Compassion Without Friendship
How do you cultivate compassion for people you don’t like? As children we are taught to get along with everyone, immediately forgive transgressions, and to fix a friendship after falling out. While unconditional forgiveness and grace can definitely be the goal, it is not a very realistic way of living as an adult. Here’s the secret- you don’t have to like everyone to be a compassionate human being.
Dislike is Caused by a Variety of Factors
There is an entire spectrum of reasons why it is possible to not like somebody. They could have wronged you in some way, or they simply operate at a different energy vibration than you. The first step in gaining compassion towards that individual is remembering that not everyone has taken the same path in life. Struggles or events in their life may have shaped who they are as a survival response. Nobody is without flaw. Personal flaws often come from ignorance or trauma and pain that has grown into anger and resentment or bitterness. Even toxic traits such as lying, or narcissism are born out of a need for self-preservation.
When people are brought up in an unhealthy environment it is extremely hard to break the cycle of generational trauma. More often than not, patterns are repeated and can hurt a person’s ability to form relationships in any capacity. Recognizing that someone has more spiritual work to do (and may be lacking the mental or emotional strength to do so) is a great way to have compassion for that person- even if you don’t like them. Just because they have some introspection to catch up on, doesn’t mean you have to wait do some introspection of your own.
Separating the Person from the Irritant
You may know why you don’t like someone and even the ‘why’ they are like that, but what about why it bothers you so much? In many cases when someone is irking us, they are holding a power over us. It can be helpful to figure out what is going on internally that allows you to be so bothered. Perhaps they are even mirroring an unlikeable trait that you also possess. This can reveal things that you need to work on along your own spiritual path. The reason you don’t like them can also be reminiscent of a trait of someone in your past. You may unknowingly (and unfairly) be projecting your past strains with a completely different person on to someone else.
Work on separating the person from the trait. Nobody is born unlikeable. Once you start to perceive the person as just a person, rather than focusing on how they act, you will find it easier to show them compassion and empathy. You might think they don’t deserve it, but the greatest gift we can give is compassion to those who we think haven’t ‘earned’ it. The truth is compassion isn’t something to be earned- it is peace and understanding that we give ourselves as much as we give others.
Free Yourself from Negativity
Sometimes, in groups of people, it may seem that everyone likes the person you can’t stand. It’s maddening. Narcissists and deceivers work hard at projecting a false, likeable aura. If the person is gaining opportunities or promotions you feel are undeserved, envy may set in. You may feel trapped in this type of situation. If you reveal the deception, you risk being the perceived source of negativity, either as someone who is just jealous or the “bearer of bad news.” This is yet another way to refocus your efforts on your own spiritual path. Realizing that the only person’s opinions and feelings you have control over are your own is a freeing step of spiritual growth. Managing your emotions can be done through meditation and journaling.
Just at it is healthy to have compassion for others, it can be unhealthy to withhold that same compassion. Many of us have heard the quote, “holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Resentment is a seed of unhappiness that we should pass before it sprouts. It doesn’t serve you to spend your energy focused on someone you dislike.
Turning the Relationship from a Negative into a Positive
In an effort to turn a negative relationship positive, it can be helpful to find the silver lining. Think about the person apart from their negative traits. What is something you like about them? You might even find that they can inspire you in some way. Focus on this positive aspect of their presence. It can help immensely to compliment them as well. Giving a genuine compliment (without sarcasm) will affirm that they can be likeable and may even change the way that they interact with you.
Compassion is Key
Compassion for others begins and ends with compassion for yourself. Compassion and grace can be practiced with or without love and forgiveness. If you would like some guidance on this path of compassion for yourself and in your relationships with others, our psychics are here to help.
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