Confident Compassion
Confident Compassion

Confident Compassion

Confident Compassion

Author: Faraz Malik

Author: Faraz Malik

Date: October 4, 2023

Date: October 4, 2023

In our culture, the fear of offending someone has impacted the way we communicate with others effectively. This shows in our language, the words we choose, the inflections in our speech, and our body language.

While it is important to be aware of multicultural issues and socioeconomic statuses of others, confidence in delivering empathy, even at the risk of it being incorrect, is far more beneficial than cautiously sprinkling empathy.

To your surprise, rarely will we cause damage to an individual if our attempt in reflecting compassion is incorrect. In these cases, the other person will clarify if needed. This is common and a healthier approach in communicating effectively. However, the fear of offending someone can make a simple conversation quite heavy.

It is better to have a positive assumption of others. True Unconditional Positive Regard (Ḥusn al-ẓann) is to believe that the other person will view your comments in the best of light. They will give you the benefit of the doubt when comments are foggy. They will respond to you with compassion because they know you come from a good place. It takes two people with positive assumptions to have a healthy and beneficial conversation. Negative assumptions in a conversation is cancerous.

In other words, we are afraid to be confident in our compassion because we project our negative assumptions onto the other person in viewing us or our comments in a negative light.

Here are some tips on how to avoid this:

Paraphrase and Summarize instead of giving advice.

A bad example is: “Do you think scheduling things out might work for you?”

Use Open Questions instead of Closed Questions.

A common way we use closed questions is by inflecting our voice at the end of statements which subtly leads the person towards an answer.

😍 Do not say: “How did that make you feel?” or “Do you mean”.

Use statements and let the other person clarify.

Don’t focus on the situation or other people.

Focus on the person you are talking to. Over focusing on others makes the other person feel like they have lost control.

Don’t use the word feel

👍 Don’t prematurely agree or disagree with what the other person is saying.

In our culture, the fear of offending someone has impacted the way we communicate with others effectively. This shows in our language, the words we choose, the inflections in our speech, and our body language.

While it is important to be aware of multicultural issues and socioeconomic statuses of others, confidence in delivering empathy, even at the risk of it being incorrect, is far more beneficial than cautiously sprinkling empathy.

To your surprise, rarely will we cause damage to an individual if our attempt in reflecting compassion is incorrect. In these cases, the other person will clarify if needed. This is common and a healthier approach in communicating effectively. However, the fear of offending someone can make a simple conversation quite heavy.

It is better to have a positive assumption of others. True Unconditional Positive Regard (Ḥusn al-ẓann) is to believe that the other person will view your comments in the best of light. They will give you the benefit of the doubt when comments are foggy. They will respond to you with compassion because they know you come from a good place. It takes two people with positive assumptions to have a healthy and beneficial conversation. Negative assumptions in a conversation is cancerous.

In other words, we are afraid to be confident in our compassion because we project our negative assumptions onto the other person in viewing us or our comments in a negative light.

Here are some tips on how to avoid this:

Paraphrase and Summarize instead of giving advice.

A bad example is: “Do you think scheduling things out might work for you?”

Use Open Questions instead of Closed Questions.

A common way we use closed questions is by inflecting our voice at the end of statements which subtly leads the person towards an answer.

😍 Do not say: “How did that make you feel?” or “Do you mean”.

Use statements and let the other person clarify.

Don’t focus on the situation or other people.

Focus on the person you are talking to. Over focusing on others makes the other person feel like they have lost control.

Don’t use the word feel

👍 Don’t prematurely agree or disagree with what the other person is saying.

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