How to Stay Kind in an Unkind Culture

When you have a cheerful personality, are easily excited and go out of your way to be friendly to people, you’ll start to notice a few different scenarios in response to that. Some people will gravitate towards you and feed off the energy you put out, and some people will do whatever they can to knock you down a few positivity notches. Unfortunately, for me, those people who tend to make their jabs and comments, succeed in knocking me down a few. So the goal for this post is to learn how to fight off those frustrations and to not let your light extinguish or dull. We live in a very cruel and unkind world, so if we continue to allow these things to diminish kindness, then hope for this dark world will simply no longer exist.

Every person has a story

No one is born a bully. At least I choose to believe that. There are certain situations, traumas or imbalances that teach someone that this is the only way to survive in life. Truth is, we have all had bad things happen to us. Does that make it right for someone to be unkind? Absolutely not, but it makes it easier to understand and easier to empathize. “Hurt people hurt people” may sound like your average cheesy quote, but it is spot on.

When you still want to respond with anger, remember what God says:

Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 5:8 – For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

There are no negative outcomes from kindness

I have never regretted being kind to someone. I have regretted responding to negativity in anger though. Pause and reflect before responding. If you respond in an unkind way, that person is getting exactly what they want.

When you still want to respond with anger, remember what God says:

Proverbs 10:12 – Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.

Reacting to every opinion will leave you empty

Every single person has opinions about everything and each opinion will be different. If we continue to live worrying about someone’s opinion of who we are, we will be left completely empty and utterly confused. Remember where your identity comes from and maybe your reaction time will slow up a bit.

When you still want to respond with anger, remember what God says:

Galatians 4:7 – So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Proverbs 31:25 – She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

Constructive Criticism vs. Personal Attack

It’s important to have people in your life who can help point out areas we can work on. That’s the beauty of friendship actually. Realize the difference between constructive criticism from a friend and personal attacks from a bystander. Only one should hold weight in your life, and please don’t let it be the latter. Dwell on the things that will help you grow into a stronger person and reject the things that are meant to pull you back a few steps.

When you still want to respond with anger, remember what God says:

Colossians 4:6. – Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Negativity will not change the world

The world is a                       place. Fill in the blank. My guess is that you just thought of a sad adjective (i.e. crazy, scary, messed up, etc.). So when we choose to respond to the unkind culture with negativity, that ugliness only continues to grow. The only way to drown out the bad, is to flood it with love over and over and over again. So even when it seems impossible to respond in love, remember that those are our moments that we can begin to change the world.

When you still want to respond with anger, remember what God says:

1 Peter 3:9 – Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

Make responding with love your habit

I struggle with responding in anger. People seem to confuse being kind with being a doormat, but I promise you, even the kindest of people have their snapping point. Unfortunately, my snapping fuse is becoming shorter and shorter as I get older. Force yourself to respond with love and joy over and over again until it becomes more natural. Again, usually the goal behind people making their jabs, is to bring you to their level, so responding in hate will only allow them to accomplish what they’re looking for.

When you still want to respond in anger, remember what God says:

1 Thessalonians 5:15 – Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

These are just some things that I’ll continue to remind myself of when I’m noticing I’m responding in anger instead of love. Being kind in an unkind culture is painfully difficult at times, but it’s incredibly beautiful when you continue to shine your light. We’ve all been through a lot in life, and we need to love on the people that are hurting the most.

When life and people continue to be cruel and unkind, don’t change your beautiful personality; change the world instead.

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