In her new book Kind Is the New Classy, the actress reveals her philosophy on handling criticism.
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When Candace Cameron Bure was co-hosting The View for two seasons, her more conservative views sparked debate amongst her fellow hosts, but she says she made an effort to remain civil when things got heated. "At the end of the day I always wanted to make sure when I spoke and shared my opinions that things were kind and respectful even if we didn’t agree," Bure tells Shape. Her time on the talk show was a motivating factor in writing her new book Kind Is the New Classy: The Power of Living Graciously. Etiquette books might not be as hot as they were in previous decades, but in the age of the Internet troll, it's fair to say everyone could use a refresher course on kindness right about now.
Advice the Fuller House actress gives in her book applies to both IRL situations (read: Thanksgiving dinners with extended family) and online interactions. She provides tips for navigating situations at work, home, and with friends, with advice on how to stay calm under pressure and handle negative criticism. Bure says she usually tries to just ignore any nasty comments online, with a few exceptions. "There are certain things that I won't let go," she says. "If someone talks about my kids—I'm a momma bear, so I won't always sit back and let those types of things pass," she says. She's also chosen to speak out when body-shaming comments are directed at her trainer Kira Stokes. In fact, critical comments about Stokes "looking like a man" helped spark the Mind Your Own Shape movement aimed at making the Internet a kinder place. "I've tried to defend her when they attacked her fabulous muscular body shape," says Bure. "I'll always stick up for my friends." (Here's more proof the two are #FitnessFriends goals.)
What's more, when a troll recently compared Bure's body to her husband's, she did decide to respond to the commenter, but without biting back. She suggests reacting to body-shaming by focusing on the things you love about your body, whether or not you choose to openly respond. "Whether you're body-shamed or someone writes a comment about you, the last thing you want to do is attack back, because it just fuels the fire and no one will feel good at the end of it," says Bure. (Related: Why Body-Shaming Is Such a Big Problem and What You Can Do to Stop It)
Bure has a few strategies that she shares in the book for remaining kind even if someone is really getting under your skin or hitting below the belt. When things are getting heated, take a nice deep breath before you respond. She also suggests trying your best to see the situation from the other person's perspective, however far from your reasoning that may be. Finally, find something you can do every day to put yourself in the right frame of mind. "Meditation or prayer in the morning really centers you and gives you perspective going into your day,'" she says. (More tips: How to Calm Down When You're About to Freak Out)
Being kind doesn't just benefit who you interact with, it can leave you feeling happier, she says. (And research suggests she's right.) Being kind has "given me a sense of peace because I know that when I'm my most loving I can feel good about what I've done in a day or feel good about myself without regret," she says.