"Kindness is the language in which the deaf can hear and the blind can see" Mark Twain
“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer someone else up”, Mark Twain wrote that and he was right.
Do you want to increase your own happiness? Then be kind!
However, be kind with awareness…
Most of us assume that when we practice kindness by saying and doing nice things to others, we are making them a favor, but here is the secret: acts of kindness light up your brain in the areas associated with pleasure and reward, consequently, oxytocin, the happy hormone is released in your body which causes your own happiness to soar. Research shows that random and conscious acts of kindness help deepen your relationships and build more positivity around you especially with your family, friends and at work … causing joy and happy emotions to become contagious.
It really feels good to be kind and to think and help someone else. What concern me here are the underlying expectations we often have when we give beyond ourselves. When people do not reciprocate or appreciate, then your expectations are not met and this could cause disappointment and stress and jeopardize your relationships. The mere act of giving is an act of love, and in my opinion the only expectation you need to have is the good feeling it will give you afterwards.
When you realize that you are being taken advantage of and that some people are really taking your kindness for granted because you are being generous and at the service of others, your immediate first response would be, let me guess, GET ANGRY!
Getting angry of yourself and of others, blaming, complaining and regretting being good and what follows is your decision to stop being kind, being generous and giving. But here is the thing, by doing that, you become someone else, and you stop being who you are which is even more painful to you. It will not feel genuine and healthy and suppressing who you are will lead you to depression.
So how can you be kind without really being taken advantage of, i.e. with awareness??
- We teach people how to treat us: If someone is taking advantage of your kindness then you must know that you are allowing them to do that. You have to take ownership of this and make sure you set boundaries, draw the lines and make others understand that being kind is not being weak.
- To say no, keep your responses simple and positive and make the choice to what is important to you.
- Identify toxic relationships in your life. Good relationships improve your life; they just don’t make it messier.
- That you and your family come first, be kind but not on the expenses of your loved ones. They don’t have to bear the consequences of your decisions related to kindness.
Kindness is a virtue, it is one of our core strengths, don’t suppress it because you thought you would be seen as weak, naive or less capable, just express it with awareness. Keep in mind that no matter how good you are to others, this doesn’t mean they will treat you the same. Better to release your expectations and be kind because you want to while teaching people how to treat you, because only relationships based on love and giving are the ones which remain.
Founder Emerge Coaching
Life Strategist and Happiness Consultant