Kindness counts. In order to build strong and meaningful relationships, we need to treat our loved ones, and strangers, with care and thoughtfulness. People always remember how you made them feel. Here are 4 simple ways you can cultivate kindness and be a spark of positivity in the lives of others.

1) Be more vulnerable

People can be extremely reserved about opening up to others. They may fear rejection, judgment, or appearing weak. Being the first one to put yourself out there and authentically share your feelings and experiences can produce a ripple effect. Vulnerability facilitates human connection.

2) Be curious about others

There are 7.5 billion people in the world right now, and every one of them has their own unique story. People love to feel heard. Ask people about their experiences. Ask them how they’re feeling and why they feel that way. You may be the only person to ask all day.

3) Be more present

In our world of distractions, being present is an increasingly difficult task. Especially when spending time with others, it’s important to tune into the world around you. Try to avoid checking your phone when you’re having a conversation or spending time with a friend (old or new). People feel more valued and acknowledged when you’re looking into their eyes and speaking directly to them.

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4) Put yourself in others’ shoes

By empathizing with people and considering how they may be feeling, you can better understand and relate to them. This step can be especially challenging after you’ve had an argument or fallout with someone. In these cases, we tend to be reactive and say things that can do damage. If you truly value your relationship with someone and want to resolve the conflict, start by considering their viewpoint. Whenever you can, take the time to step into somebody else’s shoes – you’ll emerge more humble and sensitive to others’ feelings.

Jenn B