It can be hard to be kind when everyone around you seems to have an attitude that is the opposite of kindness.
Rude people abound. Everywhere you turn there seems to be someone hell-bent on ruining your (and everyone else’s) day with their attitude, selfishness, and inattentiveness to others’ feelings.
In fact, rudeness in the workplace seems like it is getting out of hand. A study at the University in Sweden surveyed 6,000 people about the social climate of their workplaces. It found that 75% said they’d been subjected to rudeness in the past year alone.
Sometimes we find ourselves responding in kind. However, all that does is raise our own blood pressure and ruin our day – as well as making us stoop to their level and continue the cycles of viciousness. Surely, there are better ways to deal.
Why kindness matters
Good news! There are better ways and they can both help your own sense of well-being as well as give the other person something to think about. That “something positive” might just improve their day!
It all boils down to the healing power of forgiveness. So without further ado, let’s dive into ten different ways you can disarm people with kindness – and, in doing so, make the world a better place.
Equanimity and kindness
Defined as “mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation,” equanimity can stop things from elevating. It shows inner strength and self-restraint and is a true testament to courage.
Simply count to ten, take some deep breaths, and ask yourself if the situation or words are enough for you to blow up over. Chances are they aren’t.
Empathy and compassion
Try understanding why the person is being rude, to begin with. Are they reacting without realizing to internal conflicts or pressure? Was someone else rude to them recently, setting them off?
Sometimes, by not engaging in their behavior and instead taking a bigger picture approach, you can break the cycle of rudeness.
Lead By Example
If you’re snappy, brusque, or rude yourself, chances are that will set someone else off. So just be kind. Being nice doesn’t mean you’re weak.
Remember, treating others how we want to be treated is a great way to get through life! Show people how to treat you through the use of boundaries and respect. Then they can start doing the same for themselves!
Shrug It Off
You don’t even have to respond to rudeness. Laugh it off, shrug it off – do whatever you need to do to just move on. It deflates both the situation and your own potential blood-pressure-raising response.
Other people’s responses are about them and not you. So, don’t give them any power!
Even if they’re not showing you any respect, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to. It also stops them from getting angrier; it’s a great way to help defuse a situation.
Respect should be a basic human habit that we give to others. We are all human beings, trying to make the most out of our time here on Earth. Don’t be a jerk.
Ask Them What They Really Want
Oftentimes, people snap without thinking. Maybe they’re having a bad day. Maybe they’re having a bad month. But by not responding in kind and instead responding with kind(ness), you might be able to help open their eyes to their behavior which might be the cause of increased pressure in their daily life.
You never know what is happening in someone else’s story, so try to always be kind!
Love The Bully
We’re all programmed on a genetic level for reciprocity – it’s rare for you to be nasty to someone who’s being nice to you without a reason. But it’s much easier to be nasty to someone if they’re nasty to us.
If we maintain that lifestyle though, we’re opening ourselves up to the fact that someone else is always going to be in control of our emotions; it leads to a constant state of reacting to someone else’s actions. Remaining nice to someone disarms them.
Give Before Taking
With this simple act, the rude person finds themselves instantly disarmed. They are also now put in a position where they:
- Must accept your charitable act
- Feel compelled to reciprocate in some manner
Show No Fear
Oftentimes, the best way to disarm a bully is to show them you have no fear of them – and then show them kindness. They’re utterly disarmed because they rarely find that behavior in someone else (and for good reason; most people being bullied are too angry/upset/scared to confront the bully).
Don’t accept the game that’s presented; change the rules and disarm them with kindness.
That co-employee at that nearby cubicle is always bitching about something or someone, right? What if they showed up one day to find flowers? Or a box of chocolates? Or lunch?
A simple gift can be all someone else needs to find the validation they’re so desperately acting out for.
At the end of the day, kindness is the ultimate weapon and shield if wielded correctly – and isn’t that ironic? Use it well and you can disarm many situations where voices are starting to get raised and tensions can dissipate much quicker.
Share some of your favorite kindness quotes with us in the comment section below!