The only way to make an improvement in any of these departments is to first take note of your current behavior, then reflect on how it can be improved, and finally, make the necessary changes. Remember that the change cannot happen until you know what is wrong in the first place. Learn to stop criticizing yourself. Take time to appreciate your talents and best features, whether they are physical or internal. The more hostile you are toward yourself, the more hostile you are likely to be toward others.
Become more self-aware. The first step toward becoming a better person is learning to notice your current behavior, whether it is how you react to stress, how you cope with loss, how you manage your anger, or how you treat the people you love.
Learn to love yourself. Before you can learn to love others, you will have to learn to love yourself. This isn't the sort of vain, self-absorbed love; it's the love that accepts you for the person you are, that delves deep to unearth the skills and values that truly make up who you are and embraces these. Even if you don't believe in the value of self-love, start telling yourself that you are a kind, compassionate person and most of all, that you're worthy. Coupled with virtuous and kind actions, this will help you to be more self-accepting and understanding.
Learn to control anger and jealousy. These emotions are a natural part of life, but if you constantly feel angry or jealous toward others, you are going to have a difficult time finding happiness.
- Rather than constantly comparing yourself to people who you think are better off than you, take some time to acknowledge the fact that there are countless people in the world who are worse off than you. What's more, there are people out there who have less than you, but who are even more appreciative!
- To let go of anger, forgive the people who have wronged you in the past. Holding anger and resentment toward someone else punishes you, not the other person. It's a fairly sobering thought to realize that you haven't moved on while they have. Give yourself the gift that frees your heart by forgiving.
- It might help to talk to the person you are angry with, let them know what they did wrong, and tell them that you forgive them. If you would rather not talk to the person, then write everything down in a letter and keep it to yourself.
- Remember that forgiveness is not absolution. The bad thing still happened; what you're doing is lifting the burden that weighs you down and lets you heal.
Practice empathy. This is about standing in the other person's shoes and realizing what place this person is coming from (pain, fear, loss, etc.). Remember that everybody has his or her own struggles and insecurities; understanding this will help you be more sensitive toward other peoples' feelings, learn to bond with others, and feel less isolated. And practicing empathy will help you to treat others as you would like to be treated. This skill will come in handy when trying to improve your personal relationships with friends, family members, and lovers.
Show people that you care. Did you know that some people are actually too shy to be nice? Don't be afraid to tell somebody that you love them or care deeply for them. Do this genuinely. Don't tell people what they want to hear just to make them happy, or to get something in return. Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to communicating with loved ones.
Be appreciative. Stop spending a lot of your time obsessing over the things you wish you had. Instead, count and appreciate the things you do have. You might be surprised if you actually focus on what is already good and helpful in your life. Chasing dreams can sometimes lose you the sight of what's already before you.
Give to others. Not everybody can afford to donate thousands of dollars to their favorite charity, but that doesn't mean you can't make small contributions to help those in need.
- Practice random acts of kindness every day. This could be as small an act as helping an elderly person carry groceries to their car, or giving somebody the right of way when driving. The more you do this, the more you will realize how gratifying it feels to help others, which will ultimately help overcome selfishness.