While we’re all working to “flatten the curve” on COVID-19, I want to challenge all of us to “raise the curve” on kindness!
We are starting a major 30-Day Kindness Challenge initiative on Friday March 20, 2020; please join us in doing it for one or more important people in your life! (See below for how.)
We will do a “Raise the Curve on Kindness 30-Day Kindness Challenge” over social media and on a special page on our regular website, with ideas and tips that are tailored for our unique situation today. (Or if you feel like you will forget to check social media or the website, you can always sign up for 30 days of reminder emails for the regular 30-Day Kindness Challenge, and just adapt it on your own.) You can also RSVP for the Facebook event.
You might also want to start by taking the “What’s Your Kindness Quotient?” assessment . . . which will definitely tell you whether you are as kind as you think you are!
We are suddenly finding ourselves with unprecedented worries and uncertainty—at the same time that we’re stuck at home and crammed on top of each other.
This could be a recipe for chaos and tension within our families and marriages. Instead, I’d like to make it an opportunity to become better people. Not just because we are looking out for our neighbor, but because we’re working to become people of kindness with those who are closest to us. (Literally!)
As one neighbor told me today, as he stood across the cul-de-sac and pulled his headphones out of his ears: “My wife and I are both working from home, and the kids are up and down for their school online. I had to just walk around the neighborhood in order to do this conference call. I was ready to jump out the window. I’m trying not to get constantly exasperated with the kids. I tell them, ‘We’ve got to be respectful of each other while we adjust to this new normal.’ And then I realized: I’m probably the one who has to work on that the most.”
When we did The Kindness Challenge research project, we discovered that there is a way to improve any relationship in your life—and it comes by learning all the ways you are unintentionally unkind every day and being purposeful about targeted kindness instead. This is not a “random acts of kindness” movement (although that is nice, too, these days!). Rather, this is a very, very targeted kindness initiative that will change your relationship(s)—by changing you.
How To Do The 30-Day Kindness Challenge
First, decide whom you will do the Challenge for. Normally, we recommend that the first time you do it, you do it for one person only (since that improves your ability to see what you need to focus on). But these are not normal times. You might do it for all the wiggly children you’re suddenly home-schooling. Or maybe you do actually focus on one person: your spouse, your mother-in-law who lives with you, or the middle-schooler you butt heads with the most. You might not even do it for your family at all and focus on that difficult colleague you’re having to work with remotely instead of in person.
For 30 days, you will:
- Say nothing negative about your person—either to them or about them to someone else. If you must provide negative feedback (for example, to discipline a child or correct a subordinate’s mistake), be constructive and encouraging without a negative tone.
- Every day, find one thing that you can sincerely praise or affirm about your person and tell them—and tell someone else.
- Every day, do one small act of kindness or generosity for them.
That’s it. It’s incredibly simple. And yet in our research for The Kindness Challenge, 89% of relationships improved. You will see similar results. Because you will improve.
Let’s use this time when we are social distancing and unable to go to work or school, to work on ourselves. Let’s come out of this as people who have trained to be kind, just when it is needed most.
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Shaunti Feldhahn loves sharing eye-opening information that helps people thrive in life and relationships. She herself started out with a Harvard graduate degree and Wall Street credentials but no clue about life. After an unexpected shift into relationship research for average people like her, she now is a popular speaker and author of best-selling books about men, women and relationships. (Including For Women Only, For Men Only, and the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage).
Her latest book, Thriving in Love and Money, uncovers the issues that cause money conflicts and provide couples with truths that are relationship game-changers…Because you need a better relationship, not just a better budget.
Visit www.shaunti.com for more.