Nice vs. Kind
Something that I have realized recently is that although they are typically used as synonyms, the words “nice” and “kind” can carry two different meanings in terms of people-pleasing. The nice individual is always looking out for others rather than themselves, is always trying to appease everyone else, gets upset with the notion that not everyone is going to like them, and goes out of their way to please people who are not fully interested. The kind individual, on the other hand, still shows compassion, care, and love towards others; however, they do not feel personally offended when some people do not like them. They do not buy presents or do favors for individuals who would never reciprocate. They understand their worth and act in ways that are beneficial not only to others, but themselves as well.
This distinction has become prevalent in my life because I am trying to make the transition from being “nice” to being “kind”, especially in my relationships with others. I find myself always trying to go above and beyond for others, inconveniencing myself to try to prove to them that I am a nice person. However, I should not have to prove myself to others. I can still be my compassionate, loving, giving self, but to those who are deserving. If someone has not proven that they care about me too, I should not have to go out of my way to try to win thier approval. Being a kind person is being a confident person.
One time, I was trying to impress a potential partner that I was a nice person that they should respect. Therefore, when I knew they were sick, I bought them food with my own money and delivered it to their doorstep. Looking back, this gesture was foolish because the individual never truly respected me. These kinds of gestures should be saved for those who have proven that they care about you, too. A kind person would not give someone everything up front when that person has not proven themselves yet.
Can you think of instances where you were nice but not kind? Have you ever been taken advantage of from being too nice? How would being kind instead of nice help you in life?