Why be kind? How you treat others is something you have complete control over. You have the power in every interaction you have with another person to affect their day and possibly their life.
It feels really good when someone is kind to you doesn’t it? It lights you up, puts a spring to your step and a smile on your face. It completely brightens your day and takes you out of dwelling on your own crap.
It doesn’t feel so good when someone is a total ass to you though does it? It will bring you down in a nanosecond. How dare they? Who do they think they are? If you were already depressed or cranky, being treated unkindly only makes you feel worse.
Ways To Be Kind
Look for opportunities each day to show kindness. Once you set your focus on finding opportunities to be kind, those opportunities will come. They were always there you just didn’t see them.
Do you know what your face is doing most of the day? Most of us of course, do not. Relax your face into what feels like your average everyday expression. Then look at that expression in the mirror. What do you think? What impression of you do you get from looking at yourself? Happy? Sad? A little bit of a resting bitch face? Do you look approachable or standoffish?
You can actually pick an expression and train yourself to make it your natural everyday expression. Decide what impression you want to make and find a face that emits that feeling.
The face I picked had a slight smile which brightened my expression. A slight smile also seemed to take a few years off my looks. I’m serious. Try it out for yourself. Instant facelift.
I then experimented with my new expression. Some things I noticed:
- People were no longer constantly asking me what was wrong.
- It changed how I felt. It lifted my mood.
- I smiled A LOT more. Maybe this had something to do with having a slight smile already. Or maybe just being in a better mood made it easier to smile more often.
- People smiled at me more often.
- I became kinder. I started to look for opportunities to lift people’s spirits. A smile and a kind or uplifting word goes a long way.
Try smiling more and see what happens. Start your own experiment.
Being a good listener doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Become a good listener and it won’t take long for people to notice. Listen without judgement, opinion, correction, and be interested.
Take your time listening. Don’t rush the person speaking. Stop what you’re doing while someone is talking. Make them the center of your focus.
Don’t think about things you want to say. The whole time you’re thinking about what to say, or trying to remember something that came to mind while the other person was talking, you’re not listening.
Try to remember that listening is more important than talking. Draw the other person out by asking questions on the topic they are speaking about. Make them feel important, noticed and heard.
Ask them how they are, what they’ve been up to etc. When someone would ask me that in passing, I would reply, ” great” or “good” and move along. I realized how self centered I was acting and decided to make a change.
Instead of ending the conversation after my reply and continuing on my way, I would stop and settle in for a minute. I would then ask them the same question back. “How are you doing?” or “how have you been?” And then give them the opportunity to answer.
Can I help? How can I help? What can I do? Offer to help when you see or hear of someone in need. Most people will turn down the help but will appreciate the kind offer. Sometimes people just appreciate that you care enough to ask.
Open doors for people. Stop your car at crosswalks so people can cross the street. If you see someone struggling, offer your help.
If someone takes you up on your offer for help, do it. Show up. When you commit yourself to help someone out, treat it like it’s the most important thing. We tend to treat helping someone out as though it can easily be put off or rescheduled because it’s not really important.
It’s very important to the person you offered help. Honor your commitments. Make them a priority. This will reassure the person you offered help to and also make them feel as though they matter.
Check yourself. How much giving vs taking do you do? You don’t have to be a volunteer to give. Give at home. Give a set amount of time and energy to your family and friends.
Make it a priority by scheduling it into your day if you have to. Whatever it takes to make sure it’s accomplished. We don’t even realize how much we take from others without giving back.
Do an evaluation of your life. Figure out in what ways are you giving? Time, energy, love, kindness, etc… What ways are you taking, or being given without reciprocation?
Reasons To Be Kind
Kindness Is Contagious
Kindness is contagious. When you’re kind to others, they immediately feel the benefits of it and realize they can help others feel that way also. Kindness is a natural result of kindness.
Creates A Change In You
Being kind releases endorphins. It creates what has been called “emotional warmth.” Emotional warmth then releases a hormone known as ooxytocin, the “feel good hormone”.
This helps with many emotional disorders including depression and anxiety. If you’re feeling depressed, try being kind and see how it makes you feel. See if you notice the change in how you feel.
Creates A Change In Those You’re Kind To
When you show kindness to someone it changes how they feel. We have no idea what people are going through that we run into each and every day. We don’t even realize what a huge impact we can have on them.
Your kindness can change things. It can change a person’s day or possibly even their life. I know people who have decided against suicide simply because someone showed them kindness. Someone made them feel like they mattered.
Kindness Can Create and Improve Relationships
Being kind to someone opens the door to creating new relationships. The next person you show kindness to could end up becoming your best friend. It can create an environment that gets the conversation started.
Your present relationships can always be improved with kindness. The people we’re closest to are the ones we forget to be kind to the most. Every relationship will improve in your life when you make an effort to show them you care.
Being Kind Becomes Part Of Your Identity
What are you known for? What do you want to be known for? How you show up for and to others will answer both of these questions. Take a little time to think about these answers.
Whatever you want to be known for, do more. The more you show kindness to those you come into contact with, the more you will be known for being kind.
How can you be kind? What is one thing you can do today to show kindness to someone?
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