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  • Writer's pictureLeona Black

Compassion Fatigue - just say no

Compassion fatigue can occur when working in caring professions and working in support of others, particularly when caring for those who experience suffering, or to those who have a strong sense of compassion or desire to help. 🤝

My aim is to help people who are helping others.

One piece of advice I have read about in terms of how to combat compassion fatigue is “learn how to say no to things”. However I don’t think it is as simple as that.

Saying no is not that simple …

We say yes to things for all sorts of individual reasons – perhaps you don’t like conflict, perhaps you don’t like letting people down, perhaps you don’t feel strong enough to say no, perhaps you are worried about their reaction or perhaps you don’t know your boundaries around your time yet.

For me, a useful coaching question is “by saying yes, what are you saying no to?” or conversely, “if you say no, what are you saying yes to?”

Again, this will be different for us all and some things will be more important than others. You may be saying no / yes to your self-care, your own commitments, your sleep, your health, to conflict, enabling someone else to do it, to letting people down … the list could go on. But it may help to bring about some awareness to yourself by asking that question. Once you have some awareness, you have more choices in terms of actions.

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