Non-Random Acts of Kindness for Stronger Relationships

Have you ever given or received a random act of kindness? Both feel pretty amazing. Something so tiny can change my entire mood and the course of my day for the better. Because at the end of the day, we all want and need to feel noticed and cared about… to love and be loved back.

Dr. Scott Stanley,  a research professor and codirector of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, shares a very simple exercise for strengthening romantic relationships through small acts of kindness.

Why not expand this idea and apply it to any relationship you care about or want to strengthen?

3 Steps to Non-random Acts of Kindness:

1. List things you could do for a specific person you care about (ie, father, sister, husband, bff, etc) that are:
a. Under your control.
b. Small and can be done any given day or week.
c. Good for your relationship and the other person likes it.
d. Something you are NOT likely to do today or this week, though you could.

2. Commit to doing one or two of the things you wrote down this week — not 10, one or two.

3. Develop a way to remind yourself (ie. calendar event) and get after it.

Here’s the kicker: don’t tell the person what you are doing, just do it.

He or she will probably notice some of these things but not everything. That’s not the point. The point is regularly doing small things that are good for your relationship.

Remember the part where you realized you weren’t likely to do this nice little thing for your partner? That puts this practice into the realm of small but meaningful sacrifice. By going out of your way, a tiny bit, you’re building a testament to how much you value the other person.

Try this for a number of weeks. There’s not really any great reason to stop.

It’s not the thought that counts. Ideas that are never put into action may be thoughtful but they are not effective.

Our mission is to do something.

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