Perhaps you or someone you know is struggling to identify what it means to be a kinder, more ‘gentler’ person. Often the skills we learn over the years to be understanding, empathetic and in result more kind can be lost along the way of dealing with our day to day issues.

Research shows a person can learn empathy through only a small number of ‘kinder’ interactions with strangers. The study suggests empathy is not a trait a person is just born with, but rather a positive characteristic that can be made a habit into anyone’s life.

Beverly D. Flaxington, an author and expert in human behaviour, said in Psychology Today there are 5 steps to take to be a better, kinder and more enjoyable person.

1. Recognising your aggravation towards others can influence your negative mindset

Flaxington suggests the way we think towards situations impacts our attitude and behaviour. In order to become ‘better’, we must first recognise the mindset that can push an individual to be a “raging negative fire”.

“Notice your thoughts – and then choose to stop,” she said.

2. Make plans to have a positive mindset

What are things in life that make you feel happy? Who, what and where gives you joy? Have a positive mindset through searching for what makes you feel content.

3. Learn the power of objectivity and use it as a tool

When learning about the world, don’t let it fuel your anger and apathetic traits. Flaxington says “be well-read, but don’t allow what you read to fuel your negativity”. 

4. Steer clear of negative people and thoughts

5. Do something nice for someone – anyone

Some people, in your humble opinion, may not deserve kindness from you. However, the author believes true empathy comes from being able to show kindness even when it might not be reciprocated, understood or even deserved.

“Everyone is in pain of one sort or another, and if you can see through the hard wall to the pain underneath and respond to kindness there, you will unlock the key to being kind and authentic,” she said.

How do you show kindness? Let us know some of your tips in the comments below.