My Mum was one of those women who loved to give. Unfortunately, she was also unable to receive – anything! My Dad and I used to find ways around it but it was really hard work.
One day I asked her, “How does it feel to give?” She replied, “It feels wonderful!”. Then I asked her, “So why won’t you allow me to feel wonderful too?” She was taken aback, “I never thought of it that way”, she replied.
Unfortunately for me, it was too late for her to change and allow me to give to her too.
But, fortunately for me, there’s a world out there hungering to receive what researchers call ‘random acts of kindness.’ Here’s an excerpt of an article I found on the subject.
“Bob Kerry, an American senator, once said, “Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly and most underrated agent in human change.” What a profound statement! And yet it is the easiest thing in the world to execute. With very little time (even just two minutes a day) and very minimal effort we can transform a human being’s day, week, or even life. The return on investment is off the charts! How can something so simple and so easy have such a tremendous impact on others and ourselves?
Every act of kindness creates a ripple effect that spreads from person to person with no end in sight. Kindness is contagious like a disease in which the outcome is divinely beautiful. Jamil Zaki, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab recently conducted a series of studies that observe how witnessing (my comment, this is just observing others!) kindness inspires kindness, causing it to spread like a virus. He concludes that “by emphasizing empathy-positive norms, we may be able to leverage the power of social influence to combat apathy and conflict in new ways.”
Here are 9 random acts of kindness you might like to try.
1. Find opportunities to give compliments. It costs nothing, takes hardly any time and could make someone’s entire day. Don’t just think about it, do it!
2. Ask a friend, “I’m going to the shops. Do you need anything?”
3. Hide a surprise love note for your partner or children or friend or family member – to find. Write something simple like, “I just want you to know how much I love you.”
4. Take a bouquet of flowers to the elderly unit of your local hospital.
5. Ask somebody if they need a lift.
6. Listen! You have no idea how powerful it is to just listen to somebody without having to do anything other than being there for them!
7. Be kind to yourself. Every evening write down 3-5 things for which you’re grateful. Research shows that this can increase your feelings of happiness by 25%!
8. If somebody looks harassed behind you at the supermarket’s check-out queue, let them go first.
9. Accept someone’s act of kindness towards you.
I’d love to know what difference this experiment has had on you!
With love and gratitude
P.S. My third book, ‘Open Your Heart: The 7 Secrets Of Strong And Loving Relationships’ will be launched on Thursday, 21 September 2017
P.P.S. I enable women build strong and loving relationships, first with themselves and then with others. That’s because your relationship with yourself shapes all your other relationships.
If you’d like to find out how you can do that email me on firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE one hour exploratory conversation.