Kindness Challenge Day 11: Be Kind to Someone You Dislike

This is Day 11 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge for Nov 2012 where hundreds of participants from around the world get together in spirit to do 14 acts of kindness over 14 days. The challenge is now over, but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all Kindness Challenge tasks and posts.

Join the Kindness Challenge!

Hello everyone! :D Welcome to Day 11 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge! ;)

We have hit the 800th Participant Mark!!

11th day into the challenge, and we have now hit the 800th participant mark!!! :D *throws confetti into the air*

I consider our kindness challenge to be a huge success, both in terms of the number of people we have gathered onto the challenge (though I’ve never set an actual target but simply aimed to get as many people as possible) and the overwhelming responses I’ve been hearing from people who are taking the challenge, about the change they have seen in their lives and responses they are getting from others.

Day 15 will be roundup day, so I’ll be reserving roundup comments till then. If you still want to join us in the remaining 3 days, do so here:

The 10 Tasks To Date!

Here are the 10 beautiful tasks of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge so far. Four more to go!

My Day 10 Review: Send Flowers to Someone

Day 10’s task was to Send Flowers to Someone.

(Task accomplished on Day 12, Nov 12 as that was the day when I met the people whom I wanted to give the flowers to. Have documented the process below!)

Got up bright and early (5:20am) to head to my aunt’s shop to get the flowers I pre-ordered from her!

Flower shop

At my aunt’s shop early in the morning! She’s inside the shop doing the flowers (you can’t see her in the picture).

Bouquets of Flowers

The beautiful bouquets (four of them!), in a bag and all ready to be hand-delivered (by me) to their recipients! :D

UFM 100.3 Recording Studio

Looks familiar? ;) This is the UFM 100.3 recording studio. The four deejays of 不给一口叮 (the morning segment) are the intended recipients of my flower task!

I ended up getting a cameo on the day’s segment (Nov 12) as I shared a little bit about the Kindness Challenge’s progress so far and presented the flowers to them on air.

UFM 100.3 Deejay Wenhong

Wenhong, the anchor deejay for 不给一口叮, with his sunflower bouquet! ;) The sunflowers are to wish that he will forever bring sunshine and happiness to the deejays and guests on the show. ;)

UFM 100.3 Deejay Limei

And here’s Limei, one of the deejays, with her beautiful roses. I gave her the roses to wish that she will remain forever youthful and beautiful.

With the UFM 100.3 Deejays

From left to right: Wenhong (黄文鸿), Li Mei (叶丽梅), Myself, Xiao zhu (小猪), Yanwei Xiao er (彦维小二)

I’m just happy to have brought a pleasant surprise to them and smiles to their faces. Now, on to the next kindness task! :D

Day 11: Someone You Dislike

Unhappy person

Is there anyone you dislike in your life?

It could be that kid who was critical to you in high school. It could be your current manager who is unreasonable with the deadlines he/she has been assigning. It could be that colleague who went behind your back and tattled on you to other colleagues. It could be your ex-best friend who took you for granted and ruined the friendship. It could be your previous relationship partner who cheated on you with someone else.

I try not to hold grievances against anyone as I’ve come to realize that the person who suffers is myself, not the other person (read part 2 of the anger series and Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program, Day 25: Forgive Yourself). Yet, there are times when I come across people whom I can’t help but feel irked by. I may ignore these people, forget about them or try to ensure our paths won’t cross, but the point is that I usually would not take to these people kindly if I were to ever meet them again. As they say, once bitten, twice shy.

However, while it’s one thing to hold your ground and be firm (staunch) with people who have crossed you before, it’s another thing altogether to treat them with kindness. I say it takes a different person, a bigger person, to behave kindly to these people.

After all, the people who were unkind / are behaving unkindly to you may have their own reasons. Maybe they had a bad day. Maybe they were just being themselves and they didn’t know they had offended you. Maybe they were stressed out. Maybe this. Maybe that.

