Want to Make Friends and Feel Happier? Try Kindness!

Are you kind? Kindness is closely linked to happiness: the kinder you are to others, the happier you will be. So, how can we learn to be kinder? Maybe you think that kindness is just feeling warm fuzzies? Well, it’s more than that.

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Kindness means action.

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Yesterday I was standing in line in the supermarket checkout. It was a long queue. I looked behind me and noticed an elderly who looked exhausted.

I said to her, “Oh, you’ve been waiting a long time. Why don’t you go in front of me?”

Her eyes lit up.

“How did you guess my feet were hurting?” she said.
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It’s sometimes easier to be kind to strangers than to one’s own partner. Do you find that too? Perhaps we take the person closest to us for granted. Or may be we’re preoccupied.
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Sometimes we store up resentment from past hurts in a way that prevent us from being kind and towards our loved one. Maybe we fear that we will appear weak. Or we think, “He/she doesn’t deserve it!”

How kind are you to your loved one?
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Sometimes frustration and irritation spills over into our relationship and we become unkind and even a bit vicious. That may erode love in the course of time.
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If you want to be happier, kindness is the magic ingredient.
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The key to kindness is attention.
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Simply put, if you don’t notice what those around you need, you won’t find ways to be kind. Here are some simple ways to practise kindness:
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  • Look at those you love more often;
  • Take a deep slow breath as you look at them;
  • Take your eyes away from the newspaper, laptop, or TV when your loved one or friend talks to you.
  • Actively look for at least one opportunity to be kind to someone each day .
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You might ask, “When is the right time to be kind?”
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Kindness is never out of place.
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There is never a time when kindness is inappropriate. At the same time, you need to understand that this doesn’t only mean being kind to someone else; it also means being kind to yourself. There needs to be a wholesome balance between to yourself and others.

Putting up with abuse from others isn’t kindness! Being a doormat isn’t being kind!
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True kindness is to respect yourself as well as others.
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Some people try and keep a score in relationships to determine whether your partner is as kind to you, as you are to him or her. I don’t think there’s much point in trying to determine that. Qualities like kindness can’t be quantified.
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The true spirit of kindness is to give without counting the cost.
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The magic of kindness is that it not only makes others happy; it also makes us feel happy! Just imagine that you’re bumper to bumper in rush-hour traffic. There is a queue of cars wanting to join your lane. If you wave to a driver and let them merge in front of you, you’ll feel good, and the friendly smile between you will light up your day.

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Some acts of kindness are unforgettable. I remember crying at my mother’s bedside with my son Sebastian. She had just died. Suddenly three of my close friends came in and sat down beside us. For some hours we cried and laughed together, telling each other outrageous stories of my mother. Then they started to organise the funeral for us. That’s true kindness!

What is your experience of giving or receiving kindness?

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Enjoy these related posts:

How to Make a True Friend (Worth More Than 14.6 Cents)

Save the Word – One Breath at a Time

Make Peace: Declare Your Personal Amnesty

About the author

Mary Jaksch

Mary is passionate about helping people create a happy, purposeful, and fulfilling life. She is the founder of GoodlifeZEN and also the brains behind WritetoDone.com, one of the biggest blogs for writers on the Net. Mary is also a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

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