Set an example for children.
You don’t have to be a parent or teacher in order to pass on knowledge to children. Volunteer to be a big brother or sister to a child. Go to schools and share your experiences, talk about your job, or teach them a skill. Lead by example. Show them the advantages to being a good person, and teach them how to be kind out in the world. Teaching kindness will lead to more of it in future generations, all while showing kindness yourself.
Help out with events.
When somebody is planning a large event, such as a wedding, party, or shower, their to-do list can get overwhelming. Offer to help pick up the slack by suggesting specific things that you can do to help, like make food, run errands, or decorate. Choose things within your specific skill set, yet leave the large decisions for the host to make. This will make you the ideal helper.
Help out with child care.
If you see a friend, family member, or neighbor in need of child care, offer to watch their kids while they run errands, work, or need to recharge. Pick up the slack in their busy lives. You will feel valued when they put their children into your care, and you will help out a person in need.
Reach out to those who need kindness the most.
Volunteer your time and skills to brightening the day of those less fortunate. Help out at soup kitchens. Donate to charitable organizations. Take new or gently used items to shelters, nursing homes, or group homes. Find a cause that you support, and spend some time helping that cause.
Make way for those who are in a hurry.
Kindness can mean making someone’s day easier. One way to do this is by making way when someone is hurrying from one place to another. Whatever their reason for rushing, clear a path, and help them get to where they are going faster. You may even get a “thank you” as they pass by.
Surprise your loved ones with notes of encouragement.
Written encouragement can be just as powerful as spoken words. Leave a note in someone’s lunch. Write a message in the dust or snow on the back of someone’s car. Pay them a compliment through a text message or email. This simple message can make a bad day for someone not so bad.
Engage the shy guest in small talk.
If you are outgoing, single out the quiet person at the party and strike up a conversation. Some people have trouble starting a conversation but can be very interesting once you make the first move. Above all else, it will make them feel included in a situation where they may seem out of place.
Leave gifts for strangers.
Insert nice notes into borrowed books. Leave an umbrella in a public place on a rainy day for someone who may need it. Place sealed snacks or drinks out with a note to take one. Being kind doesn’t always mean being recognized for your actions. Sometimes it means doing nice things anonymously just for the high that comes from doing things for others without being told or wanting something in return.
Counter rude words with kind ones.
Rudeness can come from strangers on the street or your closest relative. People say things that rub others the wrong way or come off as insulting. Sometimes it’s even intentional. When it is, instead of retaliating with more rudeness, fire off a nice compliment instead. You will throw off their game and bump their self-worth to hopefully limit their rude comments in the future.
Give up your seat.
Showing kindness means helping others. It doesn’t have to be life saving, just polite and helpful gestures, such as giving up your seat on a crowded bus or train to someone who needs to sit. Think of others first, and your slight discomfort will be nothing compared to the good feelings that result in doing a good deed.
The Internet has given us various outlets in which to get on our soapboxes and complain about our lives. Resist the urge to do this. Instead, use the platform for positivity, highlighting yourself as well as others. If something bad does happen that you feel the need to share, try to put a positive spin or joke on it so that others can see how well you handle conflict and don’t put your problems on anybody else.
Be kinder to yourself.
Being kind to yourself is one way for you to learn how to be kinder to others. Embrace your flaws. Reward your successes. Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake. Acknowledge your own worth so that you can recognize it in others.
Stand up for others.
Stick up for those who are being bullied. Counter negative comments with positive ones. Defend their stance when others gang up on them. Be the hero that you would want to have around if you were in their situation.
Stretch your tolerance a bit further for a loved one.
It’s true that the people we are closest to tend to get on our last nerve more frequently than others. Knowing someone well means that they will show the best and the worst of themselves and vice versa. There are even those friends and family members can even go so far as to get on your case and exploit your own weaknesses, causing you frequent stress and irritation. In order to remain a kind person, you must learn to be extra kind and patient around them and learn how not to let their unkindness rub off on you.
Say “Please” and “Thank You”
These “magic words” that you are taught as a kid should be used throughout the rest of your life in a genuine way and at appropriate times. Kindness and manners go hand in hand, and using these words is an easy way of maintaining a kind demeanor.
Pick your battles and know when to give up graciously.
Somethings are worth fighting for, but you don’t always have to win every battle. Sometimes it’s wiser to walk away, especially when the stakes are low. Not only will you come off as the bigger person, but it will keep you from wasting your energy on unkind thoughts or actions.
Understanding others takes an open mind and an awareness that not everyone shares your viewpoints or experiences. If you can see past your own mindset and look at theirs, it will add to your understanding not only of others’ thoughts and actions but also your own. This will add to your kindness quotient.
Respect others' beliefs.
People have different beliefs depending on their social environment and cultural backgrounds, but one thing’s for sure, nobody has the right to judge them for what they believe. Instead of judging, seek to understand their beliefs. You may or may not agree with them, but you will at least know enough to respect the person for believing what they believe.
People can be downright brutal when criticizing others. Don’t be this way. Instead, try to give constructive criticism in which a solution is presented with the critique.
Praise others generously.
Acknowledge people who have done a good job. Make them see the worth of their accomplishments. It will boost your kindness meter and inspire others to strive for new or greater success.
Be kind even to those who are not kind back.
It’s easy to be kind to those who are kind to us, but when dealing with a difficult person, we sometimes need a reminder. Do your best to be kind to them, even if it is not reciprocated. They may start to soften as a result of your kindness.
Remind yourself to be kind.
If you are known to let your negative emotions lead your actions, try to recognize that, and stop to think before you act. Remember the times when you were kind to others and how it led to positive results, or think back to times when you could have been kinder, and do your best to be kind going forward.
Being grateful is more than just saying “thank you” for things. It’s the realization that somebody took the time to think about you, and you have benefited as a result. Acknowledge this often, no matter how small the gesture.
It may be a simple note, a helping hand, a shoulder ready to be cried on, a listening ear, etc. Whatever it is, the thought behind these gestures is what’s important. Being there for someone will show them you care.
There’s no better way to be kind than showing and proving that you mean it. It doesn’t have to be a grand, attention-grabbing gesture. Sharing a snack, sending a card, or paying a compliment will demonstrate your kindness to others.