It’s always been within my nature to care about other people. I can’t help it, it’s a definitive part of who I am. If my daughter spills her drink in the middle of the shops, I’ll find anything to absorb up the water. I wouldn’t want someone to slip over. If I’m driving along and someone’s been waiting forever to get out of the car park, I’ll let them in. I’d rather give up a few seconds of my life, than to have someone else be stressed about the traffic.
These simple acts of kindness don’t just make us feel warm and fuzzy. When we are considerate of others, it makes the person concerned feel loved and respected. It makes the world a better place to live in.
Being considerate of feelings
I’ve always been one to be considerate of other people’s feelings. I don’t like to laugh too often at a person’s expense, I know where my boundaries are, and I’m always careful about how to express myself (both online and in the real world).
As much as people value honesty, they also value someone who respects their feelings. It is okay to speak the truth, but don’t tear apart a person’s self-esteem.
For example, if a friend asks, “Do you think I’m a bad mother?”, don’t rush to reply with a blunt and hurtful “yes”. Think about why they might be asking you this, and how your answer might make them feel. Maybe they’re feeling inadequate about their parenting skills and want some guidance in the right direction.
Instead, show more empathy and compassion, and reply with:
“I know it’s hard being a mother, we all try our best.. but I think there might be a few things you could work on. But I’m sure you’ll get there…”
Being considerate of circumstances
As a mother of a 2, 4 and 6 year old – all of whom have learning disabilities – you can probably imagine how busy I am. I spend most of my time doing the school runs and rushing to and from appointments. And on top of that, I write and work from home. I’ll also be studying again in two weeks.
But as busy as I am, I try my best to spend time with my husband, my kids, my family, my friends. They mean the world to me.
But the reality is this, I won’t always be free. I won’t always be able to do favours for other people; sometimes I’ll have to put myself first. This doesn’t make me selfish – it means I’m simply taking care of my own needs.
So if you know someone whose schedule is jam-packed, be more understanding of their situation. Be more thoughtful about the time that you call them, don’t pressure them into catching up, be empathetic with how busy they are.
There will come a time when your life gets just as busy, so show them some compassion.
Being considerate of background
Each of us has a story to tell, a childhood that has shaped us into who we are, a path that has led us to this point in time. All of us have made mistakes, hung out with the wrong crowd, done things that we later regret.
A person’s background may not excuse their current behaviour, but it might help you to better understand it. If a person has gone through many negative life experiences, this would have affected them in different ways. This might explain why they have trouble with their emotions, with their relationships with other people, with the way they express love.
So rather than judging without knowing, criticising without understanding; you should take into account what the person has been through.
None of us are perfect, and sometimes we need the right people in our lives to help turn ours around.
Being considerate of others
Sometimes life gets so busy, the smaller things get pushed to the back of my minds.
But being considerate of people’s feelings, their circumstances, and their background; are important steps that we should always take.
You can buy gifts for another person, but you can never buy them love and respect…
However, when you are considerate of them, you can give them just that.