Have you ever heard a parent reprimanding their child for bad behavior on the playground, telling them to be nice and forcing the child to apologize? When the child does, there isn’t a bit of sincerity in the words. We all have, and on a surface level it’s commendable. Every parent wants their children to grow into a good person.
I have been giving a lot of thought to the difference between someone being nice and someone being kind. At first glance they seem to be pretty much the same but they aren’t. The two words and people associated with them are quite different in several areas. The main difference is in the source of who they are and how they live. People in general either live from a place of fear or a place of love.
A person that is nice may operate from a place of fear and this makes them insecure about themselves and their beliefs. Like a child on the playground that wants to be liked. Nice people are pleasant, agreeable people who wouldn’t dream of saying something negative for fear of losing the approval of others. The need to be accepted can sometimes cause them to be drawn into relationships where they become the pawn of people with stronger personalities even if it means giving up whatever limited personal power they hold.
Nice people want to be seen as good caring people and there is nothing wrong with being good or caring. These are desirable qualities, but if they do something they feel is nice you can be sure everyone is going to know about it because it feeds their need to feel good about themselves. I have learned from experience that people who are overly nice, those that would go out of their way to seem like a wonderful person are often acting out of obligation, not real concern. All surface and no depth. Because of this the lovely nice person will be sweet and congenial to your face, but the minute you turn your back or the recognition is gone, in goes the knife and they will never admit that they had done anything wrong.
Kind people on the other hand function from a place of love. They are confident, have a good self-image and don’t care what other people think of them. They don’t need the approval of anyone to validate themselves, their beliefs or opinions.
A kind person will do the right thing because it is the right thing to do because they are responsible and compassionate, not out of a need to appear special. Kind people will always tell you the truth. It may not be easy to hear but it isn’t being said to hurt you in any way, it’s coming from a place of love and respect. By being honest there are no hidden agendas or opinions weighing on the relationship.
I think though, that there are some things that are better left unsaid. Speaking ones truth shouldn’t be belligerent. Being purposefully hurtful is not being kind even if it is the truth. That’s the beauty of life. There is always room for growth.
A kind person will support you and celebrate your successes with you, without feeling the need to outshine you. This is important. How many times have you done something amazing for you and someone jumps in and says “Oh that’s nothing, I did….” So not cool.
I know that in my case I had a period in my life where I was in a very vulnerable place and needed validation. I was sucked into a bad relationship that did nothing but take me to a darker place. The experience taught me to be strong, to stand up for myself and speak my truth. If someone doesn’t agree with my truth, that’s fine. It simply means it isn’t theirs and I can respect that.
Blessed Be ❤ Sharon