Holiday KindnessHoliday Kindness, using clip art purchased by Steve Kaye

Every gathering can benefit from Holiday Kindness.

Here are three easy ways to make any event memorable (for good reasons).

I invite you to try them.


Kindness #1 – Seek out the grumpy ones

How?

Just sit next to a grumpy person. Then ask questions, such as “How are you?” or “What’s happening?” Use this as an opportunity to learn about what they’re doing, what they’ve done, and what they’re thinking about.

You may discover important reasons that explain why they’re grumpy. You may even find that they become less grumpy because you showed that you cared about them.

Here is an important warning: you will most likely hear grumpy remarks (at least at first). After all, this is a grumpy person. So, just listen.

Be impressed (if appropriate). Join them in being sad, serious, or skeptical.

And this is really important: Do not attempt to fix, change, or teach anything. Do not offer advice. Recognize that unsolicited advice can make even a happy person act grumpy.

Just accept what they say. Then thank them. And wish them well.


Kindness #2 – Be the host

This is especially useful if you are attending someone else’s party.

Greet everyone warmly. Praise people for everything and anything. Introduce people to each other. Spend time with everyone. Help the actual host with party tasks, such as serving or cleaning up.

Of course, be appropriate. Ask the real host before starting to help with tasks.

Your intent is to bring warmth, happiness, and friendship to the party, as if it were your own.


Kindness #3 – Learn something

Everybody knows something useful. And your best teachers are those who have done something that you admire.

So ask them to tell you about how they achieved a success.

For example, ask the fellow with the new car how he earned the promotion. Or ask the woman with the stunning jewelry how she started her business.

You might find unexpected wisdom in the younger people. For example, that teenager with the green hair who works at a funky clothing store might be able to provide valuable ideas on retail, marketing, and sales. Or that quiet kid with the iPad might be able to tell you what’s happening in software design, web technologies, and SEO.

View every party as a scavenger hunt for learning. The people in the room carry a fortune in experience with them. And they will be delighted to tell (brag sometimes) about what they know.

Your goal is to help others feel special and important by showing interest and approval for what they’re doing.


Holiday Kindness Bonus Strategy

Your job is to find a way to like others — Instead of trying to make others like you.


The Pay Off – Here’s Why This Matters

If you show interest, acceptance, and compassion for others, you may discover that this was the best party you ever attended.

For example, the grumpy person who told you about cancer will think you’re the only decent person on earth.

The successful executive who told you about a complex marketing strategy will think you’re a genius.

The kid who told you about social media marketing will think you’re the perfect adult.

And that’s what makes a party memorable – for you and for everyone else.


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Helping humanity, one kindness at a time.
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