What Kindness Really Means Because It Doesn’t Mean Letting People Walk All Over You

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The other day I said “No” to someone who was trying to get me to do something I genuinely could not do as I had a prior commitment to someone. When I said the word (for the third time, might I add) this person turned to me and smirked, “I thought ‘kindness’ was your thing. Contradictory much?”

Now this made my blood boil. The idea that someone felt that entitled to my time that they thought of throwing one of my values in my face as a way to get their way with me made me recognise something. A lot of people lump in the word kindness with “easy to walk all over.”

To that person and to anyone else who thinks this way, let me just say this much: the ability to say NO to something, to stand up for yourself does not in any way detract from your kindness and the person that you are.

Being kind means helping people who are genuinely in need. It means taking time out of your day to call someone who you know is going through a hard time. It’s actively practicing empathy and being altruistic wherever you can be.

BUT it does not mean you can be bullied or pressured into something you are not willing to do. It does not mean people can take you for granted and take advantage of you. Usually it is the same people who expect you to be a saint that try to belittle or guilt you by using your own values against you. Kindness also means practicing tough love in that scenario and telling them “If you expect me to be kind to you whilst being unkind yourself and trying to pressure me into doing something, then you need to read up on what kindness is.”

Kindness is given freely. It is given with your choice. It is given to those that require it, not those who think it is their entitlement and their right. People who try to take advantage of your kind heart are toxic and do not need to be in your life. You do not need their stamp of approval to be the person you are.

You do not need to validate who you are to anyone except yourself. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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