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BellaOnline's Stress Management Editor

Debunking the Myth of Kindness

A popular myth is floating around that being kind and compassionate means that we give ourselves away. In fact, there is a condition in highly stressed people known as “compassion fatigue,” – the affliction of the caregiver, the over-doer and the people-pleaser. However, it is time to realize that kindness and civility are selfish and advantageous.

From the evolutionary value of the fight or flight stress response we get to survive another day, alert to potential enemies. Also, humans are tribal who know there is strength in numbers. So, the first order of the day is to cooperate with your tribe!

When I read Matt Ridley’s Wall Street Journal article, “Have we evolved to be nasty or nice?” I realized that kindness, compassion and civility are really quid pro quo. Ridley makes the case whether it is family or business, the best kind of kindness is mutually beneficial. In other words, kindness comes with conditions.

Cooperating with family, friends and colleagues offers you protection like the mafia. Networking can lead to better business deals with an ongoing future by building relationships; everyone wins instead of the one-time-only victor versus loser deal. Business leadership has grown more enlightened over the years progressing from a benevolent dictatorship to more of a democracy involving employees in team decision making, encouraging exercise sessions during the workday, more flexible hours - even working at home, group outings and shortened summer hours. Consequently, productivity is up!

5 examples of what kindness can do:
For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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Content copyright © 2013 by Debbie Mandel. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Debbie Mandel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Debbie Mandel for details.

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