The definition of compassion is: sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
I believe it is important to balance your flow of compassion. Why? Simply because it can be emotionally exhausting to be constantly compassionate. And, it really doesn’t hurt to be a little indifferent from time to time.
In my regular line of work I often meet with students who are overloaded, stressed, in a panic, or having a meltdown. I know that I am a compassionate person, however, if I was to sympathise, empathise or allow myself to take on all the feelings that present each day, I know I would overload.
I am not saying I don’t care, but I guard myself and do my best not to take on others emotions.
Methods I employ to look after myself:
- Remind myself that it’s not my problem
- Empathise (show care and understanding) then let it go
- Be part of the solution, not the only solution
In extreme contrast, comedy and tv shows such as ‘America’s Funniest Videos’ allow us to laugh at others misfortune. And honestly there is something quite funny about another human falling on their butt.
Basic common sense and empathy should let you know that it’s not okay to laugh in someone’s face when they are telling you about their misfortune, versus the very intentional tv programming where you can have a chuckle at a strangers misfortune without impacting them.
Enjoy being compassionate when appropriate, and do have a good laugh at intentional comedy depicting others misfortune.