World Kindness Day – a celebration of kindness and how it can increase happiness, increase well-being and create togetherness. But did you know that being nicer can also be good for your love life? It’s true! In fact, our anonymous study of 250,000 singles has shown that kindness is the trait Americans most want in a partner.
It is clear that kindness matters. Studies have shown that kindness benefits us and others: being kind can improve the length and stability of our relationships, 1 increase our sense of well-being and decrease misery, 2 and make us feel more optimistic and connected to the world . 3 Kindness is also getting its due, with 13 November dubbed ‘World Kindness Day’ and celebrated around the world as a day to be kind to one another.
Now, there’s a new reason for singles to embrace kindness: It can also make you more attractive! Our latest study of anonymous users shows that Americans are actively looking for friendly partners. In fact, of all the partner traits out there, kindness is the most sought after quality of all.
To find this data, we took a random, anonymous sample of 250,000 EliteSingles members who signed up to our platform before September 2019. We then looked at how singles in each state ranked various partner traits.
The study revealed that kindness is the most popular partner quality in the United States; ranking as the most searched for trait in 20 states plus Washington DC, and as one of the top three traits in 25 other states. In fact, the only states where kindness is not one of the top three traits are Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, and North Dakota, and in most of them, kindness ranks fourth.
The cities where kindness is most important
In addition to looking at desired partner traits at the state level, our study uncovered the cities with the highest percentage of singles who wanted a nice partner. If you’re a friendly person looking for love living in California, you’ll be thrilled with the results: Not only is Mountain View, CA home to the nation’s friendliest singles, California cities boast SIX of the top 10 on the list. Clearly, in California, kindness is king. YourChristianDate.Com
Women are especially interested in kindness
The study also showed that much of the yearning for kindness in America is driven by single women. The overall figure might have 20 states plus DC ranking friendliness at #1, but single women are much more enthusiastic. In fact, in 36 states (and DC), women rank kindness as the one thing they want most from a partner. Additionally, in 47 states (all but Mississippi, Nebraska, and North Dakota), women rank kindness as one of their top three choices, while in all 50 states, women rank kindness in their top five.
So what do single men think about kindness? Although men in DC rank kindness first, men in the rest of America tend to rank traits like openness and adventure first. That’s not to say that men don’t like kindness, they still value it, just not as much as women. It may not be number one, but in 25 states men have kindness as a top three partner trait. Additionally, in 49 states it is a trait of the top five, with Delaware being the only exception.
HOW TO BE KINDER THIS WORLD KINDNESS DAY
Kindness is clearly a wonderful and attractive quality. So, with World Kindness Day just around the corner, how can singles spark kindness in their own lives? We have found three viable ways to be kinder to others and three ways to be kinder to ourselves.
Let people know when you appreciate them.
Too often we can be shy or awkward about letting people know when we appreciate them. Seriousness makes us feel vulnerable and that is why we remain silent. However, if we are complimented, it can lift us up with lasting warmth. It’s a wonderful feeling and worth sharing. Therefore, the kindest thing to do is combat those feelings of vulnerability and spread the joy that comes from being congratulated. As long as it comes from a genuine place rather than a rote list, it will change the recipient’s day for the better. And, on the other hand, if someone congratulates you, don’t object. Just say thank you. Accept his kindness.
Another way to be kind to others is to listen to them when they speak. We’re talking honest listening, the kind that isn’t as easy as you might think! Real listening is an act of generosity, and it takes a lot of energy and compassion to really listen well. Don’t check your phone, don’t fret, don’t start planning how to respond with a story of your own. Instead, try to listen kindly by really listening to what the person is saying. Lean forward, ask insightful questions, and most importantly, let them finish their train of thought before offering their opinion. Show them that you really see them and listen to what they have to say.
Try a random act of kindness.
Have you heard of the term Random Acts of Kindness (RAK)? It is the name given to a non-profit foundation that aims to improve the world through thousands of small acts of generosity, and those who participate call themselves RAK tavists. The philosophy behind RAK is that kindness begets kindness. If we do one small thing for someone else, we might inspire them to be kind to a third person, and so on it goes in a chain reaction of positivity. If we do two small acts of kindness, and inspire those people to help two more, the kindness will spread even faster. Ready to try it out for World Kindness Day? There are lots of great ideas on the RAK website.
Be kind to yourself.
It’s important to be self-aware, but it’s easy for that awareness to skew toward cruel self-criticism. We start using words like “stupid” or “ugly”, harsh words that may seem like a natural response to stress, but can be very harmful. Here’s the thing; if we used such language with a friend, we would never expect a positive response. Yet we are all too ready to use the same words against ourselves. The next time you find yourself stuck in a spiral of unpleasant words, try to take a breath and try a softer approach. Calm down as you would a friend, and gradually you will find that the impulse of negativity is replaced by an impulse of kindness.
Reserve some time just for yourself.
If you’re a solo professional, your free time is likely to be minimal as you juggle the obligations of caring for work, family, and friends. And often this means that you end up abandoning the obligation you have to take care of yourself. While this is also understandable, it is also unsustainable as it means you deny yourself the opportunity to recharge your batteries and eventually run out of the juice you need to help others. Think of it like an oxygen mask – you’re in a better place to help those around you if you take the time to fix your mask first. Try to set aside 15 minutes a day to check in with yourself, say some affirmations, and recharge your batteries of kindness.
Knowing that you should think kinder thoughts and take time for yourself is one thing. Actually doing it is another. Self-kindness is a skill, and like all skills, it will take a bit of practice to become routine. And that’s where mindfulness can help. Mindfulness is about embracing the current moment and allowing yourself to be fully present in whatever you’re doing — think mindful work, mindful relaxation, and even mindful dating.
As a tool, mindfulness is incredibly powerful: regular practice can increase compassion and reduce aggression. And it can change your brain so that you find kindness comes easier. 4 Give it a try this World Kindness Day and take the first step to being kinder every day. YourChristianDate