The great Dalai Lama has said, ‘If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.’ Compassion is the awareness of other people’s distress and pain, and the motivation to go out of your own way to ease or soothe them. Empathy is the ability to understand what a person is experiencing and being sensitive to their feelings.
Compassion and empathy are life skills that all human beings should possess, and cultivate better. These are the foundation for being a good human being, and having healthy and meaningful relationships.
Here is why it is important to be compassionate and empathetic in life
1. It leads to improved happiness
Compassion and empathy begin with yourself, and require you to be kinder to yourself. When you excuse the mistakes and have your expectations within check, you are less likely to be disappointed in yourself or in others. By being more understanding of human actions and reactions, and what causes them, you pave the way for a happier life that is free of negativity and stress.
2. It promotes healthier relationships
Those closest to us are subject to our highest expectations of them, which can often be unfair. Understanding the unique experiences of your near and dear ones makes you more sensitive to what they are going through, no matter how small. This allows you to offer more support and warmth to them which strengthens your bond and reminds them that they can always count on you to share their feelings and confide in you.
3. It leads to higher patient survival rates
Those who have the kind sensibility to be nice to others and wish them the best also happen to receive the same positive wishes and vibes. Moreover, the attitude of being grateful and wishing well for all those around oneself have helped many patients heal and recover quickly as they are able to retain the healthy mindset which is mandatory for any physical healing.
4. It improves social and interpersonal skills
Being more compassionate and empathetic enables you to be a better listener and share honest advice. It also allows you to admit to your own shortcomings and be open to criticism. This makes you a more likeable person overall and people around you find it easier to communicate with you. It also makes you a credible source and a reliable friend.
5. It promotes better parenting
Parenting has been done wrong for a really long time, and is not limited to raising a child but also includes assisting others in your life to grow out of unhealthy behavioral patterns and traumas. The qualities of compassion and empathy allow others to be honest with you, including young ones, and let you share the genuine advice you have for them instead of harsh judgements.
Being compassionate and empathetic is crucial to be a well adjusted person, after all there are several professions which are based entirely on the practice of these emotions.
Therapists, social workers, educators for special people are all incredibly respected for these exact skills, and while no one is guaranteed to possess them by birth these amazing skills can be cultivated and practiced to improve quality of life for multiple people.