Stop Being Nice and Start Being Kind
A lot of people are attached to the idea of being “nice.” It’s not so easy for these individuals to let go of their need to be nice, or to appreciate how different it is from being kind.
This distinction is important, however, because these two ways of being lead to very different outcomes in one’s personal and professional life.
It will be easier to understand the difference between “nice” and “kind” if we focus on the opposing motivations behind each way of being.
The nice person is externally motivated. He’s driven by the need for other people’s approval and validation; he craves acceptance and is fearful of rejection.
The kind person is internally motivated. She has good self-esteem and isn’t looking for approval. She’s less concerned about what others might think of her and more interested in doing the right thing. Her compassion comes from an overflowing of her positive self-regard and not from the need to please.
The kind person respects herself as much as she respects others. She’s naturally helpful and generous, except when doing so might cause her harm. She lives in a state of balance, being as kind to herself as she is to others. She makes a positive contribution to her family, company and community, but never at her own expense. The nice person is out of balance in his quest for external validation. Thinking that this is how he’ll find what he wants, he puts the needs of others ahead of his own needs. He keeps trying to please until he becomes exhausted and aggravated.
The nice person avoids confrontation for fear of upsetting anyone. He has trouble saying “No,” and rarely asks directly for what he wants. Fearing rejection, he can’t express any angry feelings that arise.
The kind person, on the other hand, isn’t afraid of confrontation. She’s able to speak her mind clearly, directly and respectfully, so people know where she stands but aren’t likely to take offense.
Health and Wellness Associates