Oh how I love to be kind! I so absolutely DO mean it ya! The whole “kill them with kindness” phrase started swirling in my head after two people whom I respect very much mentioned the phrase in two completely different scenarios. It just got me thinking… this is so the best way to live life! So let’s explore that together, shall we?
The first person who mentioned this phrase was an instructor at a class at work. She has reputable credentials, has been keynote speaker at administrative professional conferences, wrote a book and is overall a smartsie pants lady. We were talking about how to handle difficult people. People who make our lives challenging to say it nicely. People who think stirring the pot is a must. There were about 18 people in the class and we were discussing the best ways to respond to difficult people. Of course the first answer was to ignore them. Sure it sounds easy but have you ever tried ignoring someone who is literally on your face bitching about life and bringing your mojo down?! It ain’t that easy. And this is an “easy” scenario since it doesn’t “hurt” your work directly just your ability to not kill someone who is on your face! Someone else said that she would have a conversation with annoying person and ask to please respect her space and allow her to work. Sure this sounds like a very professional solution but not everyone can do this. Of course you can’t go to your boss to tell him or her that annoying person is annoying because as professionals we are expected to solve these kind of issues by ourselves. I mean this is not even a work issue; more like an attitude issue. How can we make someone want to change the way they behave?
The other person who brought this phrase up was a brother at my church’s group. No I won’t be talking to you about religion, don’t worry. We were talking about what it means to love as a Christian. Like I said, I won’t bring here the religious details, but we came to the conclusion that to be good a good neighbor you need to try to accept and embrace every person for who they are. With that said, there will be one, or two, or many people out there who will be hard to swallow (if ya know wha’ I mean), and that is when you want to use kindness to offset negative behaviors and keep joy in your heart. I know not everyone is religious but we all want to be good neighbors, right? Yes? Maybe? Come on, you got this!
So how do we do this? To begin let’s be realistic. Sure changing their behaviors would be great in La La Land, but that is not always possible in the real world since it requires for the other party to do something and you don’t have control over that. I mean you can’t force them to be nice. So what can you do? Well, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. On that note, you only have control on how you react to annoying person or annoying neighbor. Let’s talk about our reaction before we inspire annoying person or neighbor not to be so freakin annoying! What can we do?
- We can get mad! Sure we can but why get mad about it? When we get upset about what someone did, it only affects us and not the other person. If you choose to get upset you will engage emotionally making your pretty heart ache and you will engage physically getting wrinkles on your pretty face not to mention all the bad stuff stress causes to our body. You don’t want that right? Of course not!
- We can ignore them! Sure that is also a choice. It might work some days and others not so much. There is no guarantee on this one because some days you will have the willpower to ignore and some other days it will be impossible so I say not a great choice.
- We can confront them! Yes, let’s tell them what is wrong with them! (insert sound of evil laugh here would ya) That is also a choice but when we confront others we risk the relationship. In addition, some people get extremely defensive so they might not even hear your great argument and is no bueno to have enemies right and left because I am telling you is no bueno so trust you me.
Getting upset doesn’t solve the situation and only affects you not the other person. Now there are a few things in life that spread like the flu in October and kindness can be one of them! Being nice to them can change things up in a good way. How so? Let’s dig deep just like Shaun-T shall we:
- When we are nice not only our souls feel good and pretty, but there is a physical response at the biochemical level. That good feeling is some type of healthy “high” for our bodies thanks to elevated levels of dopamine in the brain.
- There is a hormone called oxytocin which is also known as “cardio protective” hormone. Turns out when we are nice there is an emotional response in our body that produces this hormone which after all that science stuff I won’t bore you with basically means our blood pressure lowers and that is all good healthy stuff ya!
- And remember that awesome oxytocin hormone from before? Well when we are kind and we lower our blood pressure we also reduce levels of radicals and inflammation which translates into slowing down aging. Say wha?! Yup, there is a response in your body when you are kind that slows down again. Young again!
- And the most important, in my opinion that is, kindness is contagious! Good acts, trigger more good acts, which ultimate help with better relationships. Ain’t that cool? Treat others the way you want to be treated and I while can’t guarantee 100% of the people will respond treating you better, I’ll guess a good 97% will and that is great! What about the other 3% you ask? Those are real jerks and we can’t do much about them BUT we can continue to be nice to them jerks and feel good, improve our health, our spiritual being and slow down aging! Now that is pretty cool if you ask me. And because kindness is contagious there is a high chance that annoying person or neighbor will start acting differently and make things better between the two of you. Score!
Let me tell you it is definitely worth trying. Be kind always. When someone is not being nice to you, try harder and make them want to change their negative behaviors. The world needs more kindness. Be the reason why someone smiles. Be the reason why someone acts nice. Be the reason why others are inspired to do good things.