Being Kind Gets You Nowhere. Or Does It?
You may have heard the saying “nice people finish last.” People often believe that being kind means you are weak and can be easily taken advantage of.
But is this really true? Let’s explore and discover why kindness is good for you.
What does being Kind mean?
But first what is being kind, what does it mean? We hear a lot about it and tell children to kind to others. At times it seemed to be something in short supply in recent years as everyone focussed on themselves and their own wants and needs.
The Pandemic however, brought kindness back to the forefront of our lives as many struggled to cope and other vulnerable people had to isolate and couldn’t get food and basics.
Collins dictionary definition says:
Kindness is the quality of being gentle, caring, and helpful.We have been treated with such kindness by everybody.A kindness is a helpful or considerate act.
Is Kindness a Weakness?
We are taught that behind every smile there is an ulterior motive.
We are suspicious and skeptical of others who are kind to us.
Kindness does not equal weakness. On the contrary, it takes a great amount of strength to be kind to someone who thinks differently than you or is slowing you down in some way.
People who perform regular acts of kindness are often more successful, have more social friends and are well liked than those who don’t.
There are some people, however, who view kindness with suspicion, mainly because they haven’t experienced it much, if at all. There are also people who do see it as a weakness to be exploited.
How kindness spreads
Kindness often increases confidence and studies have shown that kindness increases your self-worth.
People tend to remember you much more when you are being kind and are willing to help others. It does set you apart as kindness did seem to be diminishing in the world for a time
Kindness often has a knock on effect. One kindness to another fosters more kindness as that person in turn, is kind to another in need. It creates a ripple effect that keeps spreading as though it is contagious.
How it affects children
Kindness to children can change their lives if they don’t have a very good home life. It makes them realise that there are good and caring people in the world, even if they haven’t benefited from it very much in their young lives.
I have seen this happen with someone I know. She talks to everyone, especially the children and really shows she cares by listening. Not the sort of listening that is so common now, where people listen for a cue where they can jump in, but actually listening to the words said and responding with kindness and encouragement.
Those children grew up and never forgot often appearing as she walked, to ask if they could help at all. Knocking on her door, especially in winter to see if she needed anything or just clearing her path in the winter as she got older.
Kindness and Trust
Kindness evokes a sense of trust. In fact, studies show that even before establishing their own credibility, leaders who are kind and project warmth are more effective than those who lead by being tough.
Kindness helps increase employee performance because they like and trust their employer. Being kind to others makes them happier which in turn makes them more productive.
Kindness is passed on
Kindness bridges gaps between people. It can reach across barriers in language, gender, locality, religion and anything else that causes people to miscommunicate.
Stopping to help a colleague ensures you achieve your own goals and that colleague will often do the same for someone else.
A child given kindness will usually be kinder to others. When you stop and help someone in need, that person will then usually do the same for someone else.
It becomes like ripples in a pond that keep spreading outwards, constantly growing.
Kindness is the secret to a successful and fulfilling life. Always be kind because your actions have a bigger impact than you realise not only on you but others as well.
Sometimes the smallest act of kindness can have the biggest impact.
During this Pandemic, so many have shown kindness to others. People have helped neighbours who previously they didn’t know. Communities have come together to help one another. Elderly people have walked to raise money, even those with walking frames and children have used pocket money to help elderly neighbours.
It is heartwarming both for the giver and recipient as they both benefit from feeling good.
There have been far too many good deeds to document here but it shows that the worst times can bring out the best in people.
6 Reasons why Kindness is so Important.
- Kindness makes us happier. When we perform random acts of kindness, we activate areas of pleasure, social connection and trust in our brains. It creates a positive loop in our minds. Kindness makes you happier and happiness makes you kinder. When you are happy, you are more likely to feel giving and kind towards others.
- Kindness can create social connections and bonding. As humans, we’re preprogrammed to be a part of a group. Being a part of a group, having a social connection of some type, enhances our physical performance and boosts mental clarity. Being kind allows us to be a part of a group.
- Kindness helps with the healing process. When healthcare is delivered with kindness it can hasten the healing process, thereby shortening hospital stays. Kinder care leads to a range of outcomes including reduced pain, lowered blood pressure and less anxiety for the patient and caregivers.
- Kindness can decrease or help prevent diseases. Kindness lowers our stress and anxiety levels and decreases pain because of the endorphins and feel-good hormones released at the time of the act.
- Positive emotions from kindness boost your vagus nerve which regulates blood sugar. This helps the body prevent diabetes, strokes and heart disease.
- Altruism has been shown to stimulate the reward area of our brain. Studies suggest that we get high on being kind.
Why Kindness is Good for you
No matter how inconsequential an act of kindness might be, it is good for you. Without kindness, life would be lonely, filled with anger and desolation, disease and stress. But when kindness is both given and received with no expectations in return, our lives are calmer, happier and we build meaningful connections to others. Which helps to transform our lives.
Kindness makes us happier which is good for our general wellbeing. The happier we are the less we are affected by stressful events. This also means we are healthier as stress can be damaging to our bodies.
So overall, you now know why kindness is good for you and others.
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Questions and comments welcome.
6 thoughts on “Why Kindness is Good for you”
Being kind is not just a matter of becoming someone special, it is about fulfilling the little things that actually make us human. Nobody regrets being kind and the world is already filled with so much hostility that any act of kindness is considered generous. Surely a good one you have here too. Thanks
That is very true but many don’t understand that, some even consider it a weakness.
I agree, we do need more kindness in the world.
Thank you for your comments.
Hi Linda, I have enjoyed reading your article about kindness. I agree that kind people are happier and positive people attract attention and followers. This works wonderfully with friends, family, neighbours and in the day to day life. However, kindness at work can be a bit tricky; it can be misinterpreted by employees and some may take advantage of their kind boss. In business it is great to show kindness to your clients by giving discounts or a gift once in a while, but you have to be careful once again as clients may get accustomed and expect more next time round. What are your thoughts about showing kindness in your business and at the workplace? Marisa
Being kind does work well with those you know well, I agree Marisa. It is also true that kindness with some can be seen as a weakness to take advantage of.
To me, In the workplace and in business it is different to home life.
To show kindness and caring is different to giving things away or allowing yourself to be taken advantage of. Being kind if someone is unwell, had a loss or had something occur is good. Having someone trying to gain something from it is wrong.
In such a case you ensure there are clear lines setting out what is and isn’t acceptable in the workplace.
That is the way I see it anyway.
Thank you for commenting and the excellent points you made.
There are some very important points in your post. And I wanted to highlight them. Kindness is not a weakness, and I agree with you. There are so many benefits and most people don’t take hold of them thinking they’ll appear weak.
But kindness is also taught by example. We can influence our children on this. This is beautiful.
Kindness isn’t a weakness, it’s just a shame that some unscrupulous people see it that way.
I agree with you, there are many benefits to ourselves when practicing kindness and it is a pity if some hold back because they are afraid of being taken advantage of.
I completely agree that we can influence our children to see that being kind is a normal thing to do and it is wonderful to see them practicing it.
Thank you for your comments and the points you made.