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Five ways to show a little more respect and kindness

As if on purpose, Anti-Bullying Week and World Kindness Day have fallen in the same week this year. The theme for Anti-Bullying Week for 2018 is ‘Choose respect’, which aims to inform communities that bullying is a behavioural choice and that children and young people can set a positive example of respecting each other and being kind. Have a look at our five ways you, or the people around you, can show a little more respect and kindness.

1. Understand what bullying is Many people who bully often won’t know that they are bullying. Understanding the actual definition of bullying can make people see that what they are doing is unacceptable. The Oxford dictionary definition of a bully is: “A person who habitually seeks to harm or intimidate those whom they perceive as vulnerable.”

This includes simpler and smaller actions like calling people names and saying unwanted jokes about them, which can act as a starting point and escalate to the more identifiable bullying stereotypes like physical violence and threats.

Bullying UK has some good advice on how to tell if someone is being bullied and what you should do.

2. Have empathy Having empathy is a big part of being respectful. Allowing yourself to step into the other persons’ shoes will enable you to get an impression of how the other person might be feeling by your words or actions. How would you feel if you were in their position?

3. Have discussions, not arguments Everyone has disagreements in day-to-day life and we all have different opinions. If someone has said something you don’t agree with, you can still discuss it without resorting to harmful words. Having a respectful conversation and taking their opinions into account as well as your own is the healthiest way to do this. Allowing yourself to get angry at the recipient can lead to you saying words you don’t mean and could also make them feel like their opinion isn’t valid.

4. Find healthier ways to release anger If you’re someone that often takes their anger out on other people as a release, you should be finding healthier ways to do this. There are many options you can choose to do this, including; talking to someone you trust, keeping a diary, writing a blog, drawing or painting etc. You can also look at where else to get support here.

5. Do acts of kindness Acts of kindness not only make the recipient feel better, but you’ll feel better too! The purest acts of kindness can come from seemingly meaningless things, such as a hand-written letter or simply making someone a cup of tea! None of us are mind-readers and doing things like this could make someone’s day.

If we showed a little more respect and kindness, the world would be a much better place, don’t you think?

You can take a look at the Anti-Bullying Alliance or Kindness UK for more information for help with children in school. Bullying happens to adults too, sometimes masked as ‘banter’. Award-winning blogger, Gemma Scopes, founder of ‘How to Make Friends’, shares some helpful tips on toxic friends and self-worth.

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