Compassion: recognizing that the person is in pain (sympathy), feeling the pain of another (empathy), and the authentic desire to alleviate their suffering.
As you can guess, we’re moving into the compassion deep dive for the theme of this week. In our world environment right now, whether at work or our personal, compassion is an incredible and worthy skill to master. It will help you be very agile in navigating all this negativity and animosity we’re embattled with at every turn. It does this simply by helping us take the right actions and feeling what’s right before we move. It’s a lot more than just being nice.
The Center for Nonviolent Communication and its founding figure Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg helps us understand this through skills using NVC (Nonviolent Communication). In that site, they share four components of NVC:
- Observation – Noticing concrete things and actions around us without judgement
- Feeling – Our emotions and sensations in the present moment, expressed with honesty not with “I feel…” statements
- Needs – How these needs or wants we have or aren’t having met shape our experiences
- Request – A clear and present request for concrete action that can be carried out in a given moment
When put together they can really take an escalated situation that we can get caught up in or see others getting caught up in, and diffuse it. Be more present in it.
I’ve also read and heard NVC be called vulnerable honesty. In the video below from Yoram Mosenzon this is described really well and is a perfect reflection of how it works in his narrative below:
Yoram is a qualified NVC trainer. We can all learn to do this and help others as well as he does. He speaks to many of the four components above in his video. With lots of practice and feedback, we can be just as effective.
With our first part of this theme it was important to start with really understanding that using compassion and empathy interchangeably does not help us become compassionate in ourselves or others. Empathy is an ingredient of the successful execution of compassion. It helps us create a desire to be called to action and to really lesson someone else’s pain or suffering.
Globally we are all in this place together. Instead of closing down, isolating ourselves from it, we can confront it very positively as well as with compassion. We can choose to be present and help.
Thanks for reading and watching! Hope you’re week is going well.