Try a Random Act of Kindness
Is there a relationship in your life that you sincerely want to make better, but you just don’t know where to start? Our advice is to start simple, with a small gesture that says, “I care."
1. Neighborly Gestures. If you have a neighbor who’s hard to please, maybe an unsolicited helping hand could ease the tension over the hedge.
- Walk your neighbor’s garbage can back to the house after the truck runs.
- Pick up their newspaper when they’re out of town and place it by the door.
- Be thoughtful about the time of day you do loud things like running the mower or leaf blower.
- Bake up something sweet and take it over. Trust us, the cold war could have ended years earlier if either side had been able to bake.
2. Office Solutions. If the gal in the next cubicle is always frosty, try a simple offer of friendly courtesy from time to time.
- Heading to the vending machine or out to grab lunch? Ask if your co-worker would like anything. Better yet, ask if she’d like to come along.
- If you’ve wrapped up your to-dos for the day and have time, offer to help her out with her own.
- Be faithful in the basics: stay away from office gossip, be fair and work with integrity. In time, these traits will gain her trust and respect.
3. Family Feud-Busters. Family relationships are the most complex, but they’re worth the trouble. If you have an in-law or sibling with whom you’ve struggled, try consciously putting them first.
- Have a mother-in-law who tries to butt in too much? Try making her feel needed and wanted in the areas of your life where you welcome her input, and it just might alleviate her need to assert herself where you don’t. Example: ask her opinion on cooking or decorating ideas, and she might feel less of a need to comment on your parenting.
- Offer to babysit for your tough-to-love sibling so she can have a date night with her husband.
- Be considerate about others’ needs and schedules when planning holiday gathering or other family events. Never assume—always ask. Even if the answer seems obvious, asking shows others that you care.
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