We’ve all heard the phrase, “Kill them with kindness.” Have you tried it? It’s hard.
I mean this in the sense that you should assume people’s positive intent. Rather than start scripting scenarios about the persons and why they did what they did. Have you considered putting a positive spin to the situation? And asking yourself, “What was their intent? Why did they do that?” I know this is something I struggle with. When I get in an argument I always go off and get defensive (I’m like the Phi Phi O’hara of my season.) I get caught up in the argument and trying to defend myself and my point that I don’t slow down and take the other person’s perspective. Needless to say, I don’t kill people with kindness but rather, “Go back to Party City where you belong,” lines.
I recently had an opportunity to sit through a training by Employers Council on, “Creating a Culture of Kindness.” The trainer, Bridget, was very insightful. She has over 10 years of experience and had great stories to tell about kindness. I particularly enjoyed the one where people show up to her training angry and upset thinking that they don’t have emotions. When in reality, “not having” emotions and being robotic is an emotion.
She challenged us with questions like, what is kindness? And how do we cultivate it professionally and personally? More importantly, that people can burn out on kindness. This was a whole new concept for me, but when you think about it, it happens. The example that was provided was hospice care workers. The whole conversation was very insightful. That day, I went home and “la aplique.” When I talked with my boyfriend I stopped and asked myself, “Where is he coming from? What is he kindly trying to say?” For the most part these internal questions changed the interactions I was having with him that night. The weekend is coming up and my goal is to try it with as many people as possible. Stay tune friends!
Because, kindness does not equate niceness.