All a-twitter with kindness

June 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Relationship Space

Apple Coffee by macinate on flickr

Apple Coffee by macinate on flickr

Challenges to undertake Random Acts of Kindness are abounding on Twitter at the moment.  (Didn’t you know that we Calm Space contributors are also regular Twitterers?)

If you decide to undertake a random act of kindness by paying for a coffee for the next person in the queue in your local cafe, then get thee to Twitter and tell the “world” about it.

While buying the coffee might be a kindly and generous act, I believe there is a strong argument for ditching such open acts of kindness in favour of a more significant act of kindness to a more deserving recipient.  In fact, I’d even go so far as to suggest that making this decision to be kind could be a much more challenging one, at times!  So I’m advocating going local.

And how much more local can you get than the person at the other end of your couch and dining table and tucked up beside you in bed at night?

After all, we all know that the person that you and I are most likely to take our bad moods out on is our partner.  Partners can cop a lot.  Mostly they stoically bear pleasantries like morning breath, pillow hair, smelly farts and “forgetting to shave” (legs and faces seem the most common offenders depending on your gender.)

Poor old SweetP seems to have been on the receiving end of my frustrations a bit lately.  When forced to tolerate the intolerable outside of the home, my frustration and stress levels rise.

Venting the pressure valve at home seems the only option.  (Well to a distorted thinker like I’ve been, it seems that way.)  Of course, there are both productive and thoughtless ways to vent.  Unfortunately I must confess there have been more of the thoughtless ones happening for me lately!  So I’ve been slipping off the path of effective communication, and dragging SweetP and I into the muddy ditches of the thoughtless and unproductive.  (See?  No saint, this Relationship Advisor.  Just very human.)

Couple SilhouetteNow I’m sure that my confession will have some resonance for you as well.  This pattern of behaviour is a common mechanism in human relationships.

Somebody has a bad day.  The hurts and frustrations are pushed down for fear of risking a job, a customer, a friendship, or whatever.  Then on return to our haven of safety we stuff up the sense of security by slamming the door, kicking the cat, or getting peeved at some slight indiscretion by our partner or child.  The floodgates open and out pours all that other crap, often on to the Innocent and the Loving.

So, if ever there’s an appropriate candidate to receive some kindness, I think our partners could deserve to be at the top of the queue.  In light of that I decided to seek out the opinions of some of my network of readers on Twitter to find out just how they showed kindness to their partner.

I hope their suggestions help give you some clues.  And thanks to my twitter followers for contributing so enthusiastically to my request.  (For ease of understanding I’ve converted some of the Twitterisms into full words.)

Spring in Pink by Eduardo Mueses on Flickr

Spring in Pink by Eduardo Mueses on Flickr

@BudgetBitch’s perspective is a little different from mine but definitely one to aspire to, even though I think it’s not always easy to be kind:

It’s easy to be kind when you love somebody – showing them that you love them can be kindness itself.

@RebeccaLange wrote:

I always stop what I am doing and talk about what’s going on when he gets home. I tell him I love him at least once per day.

Maybe @JusticeMarshall has been peeping in my kitchen window!

I forgive her and don’t take it personally when she’s cranky.

And on top of that:

I try to be her Hero and to treat her as a Goddess!

Now doesn’t he sound like a gem?

@NinaSpringle gets down to tintacks:

Listening is the key and helping as much as I can with his ‘stuff’…He reciprocates so it’s all balanced.

@Smoph says:

I think you show kindness by doing little things – making a meal, doing the dishes, distracting, being there.

Along the same vein @tlsass says:

I show kindness by always doing the little things like running his bath water or greeting him with a hug.

And @JohannaBD adds:

Kindness is doing things without expectation of return like helping a friend, cooking your partner’s favourite cake etc

This one gave you a gentle daily nudge!  @CheyanneBrae shared:

I have a Post-It note on the side of computer monitor that reads “How have I shown Chris today just how much I love him?”

@AnnieInfinite’s is both laser-like and a good summary:

Know how kindness looks/feels/sounds to your partner and then do your best to make sure you love them in that way every day.

So are you up for the challenge?

Can you tell us all how YOU show your partner kindness?


One Response to “All a-twitter with kindness”
  1. karen says:

    Chris – I love how you’ve tapped that wonderful resource of Twitter and shared some remarkable tips to bring kindness into our most important relationship. I agree that listening, caring and just being there when someone’s had a bad day is one of the greatest kindnesses…

    Would love to hear how our readers show kindness to their partners!