Kindness can be subjective and it’s definitely a practice. Some signs of kindness can be more subtle than others!
Here’s 7 signs you might be a kinder person than you think.
1) You prioritize having time to yourself.
Being kind definitely involves how we treat other people, but spending time with yourself can help remind you what it feels like to be in your presence.
Do you like being around you? Is your cup full? If you’re not sure, it might be helpful to check in with yourself. Here’s some things you can reflect on to help get you started (get that journal out!):
- What do you value?
- What makes you feel safe and unsafe?
- How do you recharge?
Get to know yourself every day. Once you feel like your own best friend, you’ll notice that you don’t second guess your place in other people’s lives as much.
You’ll instead wonder if they fit into yours.
Which I find makes my next point easier:
2) You don’t take things personally.
I’m not going to lie to you. I feel anxious at times when a friend responds late, or sometimes I overthink if I’ve said a weird thing at that social thing…
But I think it’s all about how you respond to those feelings and thoughts. It’s normal to have a reaction to uncertainty, but uncertainty itself isn’t proof of anything.
And a lot of us have experienced passive-aggressive relationships so it’s understandable to feel like you need to be responsible for someone else’s actions towards you.
But you need to call your power back from all situations, not just from your toxic ex.
I like to ask myself: is it fair to my well-being to have to analyze someone this deeply? And if the roles were reversed, would I feel comfortable having every single action of mine analyzed?
If you are able to give the benefit of the doubt and invest that energy back to yourself, it’s a sign that you can extend grace beyond yourself.
That’s pretty kind.
3) You encourage other people’s independence.
I think the most beautiful way you can love someone is by allowing them to be whoever they need to be at any given moment. Even if it means they’re a little out of reach.
As an ambivert whose 2 best friends are introverts, our needs don’t always match. But we always make time for each other in other ways that don’t compromise ourselves.
Before they are my friends, I understand that they are their own person. And I want them to experience everything life has to offer. Just like me, they have dreams, hopes, fears, and everything else to conquer.
And they wish the same for me. To have these sentiments reciprocated reminds me that there is a huge difference between attention and connection. As well as kindness and niceness.
Sometimes it feels like kindness is something that is instantly felt or constantly given. But it can also be something that quietly appreciates and liberates. Here’s your loud reminder that this type of kindness also matters.
4) You express yourself.
Listen, I believe in telepathy. But that’s more for those cute moments when you text someone and they say they were just thinking about you.
It’s hard to communicate sometimes because if there’s anything learning how to communicate effectively has taught me, it’s that we’re all learning how to do it.
There’s definitely levels to this; if someone is constantly trying to control situations at the expense of your comfort – run.
But because everyone has their own way of doing things, conflict is inevitable. That push-back can make anyone doubt themselves.
Even if it may disrupt the dynamic a little, it’s kind to show someone who you truly are by expressing your perspective. It’s generous to be vulnerable because you’re telling someone that you value who they truly are as well.
I think it’s also a way to show respect for people’s time and energy. People shouldn’t have to rely on an idea of me in their head. They should rely on who I truly am. How will they know if I don’t tell them?
You deserve to depend on something real, too!
And in the same vein,
5) You love to compliment people!
For no other reason than that it feels weird to hold it in. And that I like seeing other people happy.
The world isn’t in the best state right now. If I can give you even a millisecond of confidence with a couple of words, why wouldn’t I?
I’ve had people think I’m flirting with them or they’d second guess my intentions. But I just ignore it. They wish!
If you share a similar sentiment as me, I need to tell you right now that you’re a lot kinder than you think. I was shook to the core when it clicked with me that not everyone thinks like this. Because I don’t do it to be a saint. I do it because – why not? I can spare a couple of minutes!
6) You hold space without judgment.
In other words, you value perspective over opinion. This can be done alone or with others.
Maybe it’s because I am a Pisces, but ever since I was young, it’s been difficult for me to have serious opinions about little things.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a strong sense of justice and convictions when it comes to human rights. But for a lot of other things, I like to leave my brain open-ended. This used to feel like a burden because I could spend an entire day imagining the possibilities of what my life could be.
To some people, I can seem like I lack direction or focus. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate this aspect of myself. It clicked with me that this is the reason why I don’t judge people and why people feel safe around me. It’s why I tend to see the good in everything without needing to try too hard.
Part of holding space for others is not internalizing their behavior towards you. It’s a delicate balance of actively listening to others’ perspectives, but also taking time to recharge for yourself.
Otherwise, you can burnout easily! But once you master that balance, it’s quite a beautiful and underrated way to live.
So underrated that you might not realize how kind you are for being sensitive and open-minded. Which is why you’re probably here! And to tie it all off…
7) You keep yourself accountable.
Whether it’s not waiting to apologize to someone, or taking the initiative to stop making excuses for yourself; if you value accountability, you also value growth.
As much as we love ourselves for ourselves, we also do it because we want to show up more authentically for the people that we love. And in the whirlwinds of self-improvement, you might not see how much of a superstar you are for embracing that change.
Constant self-reflection is also something that should be done with moderation.
It’s so easy to get caught up in how we can improve, make sure you take time to see how far you’ve come. And thank yourself for it.
You gotta take accountability for the dark side of that perfectionism, too! It would be the kind thing to do.
If no one has told you today, I am proud of you for wanting to be a better version of yourself. It takes courage to be kind on so many different levels.
The days can go by so quickly, we’re all susceptible to wondering if the work we are doing is enough. Hope this list serves to remind you, or guide you.
And come back anytime.