What is Compassion?

Let’s clarify what compassion is and isn’t:

  • Sympathy = no empathy + some understanding + with action

  • Empathy = emotional connection + some understanding + no action

  • Compassion = empathy + understanding + action

Being compassionate to your partner makes them feel you not only empathize with their situation, but also understand why they feel the way the do on an intellectual level. Compassion comes with action - your feelings and understanding compel you to ameliorate the situation. Taking action is what makes compassionate behavior that much more authentic.

Compassionate Language

To write a high quality, compassionate message, you’ll need to be well-versed in compassionate language. These are words and phrases that make the reader feel understood and cared about.

Here are a few examples of some non-compassionate phrases translated into compassionate ones:

Not Compassionate


“I get you want to support yourself financially”

“I was a controlling dick to you”

“I know these are just words, but I promise you I’ll change, I’ll prove it to you. I just need you to trust me.”

“I understand how you want to be able to feel empowered and support yourself”

“I finally see how much of myself I was seeking in others, in you. This gave you no space to be You.”

“I know these words won't change anything. I do hope very much that in time they will embrace you and love you the way I didn't know how to when you needed it.”

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