindness to yourself when all you want to do is be your own worst critic. 

Choose Your Words Carefully

Someone once said, “Honesty without compassion is cruelty.” You might think that voicing your opinions means you’re a truthful person, but in reality, it can harm your relationships with others and with yourself. It’s important to educate yourself on what’s healthy and what isn’t.

Remember that you don’t have to hurt someone’s feelings to be honest with them. Sure, you may not like the new hat your friend is wearing, but what’s the harm in toning down your dislike? Clearly, it’s something they’re proud to wear, and your negative comments do nothing but tear them down.

When communicating with others, pay attention to the words you use and how you say them. Instead of telling a colleague that their latest project sucked and lacked depth, you can start off with the things they accomplished well. Then, you can segue into how they can improve the project and build on their existing skills to make it that much better.

Your delivery matters. If you use poor communication and let your emotions take over, it’ll be more difficult to practice compassion during conversations. It’s important for you and the other party to respectfully share thoughts and ideas without it turning into a war.

Your Turn

If you struggle to show compassion for yourself or for others, these simple tips are sure to help you get started. How will you cultivate compassion in your day-to-day life?

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Courtesy of J. Countess / Contributor / Getty Images
    Community//

    Compassion Is the Cure

    by Chris Rackliffe
    Community//

    How To Replace Self-Pity with Self Compassion

    by Shreya Dalela
    Purpose//

    9 Fundamentals Of Forgiveness

    by Demo DiMartile

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.