Have you performed a random act of kindness lately? In a study published in the Journal d Experimental Psychology, researchers found that when you perform a random act of kindness it’s easy to underestimate how much the recipient will appreciate it. And that miscalculation holds many of us back from doing nice things for others more often.
We know that kindness can boost well-being, writes New York Times reporter Catherine Pearson. But researchers who study the subject hope these new findings will strengthen the scientific case for making these types of gestures more often.
“I have found that kindness can be a really hard sell,” said Tara Cousineau, a clinical psychologist, meditation teacher and author of The Kindness Cure: How The Science of Compassion Can Heal Your Heart and Your World. "People desire kindness yet often feel inconvenienced by the thought of being kind.”
On the other hand, even the smallest gestures do get noticed. So if you are not already in the habit of performing random kind acts — or they do not come naturally to you — begin by telling people what you appreciate about them. Also consider what you like to do, what skills and talents you have, and how you might turn those into small offerings for other people.
How did you feel the last time you performed a small act of kindness, and how did you feel the last time someone did this for you? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
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