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15 Ways You Can Adopt To Make Kindness Your Habit.

15 Ways You Can Adopt To Make Kindness Your Habit.

Kindness is not just a habit for priests and other do-gooders. It’s a habit for all of us. Medical science has proved that being kind alters our body chemistry and brings all sorts of benefits, including improving our mood, lowering our blood pressure and increasing our positive thinking.

Acts of kindness boost production of serotonin, a natural antidepressant in the brain, for the giver, the receiver and those who witness the kind acts. Kindness is such a beautiful thing. Reports actually show being kind not only improves your happiness, but also extends your life span.

To be a better, happier person, you need to be kind every day, all the time. That includes being kind to both those you like and those you dislike or disagree with. If you are unkind to others, it tends to cause more harm to you than to the person you are performing unkind acts to.

The problem with being unkind

Thing is, being unkind fosters negative thoughts. It increases fatigue and raises your blood pressure. You lose sleep and become distracted from important and enjoyable activities, which ultimately impairs the quality of your personal and professional life. Moreover, being unkind makes you feel bad and has an adverse impact on your health. It is simply wasted energy.

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So, be kind. Make the commitment to act kindly, speak kindly and live kindly. You’ll be happier for it, as will those around you. One way or another, acts of kindness always come back to you. Besides, there are so many delightful ways to show kindness and make it a part of your daily life.

Here are some ways to make kindness your habit:

1. Smile a lot.

Smiles are contagious. They lift the spirits of people around you. Extra points if you can smile and have a cordial conversation with a homeless person.

2. Say “Good morning.”

A simple good morning accompanied with a pleasant smile creates an instant connection. Even if you don’t know someone, saying “Good morning” is a common courtesy. It shows you recognize their presence and acknowledge they are a person too, important enough for you to say hello to.

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3. Spend quality time with loved ones.

It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race and fail to realize you are not spending as much time as you’d like with family and friends. Take time every week – no matter how busy you are – to spend with your loved ones, and tell your family members how much you appreciate them every day.

4. Sacrifice, even in a small way.

Share your lunch with a homeless person, buy groceries for someone in line with you at the supermarket or just help an elderly neighbor carry the rubbish out. These small acts of kindness make someone else’s day.

5. Be generous with compliments.

Compliment and say genuinely nice things to people. Even a small comment in passing can uplift someone, and make you feel better about yourself.

6. Mentor a child or teen.

Someone observed encouraged people achieve the best; dominated people achieve second best; neglected people achieve the least. This is especially true when it comes to an at risk child. Don’t let children go neglected and or dominated. Became a mentor and encourage them to achieve their best.

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7. Give the benefit of the doubt

Lawyers insist people are innocent until proven guilty. Make this the default rule in your life. Don’t be quick to judge and condemn others. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Wouldn’t you also want others to give you the benefit of the doubt and not judge you too quickly?

8. Forgive others.

We all make mistakes. No one is perfect or blameless. So, extend grace to those who have wronged you. You will need the same grace extended to you in the future.

9. Pat someone on the back.

A pat on the back can be a way to say “hello” to a friend, a way to congratulate someone for an achievement or a way to comfort someone who’s had a bad experience. It’s a beautiful gesture that lets others know you care. People thrive on such physical contact. Consider giving free hugs, too.

10. Be patient and polite on the road.

When a driver needs to make a turn, change lanes or merge into your lane, let them through with a wave and a smile. And if another driver makes you angry, let it go instead of retaliating. Letting go can make a big difference.

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11. Thank your employees.

Nothing shows good leadership, great communication skills and depth of character quite like a boss who is not afraid or shy of saying thank you to his employees. Bring your assistant coffee. It shows deep appreciation and can go a long way in strengthening your work relationship.

12. Bring your coworkers a special treat.

Similarly, show appreciation to your coworkers. Bring those donuts, cookies or a homemade treat. Small surprises and tokens of appreciation spread good cheer in the workplace and build comradeship.

13. Let someone go in front of you.

Many times we encounter a situation where we are required to wait in line. Whether it is at the bank, in the supermarket or at the airport, waiting in line can be frustrating, tedious and irritating. Ease that tension by letting someone go in front of you. It helps make someone’s day a little better.

14. Offer the handyman a drink or snack.

We’ve all had to call a handyman to help us out with things like a leaky faucet that needs fixing, a furnace that needs replacing or a lawn that needs mowing. Offer them a drink or snack. Don’t forget the delivery person. Give a fruit and let them know you appreciate the work they are doing for you.

15. Embrace your own mistakes.

Love and be kind to yourself too. Accept that you are human and will make mistakes sometimes. Instead of being hard on yourself for making a mistake, ask yourself what you can learn from it. Make amends where applicable and move forward. It won’t help anyone to dwell on mistakes and feel guilty about them. As John Powell rightly said, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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