The point is there can be a zillion reasons why someone would openly or unknowingly offend you. And while you cannot change how the person act, you CAN control how you think, feel, and act. You can control your thoughts, feelings, and actions… and you can control whether you treat this person in kindness or not.

So, how about treating these people (whom you are not a big fan of) with kindness? For when you treat people kindly, you inspire others to be kind too. You help to make the world a better place.

Today (and for the rest of your life), your task is to be kind to someone (people) you dislike!

Your Task: Be Kind to Someone You Dislike

Think about the people you interact with on an ongoing basis. They could be people in your social circle, workplace, business contacts, or  family.

Is there anyone in these circles who has been mean-spirited, rude, harsh, or terse to you before? You might not dislike them (after all, disliking someone is quite a strong feeling), but you might not like them too.

I want you to think about how you can be kind to this person from now on. The next time you see him/her, treat him/her in kindness. You might want to apply some of the acts of kindness you have picked up in the past 10 days on him/her. For example: Talk to someone you don’t normally talk togive a genuine compliment, give a hug, or write a thank-you note.

Some of you might say that you can’t think of anyone you dislike or anyone who has treated you unkindly. I want you to think deeper. There will be someone who will come to mind.

For example, initially I couldn’t think of anyone (in my life now) who is unkind to me. But after some probing, someone came to mind. This person has been somewhat terse in the communications with me, though I’m not sure why (and it’s none of my concern too as I have explained above). What I’ll do is I’ll continue to treat this person with kindness and hope that it will help this person to see me in a different light one day.

Share Your Results!

Who is the person whom you are planning to render your kindness to? How are you going to render your kindness to him/her?

Check out the responses of other participants in the comments section!

After you are done, proceed to Day 12: Forgive Someone.

Image: Lorenz Seidler

  • wanxuan

    I have an aunt that has recently mean and unkind towards everyone. For example, whenever my family goes over to my grandma’s family (every week), she would say unkind things like “If you visit (my grandma’s place) so rarely, you might as well don’t visit at all.”. When my brother was getting married, she said in front of the extended family that “I don’t want to go. Chinese weddings are so expensive”. Whenever anyone had contact with her, she would have a critical comment to say.
    I dislike her behaviour, not her as a person. I understand that she is a recent divorcee and has had difficult times with her ex-husband. And I remember Celes quote from somewhere “The hardest people to love is the one who needs it the most”. I normally would avoid her during family gatherings.
    This challenge is quite difficult for me. I would rather avoid someone who displays distasteful behaviour than face the person and endure distasteful behaviour, which may ruin my mood all day. I have also told my mum to avoid her as my mum gets so affected by her comments that she will cry or burst out in anger. So far the strategy has been good as my mum and I actually enjoy our days better with uplifting people, music and movies (oops.)
    I will try to talk to her more in my next grandma’s house visit and be kind towards her. Everyone deserves to be loved. She has been kind to my family in the past and used to exchange gifts after overseas trips. We used to go overseas on trips and outings and had happy times together. I agree it takes a bigger person to forgive :)

    • Celes

      Hey Wanxuan! Goodness, I wonder why your aunt says things like that? It would seem that she has had her share of difficult times as you have pointed out, which has led her to be such a (seemingly) bitter person.

      It’s very magnanimous that you have decided to extend your kindness to her. Like you said, everyone deserves to be loved. Actually, your comment for today’s task has inspired me to further extend my kindness to people who have been outright rude to me. I have in mind another person (who had said some pretty unkind stuff to me) whom I’ve been on the fence as to how I should handle the relationship. I think I know what I should do now.

      • Bob

        Hi Wanxuan,

        It would appear that your Aunt is trying to make your mother and her family feel guilty when they come towards your grandmother. This is may be due to fear so she can separate the family and take charge of the Grandmother and her assets.

        I sympathise, with you and especially your mother, my brother and his family took charge of my mother affairs after she died, causing a many extremely difficult situations afterwards. We all have our reasons for doing something. Hats off to you Wanxuan, and good luck in your communication and understanding.

