10 Ways to Show Compassion

Sometimes we want to show compassion, but we just don't know how. There are plenty of ways you can be more compassionate. After all, we're told over and over about compassion in the Bible in that we are meant to care for one another. Here are some ways you can do just that.

Be a Listener

Caucasian woman consoling to an African American woman in university
Getty Images/Eric Audras

One of the best ways to show our compassion is to listen. There is a difference between hearing and listening. Listening means we take an interest in what the person is saying. We offer feedback throughout the conversation. We take to heart what ​the person is telling us. Sometimes the best way to be compassionate is to shut up for a few minutes and let another person talk.

Be Empathetic

There is a difference between being sympathetic and empathetic. Being empathetic means that we put ourselves in the other person's shoes. It doesn't mean you have to have been in jail or poor to understand the plight of those experiencing it. It doesn't mean you have to be disabled to understand the disabled because if you're not disabled you just cannot understand it fully. But instead, you can try to understand the other person's feelings.

Being empathetic starts with listening and ends with seeing the world through the other person's eyes. Sympathy is just feeling sorry for someone without the effort to understand. We can show the most compassion by being empathetic.

Be an Advocate

The Bible calls us to be an advocate for the downtrodden. There are plenty of persecuted and oppressed people in the world and plenty of organizations designed to be the voice of the voiceless. Try getting involved.

Be a Volunteer

Being an advocate is often tied to being a volunteer. Sometimes volunteering is as simple as going to a retirement home and offering your time or being a tutor for underprivileged kids. Your time is a valuable asset that demonstrates great compassion. Joining an outreach effort is a great way to volunteer.

Be Private

When someone confides their troubles to you, being private is important. No one is encouraged by their struggles made public. Being compassionate can also mean keeping a good secret. The caveat here is when someone's struggle could seriously hurt them. Then it might be time to get help from a trustworthy adult, which can be just as compassionate.

Be a Giver

When we're teenagers, the greatest asset we have is our time. We can give it more freely. Yet when we give, we show compassion. It can mean taking your old things and giving them away to those in need. It can mean giving your time to volunteer organizations. Giving is a great way to show compassion.

Be Aware

Be aware of what's going on around you. When you open your eyes to your world, you can often see more clearly where compassion is needed. Suddenly we become more aware of things we chose not to notice before, so that homeless guy on the corner isn't just blending into the wall of the building. The news isn't just blaring in the background.

Be Kind

Kindness is a great way to show compassion. Some people just need that extra word of kindness to get through the day. They may just need you to pick up the thing they dropped on the floor or to tell them that their work is appreciated. Never underestimate a kind word.

Be Creative

Sure, there are tried and true ways to be compassionate, but never dismiss a creative idea that pops into your head. Sometimes that's just God's way of showing you a path to someone in need. Sometimes we have to get creative because the person deserving of compassion needs something out of the ordinary. Don't think all compassion comes in packaged forms. Sometimes compassion can be shown in unordinary fashions.

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Mahoney, Kelli. "10 Ways to Show Compassion." ThoughtCo, Sep. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/ways-to-show-compassion-712495. Mahoney, Kelli. (2017, September 3). 10 Ways to Show Compassion. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/ways-to-show-compassion-712495 Mahoney, Kelli. "10 Ways to Show Compassion." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/ways-to-show-compassion-712495 (accessed May 27, 2018).