7 ways you know you are a caring person
As an entrepreneur, in other words a person who loves pain and long periods of time in my life where I have no money mixed in with periods of personal euphoria and financial bliss, I am often challenged by adages telling me I should not care what people think, to which I blogged about last time.
I live in Asia and am immersed in the karmic magic of Buddhism and I believe that you can only have success with longevity; by caring about all the people you work with on the way up. So this led me to ask how you can tell if you are a caring person, so here’s my top 7 ways.
1) Opening doors
Old fashioned chivalry will get you more dates and admirers than you think; it also demonstrates your awareness of your fellow man behind you when you check back to see that the person following you does not have to re-open the door after you have just walked in. Holding the lift for someone is basic courtesy that is lost on some.
I had a friend who, many years ago, before the invention of central locking in cars, based his marriage choices on one girlfriend test, which was to open the passenger door to let his date in, then to stroll round to his drivers side, if the lady leant over and instinctively opened ‘his’ door from the inside; was his indicator of a caring person, made sense to me.
2) The remote Control
When the remote control made its way into households in the mid-eighties (You’re over 40 if you remember the cable between the remote and the VCR!) it came with its own culture indicators: Dad, or your Mum if she wore the trousers, owned the control, like a staff given to a Monarch, and the remote was passed down the echelons of power when he left the room. Many a divorce had the remote in the reasons somewhere.
In Europe the control over the Television channels has more power than it does in Asia, in Europe walking into a room and switching over a TV set without first getting permission from anyone watching, is the height of rudeness, whereas in Asia it’s not such a big deal.
The true test of a caring person is one who, when leaving a room, places the remote control near to the next person or even changes the channel to one you know they love. Do you pass that test?
3) Driving and Parking
The road brings out many extremes from road rage to wonderful random acts of kindness. But for me, apart from the Highway Code and their definition of ‘due care,’ there is a level of care that I would love to see more of.
A caring person is someone who always has his mind on the car behind, and really does not want to get in the way of anyone’s progress. An example of not caring is the driver who; when in a one way street will stop his car right next to his house, oblivious of traffic behind to take out his groceries and stroll it into his house, where most caring people would drive around, take a few minutes extra out of their day to find a spot, perhaps not too far from the house before stopping, so as not to encumber anyone else on the road, are you guilty of this one?
4) Are you female?
Woman are generally blessed with the caring gene, and us men often feel a little guilty (or at least we should do) when we buy snacks purely for ourselves and think nothing of it, when the ladies always have other people close to them and their agendas to heart.
We could argue, when we are feeling brave, that it’s evolution and woman tend to be left in the cave to take care of offspring whilst we men have one track minds which is necessary to do the one job we were created for; to kill the Sabre Tooth Tiger and bring home the bacon, so to speak.
Now, however, we men need to get with the age and learn (yes we have to make a conscious effort, it is Darwin’s fault after all!) to be more caring, It’s not just the first few years when we are head over heels that we come home with something we saw and present it to our beloved, a caring person carries it through to the last.
Guys listen up; girls hate it when we are full on in the beginning and wane over the years, best to pace yourself chaps!
5) The power of Words
Are you aware of how what you say to people affects their Universe? Everyone has a real sensitive hot spot and a few unthoughtful words can sometimes push people over the edge. Caring people are uber-aware of the power of words. Teachers and parents have so much more power than they often realize, with carefully chosen words they can shape the destiny of the future.
I always loved the chapter in one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books as explained by a lady who suffered from a rare disorder when she was a little girl at school where she felt alienated because of her appearance and her ability to hear well which affected her early days and her confidence dramatically.
As part of the School’s annual medical tests the Teachers would whisper very quietly in each child’s ear and the child had to repeat what they heard, when it was the little girl’s turn, she explained:
‘What the teacher said to me had a most empowering effect on me, that any words could ever have on any person, my teacher whispered:
“I wish you were my little girl”
I think that Teacher was a very caring person.
6) Caring without thinking
When we give to charity it makes us feel good, after all; we are taught giving is better than receiving right? Do we expect good karma in return? Ask any dedicated nurse who is poorly paid what they make in a year and their answer should be; A difference!
A real caring person knows they are contributing to the betterment of all, without thinking of ego and how that act of kindness made them feel good. Are you in ‘their moment’ and not yours when you are doing something for others?
7) Other people’s viewpoint
When my teenage daughter and I came to a stalemate about a particular rule of the house or objection about our parenting, we would play a game called ‘Switch.’
We would both solemnly agree to argue for each other’s side, I being her, and she being the Dad. We both found it very refreshing to see how much we understood about each other’s point of view which led to greater understanding and it often ended in tears… of laughter I am glad to say.
Caring people really try hard to see things from the other side, and when looking on as a bystander or a third party to others debate or argument they try their best to understand fully both sides, they try never to judge about things they do not have a full understanding about, which could lead to unkind and uncaring points of view.
So there’s my own tuppence about what I think is a caring person, do you agree, or do you think Entrepreneurs need not be caring people? Answers in the comments as always…