        • wanxuan

          You might be right about it, Bob. If it is indeed a case of asset dispute, I guess quite many people can relate to it. I would like to give my aunt the benefit of the doubt (that she has internal battles rather than harbouring evil intent) but the truth will always prevail. Thank you Bob for your empathetic comment :hug:

      • wanxuan

        Thank you Celes for such kind words. I shall not hide behind some trees/bushes when I see her then :lol: I’m flattered that my comment have inspired you in some way hehe.

  • hendro

    Hmm, I have to admit that I came across people who I did not feel so comfortable talking with them. :( It may be because we have different perspectives. :rolleyes: What I usually did was to keep a distance from all these people. :cool: But I have realized at some point of our lives it’s inevitably to interact with people that we do not like to interact with. :mrgreen: I have learned to respect and appreciate them as unique person who might come from different background. But if there is a need to stand out and speak up for all of our goodness, I will be glad to do that. :) I feel that letting people know about how they are doing is also another act of kindness to help them as well as ourselves become a better individuals :p Hope everyone of us can always be kind with one another :dance:

  • JadePenguin

    My most recent case of people I dislike is my ex-housemates (I didn’t choose them, just had no choice). They’re greedy, jealous, lazy, shallow party people. I’m so glad not to be living with them anymore. I actually thought that after moving out, I would never talk to them again and pretend they don’t exist. But well, [insert Buddha quote about hot potato and burning yourself], I decided against it. Instead I’ll forget about what happened, acknowledge that they haven’t found the path to kindness (yet) and treat them without resentment, if I meet them again (and one of them goes to my salsa class…)

    Didn’t do anything specifically today though. They’re so different from me that there wouldn’t even be anything to do really (me trying to talk to them would probably piss them off more than anything).

  • Judy Max

    Hi Celes:

    We did. In fact, the member, who is feeling outcasted, which we never intended to do so, had been appointed for a newly created position in order for her to be continually part of the executive committee.
    Thank you Celes for the enlightment and for guiding us finding ways to be kind to someone, who feels outcasted.

    • Celes

      I’m glad you guys created a new position to make her feel inclusive, Judy! Thank you so much for proactively creating a conducive community in your place. You guys are wonderful! :D

  • Ken

    I’m going to be a day late on this one. There is one employee that I dislike because of the dishonesty he brings to my staff everyday. But i will have a nice talk with him tomorrow. It’s veterans day and he served in the Navy so I will be nice and kind to him.

    I think this is the most challenging of the challenge as this individual has this incredible sense of entitlement because he “served” the country. I don’t even think he served in any of the wars, but he thinks everyone owes him. I know he will disrespect me by telling my staff how much full of crap I was. (This is how I know he is dishonest, because my staff is kind of tired of hearing him bad mouth me because none of it’s true. They are getting tired of defending me as well).

    But I’m going to let that go and be nice to him. I’ll report back on how this challenge goes. I also need to thank my best friend for keeping me on track with this challenge. I didn’t want to do day 11, but she is encouraging me to do it. And if I say I’m going to do something, I will always keep my promise to do it.

  • Netta

    Growing up and still living in a very small town has it’s advantages. There are also disadvantages like people being tight knit and in each other’s business far too much. Perhaps out of boredom or reasons nobody can figure out, there comes a great deal of gossip and people dislike people they have always disliked. I have so much going on in my life and always have that I don’t give the people whom dislike me much thought and I have a few people I dislike.
    I have reasons I dislike a certain person due to there actions. I usually don’t put much thought into it because they don’t effect my life or cause me bitterness as a person. I tend to avoid these people because I find them draining. On the rare occasions that I cannot avoid them, I don’t cause tension to myself, however I can feel their tension because I can at times rudely act as though this person isn’t there.
    This has been a lifelong habit of mine so this challenge was a bit difficult. I worked through it though and picked someone I do dislike and have to be in contact with more than I would like due to family. I waved at this person as they drove by my house today and smiled. This was a huge step for me. As the day went on and I knew I would see this person at least one more time, I thought about this challenge.
    When the time came I had to be around this person, I smiled a genuine smile and complimented her on her hair. It was an honest compliment because she does have very beautiful hair. I noticed it took her by surprise but she returned the smile and seemed truly pleased. As I left the house where this person was, I actually felt peaceful about being nice to her and I feel as though I made a positive difference if only for a few moments in her day.
    I feel as though I can continue to be nice and kind to this person and even if they aren’t warm all of the time, perhaps it will maintain a positive vibe when we do have to be around one another.

