A smile is worth about a thousand words, give or take. And if you’ve ever been feeling down (as we all have), you probably know how a smile from the right person at the right time can turn your day around.
The phrase is a bit cliché, but it’s true nonetheless: A little kindness really does go a long way.
So, if you need a little more motivation to practice kindness throughout your day, here are some of the often-overlooked benefits of being kind to everyone you meet.
You never know what someone is going through
Have you ever encountered someone who seems to be angry at the world? Maybe that’s their persona or maybe they’re going through something. If you don’t know them personally, there’s no way of knowing. So it’s best to assume that they’re going through something and are in desperate need of your kindness? Why? Because this is the better option for you.
Imagine this: Someone just made the decision to find help for addiction. They’re starting to feel the physical symptoms of withdrawal. But they have to pay rent, so they go to work.
They feel physically ill and emotionally destroyed. And you want to speak to their manager because they didn’t offer up service with a smile today. Maybe they were even a little grumpy.
If you knew what they were going through, you would have understood. So why not just understand anyway? Everyone is struggling in their own way, so let’s practice kindness whenever we can.
You’ll feel better
Want to know the best thing about kindness? It’s contagious. When you show kindness to another person, they’re likely to return the favor. And then you feel good.
Have you ever successfully turned someone’s mood around? Have you ever gotten a genuine smile out of someone who was clearly in a bad mood? Being kind to people makes you feel good. It can give you a sense of accomplishment.
You might just get your way
You may have heard the old phrase, “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” This means that you’re more likely to get your way when you’re being kind than when you’re not.
And you’ve probably seen this in action in your own life.
When you’re having a bad day, you’ve probably noticed that the negativity seems to snowball. In many cases, it’s your attitude that creates that snowball. If you have a bad attitude, no one in a positive state of mind will want to be around you. And you can’t really blame them.
So you end up attracting other people with similarly bad attitudes that can bring you down further.
You can make the world a better place
Wouldn’t you want to live in a world where kindness was the default? Well, if you want to live in that place, the best thing you can do is contribute to it.
It’s not always easy to be kind, but it’s better than the alternative. Kindness, or lack thereof, can have an impact on those around you. So if you’re kind to someone, they’re more likely to be kind to other people throughout the day.
On a small scale, this can help make the world a better place. If you think about how many people’s lives you touch during the day, and how many those people’s lives touch, and so on – it’s easy to see how a little kindness can really go a long way.
When you’re looking to improve your overall kindness, try to shift your perspective. If someone is in danger of negatively impacting your mood, consider that they may be going through a difficult time.
It’s usually true that those who are least kind are in greatest need for our kindness.
So, whenever you can, try to show kindness for those around you – whether they are kind to you or not.