Our brains have a “negativity bias,” which predisposes us to fear-based, kindness-killing behaviors like rushing and defensiveness, explains Elisha Goldstein, PhD, author of Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion. But we can develop habits to help override those impulses. The exercise below helps reveal which pro-kindness habits you’ve already mastered — and which might deserve more of your conscious attention.
For each statement, write down whether it is “Not at all like me,” “A little like me,” “Mostly like me,” or “Exactly like me.”
Assess yourself: If you checked mostly “Exactly like me” or “Mostly like me,” you’re probably generally inclined toward kindness. Answers of “Not at all like me” or “A little like me” show where you have room for improvement.
This quiz is excerpted from “The Power of Kindness” from the May 2015 issue of Experience Life magazine.