The kindness challenge
By: Connecting Faith
Is there a relationship in your life that needs improvement? According to Shaunti Feldhahn, kindness is the key ingredient to improving any relationship in just a matter of days. She speaks to the need for kindness in our culture today.
“Everybody today has this idea that if your husband isn’t handling things well, or if your wife doesn’t appreciate you, or your boss isn’t kind, that you have to stand up for yourself; that you have to just look out for your rights, and be careful that they don’t treat you poorly.”
“Instead, it turns out it is all about being kind. On this big survey, we found that the vast majority of relationships will improve, and you’ll end up really having the thriving feeling in your life that you’re going for.”
After years of extensive research, Shaunti and her team set up a 30-day kindness challenge to help us change our relationships. She explains how the challenge works:
“If you want to become a kinder person and improve any relationship at the same time, pick one person that you want to have a better relationship with; maybe it’s your spouse, maybe it’s your child, maybe it’s your mother-in-law, whomever it is, pick that one person and for thirty days, do three things every day.”
Nix the negative.
“First, don’t say anything negative about that person, either to them or about them to somebody else. That’s often where we sabotage ourselves.”
She shares a practical example,
“Let’s just say that I’m frustrated that my husband doesn’t help with the chores. That means for thirty days, I can’t complain about it; I can’t go to my girlfriends at work and say, ‘Ugh, he’s not helping!’ because then I’m sabotaging how I feel about the relationship.”
“Second, find one thing that you can sincerely praise; that you can sincerely affirm about that person, you tell them, and you tell somebody else.”
Shaunti describes what it would look like to omit negativity and practice praise on a daily basis.
“I can’t complain about my husband not helping with the chores, but I’m looking for things that are good. I notice that he came home from work early to help the kids with their activities, homework, or something so I tell him, ‘Thank you for that.’ Then, I go to my girlfriend at work and I say, ‘Do you know what he did yesterday?’”
“I’m looking for, focusing on, and thinking on the things that are worthy of praise, rather than what’s worthy of driving me crazy.”
Carry out kindness.
“The third thing, is to do one small day-to-day little action of generosity; one little action of kindness for them. All of that is so simple, but we found that 89% of relationships improved which is a huge number.”
Practicing these three simple acts for thirty days, can improve any relationship in your life and create a ripple effect of kindness around the world. If you would like to join the 30-day kindness challenge, visit jointhekindnesschallenge.com.
Shaunti Feldhahn received her graduate degree from Harvard University and was an analyst on Wall Street before unexpectedly becoming a social researcher, best-selling author, and popular speaker. She is the author of many groundbreaking books, including For Women Only and The Kindness Challenge: Thirty Days to Improve Any Relationship.