What Can You Do When Loved Ones are Not Compassionate?


Whether you’re missing empathy about your needs or flaws, it’s painful to feel judged by significant others. While the inevitable action involves relationship repair, it’s important not to miss an opportunity for inner healing. Here’s the tip. First, check for any self judgment which has now been triggered. If so, consider this an invitation for inner work. Next, it’s imperative to let go of any, “I’m so bad” internal narratives to look for healthy responses to external and internal judgment. It’s also essential to find a friend or counselor to be with you while you work through the anger, grief, fear that naturally arise when feeling judged. Say out loud (even if not fully feeling), “I’m mad/sad/scared about….” Drop into your body and allow space for instinctive emotional responses to flow. This may not feel good. You may recall other, earlier times when you felt similarly. Breathe and let your body lead through brief emotion to resolution. Feel the heartfelt caring of the person with you to undo any aloneness. Place your hand on your own heart as you feel it soften and open. Finally, focus awareness in your tender heart. Imagine loving arms holding, soothing and reminding, “No matter what, you deserve compassion.” When and only when you have restored self-compassion you may be ready to see whether you now also feel more compassion for those judging you. If not, no blame. Repeat above steps as necessary. Once you are safe and secure in compassion for your precious self, empathy for others will flow naturally.

Penelope Young Andrade LCSW

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