Kindness seems easier to spread during the Holidays, but it is often forgotten the moment the New Year rolls in. This year, why not make this holiday season a time when you and your family establish kindness as a habit? Here are 4 easy steps that anyone can do.
Step 1: Be kind to yourself.
The holiday season can put even the most Zen person on edge. When you are feeling low, wouldn’t you give just about anything for some kindness to be shown to you? It’s hard to show kindness to others when you haven’t been taking care of yourself and meeting your own emotional needs. Pay yourself a compliment, and mean it! Acknowledge your feelings of tiredness, and do something to get refreshed. Cut yourself some slack and do something nice for yourself. Kindness starts with being kind to you.
Step 2: Answer rudeness with kindness.
Now that you know how lovely it feels when you’ve been kind to yourself. Turn that around. That person who cut in line, your kid who is bombarding you with demands, your co-worker who is being impatient: Take a moment to step back and think about the emotion that is motivating their behavior. Communicate to their emotion instead of reacting.
Step 3: Watch your delivery.
Often, people think kindness is about saying things you don’t mean, or telling everyone they are beautiful. This is not true! It’s about your tone of voice, your delivery, how you say things, even your presence. At times it just means going a bit slower to acknowledge those you meet during your day, which communicates respect.
Step 4: Praise it when you see it.
Acknowledge kindness when you see it. During the holidays, people put more thought into going out of their way for others. Perhaps someone else did something kind for someone you know. Compliment her on it. The more you practice searching out and acknowledging the kind deeds of others, the more you will recognize times in your own life where you can lend a hand.
ABOUT GABRIELLA VAN RIJ: The leading voice of the Kindness movement, Gabriella works to spread the message that we are all unique and we each have something to offer the person next to us. She has a non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation in the U.S. She is the author of I Can Find My Might, a part self-help, part practical resource for students, parents, and educators on bullying and self-acceptance.