Kindness is not necessarily rooted in niceness.
Being nice means we don't want to rock the boat and do not want to make anyone uneasy or at odds. Niceness has its place at times.
Kindness means we take in, stand up, and present ideas with grace, consideration, and perspective. There is rarely a time when kindness does not have its place.
A smile can be both nice and kind.
Biting one's tongue when frustrated or uncomfortable can seem nice, and it is not kind to oneself or to the relationship.
Please know, this is not a war on niceness, this is a campaign for kindness...
Having become a Kindness Attendant for Kindleigh's worldwide Kindness Community, sharing about kindness in posts and tips, speaking on the kindness impact/effect, and now, facilitating "Kindness as a Leadership Trait" in formal leadership programs at schools and in businesses, there have been a lot of lessons learned, including:
- Kindness is not a soft-skill, it is a foundational skill
- Kindness can be challenging, and people who are kind are not void of frustration or disappointment
- How people kindly process through difficulty and rejection and present it through kindness, is centering to them (and others)
- Kindness can be a born trait of a personality, AND it can be learned
- People are rarely kind to themselves and when we are not kind inward, we are not likely to be genuinely kind outward
- If we are frustrated or drained by our kind acts, it is not genuine kindness, it is often done out of obligation, guilt or a desire to be perceived as "a good person"
- Kindness, when mistaken as a weakness, makes people feel like they have to defend this strength
- Kindness is to be shared with others not for what they do with it, rather for how one believes it can impact a person or situation
- Kindness "muscles" may not be found on a medical evaluation of a body, and yet they exist in smiles and head nods and genuine embraces, and when exercised, the kindness "muscles" flex and grow
- The lasting effect of kindness on oneself and on others is measurable and there is much science to support it
Kindness is to be honored, considered, and shared freely without strings or quid pro quo. Kindness is all about you and your impact versus others and how they accept or deny it or you!