Compassion is Hard When We Have Nothing Left to Give

Compassion is powerful. We all think we have it. And then we see something that makes us uncomfortable and we forget how to show it.


😖 I’ve been paralyzed by this too. I had to work on how to feel, then demonstrate compassion when I had little of it for myself during a difficult divorce.


😔 Lack of compassion shows up when someone close to you is grieving and you don’t know what to say or do so you avoid, when someone is suffering and you start wondering if their situation might happen to you, when you start comparing their situation to yours, when you’re frustrated that you can’t fix their situation, and when you’re so spent you don’t have anything left to give.


😒 In all of these instances we make someone else’s suffering about us. Yes. We’re in our own heads and not their pain.


😳 At work and in life this can look like detachment, cold, unfeeling, self-consumed, and ambition driven.


✅ Compassion is an action. It is where you demonstrate your consideration and that you care despite your discomfort inside.


🕊️Demonstrating your compassion is freeing.


🤗 Real compassion requires self-management of the discomfort. It leaves space for silence. It knows that being there is enough without having to fix anything. It reaches out with specificity, not a simple, “Call if you need anything.” It puts ego aside to hear. It melts fear. It takes courage. It bends. It follows up. It’s ok with not being perfect. It’s interested.


✅ “I can’t fix this but I’m a good listener. I’ll pick you up for coffee tomorrow at 8:30.”


Wishing you openness and courage today. Someone needs you.


The Latest Still Space Podcast #57 Anatomy of When and How to Let Go Most of what brings dissonance to people’s lives is feeling powerless. When we are stuck on a feeling and can’t let go of it we are especially powerless. Pretending you are strong is not being strong. In this episode we learn how to let go of the things whose time has passed and make room to show up authentically with executive presence closer relationships and healthier routines we stick to.

Listen wherever you listen to podcasts or here: Mary Lee’s website     Apple      Spotify

If you are truly ready to move forward in your career and life, apply to work with Mary Lee and set up a consultation call to answer your questions so that you can get started. Go to

If you are feeling age discrimination when your company should be putting your expertise to good use, this link to the strategies I share with my clients might help >>> 10 Tips When You Fear Age Bias

Your coach,

Mary Lee 

P.S. Feel free to send this link to someone who could benefit from it. We are all walking down the same road in life looking for a hand to hold. Sometimes we must be the hand that reaches out.

Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an executive coach and 19-year corporate CEO who helps leaders have more effective careers, happier lives and better relationships. Apply to work with Mary Lee.

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