Have you ever ran to feed your meter and found that someone had thrown in a few coins when they saw it was about to expire? Ever had someone chase you down when you left something behind at the store? Or have you found a handwritten note from a loved one, just because?
Let's face it: we all lead busy lives. Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our own world that we neglect the moments that make ourselves (and others) feel truly special. And really, it's the little things that matter in life!
Taking a few minutes of time to be thoughtful and kind to others goes a long way. It will not only enhance your own personal happiness, but it will help take all of your relationships to the next level.
5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Relationships and Cultivate Kindness
Be inquisitive, without an agenda.
We tend to hide painful emotions below the surface, and skirt through the day by responding "I'm fine!" with any question about how our day is going. Loved ones will do the same, so dig a little deeper by asking how they're feeling about their life right now, or by asking if they feel good about where they are with their goals. Suggest books, websites, or podcasts that could be helpful to them.
The important thing to remember is that you aren't there to solve their problem, but to listen and be supportive. Often that is more helpful than we realize.
Send a handwritten note.
In the age of technology, sending a card in the mail scribbled in your unique handwriting goes a long way in making someone feel special. Don't save cards or notes for special occasions either. Mail a card that you know would make your friend laugh, or send a letter when you know they are going through a hard time. For a partner, sneak a handwritten love note into their purse or lunch bag before they leave for work. It's a guaranteed way to make them smile.
Yes, actually dial their number and speak to your loved one directly. Anyone can send a text or an email, or post "HBD2U" on Facebook. But calling and speaking to someone directly (even just by leaving a voicemail) is much more meaningful.
Spread kindness everywhere.
Don't limit your kindness to the people you already love, but spread it to everyone around you. We are all connected in our humanity and we all feel fear, sadness, and heartbreak. Smile at people you pass on the street, hold open the door for someone carrying heavy groceries, let that car merge in front of you when stuck in traffic, or even buy a coffee for the person standing in line behind you.
These little acts of kindness create happiness in everyone around you, and in turn will affect those you love in a positive way.
It doesn't matter how big or small the gesture, but stopping for a moment to think about the ways you can positively affect others will greatly improve your life and theirs. Looking for more advice for how to improve your connections with friends and partners? Start here by letting go of unhealthy relationships.
[Credit: Moore, Susie. 4 Simple Ways to Be An Even More Wonderful Human, Instantly. Greatist.]