Can Kindness be mistaken as weakness?
You’re reading this because you know how it feels to self-sacrifice in order to please others. You know that your kindness can be seen as an easy invite for people to take advantage of.
You’ve seen how a close friend or partner can hold the entire power in your relationship.
This isn’t your mistake
We all need to be liked, it’s deep embedded in us and sometimes it comes with a cost. Some people can be very agreeable and this means conflicts are avoided all the time. This is one of the top five personality traits. In short, one day you started to prioritize the needs of others over your personal ones.
All of this is done because of the fear that we are going to lose people around us or that we are going to start conflicts. So let’s question if we are doing this because of pure kindness or kindness out of fear?
When we put fear aside, the birthplace of our intentions will bring even more light to the things that we believe and do. If we leave fear behind us, everybody is going to see us differently.
So how do people who are seen as kind or harmless really look?
Where to find pure kindness?
Boundaries act like limits. They are a wall to behaviors that we are not going to accept from others. They are the flag that we set for everybody, the flag that teaches us how to say the powerful word, No.
Kind people can set boundaries easily because they know how to be kind to themselves. Harmless people are not as disciplined and will neglect themselves. It can become very difficult when someone fails to set their boundaries.
As children, we all grow up in a protected environment. This doesn’t mean all people in the real world are going to treat us fairly. Some simply don’t have boundaries because they don’t find them necessary. Even more, some people might not even realize they have the right to set boundaries at any time.
When does kindness come out of fear
The driving force that creates boundaries is our own personality, life experiences, and the culture we were raised in. The rule of any boundaries is that when somebody breaks them, certain consequences will appear.
Harmless people are not an exception. They also get offended and angry by the behavior of others but they don’t do anything about it.
At the other end, kind people, that bring pure kindness stand up when a line is crossed. If you think about heroes, that is what they all do… Superman, Captain America act from a good side and defeat bad guys.
Managing conflicts is not an easy task. You can find yourself in situations when someone crosses the line and you think you’re wasting your time bringing it up. You start asking yourself, how are they going to react? Good or bad?
It’s important to confront the problem head on when someone goes beyond your boundaries. Be assertive by letting the other person know it won't be accepted in the future.
What about Pure kindness
Kind people have a great way of letting you know they did something for you. It is clear when they do this because it becomes clear that they’ve made a sacrifice for you. Here are examples of pure kindness
Pick you up from the airport during rush hour even if they hate traffic
Help you out with money even when they’re struggling financially
Know to respect your boundaries
Helps you at 2 AM in the morning even when they have to go to work early the next morning
What about Kindness out of fear
Don’t say anything if a stranger cuts in line
Say yes to all invites even when they don’t have time or feel well
Say I’m sorry even if they didn’t do anything wrong
As a final thought. If you find yourself confused by the difference in pure kindness and kindness out of fear, just ask yourself:
Am I kind to myself? Is what I’m about to do going to make me feel good about myself? Is this really something I want to do?
If your answer is yes, then you are on the right path!