I have often found in my life that being kind to other people has helped me. While often people perceive being kind as a weakness – kindness is a way to manage how people will treat you. In the short run complaining and being frank about your needs is a winning strategy. Yet if you are looking to have an impact on someone’s behavior on the long run – kindness is key.
For example, if you are at a restaurant and not getting served, ask yourself if you will go back there again. If not, please unleash the sass. Do not be rude because there’s never a valid reason to be disrespectful, but speak your needs and speak them clearly. If in the long run, you want to keep coming back to this restaurant, you want to go with kindness. Because in the words of a goddess, Maya Angelou:
“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”
If you made someone feel good, they will remember and go above and beyond to reciprocate that. It gives them a feeling that they owe you something because you have done something genuinely good to them. Think about people that have been unkind to you in the past – did you ever want to give them an ounce of kindness back or the opposite?
There is a difference between being kind and being nice. Nice means adhering to social norms, giving a compliment or just being polite. Kindness is about the genuine intention of helping someone or trying to do them well. I’m not a fan of nice. Nice is when you do not speak your needs in order to not cause any friction or not to cause an inconvenience. Nice is adhering to social rules in a way that you do and say things that are not inline with your genuine feelings and intentions in order to create a positive atmosphere. Kind is, when you really want what’s best for people. People will take notice of that. Whereas nice can be see as a weakness, kindness is the strength to be able to not only take care of yourself, but influence the world around you for the better.
Most of us probably think we are being kind. But there is always potential to be kinder. For example, When you are in a situation, ask yourself what you would like to hear? Or ask yourself, how can you help others do better or feel better? How can you create a bubble of positivity and care around you? It starts with you showing it to others. Always approach a first interaction out of the perspective of kindness. Yes, that includes email or phone calls. When people make mistakes, but even kinder than you would to yourself. Ask yourself how can you make the world a better place for those around you, and the world will become a better place for you, and people will make sure to keep that bubble afloat because trust me, they like it too.