PREVIOUS : Kindness (Part 1)
SITE : KINDNESS website
There is a big difference between Nice & Kind. Nice makes you feel good, Kind is an act of doing good.
Niceness is how we try to social-climb, Kindness is how we lift others up.
Most people want to look good far more than they want to be good. Nice is mainly about trying to look good, using a set of pre-set social actions that take little-to-no effort, & makes it easy to pat ourselves on the back. (“Rescuing – False helping“)
We may feel Nice (fake-virtuous) when we :
✴︎ tell the waiter the food is “great”, even though we hate it
✴︎ tell our friend we love their haircut even though it looks terrible
✴︎ say, “Oh, wherever” when someone asks us where we want to eat ….
In reality, these are often just passive-aggressive, conflict-avoiding responses.
— wave “Good morning” to someone, then get mad when they don’t wave back
— hold the door open for someone, & resent them for not thanking you….
NOTE: Being appreciated & thanked is legitimate, but should never be required, expected or demanded.
AND, being Kind doesn’t always feel ‘nice’.
EXP: If your close friend / mate / child has bad breath today, & you don’t tell them, you may think that’s being nice. But at some point they’ll find out & wonder why you, who they have usually felt safe with, didn’t tell them.
They will eventually get embarrassed at work or school – & be upset you didn’t consider their best interest or the consequences of your silence, which will hurt & may diminish their trust in you.
An Al-Anon quote is : “Say what you mean, but don’t say it mean”.
So, pointing out an ‘imperfection’ can be said helpfully, with Kindness, such as “Did you notice your breath is a bit stale this morning?” or offering a breath mint – even if this may be uncomfortable for some of us to do.
Unless the other person is emotionally immature & gets a resentment (from the WIC’s shame & self-hate), they’ll be grateful to be spared later social discomfort, & know that you care.
Kindness doesn’t get worn out, because it does not over-do & doesn’t require the constant effort of pretense.
BUT It also does not mean others can walk all over us, because it includes setting & clearly stating appropriate boundaries.
Kindness is OK with being a bit uncomfortable being around someone else’s ’embarrassing’ behavior, because it comes with it’s own self-esteem, so isn’t worried about having to look good all the time, in very situation (like Ns!) There’s “a time & a place” for that.
Being Nice is often the way we try to manipulate others & ‘handle’ the world around us. It’s wearing, & can make us cynical – because we’re often disappointed.
It takes so much effort to suppress strong opinions, ‘unacceptable’ emotions or thoughts, hoping we’ll say just the right thing to get people to like us.
So, at the end of a ‘being nive’ day you’re hurt & frustrated, obsessing about how no one gave you credit for all those nice things you did or kept yourself from doing.
Kindness gives up being controlling, but rather looks for ways to participate in other’s lives – finding appropriate opportunities to be helpful, & no more. Al-Anon says: “Take the action & let go of the result”.
Kindness is liberating. Instead of worrying about what people think of you, focus on being the best you possible today & enjoy what’s available.
Because you’re comfortable in your skin, others will realize you’re safe to be with, so they’ll be able to let their guard down a little. “One day at a time” is all we have, to just live & do our best.
(Posts : “Healthy Helping“)
NEXT : OVERT N – Overview