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Being kind helpful, indulgent, considerate, or humane to others boosts your serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of satisfaction and well-being. Kindness le to many good things like better relationships, improved self-esteem, compassion, happiness, future success, and good mental and physical health. Kindness provides many benefits to a human being and below is a list of these benefits explained in a bit more detail. Being nice to others can be one of the easiest and quickest, most inexpensive ways to keep anxiety at bay.

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Did you know that people who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains?!

It is totally weird, but it's true: I have gotten hate mail for writing a blog about raising happy children. But cyber bullies, take note: Research suggests you'll be happier if you make your point politely. Nasty online communication is a phenomenon called "flaming. The anonymity of the Internet can block people's self-awareness, making them less in-tune with their emotional states.

This makes it harder for people to control their behavior or engage in rational conversation. Research also shows that when people flame, their comments reflect how they were feeling before they read whatever they responded so violently to. So we may think we are engaging in an intellectual debate, but actually, we are just acting out the funk we were in before we read that blog post that supposedly ticked us off.

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Which is probably why the rude comments and mean s reached an all time high for me this past Christmas day: the holidays can be a hard time emotionally. Stress levels run high, and people have to deal with difficult family members and difficult emotions. My holiday postings threw several people into a rage; I know now that they were acting out the negative emotions that they were feeling before they read my post. Besides the fact that people seem just plain crazy when they post nasty comments or send hatefulthere are some great reasons to be polite and respectful. Reason 1: You'll be happier.

Kind people experience more happiness and they have happier memories. And all that happiness affects our ratios of positive to negative emotions. When people experience at least three times as many positive emotions as negative ones, they reach an emotional tipping point—they become more resilient in the face of adversity and more open and creative.

Why you need to be nice to people

Being mean makes you rigid; being nice improves your relationships, your healthand broadens your mind. To learn more about these benefits, I'd suggest checking out this upcoming Greater Good Science Center event. Reason 2: You'll be more powerful. In research settings, the kindest and most altruistic people gain the highest status in a groupand they are chosen most frequently as partners. In the real world, people in high-status positions accrue many other benefits: power, wealth, health, better moods, higher self-esteem, and lower stress levels.

Reason 3: Your children will be happier. We parents model skills and habits that affect our kids' happiness all the time. When we are nice, children learn the skills they need to be nice. When we let loose a nastythey infer that it's okay to treat other people with contempt. This won't lead to anyone's happiness.

Moreover, emotions are incredibly contagious. If I'm feeling angry, that anger is likely to transfer to my kids, even if I'm just sitting at the computer writing hostile s. Let's be clear: I'm not advocating avoiding negative feedback.

I think constructive criticism is one of the best ways for us to grow as human beings. Though even the most well-intended constructive feedback can feel negative, we thin-skinned people are happier and more successful when we learn to cope with negative-feeling feedback rather than simply avoid it. But there's a difference between constructive criticism and flat out hostility.

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When you are giving constructive criticism, remember to communicate with warmth and respect. Research shows that when your are clear that you think the target of your comment is competent and worthy of your attention, you will be more likely perceived as a friend rather than a foe, and that this promotes engagement and cooperation.

What better way to contribute to the greater good? You can say your piece while doing someone a favor rather than hurting their feelings. And it is those types of kindnesses that make everyone happier in the end. And an important correction—in the newsletter last week the links for this event didn't work…if you'd like to buy tickets to the Palo Alto Junior League event, please do so here.

Scientific reasons to be nice online

Simple kindness can go a long way: Relationships, social identity, and engagement. Social Psychology39 1 Barsade, SG. The Ripple Effect: Emotional contagion and its influence on group behavior. Administrative Science Quarterly47 4 Nice guys finish first: The Competitive Altruism Hypothesis.

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin32 10 Lee, H. Behavioral strategies for dealing with flaming in an online forum. The Sociological Quarterly46, Plan 9 from cyberspace: The implication of the internet for personality and social psychology.

Personality and Social Psychology Review4 1 Happy people become happier through kindness: A counting kindnesses intervention. Journal of Happiness Studies7, — Become a fan of Raising Happiness on Facebook. Subscribe to the Happiness Matters Podcast on iTunes. Christine Carter, Ph. Find out more about Christine here.

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Jeannette am, March 11, Link. Great post. Constructive criticism would be included in having something nice to say. Any advise for acceptable ways of expressing anger—both for kids and for adults when angry at kids? DT am, March 12, Link. Looks like I was right. It is amazing how violent comments get over the most mundane of issues, whether it is a news site or mommy blog.

Leigh pm, March 15, Link.

2. righting a wrong

Become a subscribing member today. Scroll To Top It is totally weird, but it's true: I have gotten hate mail for writing a blog about raising happy children. About the Author.

Christine Carter Christine Carter, Ph. You May Also Enjoy. You should be sure to credit Wesley Satterwhite for her photo please! This article — and everything on this site — is funded by readers like you. Give Now. Get the science of a meaningful life delivered to your inbox.

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Anet

We all know the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated.
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Kylie

Although, it may sound more like pop psychology, treating people kindly actually does make you happier.
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Fina

Ever since Bob Sutton wrote The No Asshole Rule , there's been a pretty broad movement underway to eradicate dysfunctional jerks from the workplace.
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Hermia

Jo Cutler has received a research grant in the past from Kindness UK, a not-for-profit which promotes acts of kindness so may benefit from this piece!
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