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This morning, on my way to work, an old familiar song played on the radio, Steve Perry’s Foolish Heart. You know how people say music evokes memories? I guess that’s true for me because it immediately took me back in time when I attended my junior prom.
I was 15 and had feelings for one of the cutest varsity players named Benjamin. But way back then, I was an ugly duckling and a real nerd. Though I did well in school, my self-esteem was very low. While all my girlfriends started to develop some curves, my body remained flat. Some of the boys in my class even called me “bamboo” because I was so skinny that I looked like a walking stick.
Dealing with insecurities as a teenager is really tough. At least when you’re in your 30s, you have ways and resources to neutralize your flaws and make yourself feel better because you can afford to go shopping or get a spa treatment. But when you’re young and dependent on your parents, you basically have nothing. Your fate merely depends on the rate of your biological developments. And admit it, good grades don’t attract the cutest boys, but having a shapely body and a pretty face does.
Anyway, going back to the party, Benjamin did something that I would never forget – he asked me to dance with him. I had no idea why he did that and although it was just one song, it was enough to make me change the way I felt about myself.
Small acts of kindness can create big impacts on your life and on others. Here are some ways to become a nicer person and improve your interactions with the people around you.
Set Aside Your Pride Even When You Think You’re Right
It’s better to lose your useless pride than lose the ones you love, so don’t let it get in the way of your relationships. Learn to suck it up sometimes and give up the need to always be right. Set aside your arrogance and just think that we are all imperfect. Apologizing doesn’t always mean that you are wrong. It could also be a way of showing the other person that you truly care and that you value your relationship more than your ego or your pride.
In the piece “An Inauthentic Apology Can be Maddening,” Dr. John Amodeo explains the importance of delivering sincere and heartfelt apologies to make real change in your behavior, fix the damages and improve your connections.
In my opinion, sorry is a very powerful word. If used genuinely, it can repair broken trust, heal crushed hearts and restore shattered relationships.
Give People the Attention They Deserve
Make time for important people in your life. Avoid being that someone who just comes around when you need something. Learn to listen and pay attention when your boyfriend is telling you about his day. Call your friends just to check on how they’re doing and if everything is going well on their end.
This practice also applies in professional settings, particularly in creating meaningful business relationships and opportunities. When communicating with your clients, for instance, make sure that you don’t just fire off emails. Instead, take time to craft each one. Be responsive and use a personable tone to make them feel important. When you give your clients the attention they deserve, you will be able to build a good reputation, win their trust and increase your value in their eyes.
Be More Sensitive to the Emotions of Others
It’s not always about you. Everyone you meet is going through something or fighting a serious battle that you know nothing about. So, make an effort to be a little more considerate of their feelings. Be the bigger person by trying to understand their situation instead of hurting them back.
To help you craft a positive social environment, writer Corrine Keating suggests doing your own gratitude practice.
By turning gratefulness into a habit, you will be able to:
• Create additional inspiration to feel or relate to the emotions of others
• Appreciate the joy that these people bring into your life
• Sleep longer and deeper
• Raise your self-esteem and mental strength
Ladies, counting your blessings instead of your burdens can lead to a really positive outlook in life and better interactions with the people around you.
End Toxic Relationships
Walking away from people is hard, but the reality check comes when realizing that staying with them is even more hurtful and harder because they deplete your energy, threaten your safety and cause potential damage to your other relationships.
Ladies, you don’t have to make room for people who make your life miserable and who prevent you from becoming a better version of yourself. Instead of dealing with them, save your energy and peace of mind by doing these 5 things that could help you focus on people and things that truly matter to you.
By pushing your toxic relationship aside, you will be able to create room for healthier and better one – for something that does not compromise your emotional health and safety and for someone who will love you and treasure you because of everything you are.