By Janeen Diamond for Hope After Divorce

“It seems that, whenever I allow myself to react without thinking, someone is watching from nearby who knows me. Can you relate?”

I was in a fast food restaurant with my family the other night, and everything seemed to be going wrong for me. The tomato basil soup I ordered wasn’t quite ready, so I was told it would be just a few minutes before it was brought out to me. Well, 20 minutes later — after my family had nearly finished their chicken noodle soup — mine finally arrived…cold!

Now, I was already annoyed about the wait, and, oh yeah, a pita bread incident, and I really didn’t want to have to send my soup back, but I did! Cold soup just doesn’t hit the spot when it’s 28 degrees outside. And, silly me, I actually expected it to be hot after waiting 20 minutes, right?

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When the waitress finally brought my heated-up soup back to my table, she sat it down in front of me, looked me in the eye, and said without hesitation, “Let me know if that’s good enough for you.” Yikes! My daughter had pointed out to me earlier that I was making the waitress scared… but now, it was me who was scared. I would have eaten the soup had it been frozen at this point. Luckily, it was just right.

Relationship Advice for the New Year

As I pondered what had happened that night, I realized both the waitress and I could have been a little more kind to each other. I don’t like myself much when I allow my emotions to get the best of me and I wind up taking it out on other people. But here I was letting it happen. And she struck back. It made me think about how we can be unkind in all of our relationships, even with the people we love. Wouldn’t you agree that our relationships with everyone — even those we don’t know or even like — deserve our respect? After all, respect is one of the only things that keeps our world from crumbling into complete and utter chaos.

I decided right then and there that I’m going to work harder during this new year to be more kind to everyone I meet. So, as some general relationship advice, here are my rules to myself. You can borrow them if you’d like:

• I will smile at every person I encounter;
• I will offer an acknowledgement to let them know they are important;
• If someone is less than kind to me, I will try to brighten their day with a kind word;
• And if a person annoys me in some way, I will ask them cheerfully how their day is going.

I kept these rules quite simple for a reason: so I could remember them and have only a few small things that I require of myself. That way, it’s more likely I will actually stick to them.

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I consider myself a generally happy, kind person. But I am here to tell you that stress and pressure can get the best of any of us. We are all capable of acting annoyed, put out, angry, and unkind. It seems that whenever I allow myself to react without thinking, someone is watching from nearby who knows me. Can you relate? Maybe next time, I’ll tell you about the time I said something thoughtless about my husband’s ex-wife only to discover she was sitting at the table behind me. Yep, it actually happened!

What We Can Learn from Celebrity Divorce

Celebrity and well-known chef Giada De Laurentiis recently announced that she and her husband are divorcing. They have been married for 11 years and have a young daughter. They have stated that their divorce comes with much sadness. However, they are committed to focusing on the future with a desire for their family to heal and be happy. They say this is giving them the much-needed strength to move ahead. This celebrity divorce is a great example of how couples can choose to move through a split. It is a choice to be respectful, kind, and mindful of others, even during a tough breakup.

My best relationship advice is to remember to be kind. We live in a stressful world. Let’s cut each other some slack and work on helping each other feel like we matter. When I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed, all it takes for me is a smile and a kind word from someone, and it changes my entire day. Keep in mind that, when someone is rude or impatient with you, it’s not about you. That person is most likely in need of some love or simply some appreciation. See if you can be the one to help them get it.

For more information about Hope After Divorce, click here.

Cupid's Pulse Article: Kindness No Matter WhatJaneen Diamond, author of Save Your Marriage in 30, was a newscaster for KUTV News until 2001. Since that time, she has been actively producing commercials and special programming through her company, Your TV Spot. She has hosted several television and internet productions and has been a spokesperson for several products and companies. She is a leader over the youth in her church and takes a special interest in helping kids stay on track with their lives. Janeen is currently co-creating “Teen Impact TV,” a website for high school students to give them a creative and emotional outlet. She is a contributing expert for HopeAfterDivorce.org, DivorceSupportCenter.com, FamilyShare.com, and CupidsPulse.com. Follow her on Twitter @janeendiamond and www.facebook.com/janeen.diamond.