  • Elton

    I use to dislike my professor who constantly puts alarm clock during our lesson, as he treats us like a machine, he comes on time for 1 hour lesson and goes off immediately after 1 hour straight ended. This has gone for 1 year and made us really hate our lesson and attitude of professor created in our study environment. And none of our classmates really understand why the professor acts in that certain way.

    This is also repeated when we make appointment in his meeting room, where he put the same alarm clock and keep pushing whats next and tell us to get lost the moment the time is up. Though since after graduate I forgotten all about it, it often brings me memories when someone keeps pushing things next and next as if we are irrelevant and not time sensitive.

    I think I will be nice for the person who does similar things, as I takes time to understand their environment and maybe the professor is the only exceptional case on this earth.

  • Elton

    Haha, recalled a funny history coming to this Day challenge.

    I actually remembered someone I used to dislike a person back when we first met in July 2010, and used to think the person as snobbish. But I think I did one kindness act may have change the person’s opinion towards me. I did’nt remembered her like last time, but now I think I appreciate having the person lots as part of improving my life and gradually knowing each other better.

    Sounds familiar to anyone who comes across similar situation? I didn’t want to mention any name here but its good memory to savour.

    • Celes

      Haha Elton, I don’t think it was really one kind act but probably more of your constant sincerity that changed the person’s perception. At least that’s how I would perceive the situation. I’d say that it’s good that you kept an open mind and decided to give the friendship another go through constant kind acts rather than close it off based on your initial first impression. That probably paved the way for a new positive connection in your life and the other person’s life. :)

  • Hetal_S

    Frankly speaking this task was very difficult for me :(

    But somehow i manage to talk to some one whom i dislike though the conversation was simple “Hi, How are you types”

  • Miss Elf

    Well, I was nice to someone today – to a friend, with whom we drifted apart lately (and I am fine with that, I wanted that cause she became a kind of energy vampire). I responded to an e-mail she sent me, althoug at first I didnt mean to. Its not that I dislike her, its just that I feel a little bit uncomfortable in her company (she is curious, likes to gossip, is judgmental). The reason I feel that way is in me, she is like a mirror – I see something in her that I dont like about me. When I was responding to her e-mail, my heart started beating faster :) That was a sign for me that I havent resolved my relationship with her to the point where I can be calm and relaxed (in peace with my self and her). Next time I meet her in person I will be super kind to her :) Not in a fake way, but in genuine way: ask her how is she doing and be really interested in what she will be telling me.

  • Celi

    There is this co-worker who is bluntly disrespectful and grumpy towards all who are not from the same ethnic group. He was indeed rude to me when I approached him today, but I did not loose my cool and stayed respectful. When another colleague commented on it and enquired why I allow this person to be so rude to me, I explained to her that he has some pain he is acting from. If I allow him to unnerve me, I am also affected. If I should have reacted to his rudeness, it would have affected us both negatively. It felt good not to react to his rudeness.

    I tend to bless those who act rudely as I understand that I cannot change them, but I can take charge of how I want to act towards them, and it should rather be in a respectful way. I’ve also learned that they are in a way our teachers, because they teach us something about ourselves. Should I not treat my teachers well? I am convinced that no person crosses my path without having some impact on who I am or have to become. So I remind myself often that those persons are meant to make me a better person. Bless them for that!

