Kindness is “the quality of being gentle, caring and helpful” to yourself and others.
Being caring means that you are compassionate and showing empathy but with this, there are boundaries.
We need to understand that kindness does not only apply to others but also ourselves. We need to show some self-love towards ourselves as well.
One common misconception is the difference between being kind and being nice because they are not the same.
The act of being kind is solely based on your own beliefs, values and ethics, whereas the act of being nice is solely based on how others see you.
What I am trying to say is that being kind does not mean that you have to make everyone happy because there will be times where you do disappoint people and make them angry.
However, it is your intentions and your value that matters.
For example, if your friend asks to borrow money from you and you know that they are not going to use your money usefully (such as buying alcohol only to get drunk or doing excessive shopping).
Then, refusing and saying “no” is the one of kindest thing you can ever do, even if they get mad at you. Why? Because you are preventing them from doing the wrong thing by not enabling them to do it.
To be even kinder, you could try to find ways to stop this problem, for example, advice them to go to an alcoholic clinic or make them talk to someone about their problems since talking to someone can make a huge difference.
This is the act of kindness. However, if you do give them money because you want you to be “nice”, in the short term, you may feel good about yourself but in the long-term, this can lead to serious consequences.
They will probably be more reliant on you and keep asking you for more money.
Just by being “nice”, you are making their life worse because you are enabling them to carry on doing this wrong act of excessive shopping or drinking. At the end of the day, people will see as the “horrible” one because you didn’t stop them when you could.
Don’t get me wrong here, there is nothing wrong with being nice. However, we need to know that there is a clear distinction between these two words for us to understand.
Kindness applies to ourselves as well. First, we need to understand the difference between self-care and self-indulgence.
Although self-care is not fun in the short-term such as exercising every day and being on a healthy diet, in the longterm, you are going to see a huge benefit. In the long-term, you will be fitter, healthier and happier about yourself.
Self-care requires you to discipline yourself and be able to say “no” to yourself when needed. Self-indulgence is doing things that you want to do and this to me, leads to not being able to say “no” to yourself.
Self-indulgence is good to have but there are boundaries.
You should be able to say “no” to yourself especially when you know that it may not do any good for you in the long-term, such as watching Netflix for the whole day.
It is good to watch Netflix and have some bit of entertainment, but by binge-watching Netflix shows for the whole day, that is when you are passing the boundary. You could have spent that whole day doing things that could have benefitted you more such as studying for a test or even learning a new language.
Self-love is not the same as having a big ego or being narcissistic. Self-love is the regard for one’s well-being and happiness. Having self-love means that you are appreciating yourself and taking care of yourself.
It’s about understanding yourself and not letting others derive your happiness.
You are accepting your flaws and not believing that you are better than anyone else.
Self-care is all about taking care of yourself and putting your needs first.
Having self-love is important because we all need some of it to help us get on with our lives. It is more important to have this quality if you grew up in an environment where there was a lack of love and self-appreciation.
To end this.
Self-love isn’t a temporary feeling, but something that you should feel every day. This means that you should be taking care of your physical and mental needs as well.
Now your challenge
I challenge you to try to be kinder to yourself and others, and show more self-love to yourself from now on. Tell me in the comment section below on your thought s about it and how it has changed you.