How to Always Speak With a Kind Heart

speak with a kind heart

People may not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

You may have heard that before, but when you really think about it, you will realise that you actually have great power and responsibility in each of your day to day interactions.

Whether it is a business or social conversation, by thinking about what you say, and how you deliver the message, you have the power to make a great connection.

You have the power to contribute something meaningful, and you also have the power to be hurtful.

Always use your power for good and speak with a kind heart.

Here are my 8 key tips to do just that:-

1. Speak Thoughtfully

While your words may not be remembered years later, choose them carefully.

If the saying “you are only as good as your word” is true, than it only makes sense to speak good words, or words that reflect who you really are.

“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.” – Buddha

2. Speak Kindly

Being kind doesn’t mean that you can’t make your point. Being kind doesn’t mean that you can’t be direct. Being kind will show that you care, regardless of the message.

By sharing your compassion, you might change how someone feels about themselves or a situation.

3. Listen

If you are only thinking about what you are going to say next, you are missing half of the conversation!

If you ask a question, wait patiently for the answer. Even 10 seconds of no talking can seem like an eternity.

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” – Mark Twain

We often like to fill up empty space, especially quiet, empty space, but don’t be afraid of silence.

Sometimes, it is in that quietness that the really good stuff starts to happen.

4. Reserve Judgement

Before you enter a conversation, especially with someone you don’t know very well, it is easy to make a snap judgement.

Before words even come out of their mouth, you have likely formed an opinion.

This may be because of the way they are dressed, a look you thought they gave you, or a story you heard about them.

Make a point to let that go, so you can really hear what they are saying. Do what you need to do to think of them in a loving way.

It might help to think about their family. Are they a father? A daughter? Who loves them?

Giving 30 seconds to think this through will really humanise the conversation.

If you consciously think about the fact that they are in this world, trying to make a great life, just like you, then you will be more invested in the interaction.

5. Be Honest

Speak with integrity and tell the truth. If the truth hurts, be compassionate, but be honest.

This goes especially for business conversations. It’s natural to want to be nice instead of honest, especially if someone is trying to sell you something you don’t need or want. Your honesty will save everyone time.

This is especially important in more serious conversations, for instance, breaking up business or personal relationships, when you say (in so many words), “You are not for me”.

Remember you aren’t saying, “You are not for anyone.”

It is important to get that message across. Just because a person, business, or product is not right for you, doesn’t mean that they are not perfect for someone else.

Don’t say everything – some things really are better left unsaid.

6. Consider Another Opinion

Make sure your argument isn’t about being right. Perhaps there is an option or opinion that really is better than yours.

This doesn’t make your opinion less valid, and your openness to a new idea will likely turn into a new opportunity.

7. Don’t Yell

Once you raise your voice, your words become irrelevant.

Once you yell, you are talking at someone, not with them. When you yell, the only thing someone else is thinking is, “I can’t believe they are yelling.” or “What a jerk.” or some variation of that.

When you yell, you lose control and make the conversation about something completely different.

Instead, when you feel like yelling, lower your voice. Speak softly. You will likely get the point across in a more profound way.

If speaking softly doesn’t work for you, be quiet. Collect your thoughts, take a deep breath, walk away or do something that will distract you from yelling.

8. Say Thank You

There is always time before, during and after a conversation to say thank you.

Thank you for meeting me here. Thank you for bringing that up. Thank you for taking the time to talk. Thanks for the inspiration.

If nothing else, a simple, thanks for your time applies every time.

The way forward – always walk and talk with a kind heart

Conversations happen all the time, but they don’t always happen with a kind heart.

“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.” – Gandhi

If you approach every conversation as an opportunity to learn something new and to treat someone with respect, instead of as a time to speak your mind, your message will be heard, loud and clear.

You will be trusted and more importantly, you really will be as good as your word.

This is a very special guest post from Courtney Carver

Courtney is a writer and fine art photographer. She writes about simplifying and living life on purpose at Be More with Less. You can also follow her on Twitter.

Image courtesy of Moriza

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  1. John Sherry says

    Courtney I LOVE this! Gentle, supportive, loving advice full of mutual respect; just what the world needs and should be. The tone of the post is full of kindness and geniality and certainly makes for a better world. I am a major flagger-upper of good manners, respect and behaviour so this is oxygen for me. Superb post, wonderfully crafted and written, and with pure sentiments from start to finish. A triumph for which I genuinely thank you.

    • Arvind Devalia says

      John, you said it perfectly!

