How to know you’re a compassionate person: 10 obvious signs

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Do you tend to put the welfare of others ahead of yourself? Do you genuinely care about their feelings and sufferings?

Well if you answered affirmatively, then I have news for you: you’re a compassionate person! In a world often dominated by greed and cruelty, being compassionate and having the empathy and kindness that comes with it are absolute assets in life. You’re in a pretty rare club–one that makes a difference in the lives of others.

But to truly identify compassion, you should know the obvious signs… and so here are 10. Let’s jump in!

1. You’re empathetic

Here’s an obvious one: having the capability to feel empathy. In essence, empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s situation and understand their emotions and feelings. Do you try to understand people and put yourself in their shoes before reacting? 

A genuinely compassionate person is able to both understand the emotions of others and also feel their pain or joy. They aren’t politicians faking empathy for votes, they really and truly care with no ulterior motive other than to help others.

They are the furthest thing from judgmental and are willing to offer a listening ear to those who need it.

This brings me to my next point…

2. You’re a great listener

Being generous and compassionate extends to something as simple as being a good listener. Do you notice that some people just talk about themselves and rarely ask questions or show interest in the other party?

They hog the conversation and so ultimately that makes them poor listeners. Try to actively avoid this behavior! 

Never overlook the skill of being a good and active listener. A compassionate person is also a good listener.  They listen thoughtfully to what others say, with minimal interruption or judgement. And the great part is that listening is a skill that can always be developed with a bit of mindfulness and practice.

Good listeners leave an enduring impression on others since they’re making an effort to understand and value their perspectives, displaying curiosity and thoughtfulness along the way. Active listening is a clear sign of empathy and compassion towards others, since you’re making them feel heard. And that goes a long way.

3. You embody kindness

Have you come across a truly kind person? They somehow have a glow around them, one that’s infectious.

We tend to admire kind people because let’s face it, they’re not all that common. There are nice and polite people everywhere. But truly kind people? Pretty rare.

Kindness means being considerate towards others, treating everyone with respect and dignity and not discriminating based on things like class, money or race.. you get the gist.

A compassionate person will go out of their way to help others, regardless if that person is a stranger or a friend. This is why they leave such a lasting and positive impression on others–they are generous with both their resources and time. 

And speaking of being generous…

4. You’re generous

Generosity is also closely tied to compassion.

A compassionate person is not only kind but also generous. They are happy to share their time, money, or resources to help those that need it. They sacrifice to make others feel good.

Take a celebrity like Keanu Reeves. The man seems to be such a kind and generous soul. Generous firstly with the time he takes out to spend with fans, gladly posing for photos or signing autographs.

He’s also generous with his money, secretly donating large sums of money to children’s hospitals and other charities. While many celebrities have let fame get to their head and become egotistical, Keanu has stayed humble and generous. He’s a prime example of a compassionate person. 

To be compassionate, remember not to expect anything in return, do things solely because you want to make a positive impact in someone’s life.

5. You’re able to forgive

Let’s be honest, forgiving others that may have wronged us is not the easiest thing in the world to do.

But compassionate people understand that there is no such thing as a perfect person, that it’s human nature to make mistakes. So they are able to forgive others and don’t hold grudges for very long. Compassionate people understand that forgiveness is an important part of moving forward in life.

Everyone processes in their own time, but a compassionate person will eventually forgive others and themselves, an essential aspect of maintaining healthy relationships.

And don’t forget, forgiveness is a sign of humility too…

6. You have humility

Here’s the thing: a compassionate person is naturally humble and does not chase attention or recognition for acts of kindness. As we established above, Keanu is an ideal example of this.

They act because they really care about others and nothing else–not to be seen as a hero or for likes on Instagram or TikTok.

I live in a natural disaster prone area. Without fail, every couple of years there is a major typhoon that ends up with hundreds killed and thousands become displaced, their homes and livelihoods reduced to rubble.

I have a close friend that makes anonymous donations whenever such a catastrophe occurs in the form of funding, food and even volunteer work.

He’s not a politician and doesn’t post on social media. He acts because he wants to–knowing that in his own small way, it’ll help the situation of those less fortunate. That’s humility!

7. You’re a patient person

We live in a world where everyone needs immediate gratification. A quick buck, a quick dopamine hit, a quick fix for everything.

The compassionate person, however, values patience. They don’t panic when things don’t go as planned; instead they become patient and understanding. They manifest good energy and positive thoughts, and guess what? Things tend to go their way in the long run.

Whether it’s when dealing with other people or their own challenges, they’re willing to work through it because they have patience. They realize that there is rarely an instant fix for things of value. Patience indicates compassion and class.

Being patient is crucial for building healthy relationships and showing empathy towards others.

Now onto respect…

8. You have respect for all life

Let’s get it straight: being compassionate extends to all life and shouldn’t just be limited to other humans.

A legitimately compassionate person offers respect and compassion towards animals and the environment too. They understand that we are all connected, and our actions have an impact on the world around us.

A compassionate person is mindful of their actions and tries to minimize harm to others.

Now this doesn’t mean you have to adopt a plant-based diet, but by being aware of the man-made suffering that’s inflicted on animals and the environment on a daily basis, you can move forward accordingly and with compassion and respect.

Remember “no act of kindness, no matter how small, is wasted.”

9. You always show a willingness to help

One of the fundamental traits of a compassionate person is a willingness to help in situations when help is needed.

A compassionate person is ready and willing to help others in need–whether they’re a friend, family member, or even a stranger doesn’t really matter. And helping comes in countless forms.

I remember five or six years ago, I was on a busy highway late at night when my decade old Honda Civic broke down.

I’m no car guy so I was pretty clueless about what to do; the thing just wouldn’t run. Fortunately, a good samaritan cab driver showed up to offer a helping hand. He gladly towed my car with his taxi using a cable in his trunk.

We made it to the nearest mechanic, a few miles away. When he could’ve been finding passengers, he sacrificed his time and energy to help me.

What’s more astonishing was this driver refused a tip. He wasn’t live streaming the process on social media either. He was helping me because was a true compassionate and kind person.

Compassionate people rarely hesitate to lend a helping hand or offer support when someone needs it. They are often selfless. And speaking of which…

10. You’re generally selfless

Compassionate people are not typically motivated by personal gain. Instead they manifest an aura of selflessness in their everyday lives.

Selflessness is practically synonymous with compassion. A compassionate person prioritizes the needs of others over their own desires or needs, just like the taxi driver in my previous point.

They are willing to make sacrifices for the benefit of others and do not seek personal gain or recognition for their acts. They seek to make the world a better place in any way they can, big or small!

In conclusion, being a compassionate person in a selfish world is like a breath of fresh air. Compassion and kindness makes the world a better place for everyone, yourself included. If more people practiced it, the sky’s the limit for humanity! So now that we’ve established you as a compassionate person, it’s time to get out there and influence others. 

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

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Daniel Mabanta

Daniel Mabanta is a freelance writer and editor, entrepreneur and an avid traveler, adventurer and eater. He lives a nomadic life, constantly on the move. He is currently in Manila, Philippines and deciding where his next destination will be.

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