Being Kind Even When You Don't Feel Like It | Enduring All Things

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Being Kind Even When You Don't Feel Like It

Being kind is a simple way to show love and make someone's day. (click to tweet)

So why is it so hard to do? It shouldn't be. It should come naturally. But for some people, it just doesn't. And for the rest of us, maybe it doesn't at times. That's what I want to talk about today, being kind when you don't feel like it.

You've heard the phrase "Kill them with kindness," right? I sort of have a love hate relationship with this phrase. The idea is that when someone doesn't treat you right, you don't get back at them in the same way, you use kindness instead. It's really the right thing to do, but I have a problem with the attitude of "killing them" with your kindness. Whenever I've used this phrase or thought about it a lot, I picture how my kindness affects the other person and I always hope it really annoys them and drives them crazy. At that point, the motivations behind being kind are not much different than the motivations behind being mean, right?

Lately, I've slightly changed my motivations for being kind. You know, I set the marriage goal of being a cheerful wife last month and being kind and being cheerful go hand in hand. The reason I set that goal was because, after we saw Inside Out, Pearson told me that the thought my dominant emotion was sadness. That really opened my eyes to what he saw when I acted sad.
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Now I know you can still be kind when you're sad, but I think it's much more difficult. And besides, I know there are times when I wasn't very kind to Pearson on top of not being very cheerful, and he was a wonderful husband and loved me anyway while trying to calm me down and cheer me up.

So now I look at intentionally being kind (and cheerful) in a different light. I do it because it makes my husband (and anyone else I come into contact with) happy. I know that dealing with someone who's constantly sad, frustrated, or anxious, and who takes it out on others, can be taxing and frankly not enjoyable. I've been there. And when I realized I was doing it to others, it was like a light bulb went on in my head!

I don't want to be known as a jerk or a Debbie Downer or just someone who's not fun to be around. I want to be known as someone who always has a smile on their face and who cares about others and is kind no matter what. I know people like this too and they are always more fun to be around and their attitude is contagious.

So really, this change should be simple. I've already written a post about how to be a more cheerful wife, and those tips can mostly be applied to friends as well as your husband, but how can you be kind when you don't feel like it?

I really don't think there's straightforward answer. Just try to think about how you would want to be treated, think about the other person as a person with feelings, remember that they probably have nothing to do with why you feel the way you do, and practice, practice, practice. You, and I, will probably still slip up at times. We are human, right? But it starts with an attitude change. That's why the motivation behind it is so important.

Do you ever struggle with being kind? What are some tips you have to help?
Thanks for reading!
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