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Compassion and Why It Matters

As students of Stan’s, we are lucky enough to receive the PACT Institute Newsletter. This month, Stan has shared why compassion is such a critical practice in committed relationships. He also offers some incredible tips. We share it with you here:

Who among us doesn’t want to feel loved?  —STAN TATKIN

Compassion. Something the world can certainly use more of these days. How can we cultivate compassion?  

“At any given moment in your relationships, you probably function more as a giver or as a taker,” says Dr. Stan Tatkin. “But your security and happiness depend to a large extent on your capacity to focus more on what you can give others than on what they can give you.” 

Dr. Tatkin suggests we begin by simply paying attention to how we feel around others. Practice the following whenever you spend time around another person, whether your partner, family, friend, or coworker.  

1. Notice your comfort level. Are you relaxed or tense, energized or drained? Don’t try to change your feeling; just notice it.  

2. Now consciously shift into the role of giver. This can be subtle. You don’t have to say anything or give anything away; just view yourself as a giver. If you were already in that role, just confirm it to yourself.  

3. As you stay in the giver role, notice how you feel and act. Notice your energy level, the state of your heart. Notice how the other person relates to you.  

As you do this practice over time, see if you feel any different. Compassion is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. And the more it comes back to you in an increased sense of security, positive energy, closeness with others, and ability to love more fully.  

Indeed, it is better to give than to receive. 

As ever, we are so grateful to Stan for sharing such a straightforward method for practicing this vital skill. We hope you find it as helpful as we do.


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