Background Compassion satisfaction and fear of compassion affect the mental health of professionals who work with people. In addition, each of these two variables can be important indicators of the quality of the services such professionals provide. Methods This study examines compassion as a source of satisfaction and fear among 293 professionals work with people, including 158 teachers, 57 police officers, 45 nurses and 44 imams. A personal information form, the Fear of Compassion Scale, and the Compassion Satisfaction Scale were used as data collection tools. Results Neither fear of compassion nor compassion satisfaction varied significantly according to the sampled professionals' genders, educational levels, monthly incomes or area of residence. However, both these measures did exhibit statistically significant variation by the respondents' professional roles, ages, numbers of children and marital statuses. A significant negative relationship between the participants' fear of compassion and their compassion satisfaction was also identified. Conclusion Courses related to kindness and social interaction should be provided in schools, to help the adults of the future.