Five Personal Ways to Share Kindness

World Kindness Day was on Monday, but we should at least celebrate all week. Right? So it’s not too late to join, if you haven’t already.

Here are five terrific ways to share kindness – and on a very personal level.

Sometimes it’s easier to do random nice things for strangers, like hold a door or share a smile. Isn’t that strange, but true? It takes time and effort to do something extra for the people closest to you.

Hopefully one of these ideas gives you some inspiration. >

{ONE} Notice Them

Yesterday’s post is still sitting deep with me. In my 21-day gratitude challenge, I was asked to think about the people around me whom I might take for granted.

When I started running down my list, I realized a couple of things. One, I have some incredibly awesome people in my life, and two, I probably don’t tell them enough how special they are.

In an effort to share more kindness, I think the simple act of noticing can be huge.

Let your eyes light up when someone walks in the room. Put the phone down, ask about their day, and be present for them. Notice something beautiful about them, and then speak it.

{TWO} Shower Them with Cards

A very kind and inspiring girl from my sorority is fighting colon cancer as we speak. She started chemo treatments last week and needs lots of support and encouragement right now.

One of our sisters decided to organize a card party (with snail mail). She started a Facebook page to get the word out to all of the girls who lived in the Delta Gamma house during the time our friend was there. And she’s encouraging all of us to mail a card, poem, pictures, or any kind of day-maker on Monday. We hope to flood her mailbox with love.

I absolutely ADORE this idea!!

Wouldn’t this be such a great thing to do for anyone special in your life? Pick an unsuspecting day – like not their birthday or anniversary – and organize friends and family to send cards that include special messages.

How fun for them to check their mail?! Not everyone’s letters will arrive on the same day, so it could span a full week.

{THREE} Listen with Love

Everyone needs a friend who can listen…like really set the world aside for a moment and listen. It’s such an important skill, but doesn’t always come naturally.

I recently read an article about “conversational narcissism” and couldn’t believe how many times I’ve done this or had it happen to me!

Here’s how it goes. A friend shares an emotional story, like how their kid got in big trouble at school, and you can tell your friend is embarrassed and pissed at the situation. You find yourself digging through your archives for a similar incident so you can empathize and make her feel better. That’s your intention, anyway.

What can end up happening is you make her feel like you’re one-upping her situation. Even if you don’t mean to. The kind thing to do is listen and let it be about them. Instead of saying, “Me, too!” stick with, “I’m so sorry. What can I do to help you through this?”

{FOUR} Speak Their Language

Waaay back at the beginning of my marriage (almost 17 yrs ago!!) Brandon and I discovered this book about love languages. We thought it might be kind of cheesy, but we also wanted to be good spouses. While we had dated each other for several years, being a wife and husband was definitely new territory for us.

When we opened the book, it also opened our hearts. I know, sappy, but true!

It outlined five types of love languages people gravitate toward: gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch.

Once Brandon and I figured out the secret to each other’s love, it was so much easier to make each other happy.

So…if you want to truly share kindness with someone close to you, it would be good to figure out what’s most meaningful to them. Then do it, give it, be it, feel it, or say it!

Acts of service (above) is my cheat sheet for Brandon!

I happen to cherish quality time, so any of the ideas below would make me super happy. 😉

{A full set of downloadable prints for each love language can be found on this awesome post.}

{FIVE} Capture Their Kindness

Starting this week, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is sponsoring a 14-week photo challenge. They encourage you to capture an act of kindness and then post it online using the hashtag #CAPTUREKINDNESS. You can win awesome prizes and inspire more people to join.

Even better…you could double down on your kindness by taking a picture of someone you know who’s caught in the act of doing something nice. When you post the pic, you could win a prize and give it to him or her!

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That’s a wrap! For more ideas check out these posts on Acts of Kindness. You’ll find Kindness RocksMaKayla, our kindness elf, a few inspiring quotes, and more!

XoXoXo,

Kate

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