Sharing kindness might seem like the most selfless activity you could do. It’s a choice to be kind sometimes, be that in helping someone with a favor or simply choosing to rise above a tense conversation.
But kindness isn’t a totally selfless activity, and that’s not a bad thing! The kinder you are to other people, the kinder you are to yourself.
Don’t just be kind indiscriminately because this can make people take advantage of you. Focus on being authentically kind when you truly and genuinely wish to, doing your best to help others when you can, and living how you wish other people would (such as turning the other cheek), then you can respect yourself and feel self-love.
Here are some ways sharing kindness helps you be kinder to yourself.
You Become More Tolerant
When you are kinder to others, you tend to be more tolerant, meaning you are more forgiving, more open, and more understanding.
Practicing tolerance towards others can help you be more accepting of yourself because it teaches you to forgive yourself and give yourself more credit. You’ll become more open-minded towards other people too.
You Understand Kindness Is Its Own Reward
When you practice kindness, you can understand that kindness is its own reward and that helping someone can nourish you. Most people realize this when they volunteer or focus on helping people in need.
Provided this doesn’t become a vanity project, you might enjoy being kind to people, not because you’re hoping for some kind of recognition, but because you feel better and sleep easier when you make that effort.
You See That You Deserve Kindness Too
A little kindness can make someone who feels down about themselves realize they’re not all that bad. A kind word or a compliment can make someone’s week. Many of us still remember times someone was kind to us and complimented our outfit.
Kindness is not only a tool but a prescription. You deserve kindness just like anyone else. You are your biggest critic, so try to be more empathetic (for a great discussion of this, see this article which aims to describe ‘what is empathy?’).
Kindness is a way to express gratitude for all the positive aspects of life, while soothing the negative.
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