Sunday, July 17, 2011

Be Kind to Yourself

According to a reliable psychology source, people who are kind to themselves tend to be kind to others.

If one likes relaxing in a coffee shop near his or her office during breaks from work, he or she would be happy to receive a discount coupon for the coffee shop. However, if one just concentrated on work, he or she would not appreciate the discount coupon for the coffee shop. Instead, he or she would be upset for thinking that a friend might want him or her to relax at a coffee shop during work hours. Such a workaholic would not be able to appreciate the kindness of his or her friend, although such kindness would be a wish for the workaholic's relaxation and unwinding.

Keiko is a relaxed girl who likes everything that most girls like. She likes flowers, and decorates her apartment with a lot of them. She brings flowers to her office for others to enjoy during busy work hours. One of her colleagues noticed her habit, and brought in a bouquet of flowers for her. Keiko was grateful, and used the flowers to decorate her office for everybody to see.

On the other hand, Haruko is career oriented. She works in Keiko's office, but is a business warrior. Haruko pretended not to notice Keiko's flowers because she was not interested in them. She hated flowers that took up her working space. When Haruko was given a bouquet of flowers for a Valentine's Day present, she called her flower-giving friend a hypocrite.

What made them so different? Keiko knows how to be kind to herself by relaxing and enjoying her flowers, which is why she can appreciate and enjoy her gift of flowers. She can also be kind to her friend who gave her the flower bouquet.

In contrast, Haruko does not know how to be kind to herself. She does not understand that relaxing and enjoying herself is a good way to show kindness to herself. Because she cannot be kind to herself, Haruko cannot be kind to her friend who gave her flowers on Valentine's Day.

However, we should be careful of one thing. We should be aware that there are differences between being kind to ourselves and overindulging ourselves. One should reward himself or herself, even if there is no one to applaud him or her. Yet, spoiling oneself is a self-centered and self-justifying process. For example, enjoying a bottle of wine with your spouse is rewarding yourself. However, drinking too much and complaining about your boss is spoiling yourself.

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