How to Be Kinder

Kindness is an attitude that opens many doors and guarantees well-being. In this article, we'll show you some tips that'll help you to be kinder to those around you.
How to Be Kinder
Sergio De Dios González

Written and verified by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Last update: 13 June, 2022

Kindness is a positive personal attitude toward others, whether they be people, animals, or even nature. This way of relating to the environment is extremely beneficial, as it strengthens interpersonal relationships, opens up paths, and improves our well-being.

By adopting this attitude, you contribute to making a better world so you should work on it. Here are some tips that’ll help you to be kinder to the people around you, whether you know them or not.

Eight keys to being kinder

To be kinder to the people around you, we recommend that you:

1. Call people by name

If you know a person’s name, make sure you use it. This will strengthen and personalize your relationship. Avoid terms like ‘Hey, you’, ‘Honey’, and ‘Beanpole’ unless you’re amongst people you know really well where nicknames are accepted.

As a matter of fact, the use of nicknames can be humiliating for some people, even if your intention is to be nice. Therefore, it’s always better to call them by their proper names.

women talking
Being kind means being tolerant, considerate, and empathic with yourself and others.

2. Be grateful

People you’re close to often do things for you may not even notice. For example, the fact that they take the time to listen to you is a really valuable gesture that you should recognize.

Showing gratitude is extremely important when someone does something for you. In fact, giving thanks makes you appear friendlier.

3. Smile

Words are useless if they’re not accompanied by body language that shows warmth and openness. The look, the smile, and the facial expressions all convey many meanings. Therefore, if you want to appear more friendly, you must smile. This gesture conveys sympathy and encourages others to smile as well.

So remember to smile when you meet someone on the street, when you’re buying something at the store, when you walk into work in the morning, or any time you make eye contact with another person.

4. Be a good listener

To be kinder you have to let others express themselves. You must be patient, listen carefully, and wait for them to finish speaking.

On the other hand, many extroverted and eloquent people tend to take ownership of conversations and don’t let their interlocutors intervene. This is impolite as well as awkward.

Being kinder implies taking an interest in the lives of others. After all, you feel grateful when others ask you about your plans, how your children are doing, or if you’re still in the same job. It shows you that they care about your worries and your well-being.

5. Education first

There’s nothing more impolite than bad manners. Expressions like ‘Please’, “Thank you”, “Would you be so kind as to…?” and “Would you mind…?” are signs of consideration, respect, and kindness toward the other person. Make sure you employ them. You can never overuse them.

6. Practice empathy

Being empathetic involves putting yourself in the place of others. However, you’re not born with empathy, it’s something you have to work on. Therefore, if you want to be nicer, try to step outside yourself and ask yourself how the other person might be feeling. If you have a hard time working it out, ask them and try to put yourself in their shoes. Also, avoid judging them and offer them support.

7. Offer your help

If you see someone juggling to finish an activity or who’s in a troublesome situation, offer your help. Don’t wait for them to ask you. Learn to recognize the times when others need a hand.

Many people hold back from asking for support because they don’t want to be a nuisance, or because they think they can do it on their own. Nevertheless, it never hurts to give help, especially for those in those overwhelming situations.

Man trying to help a woman
Being kind means helping people who need it.

8. Practice loving-kindness meditation

Loving-kindness meditation is a specific technique intended to increase feelings of kindness, compassion, and empathy toward others. Research shows that those who practice it regularly increase their capacity for forgiveness, social connection, and self-acceptance.

Practicing this type of meditation strengthens, from within, your prosocial attitudes. In addition, it’s a practice that provides other benefits to your physical and emotional well-being.

Finally, remember that the best thing about behaving in a kind and caring way is that you never fail. Indeed, it’s an attitude that always brings benefits. So don’t hesitate to put it into practice whenever you have the opportunity.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Fryburg, D. A., Ureles, S. D., Myrick, J. G., Carpentier, F. D., & Oliver, M. B. (2021). Kindness media rapidly inspires viewers and increases happiness, calm, gratitude, and generosity in a healthcare setting. Frontiers in Psychology11, 1-9.
  • Weng, H., Fox, A., Shackman, A., Stodola, D., Caldwell, J., Olson, M., Rogers, G., & Davidson, R. J. (2013). Compassion training alters altruism and neural responses to suffering. Psychological science24(7), 1171-1180.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.