WHEN COMPASSION ISN'T KIND
Compassion and empathy can be a drain when the energetic balance swings to over-care, and becomes more about ourselves than the other person.
Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche calls it "idiot compassion."
In the book, Radical Candor, author Kim Scott calls it "ruinous empathy."
It's also called "spiritual materialism."
Ouch, harsh word choices.
We're talking about the tendency to give people what they want (or what we think they want) because we can't bear to see them suffer. Or not telling them what they really need to hear, because we don't want to hurt their feelings.
We don’t want to feel uncomfortable, we don’t want to look or feel bad and we are manipulating the situation to look good or avoid looking bad.
And that’s not compassion. It’s not about the person we're telling ourselves we're “helping.” It’s about us. You. And. Me. And that’s selfish. It also is a big energy drain.
Do a quick scan in all of your relationships. Is there any situation you've gone into over-care? Anywhere you're feeling like a martyr or a savior? Or have the tendency?
No harsh judgment needed. Just check yourself and pull yourself back out of the energetic imbalance.
And remember, the next time you have to have a tough talk with someone (giving feedback, firing or letting someone go, having to let someone down, etc.) you can share the "hard truth" in an empowering, compassionate way.
Compassion is kind, and it strengthens and energizes.