There are qualities that are scarce, and have grown, perhaps, unfashionable, in recent times. We hear of course the importance of doggedness, how important it is to work hard, and how success is forever on the brink if only we do not stop pushing.
What we do not hear often, unfortunately, is the need for kindness. And there has been perhaps no greater time in need of kindness than now.
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Here are seven quick tips to follow to be kinder.
1. Develop your empathy skills. Learn to read other people’s emotions and express your sympathy in simple words: “I understand you”, “I understand your feelings.” Even if you do it mechanically at first, you will gradually begin to feel that you really understand the other person. Because listening is the first step to understanding an other party.
2. When you want to say something unpleasant in response to a harsh statement from another person, for a second, put yourself in their place. This is an old rule of thumb. When we put ourselves in people’s shoes, we can easily reduce the degree of irritation we might feel at the heat of a moment and respond more kindly.
3. Build the muscle of kindness. Cultivate the best part of yourself, show concern and consideration every day. Sometimes this can be expressed in listening rather than an eagerness to speak or prove something.
Kindness is a virtue that grows thicker and easier the more you practice it. Start practicing.
4. Try this for a week. I do this as often as I can and it has been the foundation for many great networks and good friendships I have today.
Every day in the evening, for example, write 3 gratitude messages to those people who helped you with at least something that day or in the past: a smile, a word of support or just a little gift. If we insist that there is no one to write these things to, then perhaps we choose to focus on the negative of people. There should be someone. There is always someone. Acknowledge that someone. It begins with little things.
5. Learn the art of compliments. Compliment people, and you will be surprised to see the varied nuances of human goodness: from proud acceptance to shy excuses and even refusal to accept your kind words. But a genuine compliment, is almost a win for all parties involved at any time.
6. Be kind to loved ones. It is quite easy to be adorable for the distant circle of people, but intolerant when it comes to family. We can be this way even before we realize this. The world affects us differently, and sometimes, even family can be unkind to us.
Kindness, however, just like charity, can begin from home. Be kind to the ones you’ve got. No one is hardly ever immune to kindness.
7. Do good things to yourself. Everyday.
Be kind to yourself. Afford yourself little favors. Loving and accepting oneself is the first step to accepting others. Afford yourself kindness. Afford yourself room for mistakes. And when other people make similar mistakes, you will learn to make room for them too.