6 tips for having compassion without getting too emotionally invested


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Do you have difficulty expressing compassion? Do you have trouble not being emotionally involved when someone confides in you?

I’m not talking here about not having compassion, but about not knowing how to express it for fear of investing yourself too emotionally. Take for example a person who shares with you a delicate part of his life and that you do not know what to say. It is rare that we are not touched by the trust that this person places in us, especially if it is a new relationship that you are enjoying, but it disturbs you and puts you in a defensive position for fear of being too emotionally involved. .

“A compassionate word, deed or thought can alleviate another’s suffering and bring them joy. With compassion in our heart, every thought, every word, and every deed can produce a miracle. – Thich

Nhat Hanh

Here are 6 tips for having compassion without getting too emotionally invested:

1- It’s not up to you to find a solution

You don’t need to have a solution for each other. Sometimes just a sympathetic ear can be enough help. It’s okay to advise if you think it might help someone, but don’t impose your solution on the person. Don’t force anyone and admit that the other person may disagree. Offer to listen to her talk about her feelings or how she tries to get out of her problems without trying to save the person.

If you need to save this person in order to feel valued and be loved by the other, it may be an emotional dependency problem that causes you to do so. Sometimes, like a mirror, we give to the other what we wish to receive in the hope that they will give us back this attention in their tone. If you think you need reassurance as well, find a friend who isn’t going through personal issues. I invite you to watch the video:  I have savior syndrome: Why is it negative?

2- Physical contact

Don’t know what to answer? No need to talk to express compassion. Make eye contact and nod in agreement occasionally. Personally, I suggest giving the person a hug . It comforts and does not require too much emotional investment. The hug can be comforting, but only if it’s appropriate. If either of you aren’t comfortable with this, briefly touch their shoulder instead.

3- Offer to talk about your personal experiences.

If you have gone through similar experiences, perhaps you can share your experience in order to inspire this person positively. It also gives the other a chance to get to know you better. Ask permission first, such as “Would you like to know how I got out of my depression?” It’s important to ask beforehand since some people are not yet ready to listen to the experiences of others.

4- Offer to help with other tasks.

You may want to get to know the person better, but prefer to keep an emotional distance. Offer some of your time to help her on a level that will require less emotional involvement from you. You can offer to help by picking up his children from school, watering his plants, or assisting him in any other way. Even if the person seems to handle these tasks well, the gesture shows that you are there to help them during this stressful time.

5- Don’t pretend to know what someone is going through.

Even if you have gone through a similar experience, realize that everyone copes with it in different ways. Understand that the other person may go through this ordeal differently and what is good for you may not be good for the other.

6- Do not minimize the other’s problems.

You may think that the other person’s problems are insignificant or less serious than yours. Never pretend that your personal problems are more serious. Don’t say “it could be worse”. Recognize that the other person’s problems are very real, and even if it seems easy to overcome, it may not be for this person. This can be interpreted as rejection and lack of interest in her.