“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
When you have the opportunity to show kindness, show it. Mindful kindness is compassionate, especially when you really don’t want to be, your relationships deepen your. Just a small kindness act will transform the moment, the whole day, or your whole life. And of coarse what it can do for another can be limitless.
Kindness sometimes has a connotation of meaning someone is naive or weak, that is not the case. Being kind often requires courage and strength. Kindness is an interpersonal skill.
Kindness Is Caring In Action
There are different ways to practice kindness. Being mindful when someone needs a helping hand, a kind word, a smile, opening a door, or helping carry a heavy load are all be acts of kindness. Celebrating someone you love, giving honest compliments, sending an email thanking someone, telling someone how s/he is special to you, helping an elderly neighbor with yard work or sharing homemade food, refusing to gossip, and donating old clothing and things you don’t need are all ideas about how to practice kindness.
Open Your Heart To Kindness
Science has now shown that devoting resources to others, rather than having more and more for yourself, brings about lasting well-being. Kindness has been found by researcher to be the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage.
Kindness is a willingness to full-heartedly celebrate someone else’s successes. Kindness is to be openly happy for the other person.
Kindness is also about telling the truth in a gentle way when doing so is helpful to the other person. Receiving accurate feedback in a loving and caring way is an important part of a trusted relationship. The courage to give and receive truthful feedback is a key component of growth and flexible thinking.
Kindness Starts With Being Kind To Yourself
Ever notice how much better you treat others when you’ve taken care of yourself? In a pressure-filled environment it’s easy to work through lunch, work through dinner, and respond to emails at 11 pm. But the world often rights itself when we take a moment to breathe, assess what we need, and seek it.
Kindness includes being kind to yourself. Speak gently and kindly to yourself and take good care of yourself. Be kind to yourself when you misstep, which happens to everybody. Not taking care of ourselves may cause collateral damage, like making others the target of the anger or frustration or disappointment that we really feel about ourselves. Sleep, a relaxed meal, or exercise are all ways to be kind to ourselves.
Lead With Compassion, Follow With Kindness
Everyone has challenges, many hidden from sight. If you knew that your coworker delivering the curt response to a question or the snarky critique of a project had recently learned of a serious illness in their family, wouldn’t you cut them some slack? And better yet, might you then want to reach out with support? When we are compassionate, we are recognizing our shared human condition. Compassion can guide us to acts of kindness. Maybe we keep our mouth shut instead of calling out the misdemeanor. Or we find a private time to ask if everything is okay. Sometimes kindness is offering to get coffee, or bringing back a cookie from a lunchtime just because.
Choose Kindness Everyday
While we may not have control over another person, we do have control over ourselves. What does it mean to be our best selves? Being kind is in the mix of choices we have each and every day. We can’t make anyone else be kind, but we can make a conscious choice to be kind.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” ~Aesop, the ancient Greek storyteller
The purest form of kindness may have no audience and offer no credit. Kindness to accumulate thanks is self-serving at best. Some may even say it’s an effort to control or make the recipient feel indebted. But when we are kind even if — maybe especially if — there’s no such payback, the rewards may be all the sweeter.
Kindness Gives Life To More Kindness
Just as a bully of a boss can foster a culture of bullying and fear down the hierarchical line, so can kindness. We often take our cues from leaders, coworkers, celebrities, and others we live with many hours a day. Why not be the kind person from whom others take their cues? The one who helps people turn to one another kindly in small and big ways that illustrate a spirit of generosity?
During this time of year, more than any other time, the next two months brings with it much pain and suffering. Often silent and unseen to most. Make a conscious effort to step outside of yourself and feel what’s going on for others around you. And perhaps a moment of just listening to someone vent, giving a sincere compliment or share some of your favorite dish with a neighbor, will change that darkness they may be feeling into the light.
Harvard Health Publishing |Melissa Brodrick, MEd
Psychology Today | Karyn Hall Ph.D.
HuffPost | Susan Smalley, Ph.D., Contributor