    • Bette

      Yes, Celi, I agree wholeheartedly that others are in some way our teachers…I appreciate your wisdom and your willingness to unconditionally bless others and see inside the many opportunities there are to be a better person.

  • Karen

    This was definitely one of the harder task to fulfill. I just had to remember that forgiveness doesn’t justify the persons behavior, but it frees me from the pain so that i can move on with my life. thanks

  • Fufu

    Hi Celes and all the rest participants. I’m sorry I replied super late this time. It’s that I was at my dad’s house plus I’m having issues with this task :( For this task I won’t link to my blog post since my blog post is the *censored* version and for the sake of mine and others growth I want to share my full uncensores experience. Well…I choose my big brother to be kind I had said to you previously brother is super hard to deal with it..and he hurts my feelings a lot..I felt sad because in the morning I wasn’t able to be kind to my lil bro(not the big one) because I was napping and he kept randomly hitting me and with the phone and screaming and that really got me mad so I smashed the phone to the floor. I felt disappointed in myself. For the rest of the day I kept half reminding myself to be kind to my BIG bro by talking to him by the shows he likes.

    My big bro isn’t that bad of a person..he just makes me feel sad to know he really does NOT care about me, I see his ways of being polite as a wimp for being so nice and that he should stand up for himself. I get mad at him and I did more than once talked to him and was kind so in that I’m good but in many other moments I failed and that makes me sad.

    On the bright side now I know my problem lies in that I’m an angry person and my family is full of naysayers and angry people. I think that things should be the way I want them to and that I deserve respect. I feel like I try to be kind and happy and lead a positive life but then my family ruins it by naysaying, draining my energy, etc.

    It’s normal for my family to be ALWAYS angry, do the SAME problem EACH day and NEVER learn from their errors..even though I had dificulty with today’s issues it did give me clarity that I have to fix my relationship with my family

    • Fufu

      By the way, I’m aware that my side that finds my older brothers politeness as being a “wimp” is wrong and this issue roots from me relating politeness for wimpyness and lack of respect of myself. It makes me dislike my older bro for internal reasons of mine. At times in which he gets polite I see me. I see how all my life I’ve allowed others to disrespect me as to not cause conflict. Nowadays I snap and, honestly, only share my inner feelings with my bff, my girlfriend, here and on anonymous forums. As for my family I say nothing.

      Another issue that makes it hard for me to be kind to my brother is that I value my time when I’m working. I find it bothersome when I’m working and he comes and talks and talks and talks..and I tell him I need to study to shut up in a polite way first. ok he keeps talking i tell him to shut up in a rude way after he leaves. ok 2-3 minutes later..he comes back talking S*** again!! I close my door..ok..2-3 minutes later…he knocks and opens it and keeps talking!! (in my house my door can be opened from the outside even if locked) I got to my backyard..he opens the door walks to the backyard and keeps speaking ******** and I really needed to study!! :angry:

      That’s why I always feel my space is invaded and not respected in any way. Anyways..I know that even though all this things happen..I should be kinder..because he literally has no social life or anybody to talk to except me. Everything would be fixed if he simply re-talked with is’s just like the quote says..the one who is the coldest is the one that most love needs so I’ll deal with this issue of mine

  • May

    I started chatting with my ex-best friend again today, it was a nice conversation overall whereas I’d usually avoid her because she just usually complains to me about her day, which really irks me in return.
    But we actually talked in class today about random things like what we did for the day, and that was quite nice.

  • Bette

    Okay…this is a good exercise in unconditional love…And to not let another’s actions (or lack of them) affect how I am or how I behave. :heart:

    One person I know is just a blank-faced, rather lacking in generosity of spirit, and does not say thank-you. He just receives or takes, but does not show appreciation. I find that rude and insensitive and just plain bad manners.

    So. I shall speak kindly, show my good manners, and be positive and cheerful, regardless of his grumpy-looking blank stares. His expression seems without life. So I shall continue to be filled with expression and generosity and cheerfulness, unaffected by his aloof, insensitive ways. :D