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What defines compassion? If you have ever met a truly compassionate person, they likely stuck out to you like a sore thumb, and even more likely, this person had a way of being that truly stuck out to you, from their habits to their mannerisms.

Unfortunately, it isn’t common for people to be truly compassionate towards others. Otherwise, we would all have more good memories of good people and good times. Sadly, that simply isn’t the case. When was the last time you met someone with true compassion? Can you remember why they struck you as compassionate?

Material items don’t matter so much to them.

According to studies, the more money people make, the less compassionate they are. They think twice before giving to the less fortunate, while compassionate people will give spontaneously.

Compassionate people listen.

People who are compassionate are great listeners, and allow others to vent their feelings to them. Having a sympathetic ear is quite important to their compassion, as it allows people to alleviate their suffering, sometimes at the expense of the compassionate ear.

They find common ground with others.

In various experiments, it has been found that when people find more in common with others, they are considered to be more compassionate. Not only does it make the other person feel as though their feelings are valid, it helps them to see that they are no suffering alone.

They share their knowledge.

They are willing to share what they know with others, but not in a way in which demeans them, but instead in a way that helps them. By doing this, they empower others to do better, develop themselves.

They have high emotional intelligence.

Being emotionally intelligent is when we comprehend and can explain our emotions to others with accuracy and in a meaningful way. It is our ability to empathize with others. All compassionate people have high emotional intelligence.

They notice when people are in need.

Compassionate people pay attention to other people, and notice when someone is in need of their help. Instead of ignoring the needs of others, these are the people who stop whatever they are doing to help another.

They are kind to themselves.

Not only are they compassionate towards others, they are compassionate to themselves. Practicing self-love is quite crucial to beating bad habits, and becoming your best self. And according to research from Berkeley, those who are compassionate to themselves are more motivated to help others.

Highly-compassionate people understand that compassion is never ending.

Compassionate acts aren’t a phase to them, and aren’t a self-improvement activity. Instead, compassion is something they engage in daily and without end.