words by Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Lately, I have been thinking about kindness and niceness and how there is a difference between the two. I think the best example I can come up with is that a nice person might not tell you there is food between your teeth (wanting to spare you the embarrassment) but a kind person will tell you, even though it is awkward and you might be embarrassed. In my life I aspire to be kinder. I think that I am pretty much always nice, but kindness is trickier. At almost 40 and having spent the past 9 years living alone, I can definitely be selfish and set in my ways. I like things how I like them, and can be a little rigid!
That being said, my love language is definitely acts of service (have you taken the quiz? It’s fascinating!) and when someone does something nice for me, I melt a little bit. With friendships, with dating, with any relationship! I try to take the time to remember to be thoughtful and do little things for the people in my life: sending flowers for a friend’s birthday, picking up the phone when I’m thinking about someone, giving little gifts here and there.
Little Acts of Kindness
Here are some acts of kindness (big and small) that have inspired me recently. I would love to hear some of your favorites in the comments section.
A girlfriend was having a stressful call with an insurance company while she waited in line for the coffee. When she pulled up to pay, the car in front of her had bought her coffee. This is such a nice and easy thing to do for a stranger, whether you are in a car or on foot.
My boyfriend and I got stuck in a ton of traffic getting back from Mexico and I missed my 1pm flight out of San Diego. The next flight wasn’t until 10pm. He changed his schedule around to stay with me. We got wine and snacks at a local bar, did some work, read, talked, hung out for seven hours. I insisted that he just go (he had a three hour drive home!) but it meant the world to me that he stayed with me.
One of my favorite things about him is how thoughtful he is. He does a lot of nice little things like bringing me coffee in the morning, stocking the fridge with green juice when I visit… fixing the pillows for us when we are watching a movie and my neck is suddenly in a strange position. Those little things add up and make me feel really cared for. When I think about relationships, I think I’d prefer lots of little acts of kindness vs. big grand gestures.
When I work with a brand and they also offer to send product to my head of partnerships (or when I had an assistant, my assistant!). It’s just thoughtful. I had another brand offer to send things to my mom. Last week, Simon & Schuster sent me two copies of the new Alice Hoffman book because they know it’s my mom’s favorite book.
A blogger girlfriend and I were driving down to Georgia for a work event and her car broke down about an hour and a half outside of Charleston. Her husband came and brought us his car (and dealt with towing the other one) so that we could still go on the trip.
How do you strive to be kinder? What are some of your favorite acts of kindness?