Welcome to Episode 3 of Season 3 on We Go Boldly, and today we are talking about Nice versus Kind. We are looking closely at how to create a more empathetic society by taking a hard look at our own understanding and application of niceness and kindness.
Niceness is usually transactional in nature. Nice people do things for people with the expectation that we will get something in return, or that we will be more liked and/or included in a group. Often people mask their true feelings or desires in order to seem more nice and agreeable. People pleasers are nice. The niceness we are referring to grows out of insecurity and a need to be liked more than a need to
Kindness is grounded in love, compassion and empathy for others or for yourself. When we act with kindness, we are giving or doing without thought for what we might receive in return. Sometimes when we do or say something with kindness, it can feel uncomfortable for us and the people around us. Kindness thrives in people with good boundaries, empathy, and societal understanding.
Many people confuse niceness for kindness and vice versa. For years we were told to “be nice,” “mind our manners,” and “be polite.” All too often we hear things like don’t bring up religion or politics in polite conversation. This can be a form of toxic niceness, not rocking the boat for the sake of the comfort of others, and people pleasing at the expense of standing up for your own personal ethics.
Importantly, we need to learn to be kind to ourselves as well as the larger world. Starting with ourselves and growing outward helps create the kind of collective empathy we are talking about this season. The ability to talk to ourselves with love, compassion and kindness. To create real boundaries and stand up for what is right, even in the discomfort, begins to weave the thread that will help make up the collective empathy as we all work together.
“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” – Amelia Earhart
GO BOLDLY HOMEWORK
- Break out your journal! Set a timer for 10 minutes and focus on the following journal prompt:
- What is my motivation for my day to day behaviors?
- Talk to your accountability partner about their motivations. Discuss kindness versus niceness in your life.
- Find us on social media and let us know how it’s going. If you want a little extra help working on this or any other topic check out our coaching services now available!
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