Have you ever heard the phrase, “Kill’em with KINDNESS?”
The best way I can interpret the phrase is – being nice to someone in response to their lack of kindness when responding to you.
When I encounter people who are rude, I’ve learned to deal with it in a positive way. I’ve learned that it is not effective to mirror someone’s behavior when they’re in a bad mood or attitudinal. In fact, it only makes the situation worse. Instead of mirroring – in contrast – I attempt to create a positive reflection – simply being kind. Hence the “kill’em with kindness” statement. I now realize that you aren’t actually “killing” the person (metaphorically), but instead you are killing the negative aspect of the interaction.
As an example, when I deal with people in a retail situation where I’m the customer and they are unkind, it becomes an opportunity to turn it around.
First, I check myself:
- What’s my mood or motive?
- Is this a moment when my ego is puffing up?
- Am I upset and really seek to make them feel smaller?
- If I am clear on all of that, then I am genuinely aiming for the opposite.
If I am in an unpleasant mood or bothered by something, I am very intentional in my interactions (learned this over time). I will often share what is bothering me depending on the situation. I’ve also learned that whatever is happening with the other person most likely has nothing at all to do with me. So many reasons potentially exist for the mood of those we encounter from day to day.
Next, I stop everything; and turn my attention to the exchange we are experiencing. In a non-confrontational manner (soft smile), I ask what type of day they are having. Or, if the negativity is REALLY noticeable, I ask the reason they are speaking to me that way.
So many times, people have stopped in their tracks and said, “Oh wow! Thank you! No, I’m alright/not alright, because…”
This turns into a really engaging encounter where we both get to share and walk away feeling better because of it. In that instance, I have successfully killed the negative mood or feeling with simple KINDNESS.
Disclaimer: Not all methods, situations, or circumstances are foolproof. Sometimes, it doesn’t work out. However, in my adult lifetime the success rate is pretty high – because I am not afraid to try.