Thursday, 22 August 2013

Love | Be kind

I originally posted this a year or so ago on a previous little blog I used to write (a wedding and relationships blog that never quite took off!). I stumbled across it today and think it's still very relevant and worth sharing. 

If there's one thing I've learnt through my experience of being in a long-term relationship, it's that being mean is not OK. Of course, people make mistakes and have bad days and we all take things out on our other halves that we shouldn't. But there's a big difference between making a mistake and repeatedly causing pain to the person you're in a relationship with. I've battled many, many insecurities throughout my life but I've always believed I deserve someone kind and loving. I believe everyone deserves someone kind and loving. 

My fiance has many wonderful qualities but the one that really stood out for me when we were first getting to know each other was his ability to always be kind to others. He's one of those people who you immediately feel comfortable around because he's calm, easy-going and cheerful. He makes new friends quickly and effortlessly as he's sociable without being overbearing, and although he can be quiet he isn't shy. He never has a bad word to say about anyone and has no interest in bitching about others. That's what I remember thinking as we got to know each other. He made me, and continues to make me, want to be a kinder person.

We got together after he bought me a rose and handed me a card with a poem inside that he'd written (a bit corny but really special all the same!) He then bought me a rose two weeks later to mark two weeks together, another a month later and a bunch for every anniversary, valentine's day and birthday so far. I wrote letters and cards and bought him his favourite food every so often, like chocolate bars and other small things. I recently gave him a postcard with a picture of two knitted pears on, with a silly caption. He recently bought me a beautiful engagement ring :p But that's not to say we're an overly soppy, cringey couple. And we're certainly not perfect. We just try to remind each other that being kind feels really really nice. 

The best thing about being kind is that you don't need money or material things to express gratitude, appreciation, admiration and love. Chris compliments me a lot, encourages me when I'm feeling useless, celebrates when I do well at work or on an essay, listens when I'm feeling down and provides countless hugs when we're hanging out. He is my best friend, and I can't imagine having it any other way. As noted by my good friend Michaela in a recent blog post (click here- it's an excellent, touching piece on friendship and love) surely your boyfriend or girlfriend should be your best friend? We expect our best friends to treat us well and treat us with kindness, so surely it's only logical for our partners to do the same? 

Of course, it isn't always easy to be kind and sometimes I fall into a complete kindness coma. I become blind to the things Chris does to love and support me, and I take my anger out on him because he's an easy target in that we have no fear of the other running off and leaving if we do get angry. I'll start taking his kindness for granted and rage against him when I should be teaming up with him against whatever's pissed me off so much in the first place. I know when I've fallen too far into the kindness coma because there comes a moment when I yell particularly loudly or give a look so full of annoyance that for a split second I see a flash of acute bewilderment, pain and embarrassment pass across his face when he realises I've completely stomped all over his kind words or good intentions. It works both ways; we've both done it before, although thankfully not very often, and it really does sting. It always makes me want to kick myself for being so mean and thoughtless. It always kicks the kindness coma right out of me.

Being kind doesn't mean being passive or never putting your point across or never airing your grievances. It means doing so from a place of mutual respect and love. That's what being assertive is all about. I'm not an expert at this, by any means! But I am willing to learn. It doesn't cost anything to be kind and it creates a mutually supportive atmosphere, leading to a healthy relationship. Get rid of point scoring, forgive small mistakes, believe in your partner and invest in your relationship as best friends as well as lovers. Most of all, believe you deserve someone kind and believe you can be kind in return. I often feel that I'm not as kind as Chris and never will be; he is naturally open and friendly whereas I can be guarded and short-tempered. But I'm really, really trying. I asked him prior to writing this if he could think of something small I've done recently that would count as an act of kindness; he said it made him happy when I sent him a nice text this morning using a silly nickname we have for each other. 

So I know I can be kind, and I am kind, I just forget how to be, sometimes. I want to avoid slipping back into that kindness coma for as long as possible. I'm aiming to kick it, and kick it hard. Who's with me?

Baci e abbracci, 

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  1. Love it! Very Sweet post! and thanks for the reference :)

    1. Hehe, no worries, absolutely love that post of yours! In fact I absolutely love your blog, everything you write is so engaging :) xx

  2. This is lovely and so very true, I take my anger and frustrations out on Shane a lot and always feel awful afterwards, I'm definitely going to take this on board and try to be kinder. Also, I've pinched your 'I'm Found!' badge :) xxx

    1. That's fab, feel free to pinch as many badges as you like! I also fall into the trap of taking out my anger and frustration on Chris and I always, always regret it. Funnily enough, certain CBT techniques have really helped me stop, maybe I should write a little follow up post?xx

  3. Lovely post Imogen :)
    I have used this badge on my blog, such a positive & simple quote! :)
    Anna :)


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