How many times in your life have you felt excited about something you’ve seen, heard, done or were planning to do, yet when you shared it with someone, their comments felt as if a bucket of ice water was dumped on your head? How many times have you felt all of your joy, happiness, excitement and enthusiasm destroyed?

At the other extreme, how many times have you felt frustrated, exhausted and ready to give up, when someone gifted you with a smile, a caring hug and words of encouragement that totally lifted your spirit? Looking back over your life, remember the people who, with a few kind, caring, encouraging words made your heart sing? Do you remember how positive, re-energized and re-committed you became? Those are the friends to keep around.

As humans, we are sensitive and often oversensitive. At the same time, we have a tendency to be critical of others and especially of ourselves. Regardless of whether we are talking to children, young adults, adults, parents, partners, work colleagues or even to ourselves, the way we communicate and share – and respond – can have a huge effect on the outcome of our – and their – health, sanity, projects and relationships.

Kindness, caring and compassion cost so little to give, and yet often has a huge impact on the person we are interacting with. So rather than criticize, look for the good in people. Take time to compliment a person. Be sensitive to what others are feeling and may be going through and ALWAYS see their magnificence, their divine soul essence.

Although this article is focused on how we communicate with others, it also pertains to how we treat and communicate with ourselves. Often there seems to be an “unkind” voice within us that puts us down, criticizes us and points out even our most minute imperfection. That voice is the wounded (disowned) part of our self that is crying out, begging for healing and acceptance.

The kinder, caring, compassionate and more loving we become – to ourselves as well as to others – the faster we will heal, learn, change, grow and evolve into the magnificent perfectly-imperfect human being we already are.

Isn’t today a great time to start?

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