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Small Things You Can Do Every Day To Spread Kindness To Everyone

Small Things You Can Do Every Day To Spread Kindness To Everyone

“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.

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    1. Smile at strangers. You brighten their day.

    2. Bring in your neighbor's trash cans

      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.

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        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?

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          6. Be an organ donor! Save a life.

          7. Clear the clutter at home. Hoarding makes you stressed!

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            8. Buy coffee for a stranger.  It warms your heart and reminds you that you have something to give.

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              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.

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                  11. Take a treat to your child’s teacher. You’ll them you value they contribution to your child’s future.

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                    12. Drop flowers from your garden to a friend.

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                      13. Hug someone. Six second hugs improve your health.

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                        14. Bake a double batch of your best recipe and share it with your busiest friend.

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                          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.

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                            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

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                            Last Updated on January 24, 2021

                            How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

                            How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

                            Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

                            For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

                            But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

                            It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

                            And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

                            The Importance of Saying No

                            When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

                            In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

                            Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

                            Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

                            Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

                            “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

                            When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

                            How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

                            It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

                            From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

                            We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

                            And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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                            At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

                            The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

                            How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

                            Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

                            But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

                            3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

                            1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

                            Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

                            If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

                            2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

                            When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

                            Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

                            3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

                            When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

                            6 Ways to Start Saying No

                            Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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                            1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

                            One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

                            Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

                            2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

                            Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

                            Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

                            3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

                            Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

                            Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

                            You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

                            4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

                            Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

                            Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

                            5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

                            When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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                            How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

                              Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

                              Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

                              6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

                              If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

                              Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

                              Final Thoughts

                              Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

                              Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

                              Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

                              More Tips on How to Say No

                              Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

                              Reference

                              [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
                              [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
                              [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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