Today’s Kindness Prompt: Be kind to a person who isn’t so kind to you. I’m referring here to someone you see or interact with regularly–the acquaintance who always finds something snarky to say about you, your hair, your clothes, your goals. The coworker who works to criticize you, invalidate every word you speak or ignore your presence.
I know. I know. It’s so much easier to pay “evil for evil,” but think about what that does to your character and soul.
People’s meanness comes from a wounded place inside them. For some, it’s easier to strike out and hurt others than it is to deal with their inner demons. In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz counsels us, “Don’t take anything personally.” It’s the second agreement and one I embrace wholeheartedly. Very little of what others do is because of us. As Tarshia, one of my besties, puts it, “It’s not me. It’s them.” 😀
Bad behavior toward us can’t be justified, but how we respond can make a world of difference.
Like bullies, mean people need someone to stand up to them–not someone big and bad who can match them hit for hit, but someone who can hit them with nice. Think of it in terms of the phrase we’re all familiar with–“kill them with kindness.” Of course, we’re not literally harming anyone, but we’re killing the meanness, healing the hurt, or undoing the wiring that makes them behave terribly toward others.
This doesn’t always work, but at least your kindness will disarm them and you’ll get to walk away–hands clean and character intact–without the icky residuals of stooping to their level. At most, you’ll change a heart and gain an amiable relationship, if not a friend. Besides, kindness always takes the high road, and you can always feel good about that.
To be clear, I’m not suggesting that you run out and buy the big meanie a cup of coffee or curry favor in any way. I mean, respond to the slights with kindness–forgo the quick retorts, eye rolling, or backbiting. When the person who seems to be out to get you strikes, strike back in the most unexpected way–with kindness. You know what to do.
If you’re just joining “Kindness Week,” be sure to start with Day 1.
Note about the postcard: Becky aka Dragongirl on swap-bot sent the postcard for a swap in celebration of International Women’s Day 2018. It was purchased from postcardfair.com.