Entity explains why you should show compassion for someone you don't like.

Maybe it’s your Twitter-obsessed co-worker who snaps at people whenever he needs their attention.  Or perhaps it’s that woman you knew from high school who constantly tells you how she can fit into a child’s extra large and says mildly homophobic things about the characters on “How to Get Away with Murder.”

Either way, they are the worst – the absolute worst.  While you want to spend as little time as possible with these men or women, there comes a time when you need to kill’em with kindness and be the bigger person by showing compassion for the people you dislike.

Not sure where to start? Here are ENTITY’s top three tips!

<em> Created by Gabrielle Waxtein for Entity.</em>

Created by Gabrielle Waxtein for Entity.


While you may not like a man or woman, someone obviously does. You have to try and look for the best in someone. Being compassionate means seeking out and seeing the positive traits in every individual. As Psychology Today explains, “ Learning to have more compassion involves making the radical shift to assume the best in others.” So while that guy who snaps at people may rub you the wrong way, you shouldn’t assume that everything that comes out of his mouth will be terrible. With this perspective, you’ll be more likely to show compassion.


According to a study done by David DeSteno and Psychologist Paul Condon featured in The New York Times,  “Compassion is easiest to feel when you have a sense of commonality with someone else.” So to feel compassion towards that person that you don’t like, you have to try to find some common ground – even with America’s high level of diversity.  It can be as complex as your religious beliefs or as simple as both of you liking chicken tenders. Your favorite cuisine is still a trait you can have in common, after all! With each commonality, you will be able to see them as human rather than just an annoyance.


Just because you don’t like a person doesn’t mean that you are justified in treating them badly. Being mean will just increase the rift between you two. At the same time, it also doesn’t mean that you should plaster on a smile every time you see them. Basically, just give each disliked character the same kindness every man or woman deserves. The California College of San Diego blog cites kindness as one of their ten ways to show compassion; kindness, however, is also a great way to trigger personal growth. When you treat others better, even when you don’t like them, you’re treating yourself better too.


Edited by Casey Cromwell
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