Being kind is one of the best things you can do for others, animals, and the environment. However, most people are kind to animals except those who do not like them, but some fear being kind to other humans, making them not likable. It is not that all of those who refuse to be kind to others are non-empathetic. So many people fear being kind because they think others will hurt them and take advantage of their kindness.
Therefore, it is a form of self-preservation. In honor of World Kindness Day on November 11th, it is time to begin busting some myths about kindness and speaking the facts. The first thing to remember is that kindness is not the same as weakness.
Kindness is Not the Same as Weakness
Over the years, many people have chosen to be rude to others, such as not opening doors to stores or other buildings or neglecting to thank the ones who do. People often do not say hello to strangers when they pass them as they walk and do not offer to help others when they are in need. It is not that most of these people who have chosen rudeness over kindness are genuinely that way.
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They fear that showing kindness in any way shows they are weak, which is the major misconception about kindness. The last thing anyone wants to show themselves is that they are weak, and people need to understand that kindness is not the same as weakness. Let’s now review other myths that come with kindness that go beyond weakness so people can understand the truth about being kind.
Myth One – Kind People Get Taken Advantage Of
One reason that so many people fear being kind is that they are afraid that others will take advantage of them. Therefore, those who have this fear because of this myth will purposely be rude and not show any kindness to others because they do not want others using them. Perhaps others used them in the past, creating fear about showing kindness. Those who do get taken advantage of are the ones who are weak. Those who do not have boundaries and are there only to please others.
You can be kind by being empathetic, checking on those struggling, donating to causes that matter to you, and opening doors for those behind you as you enter buildings and have boundaries. When you have boundaries, you will make it clear that you will not allow others to take advantage of you; that does not take away the fact that you are kind. You can be strong and kind, and kind people will also detect those manipulating them and will stand their ground to them tactfully.
Myth Two – Kind People Let Others Ignore and Disrespect Them
Kind people do not stand for others, ignoring them or disrespecting them. For example, if a kind person has an appointment with someone and that individual is extremely late, the kind individual will want an explanation and will ask why they did not inform them that they would be late for the appointment. And the kind individual would also not stand for lack of an apology by the individual who was late without giving them an explanation.
Therefore, kind people do speak up if they are disrespected. That also means if the kind person has something important to tell someone and they feel others are ignoring what they are saying, they will also stand up for themselves and ask them to listen. A weak person will put up with being disrespected and ignored because a weak person does not have boundaries. Kind people do.
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Myth Three – Being Kind Is Synonymous With Being Nice
To be “nice,” one must treat others well and be liked by them. To be kind, one must act in the best interest of another, even when doing so upsets that person. Pleasant, polite, and sunny are synonyms for being nice. Kindness, on the other hand, is synonymous with generosity, morality, and goodness. Therefore, being nice means you would please others, while being kind is about morality. If you are “nice,” you would only care about making others happy and not doing what is right. Therefore, being “nice” often means you are weak.
For example, if you are dealing with bullying in a workplace, your “nice” coworker would not join in on the bullying but would be a bystander and tell you privately that they are sorry you are enduring that. They do not want to rock the boat because they do not like conflicts, so they keep out of it. A kind coworker will not only console you but also do the right thing by informing HR and asking the bullies why they need to bully you. A kind person is willing to have a conflict for the right reasons.
Myth Four – Kind People Are Always Agreeable
If you are nice, you will agree with what others say because you do not want to upset anyone. You are only concerned about pleasing others. However, if you are kind, you will not always agree with what others tell you because you have your beliefs and truths, and if you disagree with someone, you will be respectful and explain why you disagree with them. As a kind person, you do not want to hurt their feelings, so you will be as gracious as possible as you explain why you think they are wrong. Therefore, kindness does not mean being agreeable.
Myth Five – Kind People Are Never Critical
Nice people will always find something positive to say regardless of how they feel. Remember, they do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. For example, if a nice person goes to a restaurant and receives subpar service, they will not complain, will thank the wait staff anyway, and leave a generous tip. They may even leave a positive review for the restaurant online because the nice person will never want to hurt anyone’s feelings, even though they received poor service.
However, someone who is kind may not want to hurt someone’s feelings as well. But that does not mean the kind person will not be critical if there is a good reason for it. If a kind person went to that same restaurant and received the same level of service, they may empathize with the wait staff that they are juggling to serve many customers. However, they will still express their displeasure about the service. Especially if they do not get served their dinners an hour after ordering and the food is cold. They will still tip the wait staff only because they understand it is a difficult job juggling different customers. But it likely will not be a generous one.
However, the kind person will leave a mediocre review with a detailed reason why they are unhappy with the service. But they would do it respectfully. Therefore, a nice person will be afraid to criticize, and a kind person will leave constructive criticism while being empathetic towards the one they are being critical of since they understand there is no such thing as perfection.
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Now you understand what kindness is and what it is not. Kindness is not the same as being weak or nice; kindness is all about being empathetic, moral, and compassionate while there are boundaries. Weak or nice people will do everything possible to please others and avoid conflicts, even if someone’s well-being is threatened. Kind people never want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but they will not be afraid to disagree with you if what you believe in goes against their truth or belief but will do so respectfully.
They will also not be scared to criticize you constructively if there is a good reason for them to do so, and they will fight for someone or something if their well-being is threatened. Therefore, do not be afraid to be kind. Open that door for the stranger behind you when entering a building. Say ‘hello” to a stranger on the street when walking past them. Say something to someone that will help lift their spirits. You can do all those things while standing up for what is right and exerting your boundaries. World Kindness Day is on November 11th, honor the day by being kind everyday.