Why kindness benefits everyone
Solis-Images/ShutterStock Stepping in for a stranger, a best friend, or a coworker in their time of need may be a no-brainer for you, but it doesn’t only benefit them; it can do wonders for you and for the universe. “It feels good to do something nice for someone. It boosts your self-esteem, it makes you feel like a better person, and it can help you overcome any negative feelings you are experiencing in the moment,” says licensed clinical psychologist, Sarah Schewitz, PsyD. “If you’re feeling down, a surefire way to feel better immediately is to go do something nice and unexpected for someone else.” (Don’t miss these 21 real stories of life-changing acts of kindness.) Psychologist, author, and relationship expert, Dawn Michael, PhD, adds: “When you are kind, that energy goes a long way, as the person you were kind to will feel better about themselves and perhaps do something kind for another person. I see kindness as a positive energy that, when passed on down the line, creates more positive energy in the world.” Here are some ways to be a force of good in the world today.
For your significant other
baranq/ShutterStock While you might be the first to send a funny meme or listen patiently when your bestie needs to vent, or you’re always on call for a coworker working on a stressful project, you might not think of your significant other as someone who needs a random act of kindness. Dr. Michael says that simply acknowledging the benefit your partner adds to your life is an easy way to bring thoughtfulness into your relationship. “It can be a simple thank you to ‘I really appreciate you when you do…’, she explains. “Letting the person you love know that you notice them is a positive act of kindness.” (Learn more about how gratitude boosts your health and relationships.) Does your partner really hate doing laundry, but does it to make sure your household is running smoothly? Or would they rather do anything but yard work? These are opportunities to be thoughtful in your couplehood. As psychologist Nikki Martinez, PsyD, LCPC, advises, “Do a chore that your partner hates without being asked to do so, and without the thought of being thanked for doing so. Do it simply because you know your partner hates it, and that doing it will be a welcome surprise.” Here are some things to say to your partner every day to keep the love alive.