When we think about describing ourselves to others, most of us probably think of ourselves as kind people. If you are in a relationship than you would probably tell people you love your partner. If you think of extended family you might say you love them too.
Not Everyone Starts Off Kind
But I know in my own life, when I was struggling to make something of myself, when I look back, I don’t see myself as being kind. Yes I was always nice when I was feeling good. But when I felt bad, no one got kindness.
When I was mad I stayed mad and everyone around me knew it. Kindness? Are you kidding? I was MAD, and that’s where I stayed.
Kindness Can Be Learned
But that was the old me. I have been in a relationship with my husband now for almost 16 years. And while I am not sweet and nice 100% of the time, I am kind to him almost always. And that I can tell you is something I have learned.
It might sound funny to think of learning how to be kind to our mate. But a lot of couples don’t really stay in their kindness with each other. When people get their feelings hurt they often shut down or get angry and kindness goes out the window.
Kindness Doesn’t Mean Perfection, But Self-Awareness and Patience
I am not saying I am kind when I get my feelings hurt. I am not. I still get mad and upset, but as soon as I realize I am reacting, I catch myself. After I calm down, I clean up any residue left from my reaction. If I spoke harshly, I apologize for the harshness. If I was curt or sharp or inconsiderate, I say I am sorry for that too.
See my kindness skills come from me. They are something I choose to use because my partner who loves me does not deserve to feel my anger. If he hurt me, I know it was unintentional because he loves me. I have learned this. If I have a big reaction, it’s probably because we have had a misunderstanding and I might have felt left out or abandoned, and that’s my stuff.
Don’t Force Things; Take the Time You Need to Be Kind
When feelings are hurt we all want to feel better. We can’t make our partner understand us unless they can hear us. I have learned that if I try to get something settled with him when I am upset, I stay upset.
If I calm down and talk with him about what happened in a soft, kind way, I always get the healing I need. Is kindness the key? Well it’s a part of the answer. Treat the one you love like you love them. And being kind is definitely a piece of that.
Develop More Kindness in Your Relationship
Read a Book About Communicating in Relationships
Can’t make it on Monday? Learn more about how to communicate kindly, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you and your partner be kinder to one another. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.