In a world in which people can be so busy and focused trying to keep up with their own responsibilities, obligations, and stresses, it can be hard to feel connected to and compassionate with each other. Yet, if a person makesa conscious effort, it is possible to live a life demonstrating kindness. Los Angeles Psychologist Dr. Yvonne Thomas tells us.
The Gift of a Sincere Compliment
One way a person can make a difference with kindness is to give a compliment. Too often, people are more likely to criticize others or neglect to mention anything positive. Instead, saying something genuine and kind to someone can warm that person’s heart. Also, giving this kind of “gift” can leave a more long-lasting positive effect on the recipient than giving that person a material item because of the sincerity of the compliment and because it was unsolicited.
Recognize the Taken-For-Granted Heroes Amongst Us
Another way a person can make a difference with kindness is to recognize those people who do so much for others, but who are often taken for granted. Those people often are so generous that they can get depleted and have very little left for their own nurturance and replenishment. Doctors, nurses, teachers, police, and firefighters are just some examples of those people who serve others, but who may not get enough emotional support back. Doing something which conveys your appreciation of someone like this can make a big difference. For example, giving flowers to your child’s teacher on just a regular school day or bringing your local fire department homemade baked goods to thank them out of the blue can be very inspiring.
Live a Life With Character and Integrity
A person also can have one’s kindness make a difference by living a life of integrity. By trying to be the best version of yourself, you are setting a healthy example for those in and around your life. Living this way also helps prevent the likelihood of getting into conflicts with others and causing or contributing to upset. Instead, coming from a place of character promotes and spreads good intentions and well-being.
Give to Those In Need
In addition, a person’s kindness can make a difference by helping someone in need. Whether you are mentoring a direct report, being a foster parent, or volunteering at a soup kitchen or an animal shelter, you are taking an active role to better someone else’s life. You also can benefit from this by feeling proud of yourself and giving you a sense of purpose by this kind of involvement. When people give without expecting anything back, it can make a big difference in giving back and spreadIng kindness.
Kindness to Loved Ones Going Through Challenging Times
Also, a person can make a difference with kindness by being there when a loved one is going through a difficult time. Whether that person is going through physical and/or emotional issues, a loss through death, a break-up, a job, etc., there are small, but very meaningful ways to do this for a family member or friend who is going through a difficult time. Examples can include being in touch frequently, picking up groceries or dry cleaning, watching one’s children, driving them to medical appointments, keeping them company, etc. By being generous with your time, attention, and/or finances to loved ones going through a tough time, it can bring them some joy and make them feel emotionally supported and cared about.
It is also important to remember to be kind and compassionate to yourself. If you find you are in need of assistance with what you are dealing with in your life, reach out to Dr. Yvonne Thomas.