Compassion will make the world a better place.
It makes the heart feel lighter, for both the giver and the recipient.
But compassion needs boundaries.
If compassion is the ability to see things from the perspective of others and seek understanding, even when it is harmful to us, even when we disagree with what others are doing, even when it plays out against us, we need to create boundaries.
We need to be able to be able to advocate for our own needs and defend ourselves if we do not want to be exploited, manipulated, abused.
It's called setting compassionate boundaries.
First, what will you let people do that will still be okay with you and will not damage your relationships?
Decide how much you are ready to accept prior to put yourself in a precarious situation.
Be clear on what will constitute crossing over boundaries.
Then explain this to people when they go too far.
Having compassion is great, but you deserve some respect too. It is important to keep the respect of others.
You are not compassionate because you want to be a people pleaser. You are compassionate because you firmly believe that the world needs more compassion and more understanding.
It's part of your values.
It's a conscious decision.
You might be compassionate, but you are strong too.
Tell people how you wish to be treated openly and calmly.
Explain what you expect.
Describe what you are not willing to do, what you are not willing to accept depending on your values and desires.
You can state the consequences of crossing the boundaries.
Example: Yes, Y, I know how you feel. I have been a mother too. I understand you are tired at work because you have to take care of your baby. I can babysit for you if you want so that you can take a rest, but you cannot sleep at work. I have to do all the work on my own and you are not taking responsibility for your actions. If you keep coming late and sleep on the job, I will have to report you to the boss. I don't want to do this and I want to help you go over a bump in your life outside work, but at work, you need to act professionally.
Being compassionate is to go above and beyond for others (propose to take care of baby while colleague sleeps), but you also need to keep boundaries (the place of work is the place to work).
Be prepared to not get what you want.
If the person says no or does not appreciate your effort, it's fine. You did your best.
5 more compasionate things to do:
1) Express sincere gratitude to someone who did something nice for you. Friends an family are often forgotten. Say thank you to your children, spouse, relatives, or friends.
2) Give someone the benefit of the doubt. Your spouse is not answering, maybe he or she didn't hear you or is busy and didn't pay attention. Someone is late for an appointment. Maybe there was too much traffic.
3) Send a hand-written note to someone to tell them to hold on, that they're not alone. Can they use this card as a pick-me-up? A thank you card is good too.
4) Drive peacefully.
Many people experience driving rages when other drivers are too slow or make mistakes. Drive patiently and that doesn't only mean your car. That also means your bike, your skateboard, your stroller, your cart in shops, etc. Others are also trying to get to work, to school, home, etc.
5) Cook something.
Food is a big magnets to friendships. Cook for someone. Cook what you can, even if it's something from a box. Especially in Ramadan, giving someone the means of breaking their fast is highly praised.
And set good boundaries too.