Sunday, January 1, 2023

Small Acts Of Kindness

It's often easy and even real quick to do something small to help someone even though we don't do it often enough. 

I brought my son to get a haircut and held the glass door open for an elderly lady walking in after us. She was pleasantly surprised and said "A thousand blessings to you!"

Research shows that acts of kindness, no matter how small have a positive impact on the recipient. The researchers (Kumar and Epley, 2022) conducted a series of experiments with different acts of kindness, such as offering someone a ride home or covering the cost of someone's cup of coffee. 

In one such experiment, study participants at an ice skating rink on a cold winter day gave other skaters a cup of free hot chocolate. Then both parties were asked to rate how much the gesture was worth. The givers consistently undervalued how much the hot chocolate meant to the recipients.

Another recent paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by Liu et al (2022), came to a similar conclusion about human behavior. The paper showed that we underestimate the power of reaching out to friends, family and colleagues. A quick call or text makes a big difference.

When it comes to doing nice things for others, a little goes a long way. Even though they may be small and simple, these kind gestures have immense underestimated power. That should encourage all of us to put in extra effort to make someone smile.

Now that you know this you can make someone's day a lot better. When in doubt, make that phone call, whatsapp message or offer the last cookie you have. It means a lot more than you think.

Here's wishing a very Happy New Year to all our patients and readers. 


Kumar A and Epley N (2022). A little Good Goes An Unpectedly Long Way: Underestimating The Positive Impact Of Kindness On Recipients. J Expt Psych. DOI: 10.1037/xe0001271.

Liu PS, Rim SY, Min L et al (2022). The Surprise Of Reaching Out: Appreciated More Than We Think. J Pers Soc Psych. DOI: 10.1037/pspi000402

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