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30 Ways To Be Kind and Be Happier

30 Ways To Be Kind and Be Happier

If you are kind, can it really make you happier?  Research projects have shown this is indeed the case. In one interesting study conducted by the Harvard Business School and the University of British Columbia, participants were asked to recall spending a small sum of money either on themselves or to help someone in need. Those who donated that sum to charity or as a gift  remembered being much happier than when they had spent the money on themselves.

Researchers also found that once people got into the loop of being kind which was followed by a feeling of happiness, then they were more likely to do lots of other acts. It is a win-win situation. Psychologists call this the ‘helper’s high’. The exact biological process which links positive emotions to physical and mental well being is not fully understood yet. But the results are there for all to see!  So, if you want to feel happier, try some of these 30 ways of being kind. The more variety, the better.

1. Telephone a lonely person.

There is always one person in your group of acquaintances who is lonely and isolated. Try calling him or her, every now and again.

2. Hold the door open.

No matter who it is, hold the door open.

3. Change the toner or paper in the photocopier.

The next time you see a colleague swearing because the toner or paper runs out, step up to the plate. Do it with a pleasant smile and you have new fan.

4. Buy someone a coffee.

When you go to the coffee machine and see a colleague there, offer to buy her a coffee. If you are going to the water cooler, try offering to get someone else a cup of water while you’re on your way.

5. Help a disabled person.

Offer to push a wheelchair, help them across the street or fetch their medicines.

6. Any small change?

When you see all those coins which are a real nuisance, pop them into the next beggar’s baseball cap.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGOut1X5u0E

7. Offer to do the shopping.

Maybe there is an elderly person in your condo or someone who has had an accident. Offer to do the shopping.

8. Offer your place in the supermarket queue.

When you see someone getting anxious in the queue, let them go first.

9. Driving with kindness.

Lots of opportunities here. Waving a pedestrian across the street or stopping to let a car park.

10. Pay a few compliments.

Let your partner know how great they look today. Compliment a colleague or a friend on their new outfit.

11. Smile more often.

Try walking down a corridor at work and smile all the way there. You might be surprised at how many smiles you get back. It is infectious!

12. Express your gratitude.

Saying “thank you” and “please” are like the oil that lubricates the engine of human interaction. Works every time!

13. Reach out to a person in need.

Do you know someone who is ill or in hospital? Reach out by choosing one of these:

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  • Send them a text message
  • Phone them
  • Send flowers
  • Send a card

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~Plato

14. Talk to a shy person.

Have you ever noticed how shy people struggle at social gatherings? Try a little act of kindness just by talking to them. You could be surprised at what you discover.

15. Donate to a disaster fund.

The next time you see a catastrophe on TV, note the charity donation number and send the SMS.

16. Teach your kids kindness.

If you are a parent or work with young people in a youth organization or at a school, raise awareness about the needy. Encourage them to give away their old toys and books which are still in good condition.

17. Be a modern Johnny Appleseed.

Be inspired and plant a few trees/plants/bushes/flowers in the neglected areas of your neighborhood. Watch the video below.

18. Stop complaining for a week.

This is probably the kindest act of all! Spreading negativity drags people down. Concentrate on the positives for a week. You will be pleasantly surprised.

19. Grow your hair.

Did you know that there are charities that make wigs from real hair for children who have suffered from hair loss during cancer treatment? If you have hair, let it grow and donate it to one of these charities.

20. Help a needy driver.

If a driver is in trouble, pull over and offer your assistance by phoning for help or helping to change a tire.

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21. Show affection.

Show people you love that you really mean it. A hug, a kiss, a gentle pat on the back or any sign of affection will be appreciated. If you want to give free hugs in the street, watch the video below. This has been watched by 75 million people!

22. Leave some money on the street.

Just a random act of kindness. Try leaving a banknote or a few coins on the street where a poor person can find them.

23. Invite someone to dinner.

Choose a co-worker or neighbour who you feel is rather lonely and offer them your hospitality.

24. Listen to someone who has a problem.

Being a good listener is a great sign that you can display empathy and warmth. Just listen and try not to interrupt with advice. There will be other opportunities for that.

“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.”- George Sand

25. Help a co-worker

When you see a colleague in real difficulty because of a scary deadline, a tyrannical boss or because they are suffering bereavement, lend a helping hand.

26. Contact your local shelter or soup kitchen

Ask them what they need most for supporting the needy and homeless. It could be anything from running an errand, shopping or baking a cake for them.

27. Give up a parking space.

Soar above the desire to be the first to get that parking space.

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28. Give away your favorite book.

You have read that book loads of times.Time to give it away. Leave it on the bus or train, with a note inside saying why you think it is a gem.

29. Send a depressed friend a funny video.

Laughter is a great tonic for depression. Choose your favorite funny video form YouTube and send the link by email.

30. Give flowers or food to an elderly neighbor.

Look at all the roses you have in the garden. Remember the leftover lasagne in the fridge?  Pack them up and give them to an elderly neighbour.

 

Try to do one or two of these acts of kindness every week. Change it up each time. Look at what you get for a few acts of kindness. Your mental and physical health will improve. You are less likely to suffer from heart disease, blood pressure, stress, and depression. It’s a bargain- go for it!

“Life’s most persistent and nagging question is ‘What are you doing for others?'”- Martin Luther King Jr.

Featured photo credit: KIndness-Mark Twain/ BK via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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