Ever have people share very private things with you as a stranger?
Do you ever have people share very private things with you as a stranger? It happens to me all the time.
In fact, it happened today. I have thought about why this happens and I can only come up with a few reasons.
- They feel I won’t judge them and that unloading on me simplifies their life.
- They feel that because they don’t have to have a relationship with me, they aren’t embarrassed to share things.
- They appreciate that I am a warm and kind person and figure I’m a good stand in for a therapist.
It doesn’t really matter what their reason is, but I wanted to share that after people share, often they have problems accepting kindness.
Often it is just a kind word, or a gesture like offering a hug or smile. Life is stressful and I want to help out people where I can. I find it frustrating that while some people can accept kindness, many can not accept kindness.
One time I had a neighbor express herself to me, and when she started to cry I felt bad. I offered to give her a hug which she politely declined. Perfectly fine, my intention was to help her feel better. Some people accept hugs and some don’t. Often a kind word is enough, but when there are tears I offer stronger measures. If a guy was crying I would offer him a hug as well, so my intentions here are pure people.
I think for many people they don’t know how to receive gifts because they haven’t gotten many in their life. One person I gave a no strings gift too told me that she had never received a gift before without strings attached. She asked me what she had to do for the gift I gave her. I told her nothing. She had no money so I gave her some money. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.
Its ok if people have problems accepting gifts. Perhaps one day they will accept that gifts do not have to come with strings.
- Kindness presents its own opportunities
- Kindness is sometimes misunderstood
- Happiness comes from hearing what is difficult to hear
- A surprise gift makes my coworker cry
- Real life superhero in NYC giving to others