When you go to a caregiver fair, you may see people walking around with signs bearing a single word:
It’s a highly contagious quality that people can’t seem to get enough of. Those with compassion make a habit of showing concern for others, putting others’ well-being above their own. It’s a powerful characteristic that we could all use more of in our lives.
Developing this quality takes a lot of practice.
But it’s not impossible. Here are seven habits of caring people that may help you put compassion on autopilot.
1. Show compassion to yourself and others.
When you exhibit compassion toward yourself and others, you attract others who are empathetic and compassionate. When you show others compassion, you attract others who are empathetic and compassionate.
When you start practicing compassion for yourself and others, you can’t help but show it to others.
Caring people have an unusual ability to express their vulnerability without shame, guilt, or blame. In turn, they attract others who are empathetic and compassionate.
2. Give people your full attention.
You can show people compassion by giving them your full attention.
When you show others compassion, they feel that you see them as they are and that you see your emotional state in the moment. This kind of care takes time, attention, and vulnerability on your part.
Some of the most compassionate people can’t easily receive a compliment on their ability to give attention. They want to be seen as they are in the moment and not as they are in hindsight. But this kind of attention requires a willingness to show vulnerability to others and really being present.
3. Provide other people with mental timeouts.
Like compassion, mental timeouts are a highly contagious quality. But if you want to express compassion, it helps to create some time to simply put your mind into a time-out.
At work, this might mean taking five minutes for yourself to focus on your work. Or if you’re taking care of a small child, you might spend some time on a date doing fun activities, or you might allow yourself to take a nap.
If you’re providing mental timeouts for others, then you may attract others who are empathetic and compassionate.
4. Express appreciation.
Expressing appreciation for the contributions of others can also become a habit. Gratitude makes us feel as if we’re truly happy with who we are and what we have, and in turn, we feel better about ourselves. This makes it easier for others to take care of us and for us to take care of others.
You can cultivate gratitude by expressing it, both to yourself and others.
When you spend some time contemplating and appreciating how well you’re taking care of yourself and others, you also put yourself in a better position to care for others.
5. Ask for help.
Caring people want to be cared for and they want to help others.
When you express that desire, you can attract others who are empathetic and compassionate.
People can sense vulnerability, and when you express it, you’re opening up an avenue for compassion to flow into your life.
6. Be empathetic and treat others with respect.
Caring people hold themselves to high standards and conduct themselves in a professional manner. They ask others to treat them with respect, hold themselves to high standards, and do what’s best for their team and for the organization.
A caring attitude can really make a difference when you’re at work.
7. Practice gratitude.
Gratitude can bring out the best in others. In fact, it can make a huge difference in your life as well. Gratitude helps you show respect, honesty, and the vulnerability you’re not used to displaying.
When you practice gratitude, you attract those who feel grateful for what you have, regardless of how little they have.