In the busyness of life, it’s easy to get caught up in your surroundings and forget about the rest of the world. Who your family is, who your friends are and what you enjoy doing all affect you personally. You care about what they think and how your life is impacted. In all the craziness, we can easily forget about the people we don’t know—the people we don’t particularly interact with.
And when we don’t care about these people, the strangers, our lives might not reflect the altruistic values we try to focus on. Being kind to a stranger may seem simple, but it often requires a conscious effort to do. How can you show kindness to strangers in your life? We have 10 ideas to start.
1. Change your tone. First and foremost, you would be amazed at how simply changing the tone of your voice can influence those around you. Be conscious of how you present yourself, and use a softer, more engaging tone to demonstrate kindness.
2. Ask questions. People love to talk about themselves. Who knows, the stranger next to you on the bus may have an incredible story to tell. Ask questions to show you’re interested and you care about their wellbeing.
3. Use a smile. A smile can go a very long way. Stretch out your facial muscles and make the decision to smile more in your everyday life.
4. Hold the door open. Pay attention. If you see someone behind you heading for the door, take an extra five seconds to make them feel important by holding the door open.
5. Give compliments. When you find yourself admiring a stranger’s appearance, outfit or general qualities, then tell them. Because if you don’t, who will? Give compliments and you’ll find yourself receiving them even more.
6. Be patient. Take a breath. Have a moment to fully relax. Patience is a difficult quality to gain and manage, but the more you can practice it, the more kindness you will put out into the world.
7. Help someone in need. See someone broken down on the side of the road? How about a homeless person in need of a meal? Show them kindness by giving support, encouragement or even just having a conversation.
8. Encourage openness. When you’re open and honest, people will be open and honest with you. And when we’re open with each other, it’s even easier to be kind to one another.
9. Curb road rage. Seriously. Sounds simple, but do it.
10. Get to know a coworker. Funnily enough, many strangers in our lives are those who sit and work right next to us. Make an effort to get to know the coworkers in your life and show kindness to them every day.
If you want to live a more altruistic lifestyle, try out some of these tips for showing kindness to the strangers in your life. When we show kindness to those we don’t know, we fill up our hearts with even more love to give to those we do know.