Kindness and Improving Self-Esteem

By Fay Agathangelou

FEBRUARY 2, 2016

Kindness can help you to improve your self-esteem, and that includes being kind to others as well as yourself. Kindness may be in the form of a smile, friendly words or thoughts, a random act on the street, volunteering, helping a neighbour or reaching out to a friend. Be kind to others as well as yourself and improve self esteem.

Note that kindness is not the same as people pleasing, or being "too nice." People pleasing means always, or usually, putting other peoples’ wants or needs ahead of your own and neglecting your own needs. If you are a people pleaser, your self-worth is dependent on the approval of others and that’s not healthy. Additionally, people pleasing can make it easier for others to take advantage of you and that can damage your self-esteem. However, you can be kind without being a people pleaser.

How Kindness Can Improve Self-Esteem

  • It creates good feelings. Being kind helps you to feel good about yourself and other people and it can lift your mood.
  • It's a way of making a difference. One kind act can make a huge difference to someone’s day and it’s empowering to know that your actions matter.
  • It helps you to focus on the positives. Kindness brings attention to the good and it takes your attention away from any negativity.
  • It’s a way of connecting with people. Whether it’s a smile, kind words or helping someone, you are connecting with that person in some way.

Seven Golden Rules of Kindness to Improve Self-Esteem

  1. Treat others how you like to be treated. 
  2. Be kind unconditionally. Be kind because you want to be kind. Do not expect anything in return and do not use kindness to get what you want.
  3. See the good in people, including yourself. Nobody is perfect but everyone has some good qualities. Make an effort to notice the positives.
  4. Genuinely care for others. It's important that kindness is genuine.
  5. Put yourself in the other person's shoes. Learn to see other peoples' point of view. Be curious and listen without judging, even when you don't agree. Imagine you are the other person and have empathy.
  6. Respect other people and yourself. Be respectful at all times.
  7. Treat yourself as you would a best friend. Be kind to yourself because you are worth it.

Kindness is a choice that's well worth making. Make a commitment to being kind and do it unconditionally. By being kind, you can make a positive difference to the world, and at the same time, improve your self-esteem.