Compassion and Empathy

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default Compassion and Empathy

Post by melodiccolor on Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:45 am

Denmarkguy wrote:What is compassion and empathy... REALLY? We mostly have an idea of what it is... but it's NOT blanket "underwriting" of someone's pain, suffering and dysfunction. Pema Chödrön-- in her writings on compassion-- states that sometime the MOST compassionate thing is to actually ALLOW someone to fall, fail, crash and burn... because they cannot learn and get wisdom if we keep rescuing/helping them... even when we feel like we "must," because it *seems* like "the compassionate thing to do."

What do YOU think?

Denmarkguy wrote this on an HSP Facebook page and I hope he doesn't mind me quoting it here because it's a good issue to discuss.

I fully agree with him. It can be extremely hard to sit back and watch someone crash and burn, but sometimes it is really needed. People must follow their own path, learn from their own experiences in their own way sometimes. Part of my learning was to do that sitting back at times and it never really got easy.

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default Re: Compassion and Empathy

Post by Riana on Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:32 am

Yeah, we cannot force people to see things a certain way. I find it hard to sit back when people deny the power and wisdom they have inside of them and are stuck in victim mode. But they get offended when you try to tell them that, because it feels rude to them that you are suggesting that they might be partly responsible for what is happening to them.
I once read an article about a woman who lost her husband and who said that she was very upset with a friend of hers who had asked her "And what can your soul learn from this?" because that would imply that there was a reason why this tragedy happened and it felt very rude to her.
Without wanting to deny the pain and suffering a loss like that can cause, I find that people often choose one of the two options: being stuck in victim mode ("why is this happening to me?","the world is such a cruel place and I'll never be happy again") or denying their feelings and diverting their attention by means of work, entertainment or excessive small talk, avoiding the painful subject all together. Somehow the question "which lessons can I learn from this experience?" is offensive. Ascribing a good side, a little bit of light, to a dreadful experience is rude and insensitive and people just don't want to hear it.

So it's better to let them figure it out for themselves, and listen and be there for them when they need to talk.
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