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Inspiration Decks Emotions 2024-03-14 00:00

Emotion: Compassion

Emotion Compassion

When you want to write the emotion compassion, it's important to "show" the emotion your character is experiencing through their physical reactions and dialogue, rather than "tell" it. In this article we provide you with inspiration so you can avoid showing emotions and immerse your readers in your story.

Compassion is an emotion that involves recognizing the suffering of others and feeling a desire to alleviate that suffering. It is often described as a feeling of empathy, kindness, and concern for others who are experiencing pain, difficulty, or misfortune. Compassion involves a sense of connection and a desire to help others, whether through acts of kindness, emotional support, or other forms of assistance. It is a powerful emotion that can inspire us to be more caring, generous, and helpful towards others.

  1. Different Types of Compassion
  2. Situations Associated with Compassion
  3. Physical Reactions to Compassion
  4. Thoughts Associated with Compassion
  5. Atmosphere of Compassion
  6. Verbs Associated with Compassion
  7. Emotions Before Compassion
  8. Emotions After Compassion
  9. Telling Compassion Examples to Avoid
  10. Practical Examples of Showing Compassion
  11. Exercises for Showing Compassion

Different Types of Compassion

Here are some different types of compassion:

  • Self-compassion: Showing kindness, understanding, and forgiveness towards oneself.
  • Empathetic compassion: Feeling and understanding the pain or struggles of others and wanting to alleviate their suffering.
  • Altruistic compassion: Putting the needs and well-being of others before oneself without expecting anything in return.
  • Universal compassion: Feeling compassion towards all beings, not just those we know or identify with.
  • Tough compassion: Holding oneself or others accountable for their actions while also showing care and concern.

Situations Associated with Compassion

Here are some situations where a character might experience the emotion of compassion:

  • Witnessing someone in need or distress
  • Hearing about someone's difficult situation or struggle
  • Seeing someone being mistreated or discriminated against
  • Learning about someone's past trauma or hardships
  • Experiencing a personal loss or setback that makes them more empathetic towards others
  • Being raised in an environment that values empathy and kindness
  • Having a natural inclination towards caring for others
  • Developing a close relationship with someone who is suffering

Physical Reactions to Compassion

Here are some physical reactions a character experiencing compassion might have:

  • Softening of the facial features, such as a gentle smile, relaxed jaw, and relaxed eyebrows
  • Eye contact that is warm, soft, and empathetic
  • Leaning forward slightly, indicating interest and concern
  • Nodding and making affirmative sounds, showing that you are listening and understanding
  • A gentle touch or pat on the arm or shoulder to offer support or comfort
  • Tears or quivering voice, indicating a deep emotional connection and empathy with the other person's pain or suffering
  • Willingness to help, offer advice, or provide resources to alleviate the person's suffering or hardship

Thoughts Associated with Compassion

Here are some thoughts a character experiencing compassion might have:

  • I can't just stand by and do nothing, I have to help.
  • I understand what you're going through, and I'm here for you.
  • I feel deeply for their pain, and I want to alleviate it.
  • I see the good in everyone, despite their flaws.
  • Their happiness and well-being is just as important as my own.
  • I want to make a positive impact in their life.
  • I'm willing to put myself in their shoes and see things from their perspective.
  • I can't turn a blind eye to injustice or suffering.
  • I feel a sense of connection and unity with others.

Atmosphere of Compassion

Here are some ways that you might reflect the emotion of compassion in the atmosphere of your scene:

  • Create a cozy and warm atmosphere, such as a fireplace or candlelit room, to convey a sense of comfort and safety.
  • Use natural settings like a park, garden, or beach to convey a sense of calm and tranquility.
  • Show characters engaging in acts of kindness, such as volunteering at a shelter or caring for a sick friend, to demonstrate compassion in action.
  • Use soft and soothing colors, like pastels or earth tones, to create a gentle and nurturing environment.
  • Show characters making eye contact and listening attentively to each other to convey empathy and understanding.
  • Use music with a slow tempo or calming melodies to set a peaceful and empathetic mood.
  • Show characters touching or hugging each other to convey a sense of physical comfort and connection.

Verbs Associated with Compassion

Here are some verbs commonly associated with the emotion of compassion:

  • Comforting
  • Consoling
  • Empathizing
  • Understanding
  • Nurturing
  • Supporting
  • Encouraging
  • Listening
  • Caring
  • Relating
  • Respecting
  • Forgiving
  • Accepting
  • Alleviating
  • Soothing
  • Sympathizing
  • Connecting
  • Helping
  • Serving
  • Giving

Emotions Before Compassion

Here are some emotions that may come before a character experiences compassion:

  • Empathy
  • Sympathy
  • Sadness
  • Empathy fatigue
  • Anger
  • Disappointment
  • Frustration
  • Confusion
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Tenderness

Emotions After Compassion

Here are some emotions that may come after a character experiences compassion:

  • Empathy
  • Sympathy
  • Kindness
  • Understanding
  • Tenderness
  • Forgiveness
  • Generosity
  • Gratitude
  • Humility

Telling Compassion Examples to Avoid

Here are some examples of telling the emotion compassion in a sentence. You should avoid things like this:

  • She felt compassion for the homeless man on the street.
  • He had a deep sense of compassion for his sister, who was going through a tough time.
  • The nurse had compassion for the terminally ill patient.
  • She couldn't help but feel compassion for the orphaned child.
  • His heart was filled with compassion when he saw the injured animal.
  • They showed compassion to the refugees by providing them with food and shelter.
  • The teacher had compassion for her struggling student.
  • He tried to hide his compassion for the enemy soldier, knowing it could be dangerous.
  • She had always been known for her compassion towards animals.

Practical Examples of Showing Compassion

Here are some examples of showing compassion in a sentence:

  • She held the old woman's hand tightly and listened to her stories.
  • He gave his last sandwich to the homeless man he met on the street.
  • She took care of her sick neighbor's pets while they were away.
  • He stayed up all night with his friend who was going through a tough time.

Exercises for Showing Compassion

Here are some writing exercises to practice showing compassion:

  • Write a scene where your character witnesses someone in need. How do they respond? Do they offer help immediately or hesitate? What does their inner dialogue reveal about their level of compassion?
  • Think about a time when you felt a strong sense of compassion towards someone. Write a personal essay or journal entry about that experience. Use those emotions and observations to inform your character's actions and thoughts.
  • Write a scene where your character is faced with a difficult decision that involves showing compassion. How do they weigh the pros and cons? What is at stake for them and the person they are showing compassion towards?
  • Create a character who is initially closed off and lacking in compassion. Write a character arc that shows them gradually becoming more empathetic and compassionate towards others. Think about what events or experiences might trigger this change.
  • Write a scene where your character is the recipient of someone else's compassion. How do they react? Do they feel grateful or resentful? What does this reveal about their own capacity for compassion?
  • Practice writing dialogue that demonstrates empathy and understanding between characters. Use phrases like "I understand how you feel" or "That must be really difficult for you" to show your character's compassion towards others.

Want more help with showing emotion instead of telling? You find more help in our full emotions thesaurus.

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