Applying Compassion to Difficult People
I recently wrote an article about compassion and how it can be used as a powerful tool, even a weapon, against difficult people. “Weapon” is my term, and it has nothing to do with beating someone up. On the contrary, it’s about applying compassion to dealing with difficult people in the hopes of starting a conversation that can lead to understanding and compromise.
The Angels have often talked about not engaging in a debate with angry, obnoxious people and tell us to stay clear of them or refuse to enter the fray. When we return anger with more anger, it only breeds still more anger. They’ve also counseled us to try to find compassion for difficult people, because behind all the bluster is fear.
Also, we’ve spoken about listening being equally if not more important than speaking. The best way to get people to listen to you is to listen to them thoughtfully and respectfully. I was cruising YouTube a couple days ago and came across a new listing by Regina Meredith. If you don’t know Regina, she’s hosts the GAIA program, Open Minds, and does a great job bringing in guests who have various psychic gifts and knowledge, among other things. In fact, it was her program that got me interested in The Shift and channeling.
Anyway, Regina posted a thirty minute or so session regarding what to expect in 2024, along with bringing together this idea of compassion and listening when dealing with difficult people. I strongly recommend it, as she does a brilliant job of putting this into perspective in a genuine, compassionate way, inviting us to ask thoughtful questions.
After watching her post, I was moved to channel the Archangels regarding what she said, and their response follows.
Question: I’d like to expand on what Regina Meredith said about the gift of listening to someone and tie it into compassion as we wrote about recently.
You have used Regina’s idea before when dealing with difficult people who have strong views opposite of what you believe, and you have seen how effective it can be. Rather than leading into an argument, your use of questions has led to calmer reactions and a more fruitful discussion, so you know firsthand how well this idea works.
Angry people are scared people, and they are on the defensive. You can disagree with their views, yet still offer comfort by listening to what they have to say. You know yourself how important it is to have a voice, coming from a background where you had none. It is important for everyone to be heard. People in general care less about whether or not you agree with them than if you truly listen to their point of view. They usually do not mind if you ask questions, because it shows that you are not only hearing, but listening. Conversing, rather than accusing, opens the mind to new information and possibilities. After this kind of exchange, the chances of reaching a point where both sides can amicably agree to disagree is much more likely.
Consider the difference between having a discussion and having an argument. The first broadens your perspective, while the second narrows it. Arguing is not listening. Instead of listening and considering each other’s point of view, the focus is on winning rather than sharing. It becomes a competition, rather than a collaboration, and that does not lead to growth or understanding.
Everyone must believe they are being heard before they can begin to listen to others. Until they believe this, they will continue to push forward their viewpoint, whereas if they know they are being heard, they are more likely to talk and listen, if for no other reason than justifying their opinions by countering the other side’s. When you listen to someone, you show honor and respect whether you end up agreeing with them or not, and it will be more likely to be appreciated and returned.
Instead of focusing on what you do not agree with, instead look for common ground and/or understanding. Let them know when they have enlightened you about something you were not aware of, and thank them for telling you. This shows that you want to gather as much information as possible on a topic and that you have learned something from them.
Understanding or at least trying to understand is not the same as agreeing. You can disagree but still understand why someone believes the way they do. When you do this, you show compassion and empathy. If nothing else is gained, you will have shown that you are not an enemy, and you recognize that the other person is just as important as you are, and their needs matter, also. You may not agree on the same cause or cure, but you can agree that you care about each other. Once that is recognized by both sides, compromise becomes possible.
This is how sustainable change is sought and found reliably. Solutions cannot surface without open, hopeful, respectful communications, and if people do not feel heard, they will close their minds to compromise, because they will not feel invested in the outcome. In order for someone to accept change willingly, with an open mind, they must feel as though they were part of the decision making and their views were taken into consideration before those decisions were made. They do not necessarily have to see their ideas included, but they do need to know they were heard before the changes were implemented.
Refrain from telling someone they are wrong. Instead, ask them how their conclusion addresses other aspects, or explain why the idea they offer is not attainable, such as there are no materials or monies available for funding. Do not respond, “That won’t work, because …”. Instead, ask them where they suggest finding funding or explain that what they describe is at issue with something else and ask them for an idea of how to overcome that obstacle.
If someone is determined to argue, walk away. First, however, if you feel so moved, consider listening to what they have to say and asking for clarification before countering their argument with insight or respectful acknowledgment and dialog. You cannot expect a person to accept everything you say without showing a willingness to consider what they believe. You will never change their minds that way. You have a much better chance to find common ground if you are willing to listen at least as much as you wish to speak.
I have friends who are as politically opposite from me as they could possibly be, but I know them to be kind, giving people who have helped others due to their compassion and desire to help others. When we get together, I honestly would prefer not to talk politics at all, but they invariably come up, not because they try to change my mind on things. They know they won’t do that. However, they also know they can share their differing views without me getting angry or treating them disrespectfully. They know I’ll listen, and they return the favor.
After one such discussion, which happened to be about the overturning of Roe v. Wade, we ended by agreeing that a huge part of the problem included extremism and the people who focused on extreme views and actions. They agreed that there should be exceptions regarding access to abortions and that women should not be forced to do things they didn’t want to do. I agreed that late term abortions, without medical reasons, should not be on the table. They agreed that that sort of case was not common and therefore should not be at the forefront on the pro-life side, while I agreed that people shouldn’t be forced to get the COVID shot, because they should also have a choice what goes on with their body.
Another discussion we had regarding gun regulation ended with them agreeing to extra precautions, what I refer to as common sense actions, and I agreed the government had no right to confiscate everyone’s weapons without cause. Again, we agreed that the extremists, in this case those who spread the idea that the government was coming for your hunting rifles, as well as those who said no one should be able to own any guns for any purpose, were a big part of the problem, firing up everyone involved on both sides with things that were not likely to even happen. That discussion ended with the shared view that people need to listen and learn before they tried to talk, and that we all have a responsibility to be well-informed and check statements for accuracy before spreading them.
We’re all going to have to come together on things. Understanding all facets of any problem is crucial to finding a solution that is sustainable. If we learn to do a better job of listening to each other, at the very least, we can begin to understand each other better. The desire to understand others is a huge head start to finding answers. We all have a right to be heard. We might not like what other people say sometimes, but we should show them the respect of listening, as long as they present themselves respectfully to us. Regina’s idea to ask questions is part of it. If we can’t understand each other, we should ask for more information to try to make sense of what is said, and we should be prepared to answer questions about what we say. That means we have to find out if the information we receive is accurate, before we pass it along or allow it to influence us.
Let’s all exercise a little patience with ourselves and each other. Listening, asking and answering questions in a respectful way and trying to understand where we’re coming from is indeed an act of a compassion and a gift we can give to each other. There are going to be a lot of changes in the coming years, because the way things are currently being done is not working. In order to find viable solutions to our problems, we’re going to have to come together to promote change and to do it in a way that is sustainable and helpful for everyone. We can start that process now, today, by opening up our minds and our ears to what others have to say, before we open our mouths.