20 simple ways to be a kinder person every day

by Brendan Brown | September 6, 2023, 5:48 pm

Every day, I wake up and say to myself, “I hope to be kinder today.” I always try to be nicer to my kids, my husband, even strangers. 

With the hullabaloo of life, it can be challenging though. With life’s stresses, we can easily forget how important compassion is. We get lost in our anxiety sometimes, and we unfortunately unleash that pressure on other people.

But there’s something undeniably appealing about kindness. It’s a quality that shines, drawing people in, making them feel valued, loved, and seen. It’s important to prioritize it. 

Kindness is more than just a virtue—it should be a lifestyle. It’s in the words we speak, the actions we take, and even in the smallest gestures we make every day. We all have the capacity to be kind, but it takes commitment and practice. 

So today, make kindness a priority. Here are just some simple ways to be kinder to others… 

1) Practice active listening

We often underestimate the power of a good listener. 

Being present in conversations shows respect and appreciation for the other person. 

It’s not just about hearing the words they say but truly understanding their feelings and perspective. 

Try to listen without interrupting, judging, or formulating your response. Let them know that what they’re saying matters to you.

2) Express gratitude regularly

Expressing gratitude is a beautiful way of showing kindness. It can be as simple as thanking someone for their help or for just being in your life. 

Be grateful not only makes the other person feel appreciated but also cultivates a sense of contentment within yourself.

3) Volunteer your time

Giving your time to help others is a powerful act of kindness. 

Start with helping a neighbor with groceries to volunteering at a local charity. 

The act of volunteering not only aids others but also provides a sense of purpose and satisfaction.

4) Offer compliments

Genuine compliments can brighten someone’s day

Look for things to appreciate in people around you. It could be their work ethic, their outfit, or even their smile. 

Make it a habit to express these appreciations, and you’ll be spreading positivity wherever you go.

5) Be patient

Kindness often requires patience, especially when dealing with difficult situations or people

Instead of reacting in frustration, try to stay calm and understanding. Remember, everyone is dealing with their own struggles.

6) Show empathy

Empathy is about understanding and sharing the feelings of others. It’s about putting yourself in their shoes and responding with compassion. 

Practice empathy by validating people’s emotions and offering comfort during tough times.

7) Be generous

Kindness and generosity go hand in hand. 

I’m Filipino and in my culture, generosity is such a norm. It’s how my people show our kindness.

It’s so common for a Filipino person to be generous that it’s often the most prominent thing people notice when they meet people from the Philippines or visit the country. 

Whether it’s sharing a meal, donating to a cause, or simply giving your time and attention, every act of generosity counts.

8) Smile more

Never underestimate the power of a smile. It’s a simple way to spread positivity. 

Even if you’re having a bad day, try to smile—it might just make someone else’s day brighter.

9) Be there for others

Sometimes, all people need is someone who’ll be there for them, whether in joy or sorrow. 

Being present for others, offering a shoulder to lean on, or a listening ear, shows deep kindness.

10) Practice Forgiveness

Holding grudges can be burdensome. 

Choosing forgiveness allows for peace and positivity. 

Remember, forgiving isn’t about forgetting the wrong done to you. It’s about freeing yourself from the weight of resentment.

11) Write encouraging notes

A handwritten note of appreciation or encouragement can mean a lot. 

Surprise someone with a note to uplift their spirits.

Start with your child’s lunchbox. Write a little something and slip it in with their first meal at school or camp. They’ll feel the warm fuzzies when they read it unexpectedly.

12) Lend a hand

Whether it’s helping someone with their groceries or offering your seat on public transportation, these acts of service go a long way.

And you don’t have to go totally out of your way. Recognize when someone is in need as you move through the day. It’s the simple acts that can make a big difference sometimes. 

I used to take the bus into the office and would sometimes see a blind man also commuting into the city. Random patrons on the bus would take turns helping him get from point A to point B. 

I always thought of it as such a lovely display of kindness. I also wanted to help him, but someone else would beat me to it!

13) Respect everyone

Kindness starts with respect. 

Treat everyone you encounter with dignity, regardless of their background or social status.

14) Practice mindfulness

By being mindful, we stay present and attentive to the needs of others around us. 

It enables us to respond in kind ways even in difficult situations.

You’ll also notice more when you practice mindfulness, opening up a world where you can see when someone needs help. 

15) Avoid gossip

Refraining from talking negatively about others is a great act of kindness. 

We know it’s not always easy. I am guilty of the same. It’s fun to gossip, I get it. But think about what that does for your psyche.

It not only shows respect for others but also adds positivity to your conversations. If you gossip, you’ll just end up feeling bad on the inside because you said not-so-nice things about someone else.

16) Apologize when wrong

Accountability is also kindness! It takes strength to admit when you’re wrong. 

An earnest apology can heal wounds and mend relationships.

17) Practice humility

Recognize the value and contributions of others. 

Share credit where it’s due and remember that every person has something to offer.

Humility is also admitting your place in the world. Knowing you’re not perfect and, like everyone else, are a work in progress, is radiating kindness towards others

18) Give genuine feedback

Constructive, sincere feedback can help others grow. 

Providing helpful insights shows that you care about their progress and are willing to invest your time in their improvement.

19) Include others

Whether it’s at work, school, or in social gatherings, make an effort to include everyone. 

No one likes to feel left out. 

Being inclusive can look like inviting other people into a conversation or connecting people together. Be the person who brings others together, not apart. 

20) Show up on time

Respect other people’s time. 

Showing up late can signal a lack of regard for their schedule, so strive to be punctual.

By honoring other people’s schedules, you’re showing them kindness. 

Why should people strive to be kind? 

Be nice? What’s in it for you? 

When we choose kindness, we’re not just making the world a better place, we’re transforming ourselves. 

Kindness helps us connect with others on a deeper level, fostering a sense of community and togetherness. It promotes mental and emotional well-being, too. 

Acts of kindness have been linked to increased happiness and reduced stress. The benefits of kindness are vast. It’s a boon for mental and emotional well-being, fostering a sense of joy, satisfaction, and belonging. 

People who practice kindness experience lower stress, improved mood, and better interpersonal relationships. 

The ripple effect of kindness can also create a more positive and caring community. 

However, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. There will be times when it’s challenging to be kind—when we’re tired, stressed, or simply having a bad day. But these are the moments when choosing kindness can be the most powerful.

How to be kind on a daily basis

Being kind doesn’t mean you have to be extravagant or go out of your way all the time. Often, the smallest acts of kindness have the most significant impact. 

Kindness starts with small steps—the decision to listen, to be patient, to express gratitude. It’s about making a series of small but impactful choices every day.

Every act of kindness, however small, can make a big difference. So let’s commit to being kinder every day, one small act at a time.

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