3 Communication Tips to Show Kindness

May 17, 2024

I was on a flight recently and there was no overhead room near a woman’s seat; she was reluctant to put it in the overhead two rows back. We can all appreciate why. The plane lands and everyone hops up and she’s stuck.

The man sitting in the row opposite the overhead where she was hestitating to put her bag freely offered, “Don’t worry. When we land I’ll hand it to you.” She smiled with gratitude and sat down to enjoy her flight and not worry about navigating retrieving her bag after landing.

Moments Later...

A little later a little girl and her mom made their way down the aisle. The little girl, in front and leading the way, seemed hesitant and nervous, moving very slowly; her mother urging her to keep moving. That same man behind me said to the little girl, “What a pretty yellow dress you have on. Is yellow your favorite color?” She beamed and said, “Yes!” Her mother looked appreciative as her daughter picked up speed and smiled her way down the aisle.

It takes so little

It took so little for this man to make such a big difference in the lives of four people (the woman in front on me, the little girl, her mother, and me) in the space of 10 minutes. He was able to show such kindness in his communication for three reasons:

  1. Attention and Presence. He was paying attention to the people around him and I’m guessing watching them as they boarded the plane. Instead of being locked into his phone, he was present and paying attention.
  2. Connection. He was willing to connect, even with total strangers. No judgment was apparent, even though there were differences in age, gender, race, and who knows what other things that separate us unnecessarily.
  3. Positive Intent. When he saw a need, he responded with positive intent and kindness, as if to ask, how might I be of value to the other in this moment, with no need or expectation for anything in return?

In a social media world that seems bent on creating division, fear, and animosity between people, his actions encouraged me to take my everyday interactions into my own hands—intentionally paying attention and being present, connecting, and communicating with positive intent, showing kindness and compassion to others.

How do you show kindness in your communmication?

What a difference it might make if each of us saw one another—no matter where we were—simply as another human being, more like us than not. How might we leave the influence of social media algorithms and politicians out of our ability to connect and show kindness to anyone, regardless of their gender, age, race, religion, or any other difference they may have from us. My guess is the world is filled with people who demonstrate kindness, if I would just pull my head up from my phone and engage with the world around me.

Thank you, whoever you are.

Whoever you were on that Delta flight from Atlanta to Detroit, thank you. To all of you out there using your words to communicate kindness to others, thank you. Whether you know it or not, you are an inspiration.

By Cheri Torres, continuing to grow gentler, kinder, and more connected to the whole... poco a poco with the inspiration of my fellow beings on the planet!.
Thanks for the photo RDNE pexels-rdne-6646990.jpg!

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