“Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference.” – Kevin Heath
Studies are proving what happy people have known all along: kindness is directly related to life satisfaction. Kindness benefits both the giver and the receiver and those who are treated with kindness are more likely to pass this kindness along to others.
The definition of kindness in our contemporary culture is the act of going out of your way to be nice to someone or show a person you care. We have all heard the stories of someone being robbed or assaulted while passersby ignore the situation and go out of their way to avoid becoming involved. This lack of connection to one another is harmful to us as it creates a sense of isolation. When we bond together to help one another our ability to overcome and problem-solve increases.
Kindness is truly contagious. It is also a connector. It is like a muscle that needs to be flexed; just because we are born with the capacity for kindness doesn’t mean we use it effectively. I like to buy coffee for the person behind me in line and my barista tells me that when I start this quite often it continues to be paid forward for 5-10 coffees down the line. There is even a website entirely built around documenting random acts of kindness. When you give something for the benefit of another it’s called pro-social spending and research shows that this type of altruism is equally as beneficial to both parties! Here are some great actions you can take to cultivate a kindness epidemic in your community.Advertising
1. Smile at strangers. You brighten their day.
2. Bring in your neighbor’s trash cans. You connect with your community.
3. Donate used clothing. You don’t need then but perhaps somebody else does.
4. Compliment a co-worker or peer. Expressing what someone does well makes them more likely to repeat the action.
5. Use recyclable shopping bags. It’s good for the earth and where else are we going to live?
6. Be an organ donor! Save a life.
7. Clear the clutter at home. Hoarding makes you stressed!
8. Buy coffee for a stranger. It warms your heart and reminds you that you have something to give.
9. Volunteer your time. If you don’t have time, give money!
10. Listen with an open mind and active curiosity when your others speak.
11. Take a treat to your child’s teacher. You’ll them you value they contribution to your child’s future.
12. Drop flowers from your garden to a friend.
13. Hug someone. Six second hugs improve your health.
14. Bake a double batch of your best recipe and share it with your busiest friend.
15. Carpool. Share the drive, the gas, and the connection.
16. Pick up litter. Even if you didn’t put it there it’s still your planet.
17. Give old towels to an animal shelter. Or better still adopt a pup.
18. Pass on your old books. Your dust gathering library is someone else’s education.
19. Offer water to your postal worker, lawn service or meter reader. It’s hot. It’s cold. And it’s just the polite thing to do!
20. Express gratitude as often as possible!
21. Learn about another culture’s traditions. When we focus on understanding we remove obstacles to inclusion.
22. Stop gossiping and whining. If it’s not useful, necessary or important; keep it to yourself.
23. Invite your neighbors over.
24. Share uplifting blogs. (Like this one)
25. Cheer for your elementary school sports team. Enthusiasm is contagious.
26. Buy local.
27. Host a holiday toy drive or adopt a family.
28. Adopt a grandparent.
29. Help carry groceries to someone’s car.
30. Treat yourself as kindly as you want to treat others! You are worth it!
“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” – Margaret Mead
Last Updated on October 16, 2019
5 Powerful Ways for Building Fulfilling Relationships
We all have relationships. We have acquaintances, relatives, colleagues, neighbors and friends. However, for a large percentage of us, many of these relationships are not fulfilling.
They are unfulfilling because they lack real strength; and they lack real strength because they lack real depth.
Unfortunately, in today’s society, we tend to have shallow, superficial relationships with others, and it’s extremely hard for this kind of relationships to provide anything more than faint satisfaction.
I’d like to show you, based on my experience as a communication and confidence coach, how you can add a significant amount of depth, and thus strength, to your relationships and make your social life a whole lot more meaningful.
Here’re 5 simple yet powerful ways for meaningful relationships building:
1. Meet More People
This is an apparent paradox, but the quality of the people you meet has considerably to do with the quantity of people you meet.
If you don’t know a lot of people and you barely meet one or two new people every season of the year, considering the variety of individuals out there, you won’t meet very often people who are a good match with you in terms of personality, interests and values.
And since this natural match plays a huge part in building strong relationships, you’ll just as seldom have the opportunity to develop strong relationships.
Conversely, if you go out a lot, you meet a lot of new people and you constantly expand your social circle, you’re much more likely to meet people you match up well with, and these people have a tremendous potential to become good friends, reliable partners, etc.
This is why it’s important to meet more people.
2. Talk about the Things That Matter To You
A relationship becomes the strongest when two people discover they believe in the same things and have similar interests. It’s these commonalities regarding values and interests that create the strongest emotional connection.
I’ve noticed that many people keep conversations shallow. They talk about trivial stuff such as the weather, what’s on TV, the lives of various movie stars, but they rarely talk about what really matters to them in life. This is a mistake from my perspective, because it’s the perfect method for a relationship to not develop.
Talk about the things that truly matter to you and give others a chance to know what you care about and what you believe in. If they believe in the same things and they care about the same things, they’ll eagerly let you know. Thus you’ll find meaningful common ground and you’ll feel more connected.
3. Express Vulnerability
Many people try to come off as perfect. They don’t talk about their failures, they hide their shortcomings and they never say anything that could embarrass them.
This is all just a facade though. You may appear perfect to some, but you know you’re not perfect and they know that too. You’re only human and humans have flaws.
However, by hiding your flaws, what you do succeed in is appearing cold and impersonal. You seem like a marble statue rather than a real person. And this makes it very hard for anyone to connect with you emotionally.
Humans connect with other humans, not with ideals. Keep this in mind and don’t be afraid to let your vulnerability and your humanity show. This is what takes a relationship to the next level.
Take a look at this article and find out Why Showing Vulnerability Actually Proves Your Strength.
4. Have Integrity
Integrity, as I see it, is the alignment between your thoughts, your words and your actions. When you say what you think and you do what you said you’ll do, you have integrity.
This is a crucial trait because if you have integrity, people can trust you. They can trust you to give them an honest feedback, even when it’s hard to shallow, and they can trust you to keep your promises.
This trust is one of the central pillars of a strong relationship, both in your personal and your professional life. So, as challenging as it can be sometimes, always try to have integrity.
Be honest with the people around you, even when this will initially hurt them. It’s more important for them to trust you than to not feel hurt. And always do what you promised. Even better, think twice before you promise anything, and only promise what you really can and you are willing to do.
5. Be There for Others
Another central pillar of strong relationships is support. Connections between people grow sturdy if they can rely on each other for support when it’s needed, whether that support means a few kind words or several massive actions.
Of course, you can’t be there for everybody, all the time. Your time, energy and other resources are limited. But what you can do is identify the genuinely important people in your life and then seek to be there as much as possible, at least for them.
Your support will help them practically, and it will comfort them emotionally; which makes one hell of a difference in a relationship.
The Bottom Line
With the right mindset and the right behavior, you can strengthen a wide range of relationships in your life and advance them as far as they can be advanced.
And with strong relationships, not only that you feel more fulfilled, but you feel more connected to the entire world. You feel that your life has real value, you have more fun and you live in the moment. An entire world of opportunities opens up in front of you.
Then your task is to simply walk through the open doors.
More About Effective Communication
- How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home
- 9 Powerful Techniques for Building Rapport with Anyone
- Conflict Management Styles for Effective Communication at Work
- Effective Communication: How Not to Be Misunderstood
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