Being kind is pretty amazing. Unfortunately, there are people out there who are jaded and hurt, and view kindness as a weakness. These people may think that if you don’t care, you won’t get hurt. Some people believe that to always be in power that you actually need to care less. The less you are kind to others, the more power you have in any kind of relationship. Others believe that people are not worthy of their trust and have no expectations because they believe that everyone will disappoint them anyway. Fortunately, being kind actually has tons of benefits. Benefits you may not even realize!
1. Kindness encourages hope and faith. It’s not difficult to find negativity or pain. There are countless examples of someone who handles a situation poorly, hurts others and paints the world in a negative light. Showing genuine kindness helps others have faith in humanity and gives balance to some of the negativity in the world.
2. Kindness helps us put ourselves out there. I’m the type that puts my heart on my sleeve. I very much say how I feel and really enjoy sharing my vulnerabilities with others. Yes, admitting feelings and secrets could open door to hurt but it also opens doors to connecting with others. We are all human beings who crave and value connections with other people. When you are afraid to be kind, you might shut off your heart because you fear that someone might hurt you. That’s a normal feeling to have but without putting yourself out there, it will be difficult to really connect with another human being. You cut off opportunities to meet amazing people when you aren’t willing to be kind.
3. Kindness encourages you to have diverse perspectives on the world. People who are kind generally aren’t judgmental or critical. Part of being kind is understanding and listening to someone. Recently someone wrote to me, “If I can’t understand someone else’s perspective, then I consider it to be my loss.” The person who said this is a beautiful soul who has a genuine and kind heart. People who are kind are open to understanding different perspectives, listening and genuinely view it as a missed opportunity if they cannot see where you are coming from.
4. Kindness can be shared. Yes, kindness can be pretty addicting. A stranger gives you a genuine and kind smile, and you might feel very tempted to smile back. Someone does you an unexpected favour and you might want to pay it forward. Kindness is one of the few things that you can easily give to others. Your kindness can inspire others to be kind and to want to the right thing. It may not be apparent right away, but treating people with kindness really does encourage other people to be kinder to the people in their life. If you want to make a real difference in the world, then work on being a kinder person.
5. Kindness allows you to help others. When you choose to be kind you find ways to give back to your community and loved ones. You are capable of doing things to make other people feel happier.
6. Kindness helps you develop yourself further. Part of being kind to another human being is being tolerant, patient, forgiving, understanding and giving respect. It makes sense that when you get in the habit of being kind to another person, you tend to be kinder to yourself. You make a mistake and realize that it’s okay. You can better work to identify the problem, forgive yourself and keep working through your issues. You will have an easier time being patient with yourself as you work through issues and try to achieve your goals. When you give respect, you also have a better idea of how you can respect yourself, and naturally will stay away from others who don’t treat you with the respect that you deserve. Kindness gives you the tools to become a better, stronger and wiser person.
7. Kindness helps you become stronger. Being kind does require that you are vulnerable. As a result, you will get hurt at some point. The more challenges you face, the stronger you become. Some people who view kindness as a weakness, may incorrectly believe that people who are kind are more likely to get hurt. These people might adopt the philosophy that if you close off your heart, you will not get hurt. Sure that might seem true but in actuality when you close off your heart to pain, you close off your heart to happiness and when you do get hurt, it will be far more painful than when a person who practices kindness gets hurt. That’s because a kind person faces challenges and yes, sometimes a kind person will get hurt. However, this person will get stronger, grow and be resilient so that when something happens that could hurt them, it won’t hurt as much.
8. Kindness gives you control over your emotions. When you react out of a place of negativity you tend to only see things from your perspective, risk saying harmful words that hurt others and can easily lose your cool. People who are kind generally have an easier time stepping back, being patient and thinking before speaking. Kindness can even improve your personal success at work or in school. People are more likely to trust you and associate you with positive interactions, which means they will be more likely to want to work with you and recommend you to others.
9. Kindness means that you are happier in the long run. Anyone who shuts off their heart and refuses to be good to other people may miss out on short term pain, but they don’t gain happiness that way. A kind person naturally will have meaningful connections with others that add value within their lives because of their ability to open their hearts to others. A kind person likely has a strong support network because of their natural ability to give to others which develops mutual trust and respect. Kind people are more likely to find a loving partner, amazing friends and other positive connections due to attracting like minded people who also practice kindness. Being kind also means that you will look back on your life and easily see the amazing ways that you have influenced your community.
Kindness makes you happier, others happier and is one step to making the world a much better place. You feel better too. Pushing out negativity within your own attitude leaves less room for resentment, bitterness and fear to grow and persist. Work to be a little kinder today, tomorrow and the following days. Say thank you. Give someone a hug. Smile at someone. Give a compliment. Offer a helping hand. Get involved with a charity. Whatever kind thing you do today, I guarantee that there are a multitude of benefits due to your kindness.