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How Compassionate You Are Towards Others?
5 May 2004
By Khozaima Motiwala
Articles Index

The next test that we are going to take up in our Personality Week is How Compassionate You Are Towards Others? This is a test which most people prefer to give a skip. Firstly, the issue is perceived as not necessarily being about them. It's seen as something more to do with their interaction with others. The second reason, and the major one I think, is that people are a bit apprehensive about the results. Most of us subconsciously feel that we should be a bit more caring & sensitive. And we think that the test is going to say the same.

Anyway, let's look at what being compassionate is all about. The Princeton University website defines compassion as 'a deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering'. However, the meaning I prefer and the one I feel is closer to the context of this test is 'demonstrating care and sensitivity in word and action.' To do this one has to first be sensitive or rather 'sense' the feelings of others. This is done by picking up vibes from others by observing their behavior. The things they say and the things they don't. When they say the things they say. How they say it. Their body language. All these seemingly little things are picked up and used to develop a 'sense' of the other person.

However, being in tune with someone's emotions and feelings is one aspect of it. The other is to act accordingly. That is taking the extra effort to say and do things which also take the other person's views into consideration. Compassionate people do this all the time. They easily put themselves in another's situation and see things from their perspective. In contrast, people who lack compassion are rarely able to see an opinion other than their own. These people would have limited inter personal skills and would have problems in the workplace and at home.

Saying this its necessary to stress that being overly compassionate also is not a very healthy thing. Such people end up most of the time trying to please others, even when it's not required or justified. This can cause them to often sacrifice or compromise their own interests.

Find out what's Compassionate Index with the test How Compassionate You Are Towards Others?

Khozaima Motiwala

The author is the Chief Editor of
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