• Emily Holland

World Kindness Day - From A Recovering Mean Girl

November 13th is World Kindness Day. I thought I would take this opportunity to come clean. I am a recovering mean girl. And it’s about time I own up to it.

Middle and high school are hard for most kids. Weird things are happening with our hormones and our bodies. Girls start to become aware of what their body does on a monthly basis, and boys become aware of what their body does somewhat randomly and without warning. For me, I don’t remember a time of NOT being insecure, of NOT feeling good enough. I don’t know when it really started, but I had deep insecurities, some of which are still with me today.

Because of these, I fell into the all-too-familiar trap of being a mean girl. It’s not like I was in the Plastics, far from it, actually. But I was never really NICE to girls who were different from me, and sometimes even outwardly gossipy about girls who seemed to be self-assured, seemed to love themselves. How did they do it?!

I found myself being a gossip. Being judgmental almost immediately about people, women in particular. And while it’s dissipated throughout the years, sometimes it rears its ugly head, and I become the critic again.

A good friend asked me recently, “are you as harsh on yourself as you are on these other women?” A question that floored me. It was so perceptive, yet I felt I needed to overly communicate that “yes, I am far harsher on myself, if only you knew...” It is really easy to see the patterns here. Girl doesn’t like herself, girl points out other girls faults as a distraction, girl’s perceived faults stay hidden.

This is something I feel like I’m going to be constantly working on. And so when World Kindness Day rolled around, I decided I would take the opportunity to put this work back at the forefront of my mind. I don’t think that being kind is the silver bullet to all of our world’s problems, but I think we could stand to have a bit more of it.

So here’s how I’m going to celebrate. I’m going to re-instate my rule of making sure I’m reaching out to a few loved ones per week, letting them know I’m thinking of them, and listening to what’s going on in their life. I’m going to tell the people who inspire me just how much they mean to me, and the impact they’ve had on my life. I’m going to send a few cards to people that I love. I’m going to set a self-love intention in the morning, and try to replay my favorite mantra ‘what is the kindest thing I can do for myself right now?’ And I’m going to gift a stranger, some sort of coffee or meal.

I hope that you’ll join me in trying to bring a bit more warmth to our day-to-day interactions. We can always be better at being kinder, so let’s try together.

To find more information about World Kindness Day, click here.

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