Monday, July 19, 2010

How to Be Kind

1. Be happy (not phony happy). Before you can be kind to others you have to be kind to yourself. Calling yourself fat or ugly makes you feel bad and you may try to criticize other people for justification.

2. Avoid gossiping/spreading rumors about other people. If someone is being mean to another person, like calling them stupid or fat, try not to join in. You could even stand up for them. If your friends are aggressively teasing or gossiping about someone, give a non-confrontational defense---such as "She's always been nice to me" (provided she has always been nice to you; lying is wrong, so don't lie)---or steer them away from that conversation topic to at least delay them until you leave.

3.Be a good listener. When talking to someone, try to listen and sincerely pay attention until they are almost done.

4.Compliment people lavishly. For example, to comment on something they're wearing, you can say "Oh, I love your shirt!" or "Your shoes are awesome!". Try not to get jealous; if they know you're jealous it can cause an awkward moment; it's very awkward when you want something they're wearing. If someone compliments you, thank them and continue what you were doing or compliment them in return, out of obligation (remember this person is trying to be nice and friendly towards you, perhaps wanting to be your friend).

5. Be yourself, don't concern yourself with whether or not you look "dumb" while you are doing something; most of the time people aren't really paying attention anyway.

6. Start each day with a plan. Think of what you would like to see and do, then think of someone who is lonely, perhaps lives alone and has no family (the more depressed the better!). Ask this person to join you in your plan for the day. Share your time with them (e.g. ask them to lunch); this could be the highlight of their week or life. Take joy in making others happy!

7. Offer to pet-sit when you know a friend is going on vacation. If you know a neighbor is sick, ask them if they need groceries when you go grocery shopping.

8. Stop and talk to someone who is lonely, share a cup of coffee and pay twice the bill.

9. Whatever you say, whenever you say it, do so in a calm, polite voice that is respectful to the other party. Don't unneccessarily raise your voice, as it makes you seem like a rude person.

10. Help, even if you aren't asked. You should look around to see if anyone needs help and help them without prompt. It can be a simple thing, to help someone with something that he seems to have difficulties in or something you think he needs or will need. Whenever you can, try to help someone else. It could be at their work, with their homework or about their relationships and more. If someone asks you something, be open-minded and don't immediately dismiss them, try to be as helpful as you can. Even if you don't do what they asked, you can at least suggest another to possibly aid them.

11. Make it a hobby to volunteer somewhere every once in a while or do something really nice for other people.

12. Don't feel the need to gloat about your good-deeds; be humble. Doing something nice solely for the good graces of those around you isn't really kindness. Aiding someone unaware of your help can feel just as good.

13. Adopt pets; it is an excellent exercise of loving kindness. You can even adopt temporarily by offering to foster an animal and help socialize it so that it can be adopted by another family or person.

14. If someone is upset, comfort them by consoling them and giving them a hug. Ask them if they would like to talk about it. If they have had a fallen out with a friend that is your friend, hear both sides of the story before picking sides and do not annoy them if they want to talk in private.

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