The Difference Between Nice and Kind

 
 

I want to teach you about kind boundaries. If boundaries don’t feel like they can be done with kindness, kind people won’t do them. Which is a huge bummer because boundaries are the infrastructure for the life we want to live, and the scaffolding of kindness.

There is a huge difference between "nice" and "kind". Nice is about pleasantries, keeping folks comfortable and not rocking the boat, sometimes at a cost to what’s important to you. It's not always a bad thing. Except when it trumps "kind". And coming from "nice" might have other costs: self-respect, resentment, anger, feeling like you're not showing up fully as you. This does nothing to serve you or the people in your life.

“Nice” is the act of keeping others happy, but “kind” is grounded in respect, including respect for yourself. “Kind” respects all involved.

"Kind" is an equation that includes you. When “kind” is absent from a part of the equation, it’s ultimately, disrespect. It’s often our own side of the equation we are willing to sacrifice: kindness toward ourselves. But by not including kindness toward ourselves, we put distortion and misalignment into the mix. The interactions, decisions, and relationships that don’t make room for the equation of “kind”, carry the weight and energy of that distortion.

This is where “nice” alone, misses the mark. “Nice” is willing to bear a burden to relieve others of something unpleasant. But if it is an unwelcome burden, once placed on our shoulders, it becomes the weight of disrespect. What I think we forget is if people realized you were carrying this burden, many would feel sad, or even guilty about it. And that’s not kind.

Most people would rather have everyone’s concerns be respected. Some folks might even feel like an unwitting accomplice to burden, if they were aware of the misaligned equation of action and desire. And even of folks don’t care, it still is unkind to you. See how that goes both ways? 

Here’s an example:

You want to be nice and buy someone a holiday gift, even though it’s not really in the budget. After all, they are getting one for you, and they expect it.

But let’s look at this from a kind boundary perspective.

It is no gift to go into debt to give a present. Few people want you to bear the weight of debt in order to be “nice”. And some might even thing that what you incur, is in part, what is given.

 

I want to teach you about kind boundaries. If boundaries don’t feel like they can be done with kindness, kind people won’t do them. Which is a huge bummer because boundaries are the infrastructure for the life we want to live, and the scaffolding of kindness.

There is a huge difference between "nice" and "kind". Nice is about pleasantries, keeping folks comfortable and not rocking the boat, sometimes at a cost to what’s important to you. It's not always a bad thing. Except when it trumps "kind". And coming from "nice" might have other costs: self-respect, resentment, anger, feeling like you're not showing up fully as you. This does nothing to serve you or the people in your life.

“Nice” is the act of keeping others happy, but “kind” is grounded in respect, including respect for yourself. “Kind” respects all involved.

"Kind" is an equation that includes you. When “kind” is absent from a part of the equation, it’s ultimately, disrespect. It’s often our own side of the equation we are willing to sacrifice: kindness toward ourselves. But by not including kindness toward ourselves, we put distortion and misalignment into the mix. The interactions, decisions, and relationships that don’t make room for the equation of “kind”, carry the weight and energy of that distortion.

This is where “nice” alone, misses the mark. “Nice” is willing to bear a burden to relieve others of something unpleasant. But if it is an unwelcome burden, once placed on our shoulders, it becomes the weight of disrespect. What I think we forget is if people realized you were carrying this burden, many would feel sad, or even guilty about it. And that’s not kind.

Most people would rather have everyone’s concerns be respected. Some folks might even feel like an unwitting accomplice to burden, if they were aware of the misaligned equation of action and desire. And even of folks don’t care, it still is unkind to you. See how that goes both ways? 

Here’s an example:

You want to be nice and buy someone a holiday gift, even though it’s not really in the budget. After all, they are getting one for you, and they expect it.

But let’s look at this from a kind boundary perspective.

It is no gift to go into debt to give a present. Few people want you to bear the weight of debt in order to be “nice”. And some might even thing that what you incur, is in part, what is given.

 

“Kind” is about honoring your values, making sure everything is treated with respect, and rests well with your soul. “Kind” honors what's important to you, respectfully. It's about standing for what you feel is true for you, while also offering that to others. Kindness takes a stand for something bigger than pleasantries. “Kind” is the highroad.

So instead of feeling like you’re “too nice” and you’re always going to get walked on, try leaning into kindness. Kind boundaries honor your values, and helps you engage your boundaries by turning those values into verbs. With kind boundaries, your values are instructive.

Want to work with me? 

Join me for a complementary online workshop, on November 24th: 

Remain Fierce While Flustered
(Tackling Unwanted Questions with Strength and Kindness).  


Totally free! Click to register.

UncategorizedRandi Buckley