Being kind to someone causes a ripple effect, possibly improving the lives of others for years to come. In today’s busy world, it is easy to become self-centered. However, if you start to incorporate small acts of kindness into your daily life, you may notice that kindness becomes ingrained into your personality. Here are some ways to make being kind to others the norm.
Everyone is always in a hurry, and it’s tempting to lose your temper at any disturbance. Negative thoughts naturally spring to mind when someone cuts you off in traffic, gets your order wrong or takes too long checking out your groceries. The key is recognizing these thoughts and reframing them. Try repeating a simple mantra to cultivate patience. Saying something like, “There is no need to hurry” will pull your mind away from the inconvenience.
Gossip can often be the main topic of conversation, and it can creep in without your knowledge. Take note of how many times a day you speak poorly about others. Maybe you complain about your boss or colleagues at the water cooler. Perhaps you enjoy dishing about celebrities. You might even find yourself gossiping about a friend while you’re with mutual friends. The rule of thumb is, if you wouldn’t want it said about you, don’t say it about others.
Listening is hard, and most people aren’t very good at it. When someone else is speaking, does your mind wander to your grocery list? Are you thinking about the next thing you’re going to say instead of truly considering the others’ words? Sometimes, it is tempting to disengage in a conversation, but you can work on improving your listening skills. Try repeating what the person says to make sure you understand them. Use your body language to show you’re interested, such as leaning in or nodding.
Kindness may or may not come naturally to you, but it is something that can be nurtured. When you integrate an others-first approach regularly, you will find that kindness flows more easily.