How To Practice Selfless Compassion

articles self-care Jul 11, 2020

While there's the desire to show compassion to everyone we meet, a side of you also seems to feel otherwise for some people. You find it easier to dislike them because their existence irritates you. But what is it about them that you find irritating?

Learning how to be selfless is difficult. It is a challenge not because you don't want to do it, but because you've become too focused on yourself. 

When you begin to demand things to be like this and like that and don't get away with what you want, you feel you are not getting what you deserve. 

But have you ever thought of the fact that maybe the problem is not other people? Perhaps the problem is that you demand too much from others. 

When Are You Most Selfish?

Learning how to be less selfish all begins by recognizing the moments when you are most self-centered. These moments usually come in the form of thoughts before you decide to turn them into actions and reactions.

Here is a list of the selfish thoughts that fill your head:

When someone is irritating

You find them annoying or frustrating, mainly because they do not act the way you expect them to. You think that you are entitled to peace, and when they are noisy, they irritate you. Your sense of entitlement is making you narcissistic. 

When someone leaves a mess

You get irritated when people do not clean after themselves, not because you care about how others feel, but instead, you are focused on how the mess makes you feel. Because they did not act considerately, you feel like they have violated your right to a clean environment. 

When someone cuts you off in traffic

You think that they shouldn't have done that because they are getting in your way. And because they crossed your path, you feel entitled that they should always give way to you. 

When someone is asking for help

While you may want to offer help, you stop to think if they deserve your support. Instead of assessing their situation, you stop to ask yourself how helping them could impact you. 

There are various occasions and variations to such situations, but the idea remains the same. All of these are self-centered thoughts. You know you have them, whether you admit to it or not. 

These are the very thoughts that take you away from showing real compassion. When you learn to get out of the way, it becomes relatively easy to see how you can become a person who cares for others. 

How Do You Practice Selfless Compassion?

Why is compassion important? It matters because it is what makes you uniquely human. Your capacity to give more without expecting anything back makes you unique. When you have compassion for others, you can see beyond your needs. Instead, you will become focused on how you can be a person for them.

How do you teach yourself to be less selfish and more selfless? Here are some tips to help you live life with a bit more compassion:

Be more aware of yourself in given situations

Take note of how you look at the world and judge it based on your perspective. This is the first step to developing a more selfless attitude. For example, when you look at a friend's photo of the event you were in together, what's the first thing you look at? For sure, you were looking for yourself because you wanted to see how you looked. 

While this action may seem harmless, it definitely demonstrates how you have been programmed to always look after yourself. If you want to truly learn how to be selfless, you have to be aware of how you react in different situations. Your awareness will fuel your desire to think of others first. 

Practice empathy at all times

Empathy is your ability to understand how others feel and share what they feel. It is the key to developing selfless compassion. It is relatively easy to judge others without learning what they have to go through. Instead of looking into their situation, you quickly judge why they are where they are. 

Instead of jumping into conclusions, teach your mind to seek more information. Allow yourself to learn more about others' experiences before you make judgments. Try to learn more about the things that you don't understand. When you become more open to learning, you will see how you can empathize more and judge less.

Acknowledge even if you do not agree

It is easy for you to feel hurt, embarrassed, ashamed, or even angry when other people express their opinion that does not agree with yours. Your ego might easily see it as an attack, which often makes you defensive. 

However, you can do something about that by acknowledging that other people are entitled to their own opinion. And it doesn't necessarily mean that they are trying to go against you. Remember that their opinion is a reflection of their experience and exposure throughout their lifetime. 

Do yourself a favor and refuse to let other people's opinions define who you are. Instead, acknowledge their opinion, but you don't have to agree with it necessarily. 

Keep loving yourself.

Did you know that self-love is what will make it easy for you to practice compassion for others? When you love yourself completely, you will be able to regulate your ego. 

When you are overflowing with love, it becomes fairly easy to give it away so that others can feel love too. 

Being who you are is the best gift you can give the world. When you learn to give a little bit more of yourself, you will be able to fill the love that others need. Not only will you be doing them a favor, but you are giving to yourself as well. 

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