Sticks and Stones Hurt. Words hurt even more.
Reading the news recently is an exploration on how to be mean and cruel to people. Scathing articles and Drop Mic bombshells are everywhere. If I can be rude to people to prove my point and “win” an argument, it seems that the fight has already been lost. Kindness seems to be a forgotten art-form, and yet even the flies know that honey attracts better than vinegar. So at least drip a little bit of honey when you write.
Writing, in it’s purest form, is someone sharing their voice. It can be through a story or instructing someone through a memo. Your voice. Your command. Your account of what happened or what should happen. It can vary in length and reflects (much like a mirror) you. Your flavor, preferences, styles, and personality. Even when you’re writing objectively, it is not 100% objective. No one can completely remove their fingerprint from an article, so if you do leave a little bit of you, choose to leave a bit of kindness wherever you write.
1. Give helpful advice when asked
For new bloggers, it is easy to get lost in the craziness and hype of being in business for yourself. Finding someone who knows what they’re doing (without a gimmick-like approach) and who cares about the little people getting started is a rare gem. I remember starting that each question I had was answered with a hidden message. Things like go to my website, take this masterclass, fill out this form, buy this book, etc. I really got fed up pretty quickly with the thought that bloggers had to buy something at every turn.
(Note: You don’t!)
Having a book or masterclass is a great way to sell a product, but it needs to be done carefully. Helping others and showing kindness to new bloggers should not come with a fishhook. It will leave a much better taste in their mouth (pun intended) if you help people without selling them first.
Kindness and politeness are not overrated at all. They’re underused. Tommy Lee Jones
2. Give it without a price
Kindness does not cost anyone anything, but its worth its weight in platinum. Even if you run a business, find a way to show compassion that the other person never has to pay for. One way to share your knowledge with others is through Facebook groups, like the PAC Community, or Slack. When people ask for help, you can be the one to help them. Yes, you may not make a sale every single time, but people remember positively those who help you, and it may eventually come back to you.
Whatever possession we gain by our sword cannot be sure or lasting, but the love gained by kindness and moderation is certain and durable. Alexander the Great
3. Give humbly, but bravely
When I was beginning in blogging, I was surprised at those who really helped me. Never once did I hear an “I’m better than you” statement, but I simply heard a “you’re welcome, glad to help!” This stood out to me because I saw that these business people were people I wanted to hang around. While I didn’t buy their products all the time, I wanted to help them out in ways that I could afford. I would share their work, comment on social media positively about them, promote them to other bloggers who I knew were struggling in their areas of expertise.
All of this was done because those bloggers showed humble kindness.
If you can help people, then at least give it a try. You may not have 100% of the answers, but it can help point them in the right direction.
4. Help others even when you are struggling too
One of my favorite bloggers is Jennica Collado. She and I have the sweetest friendship even though we live thousands of miles away. Her sweet & positive attitude is prevalent in everything that she writes. She wrote something last week on Instagram that has stood out so much to me. She stated a positive mantra that said that she will still help others, even though she is scared and doesn’t feel ready.
Blogging and promoting yourself can bring up difficult issues from your past such as fear, self-doubt, anger, worthiness, and vulnerability. These raw and painful emotions that make you want to close up and hide and never write anything again. Bréne Brown sums this up so perfectly when she said:
Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy — the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light. Bréne Brown
When you face these fears, when you call search them out for what they are…then you can help others overcome the issues that they are facing. It doesn’t matter if you don’t “feel ready,” most people will never feel 100% ready. But you have to take the chance and leap to help others and show kindness to them. Fear of rejection and fears of failure are universal fears in writing, but love and kindness are also global in their language. Allow your words to help someone.
5. Give kindness because you want to bring a better result in the other person
When you help others unselfishly from a loving heart, then they will grow and prosper and you will too. It is a win-win. You both grow because one person was brave enough to help out others. This action can be compared to the law of the boomerang. If you give out kindness, you will receive kindness back. Sometimes it comes back quickly, and other times it takes a while. But eventually, it will come back.
You can plant kindness in another person’s writing by
- Offering helpful suggestions with ideas and grammar.
- Encourage friends to use journals (like my friend Monna makes) to write down what they are learning
- Suggest ways to use the graphic design programs you’re familiar with. Dexter Roona is excellent with doing this!
- Comment positively on their posts
- Share others social media posts
- Suggest ways they can write more about the topic they are on
By doing these things consistently, you will reap an increase your networking market. Most importantly, you will gain a friend…or maybe even lots of friends.
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop
Call to Action
The next time you see someone reaching out for help, take the time to do it. You may not “feel worthy”. You may be tempted to throw in your favorite sales pitch or offer to sell them your book (Resist the temptation!!) You may have to face some fears of your own, but as you help others to grow and succeed you will succeed as well.
And that, my dear reader, is how you can show kindness to others in writing.