Monday, September 15, 2008

What To Do When Kindness Is Rejected

You went out of your way to smile at the bank clerk and she didn't even notice. You spend all day searching for the perfect gift and when you give it, it's tossed aside like yesterday's newspaper. You make breakfast in bed for your spouse and his only response is, "You know I don't like scrambled eggs." I think you get the point. You're kindness was not received in the way you expected.


What do you do when this happens to you? I imagine you feel bad, let down and ask yourself what was the point. Please don't.

Gary Chapman, author of The Five Languages of Love and Love as a Way of Life, says we must realize that it is not our responsibility to make people respond positively to our expressions of kindness. We all have the ability to receive and return love or to reject the love offered to us. When a person rejects our kindness, it's easy to pull back or get angry. But people are free to accept kindness with gratitude or turn it away, to accuse you of selfish motives or to reciprocate with kindness toward you. What we must remember is that their response is out of our control.

In our world, relationships do not always work the way we want them to. We might never see the influence of our acts of kindness. But when we love authentically, we remain kind even when loving is difficult. If someone rejects your kindness you can continue to hope that in time he will turn and walk toward you instead of away. In the meantime, hold on to your attitude of love and kindness.

If it was a random act for a stranger that was rejected keep in mind that many people do not trust strangers. You know your motives but they are not always clear to the other person. So don't be offended when an offer is turned down. For every time your kindness is rejected there will be many more when it is greatly appreciated.

So what do you do when your act of kindness is rejected or goes unnoticed? Just smile. After all, who were you doing it for anyway and why? For yourself and your own edification? Or because you truly care about another? If it's the latter there is no reason to feel bad...bursh off your ego, move on, and DO.

You'll be glad you did.

10 comments:

Linda Lou said...

When my kindness is rejected, I fervently plot the person's painful demise. Yeah, that's it.

Fin said...

What a lovely thought.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Linda,

I'm laughing..you always make me laugh..but I know you well enough to know that's not true. You are one of the kindest souls I've ever met. You can't convince me otherwise.

Hugs,
Lisa

Lisa McGlaun said...

Fin,

Lovely thought and hard to practice..I know..:)

Best Wishes,
Lisa

thewishfulwriter said...

I'm hearing a lot about this author right now. Five Languages of Love is coming up a lot in my world. I will have to check his stuff out. As for the "be kind just for the sake of kindness" rule, i think it's a great one. One I needed to be reminded of every so often, so thanks :)

Whicky Wuudler said...

What wise words on the nature of kindness.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Heather,

Gary Chapman is a great counselor and advisor. His books are wonderful. If you are hearing about him, I'd say that's the universes' prompting to read him..there must be something he has to say that you need to know.
I'm a great believer in signs..:)

Hugs,
Lisa

Lisa McGlaun said...

Heather,

Gary Chapman is a great counselor and advisor. His books are wonderful. If you are hearing about him, I'd say that's the universes' prompting to read him..there must be something he has to say that you need to know.
I'm a great believer in signs..:)

Hugs,
Lisa

Lisa McGlaun said...

whicky,

Thanks for the comment. Come back again.

Best Wishes,
Lisa

Anna said...

Lisa, giving is more rewarding than receiving. We may be kind to unkind person, but that kindness will be returned to us from someone else. Anna :)