There is nothing quite like being on the receiving end of kindness. In a harsh world, both acts and words of kindness feel few and far between. We may hear anger, meanness and indifference all around us, but we don't have to succumb to that if we don't want to. We get to choose the way we interact with the world around us. Let's take control by speaking kind words everyday, shall we? Here's how:
Mind your manners. Perhaps the easiest way to speak with kindness is to practice having good manners. It may seem fairly obvious, but we can all use a reminder from time to time. Whether speaking to the server at a restaurant or with colleagues who helped out with a project, incorporating a simple "please" and "thank you" into our interactions will help us speak with kindness at the most basic level.
Give character compliments. Albeit nice, telling a friend she looks pretty doesn't quite have the staying power as a kind word about her character. Is she generous? Loving? Compassionate? Confident? Lively? Brilliant? Tell her! Those types of compliments go a long way. Even better, they're contagious. In our experience, women who are given meaningful compliments tend to copy the behavior and do the same. It's a win all around!
If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. This phrase is cliché, we know, but it's also one that we try hard to live by. It's natural to have not-nice thoughts, but sharing those thoughts is not mandatory—in fact, it's preferable to avoid voicing them at all. For anyone who has been on the receiving end of harsh or cruel words (all of us here have been through this, yes?), we know that those words stick and, unfortunately, can play a pretty large role in shaping the way we view ourselves. So rather than saying something mean or tactless and claim that we're "just being honest," we try to focus on constructive, positive and beneficial conversation.
Avoid gossip. Perhaps the number one killer of kind living, gossip does nothing for us if we're striving to be more kind. Sure, it may make us feel included in a certain group or create a bond of some sort, but nothing good ever comes of it. Gossip is cruel, has the potential to corrupt our world view, ruins friendships and can be quite damaging to our reputations. Can we all agree to just skip the gossip altogether? Instead let's opt for conversation that adds real value to our relationships. Who's with us?
p.s. Showing kindness to yourself is also important. We're doing that by ushering in a little more peace each morning.