KINDNESS IS SO UNDERRATED.
Ask anyone what sort of qualities they're looking for in a partner, it's likely you'll hear some sort of combination which includes intelligent, ambitious, good sense of humour, attractiveness... sure, I'm not knocking it, all great qualities; but according to a study ran by David M. Buss, an American psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, his cross-cultural research of around 10,000 participants across 37 cultures revealed that kindness was one of the most important qualities in a romantic partner, and key to a long lasting relationship.
WHAT IS KINDNESS?
Oftentimes I find we use words without really understanding the true meaning so allow me to pull out the ol' Oxford Dictionary and give you the definition of "kindness" — it's "the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate." Interestingly the "and" suggests that all three of those conditions are needed for kindness to be present. In life, we generally have two ways in which kindness is manifested. The first is by displaying kindness to others (ie. romantic partners, family members, friends, and even strangers). The other is showing kindness to ourselves, and I'd say both are equally important for any relationship to thrive.
WHY IS KINDNESS IMPORTANT?
You know that popular saying "it's the little things that matter most" — isn't that just the truth when it comes to dating and relationships? Small gestures such as making a cup of tea, checking in when you're under the weather, cooking a meal, lending an ear, covering you with a blanket when they're feeling cold (not gonna lie, I thought of Ed when I listed these things), it can significantly enhance someone's likeability and increase others’ willingness to commit. Research shows that genuine trustworthiness, authenticity, and reliability can even boost our sex appeal! With regards to being kind to yourself, I'd say this type of kindness is probably the most underrated! Not only is it a nice idea, it's actually an essential form of self care, and to be honest you get so many people (myself in included) taking care of everyone and everything around them that they've managed to forget about taking care of themselves. With that said, I've suggested a few ways you can show yourself a bit more kindness 😊🤗
Practice being more self aware What thoughts are you having? Are you being negative or too hard on yourself? How frequently are you your own cheerleader? Do you recognise all the things you're good at? These are some good questions to ask yourself, then jot down your thoughts. This doesn't have to be a daily thing, I tend to do it on the days when I feel incredibly moody!
Take a break! If you're anything like me, there's only so much human interaction and spinning plates you can handle before you start dropping f-bombs left, right, and centre! Give yourself time, disconnect from your phone and laptop for a few hours, get out into nature or simply have some quiet time in bed to rest and recharge. It feels great and can often be more productive when you've had a much needed rest.
Avoid comparison like the plague In a world of social media, TV, magazines that constantly portray how we are not yet living the perfect life, how we don't measure up to other people... please don't fall into this trap! Understandably, there are traps everywhere we look but this will no doubt lead you down a path of negative self-talk and critique. The very opposite of kindness!
Before I end this post, I'd like to add that these gestures (towards ourselves and others) give our "love hormones" (oxytocin) a boost and help us feel better mentally and physically. Besides, we never know really happening in other people's lives, perhaps your small act of kindness will make the biggest difference to someone's day.