How to be caring is a question we all need to answer. If we don’t, our lives will never be as rich or fulfilled as they could be. A quality of caring will impact not only the people around us but also those within our relationships. Whether it’s your family, friends, or co-workers, if you have compassion and empathy, you are a caring person.
According to University of Cincinnati psychologist and autism expert Dr. John Grindler, “Empathy is a crucial emotion for caring.” Dr. Grindler adds that “one of the major components for well-being is emotional well-being – having feelings, believing in ourselves, being willing to take risks and be vulnerable.” Not everyone who expresses their feelings displays these traits regularly. However, anyone who does has a unique quality of compassion and empathy that can make a difference in their life, whether it’s making another person feelings of loneliness, fear, or despair or simply providing assistance in overcoming a challenge.
The ability to extend empathy when it’s needed might seem like a small or unimportant skill. However, offering to care and nurturing in everyday situations is crucial for well-being. For example, if a young person has been abused at some point in their life, their emotional health is at risk. They might be unable to put themselves into the shoes of another person and thus might fail to recognize when something else is lacking in their life. Engaging them in meaningful activities such as playing sports or working with the disabled or elderly can go a long way to reducing feelings of loneliness or other negative emotions that might prevent them from developing a caring mindset.
Developing caring and compassion, and other interpersonal skills can go a long way to improving one’s self-esteem and self-image. For example, taking care of yourself physically can have a positive effect on your well-being. A physically fit person tends to be happier and physically healthier. In addition, a physically appropriate person tends to take care of themselves more than someone who’s not physically fit.
Empathy is also crucial to developing compassion. If you understand someone but lack empathy for your feelings or those of others, then you are unlikely to be very compassionate. A person can only take care of themselves if they take care of others. They were human starts with being able to hear what was going on around them. If a person can’t understand the perspective, how are they supposed to provide compassion?
The ability to take care of and find joy in other people’s experiences is an essential quality of care. Studies have shown that individuals with compassion and empathy do what they need to do to move toward their well-being. They don’t procrastinate or become anxious about their own needs. Instead, they make time to listen carefully to what someone else needs. They have patience. They can listen effectively.
When we hear the word “caring,” our brains automatically associate it with another related word, like love or sympathy. However, these feelings and emotions that we have for another are entirely different from our own. Name-calling and compassion that stem from unhealthy emotions can have serious consequences. It’s time to let go of the false beliefs associated with caring and start to realize that genuine compassion comes from a deeper level of awareness, mindfulness, and wisdom.
You can learn to be compassionate by recognizing your adverse reactions and emotions when you engage in name-calling or begin expressing your feelings toward someone else. You can learn to be human by listening effectively and compassionately to what someone else is saying without becoming defensive. Finally, you can learn to be caring by setting aside your lack of compassion and speaking softly to those you need to talk to. This approach to conflict resolution will allow you to set aside conflict rather than adding to it.