I set an intention this year that I will actively practice kindness in my thoughts and actions. Part of this approach includes rethinking “The Golden Rule” – instead of treating people the way I want to be treated, I’m going to treat them the way they want to be treated.
What works best for me isn’t necessarily the right option for someone else. So I’m going to meet people where they are, and give them the individualized care and support they want. That’s everything from honoring Love Languages to being fully present in joy and in sorrow.
It also means less advice and more listening, because often when I think I’m helping what’s really happening is that I’m trying to control a situation to “make it better” – when instead I should just let it be and really be there for the person entrusting me with their emotions.
Sometimes the kindest thing we can do is listen – without judgment and without trying to deflect, diminish, or fix the problem so our loved ones know that we’ve got their back no matter what comes our way.