We could all do with more kindness in our lives. When we cultivate kindness we change our lives as well as other people’s. Being kind can be as simple as giving someone a heartfelt compliment, helping a neighbor in need, or holding the door open for someone. A simple act of kindness can change the tone of someone’s day and make them feel valued.
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Let’s dive into 10 ways to cultivate kindness in your life and in the lives of other people.
1. Be kind to your family and friends
When it comes to being kind, unfortunately, the people we are often the least kind to are our family and friends.
All that familiarity and togetherness can cause us to take the people closest to us for granted. Toning down our criticism and judgment is a great way to start being kinder to loved ones.
If you want to be kinder, start at home. When it comes to cultivating kindness, start with the people closest to you.
2. Be more patient with people
Being patient is an easy way to show kindness. Yet so many of us struggle with being patient with other people.
We yell at people in traffic (even after the slightest pause or hesitation), get frustrated in queues, and criticize anyone slowing us down in any capacity.
When you find yourself losing patience with someone for absolutely no reason, calm yourself, make yourself smile and count to ten in your mind.
Mindspace Cafe has a good post on How to Deal with Impatient People
3. Practice simple consistent acts of kindness
Kindness doesn’t have to be big, bold, or showy. Kindness can be simple. What really matters is that it’s genuine. It’s also not a once-a-year sort of deal.
The more you can be consistently kind to people, strangers, and loved ones alike, the more kindness you can spread out in the world. Smile, say thank you, give a compliment, or help someone out.
One very easy way to be kind to people is not saying nasty things on social media or online. If you disagree with someone, be kind and keep it to yourself. For their sake and for yours. Be kind online.
Related post – How to Stop Being Critical of Others
4. Be compassionate
Showing compassion for others helps us be kinder people. Supporting someone when they are suffering is an act of kindness. When people show us compassion and sympathy, we feel less lonely.
We all know how hard life can be, so having someone show us compassion, and understand our pain, can have a huge positive impact on our lives.
5. Be empathetic
The way I look at empathy is this. Empathy is about trying to understand how someone else feels in their situation. It’s not about how you would feel in that situation but how they feel.
Sometimes we fail to realize that these are two different ways of thinking.
It’s not a case of thinking, what would I do in that person’s situation because that line of thinking is based on YOUR history, experiences, and personality? But true empathy isn’t about you. It’s about the other person and how they are thinking and feeling.
6. Help people for no reason
Sometimes people help one another because they have an agenda. They help because they want something in return. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s common to barter our services.
A wonderful thing is when we help people for no reason. Nothing in it for us, no paying back the favor, just being kind because we want to help someone in need.
Related post – 12 Inspiring Ways to Focus on the Good in Life
7. Listen to people
Sometimes the best way to show kindness is to simply listen to people.
Listening isn’t just about waiting for the other person to stop talking so you can have your turn. It’s about listening, responding, and engaging with the other person.
It’s about paying attention so that you can ask relevant and thoughtful follow-up questions. We often forget that our follow-up questions and comments, demonstrate if we were actually listening.
If you care for someone and you want them to feel valued and loved, one of the biggest things you can do is listen to them. Listen without judgment, comment without criticism. Listen because you genuinely care.
Related post – 20 Ways to Show Genuine Interest in People’s Lives
8. Don’t take things personally
I know this might seem like a strange addition to this list but sometimes a way to be kind to someone is to not take everything they say personally. If a person is feeling insecure and vulnerable, it might be a good time to show them some kindness.
This means stop assuming that what they are talking about relates to you in some way. When we relate things back to ourselves, we often lose perspective. We view situations through the lens of our own experiences and feelings, not the other person.
I know this isn’t easy but not taking things personally will lead to a more peaceful, happy existence for everyone. So give it a try. Start with something small and see how you go.
Related post – How to Stop Taking Things Personally
9. Be kind to animals
While being kind to humans is wonderful, let’s not forget our animal friends. 🙂 When your neighbor’s cat strolls across your yard be kind to it. There is no need to get upset or make a fuss.
Respect animals and know that they feel pain. Help animals when in need. Be kind.
10. Be kind to yourself
While you’re dishing out kindness to others, make sure you throw lots of kindness your own way as well.
You deserve kindness as much as the next person, so make sure you are kind to yourself. Being kind to yourself means being a happier human.
Make your self-love a priority and be compassionate with yourself. I can’t reinforce this one strongly enough. When you stop beating yourself up and stop being so hard on yourself, you start to show yourself compassion. Self-compassion will change your life.
Related posts on being more compassionate and kind to yourself
- 10 Ways High Self-Esteem and Self-Worth Can Have a Huge Impact on Your Life
- Stop Listening to Other People’s Opinions and Start Believing in Yourself
- 5 Myths that Stop Us Loving and Accepting Ourselves
- 12 Things to Remember When You Feel Not Good Enough
You can change someone’s life by being kind to them. Not to mention, you can transform your own life as well. Cultivate kindness, and make it a part of who you are and what you do. The people around you will appreciate it.
Read Next – Be Kind to People – You Never Know What They Are Going Through