Monday, December 20, 2010

Five Ways to be Thoughtful and Considerate of Others

Being thoughtful, considerate, kind, caring and respectful of others is one of the greatest self-serving actions that you can take. How you treat and think of others reflects on how you think of yourself. Being kind to other people can make a huge difference in your life. There are many people out there that display rude behaviors. Many don’t realize it, they just aren’t making a conscientious effort to think of others feelings. Here are a few tips to motivate you into becoming thoughtful of others.
  1. The first step toward being thoughtful of others is to admit to yourself that you are not perfect. In fact, realize that, at times, you can be downright inconsiderate and selfish. Many times you don’t even realize it at the moment. But when you realized this has happened, consider how you could have acted differently in the situation. This is a very important part of becoming respectful, kind and caring to others.
  2. Secondly, place yourself in others shoes. This is a key concept in becoming respectful. Consider how others feel. What their needs and wants may be in a given situation. Look at things from their perspective. Make a conscious effort to think of what others are really going through. What would you want to have happen if you were in their place. This task isn’t always easy, but it will get easier with practice. Sometimes you may not be correct in your assumptions about what another’s wants or needs, but it is an important step for you to make the effort to try.
  3. When dealing with other people, always attempt to act with compassion and kindness. If someone else is distressed, even just a little bit, try to ease their suffering in some way. Treating others with kindness, respect, and love is one of the best ways to show consideration. You can do this in little ways such as a smile, a kind word, a thank you, or a hug. You can also go out of your way to be courteous to others by holding open a door or letting another person in front of you in traffic. Random acts of kindness go a long way and make a big, big difference.
  4. Practice will improve your efforts and your attitude toward others. Making it a priority with every interaction with another person is a chance to practice being considerate. Every time you speak with someone, send out an email, or even pass someone on the street is an opportunity to practice consideration and respectfulness. Practice, practice, and then, practice some more. This is how you get really good at anything.
  5. Make yourself a goal to do 6 little things each day that are kind and thoughtful. This adds to your practicing efforts. It doesn’t take long or even matter what those things are. Be creative. Try baking something for a family member or friend, tidy up a bit after yourself or someone else, send a sincere thank-you email to a co-worker, say “please” and “your welcome” when others are being considerate of you and your needs, hold the door open for a total stranger, or lend a hand to a friend. Your opportunities are endless. Reach out and do at least 6 things each and every day and soon it will become second nature.
So, what are the rewards of being more considerate to others? First and foremost, it just feels good to be kind to others, do nice things for them, and make other people happier. Second, it makes your life better in so many ways. People start to treat you with more respect and kindness. They may tend to even like you better, and they may be more likely to want to work with you and be with you. And, very importantly, your efforts can make society better a better place to be. Think of what we could have if we all were to treat each other with caring, thoughtfulness, kindness, and respect. We could live better together and work better together. Your small, considerate actions can have an immediate and dramatic effect on your life and others.

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