Is it true that kindness is contagious?
Or is showing kindness a waste of time?
Sometimes it seems that our kind acts and words are in vain. However, although kindness sometimes takes some time to bear fruit, it is always worth it.
Kindness Is Contagious: True or False
Almost any behavior is capable of spreading and affecting the behavior of others, good or bad.
Just as people often bring out the worst in others by influencing them with their bad habits, the opposite is also, mercifully, true.
Kindness is contagious!
Incredible Discovery – Kindness Is Contagious
Can we back up our claim with science? Yes!
Not Just the Theme of a Feel-Good Documentary
Kindness Is Contagious is a critically-acclaimed, feel-good documentary film directed by David Gaz. It’s narrated by Catherine Ryan Hyde, the bestselling author of the book, Pay It Forward.
Many other best-selling authors have written about the topic of generosity. But they are not the only ones educating people on the virtues of showing kindness.
The Advantages of Kindness Are Backed up by Science
Much scientific research has been done to examine whether kindness is contagious. Within this research, there has been a big focus on empathy in general.
Studies have shown that witnessing someone else being kind can cause you to be more empathetic and generous in return. And those good feelings can even spread to other people! Each act of kindness can spread to more people, creating a wave of positive energy.
Kindness has benefits that you may not expect. Studies have shown that kind people live longer and have stronger relationships than those who are unkind. Kindness also has a calming effect on the body and can reduce stress, leading to better physical and mental health.
Nice Guys Finish First!
You have probably heard the adage, ‘Nice guys finish last.’
This phrase warns that a considerate and pleasant person will ‘lose’ against someone more aggressive and ambitious. This is a false and negative way of viewing the world.
Popular Adage Has Led to Negative Perceptions
This negative perception has sent out the wrong message and perpetuated the long-held belief that being kind is not worthwhile.
The reality is that being kind does pay off. It might not be immediately apparent, but over time, those who are kind and good to others are rewarded with intangible benefits such as stronger relationships, a better reputation, and more opportunities.
Moreover, when you do good deeds for others, they will be inspired to do the same. Your positive actions can cause a chain reaction of goodwill and kindness that benefit the community as a whole. This is the central tenet of the idea behind paying it forward.
Kindness Is Innate
Our ancestors survived because they worked together as a team. They learned that being kind and compassionate to each other was the best way to survive and thrive as a species.
Can Kindness Be Learned?
Kindness can be taught and learned. This is true of all behavioral patterns. Just as happiness is a habit, so is kindness if you allow it to be.
No one ever forgets how to be kind. However, sometimes people lose sight of its importance. Engage in acts of kindness; your family, friends, and neighbors will see your actions and want to reciprocate. It’s a positive feedback loop that makes everyone feel good.
Why Are Some People UNkind?
Remember, there is always a reason when people are unkind for seemingly no reason. Just because you are unaware of it does not mean they are acting negatively toward you for no reason.
Unkind acts or words often result from resentment, fear, or emotional pain. Try to keep this in mind when you come across such behavior. These are often the very people who need your kindness the most.
Default to treating people with kindness and respect. It’s the nicest thing you can do.
Being kind doesn’t mean you need to become a doormat or put up with ill-treatment. You can set boundaries and be clear about what you will or won’t accept.
At the same time, try to understand that meanness is often a sign that someone is struggling with their own issues. They may have never experienced kindness themselves or may mistakenly think that treating people unkindly is the only way to get what they want. Your kindness may be just the thing they need to help them break out of this negative behavior.
Kindness can break down barriers, create understanding, and even bring out compassion from an unexpected source. So the next time someone is unkind to you, think about why they are acting that way and choose to respond with kindness. You may be pleasantly surprised by what happens next.
Kindness is contagious, and what a beautiful thing that is to know!
While most contagious things are best avoided, embrace kindness. When kindness takes hold and spreads, the world becomes a much happier place.
For more kindness inspiration, check out these a little dose of happy resources: