This is a story about how to be nice no matter what
I’m a huge believer in kindness and treating everyone well, that being said, I don’t always know how to be nice when I don’t feel like it so I looked it up. The good news is, there are plenty of healthy things to do instead of copping an attitude or snapping at someone. The bad news is, like everything else with recovery, it takes a little thought, time, and practice to make lasting change. But, we in recovery love to improve so try some of these out to see if they up your kindness factor.
These are the best suggestions I found for how to be nice:
Remember, everyone is dealing with something
More often than not, people who treat other people badly are dealing with all kinds of self-esteem problems themselves. Sure, there are people you’ll run into who just seem mean for no reason. But, there’s always a reason. Try to find your compassion when dealing with difficult people who trigger you. In the end, you’ll feel better for not losing it.
Check yourself when you feel your irritation rising
Did someone do something that made you feel bad? Are you subconsciously taking your bad mood or hurt out on someone else? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a bad day, just to take it out on the people closest to me. In recovery, I’ve made a conscious effort to treat the people closest to me with the most kindness. Try to notice when your irritation level rises to see where it’s coming from and if you can shut it down before you pass it on.
Learn your triggers
I put this one in my self-help guide for a reason. If you know what or who sets you off, you can be prepared. If there’s someone argumentative in your life, try sayings things like, “You may be right!” Just to diffuse the situation. The better you know yourself, the more control you’ll have over yourself.
Get a second opinion
If something has happened and you feel hurt, try running the situation by a third party before reacting. As a recovering alcoholic myself, I can assure you I take things too personally all the time. It’s always the perspective of a neutral party who helps me see things clearly. Maybe there is reason to feel hurt and an appropriate response can be crafted. Maybe after discussing it, you won’t feel so bothered anymore.
Learn to bite your tongue
Oh the things I used to say that I’d regret! Learning how to hold my tongue has been one of the most important things I’ve learned in my whole entire life. I never regret it when I keep my mouth shut. I obsess and obsess when I think I’ve said something I shouldn’t have. My life seriously improved when I kicked the habit of letting anything fly out of my mouth. Learning to read the room has also been huge. Basically, kind communication is about listening and responding in a compassionate way. It doesn’t mean being submissive or not sharing your feelings and voice. But, the skill of being nice all the time will take you far so try some of these out and see if they help.