In a world where many people prioritize efficiency over kindness, it may be difficult to remember the importance of being nice. A kind and honest word from a stranger or loved one can refresh, inspire and remind you of the importance of being genuine. You can make a difference in someone's day with honest compliments. If you learn to encourage others by being kind and sincere, you will bring happiness to them and improve your relationships.
Stop Pressuring Yourself
Take the pressure off yourself to always be in a good mood. You will come across as insincere if you smile when you are having a bad day. Instead, realize there is a difference between being nice because you want to and being nice because you feel you must, writes Preston Ni, professor of communication at Foothill College in Silicon Valley, Calif., and author of "Communication Success with Four Personality Types," and "How to Communicate Effectively and Handle Difficult People." When you allow kind behavior to come from the heart, you will appear genuine and caring to people around you. You will not have to force yourself to be nice. It will come naturally.
Focus on Others
Focus on the people around you. You will make friends more quickly if you become interested in other people instead of trying to make others interested in you, according to the late Dale Carnegie, author of the classic, "How to Win Friends and Influence People." An uplifting person will highlight the genuine good in others and make people feel proud of themselves. Instead of expecting attention, give others self-confidence by praising them about positive traits you have noticed.
Do it for Yourself
Kindness benefits others and boosts your happiness. Practice being kind and genuine for the joy that accompanies making someone smile. People who engage in kind acts have increased levels of happiness over time, according to Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. By being genuine in your praise, you will encourage others to be honest about your positive traits.
Be Honest with Yourself
In order to be kind and genuine with others, first practice honesty. If you are having a hard day and all you want to do is stay in bed and cuddle under the covers, admit it. You can face the day knowing you are strong enough to be honest about your emotions. You will enable others to be honest in return when you do not respond to a "How are you?" with a standard, "Great!" You open the door to conversation and encourage genuine interaction when you say, "I have had better days." A University of Notre Dame study found that telling the truth when you are tempted to lie may improve not only your mental, but physical health, as well.
- Cool to Be Kind: Random Acts and How to Commit Them; Val Litwin, Chris Bratseth, Brad Stokes, Erik Hanson
- Inc: 6 Habits of Remarkably Likable People
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