      Thanks very much Courtney for a wonderful and special guest post. It’s an honour to have you write here on Make It Happen.

      Wishing you all success in your blogging career and your life.

    • John, Thanks for your great feedback. I really believe that it is often in the delivery that our message is heard (or not!). From our interactions, I think you are a perfect example of delivering a meaningful message with kindness and respect.

      • Arvind – Believe me when I say, the honor is all mine. I really appreciate the opportunity to connect with your readers and to continue to learn from you. Thanks so much.

  2. Satya Colombo says

    Thank you Courtney — for sharing such a wonderful and practical example of “walking in truth and beauty” — for sure the world would be a brighter place if more people lived and walked and spoke according to these truths… much love

  3. You’re right, people remember how you made them feel.. But I find this is true if the words you say are negative, ppl tend to remember the negative feelings, but the positive? I find ppl tend to forget them very easily… why is this? It’s even the case for close couples and marriages.

    • Henway, We all have a choice on where we direct our focus and what emotions we feed. The cool thing is that even people who choose to focus on the negative can choose to change and enjoy life more fully.

  4. So well said!

    And we must remember- you never know where someone is coming from or where they’ve been.

    Some of our “weird” friends (in some peoples eyes) are some of the funniest or most interesting people…

    You just don’t know if you don’t give them a chance.

    And even if they aren’t “your kind of people” there is no reason to be rude to them, or speak unkindly.

    Love everyone!

  5. Christopher Lovejoy says

    I follow dozens of blogs, and every once in a while I come across a post that goes to the heart of what really and truly matters in a way that both informs and inspires. This is one of those posts.

    I especially like your point about getting your point across. You can be strong, firm, direct, and affirmative in your communications and still be kind, caring, and compassioinate. Well done.

  6. Arvind,
    Thank you!
    So refreshing..inspiring..
    I found my smile brightening with each suggestion..and my heart says absolutely!
    A kind heart is a way of life..not one word, action, gesture–although each has it’s place of expression–but rather a way of sharing energy in a manner to uplift, inspire, celebrate…
    It is loving you in this moment as you are..loving myself in this moment as I am so I may relate most fully to you..
    It is opening your heart to All, not just a select few..
    And it is sharing as lovingly as you do, Arvind..thank you for this:)

    • Thanks Joy for all your kind words!

      However, note that this post was not written by me but by my friend Courtney Carver.

      As you say, she shared all these ideas so beautifully:-)

  7. Gip @ So Much More Life says


    Good to see you here.

    I was thinking a lot about writing with a kind heart last night as I was putting together a somewhat negative article for my blog today about the seedy changes at one of my previously favorite blogs, The Minimalist Path. I kept wondering if I was phasing things so that my comments would seem out of concern rather than bitterness, anger or general bitchiness — all three of which I am unfortunately good at. I guess I did okay.

    I try to be kind and compassionate, but I often fail. I’m always honest, though. I’d like to find a way to be kinder and more compassionate while remaining honest.

    Good job, Countney. And thanks, Arvind, for presenting it.

    • Gip, Good point! Sometimes if I find I can’t speak from a kind heart, I don’t speak at all. If I am still compelled to speak out after a few days I will, but generally, I let it go.

  8. Clearly Composed says

    Lovely post, Courtney! I kept flashing back to my mother’s favorite advice which came from the movie Bambi. Thumper’s mother admonishes him: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” It’s in that quiet time that we find kinder words and a softer way to communicate but, often we have to hush for a bit to find them. 🙂

  9. Sibyl - alternaview says

    Great advice and I really liked this post. We really do need to always focus on being kind and gentle with our words. I particularly appreciated the advice to listen. It is easy to overlook that listening is also a major part of the equation and what you need to do if you really want to be thoughtful with all of your interactions. When you are focused on listening, you can really connect with people in the most amazing ways and then it becomes even more natural to speak kindly. Great recommendation and post.

  10. Great post… the overall reminder to slow-down and ponder is really solid. Often times I’ve found myself in the “heat of the moment” and words just spew forth… pausing to look for meaning and to be aware of the sense of purpose is my way out!

  11. Stacy @ GrowWithStacy says

    Those are all great points! I have a notebook where I keep important life lessons and I am going to put this list in there! It reminds me of the saying that we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason, we should listen twice as much as we speak!

    Thank you for sharing!

  12. Hello Courtney,
    This is wonderful – poor manner sis one of my huge bug bears so I like the ‘say thank-you’.
    I also like what you said about being honest – sometimes we think bending a hurtful truth is kinder, but in the long run, hoesty is always best.

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