“In life you can never be too kind or too fair; everyone you meet is carrying a heavy load. When you go through your day expressing kindness and courtesy to all you meet, you leave behind a feeling of warmth and good cheer, and you help alleviate the burdens everyone is struggling with.” ~ Brian Tracy
Kindness, support and positivity are what the world needs. It’s what the world has always needed. But we currently live in a time where these are particularly essential medicines. We should always do our best to pour out kindness and positivity to all that we meet. However, if you are reading this article then it is probably because you have come up against a certain roadblock where this is concerned. Sometimes being kind to others comes very easily. However, sometimes it is really hard.
If someone is attacking you personally, is abusing their power, does not seem to deem goodwill or kindness a priority, or is just generally not easy to be around; then doling out kindness in their direction can seem tough. However, kindness, or stopping yourself before you become unkind, is always the better option. Not only does it remove negativity from a situation, but very often, and sometimes surprisingly, it improves circumstances and relationships significantly.
1. Acknowledge When You Feel the Urge Not to Be Kind
Avoiding unkindness coming out of your mouth starts with knowing yourself. What are you triggers? Indeed, who are your triggers? If you find yourself in a hostile situation or heading towards an altercation, notice any urges you have to react negatively. If you feel it coming up, then you have a few options as to how you can change the course of the conflict. Either you work out how to finish the situation swiftly and neutrally, or you can find a way of temporarily excusing yourself. Before you return, ask yourself; why am I feeling this urge? Will a negative reaction help this situation? How can a I retort in a kind, positive and appropriate way?
2. Reflect: Why Do I Feel This Way
Why is it that you don’t want to aim kindness towards this person? Is it because they are behaving in a genuinely negative and unreasonable way, or is it something to do with your own insecurities and reactional tendencies? If it is something to do with you, then let yourself be in the wrong. This is O.K. The way to becoming a kinder, better version of yourself is to first come to terms with the bits you don’t think are that great! Reflectiveness is an essential element along the road to understanding your own self.
3. Where Is The Other Person Coming From?
I think it is fair to say that the majority of people are not bad at their core. Therefore, if someone is rubbing you up the wrong way, you must consider why thy are acting in this way. It is unlikely they are being mean or unkind because that is their intention, for most of us simply do what we think is right. So, where are they coming from? What do you know about them? What don’t you know, for that matter? Everyone has struggles and other things going on in their heads. Perhaps this person is hurting and taking their frustration out on others. Perhaps, what they need is your kindness and understanding.
4. What Has It Got To Do With You?
We, as humans, have a habit of taking things personally. Of course we do, our own selves are our primary concerns. But consider this, have you ever taken frustration or annoyance out on someone simply because they were the nearest body to you at the time? Be honest. Have you ever been short with a cashier because the supermarket was out of that thing you wanted for tea? Now think, has the unkindness you experienced at the hands of another person got anything to do with you personally, or is it all to do with what is going on with them? Furthermore, will the weight be lifted from them if you opt to show a little kindness and understanding? Do they just need a hug and a cup of tea?
In a conflict, honesty is often the kindest option. Instead of reacting in the heat of the moment, perhaps lay out your feelings about the altercation calmly and honestly. Take a moment to take a breath and restart the discussion in a clam and conversational way. Make it clear that the other person’s attitude is unkind, and ask if you might have a measured discussion about the matter in hand. Honesty helps you to see eye-to-eye with others, whether they are natural allies or not.
6. What Happens as A Result of Kindness?
Replace a common act of confrontation that you might have a tendency towards with an act of kindness next time it comes creeping up on you. Then take note of the difference is makes. I guarantee that the change will be significant and will most certainly be for the better.
Be nice. Be generous. Be kind. It’s what the world needs.
By Chris Thomson
Working on your positive vibes? Here are some simple tips on how to be nice! Mindful Living: How to Be Nice
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