9 signs of genuine kindness in a person, according to psychology

Recognizing genuine kindness in a person isn’t always straightforward. Sometimes, people hide their true intentions behind a façade of niceness.

But what if I told you that psychology has identified some clear signs of genuine kindness?

In this article, we’ll explore these signs that reveal the authenticity of a person’s kindness.

So if you’re wondering if someone’s benevolence is real or just an act, you’ll know exactly what to look out for.

1) They practice empathy and understanding

Psychology has long recognized empathy as a key sign of genuine kindness.

Genuinely kind people show a deep understanding of others’ feelings.

They’re not just sympathetic; they can truly comprehend and relate to the emotions of those around them.

This doesn’t mean they’re always soft or agreeable.

Sometimes, empathetic understanding involves tough love or saying things that might be hard to hear.

But it’s always done with the other person’s best interests at heart.

2) They’re consistent 

In my life, I’ve found that consistency is a strong indicator of genuine kindness.

I remember a friend of mine, who wasn’t the type to make grand gestures or do things for attention.

Instead, her kindness was shown through small, consistent actions.

She’d always listen when someone needed to talk, she was the first to offer help during difficult times, and she made it a point to remember the little details about people.

These consistent acts of kindness were not for show; they were simply part of who she was.

Consistency in kind actions is a clear sign of genuine kindness.

It’s not about the magnitude of the act, but the heart behind it and its regularity.

3) They celebrate others’ success

Genuinely kind people have an innate ability to cheer on others’ success without feeling envious or threatened.

This is known as “compersion” in psychology—the positive feelings one experiences when another person experiences happiness or success.

They can genuinely rejoice in the accomplishments of others, even if they themselves are going through a rough patch.

This is because their joy for others isn’t dependent on their personal circumstances.

They understand that there’s enough room for everyone to succeed and that another person’s triumph doesn’t diminish their own worth or potential.

This ability to celebrate others’ happiness and achievements is a clear sign of genuine kindness and a secure sense of self. 

4) They are patient

Patience is another significant trait of genuinely kind people.

A kind person doesn’t rush others or push them to make decisions.

They understand that everyone has their own pace and process.

They give people the time and space they need to feel comfortable and understood.

Patience helps us understand and tolerate delays without getting angry or upset.

It’s a trait that allows kind people to handle situations with grace and understanding, even when things don’t go their way.

It shows they value people and relationships more than immediate outcomes or their convenience.

5) They practice kindness, even when it’s tough

power of kindness 9 signs of genuine kindness in a person, according to psychology

One of the most telling signs of genuine kindness is how a person behaves during difficult times.

It’s easy to be kind when things are going well, but it takes a genuinely kind-hearted individual to maintain this behavior when faced with challenges.

Those who can stay kind under pressure demonstrate emotional resilience and strength of character.

They don’t let stress or hardship change their nature; instead, they continue to show compassion and understanding, even when it’s hard.

6) They give without expecting anything in return

One of the most heartfelt signs of genuine kindness is selfless giving.

People who are truly kind don’t help others because they expect a favor in return.

They do it because they genuinely care and want to make a positive impact.

In psychology, this is referred to as altruism—the selfless concern for the well-being of others.

Altruistic people derive genuine joy from helping others, and their kindness is not contingent on any form of reciprocation.

If you encounter someone who gives their time, resources, or energy without any expectation of getting something back, you’re witnessing a sign of genuine kindness. 

7) They show respect for everyone

When I was growing up, my grandmother always told me that the true measure of a person’s kindness is how they treat those who can do nothing for them.

This wisdom has stuck with me throughout my life.

Genuinely kind individuals understand that every person deserves respect, regardless of their status, position, or what they can offer in return.

This unbiased respect for all individuals is a profound sign of genuine kindness.

It reveals a person’s ability to see beyond surface-level differences and acknowledge the inherent worth of every human being.

8) They display kindness to themselves

Genuine kindness extends to how a person treats themselves. People who are truly kind understand the importance of self-love and self-care.

People who are kind to themselves are more likely to extend that kindness to others.

This is because when we are compassionate towards ourselves, it becomes easier to empathize with others and show them kindness.

So, if you see someone practicing self-kindness, taking the time for self-care, and not engaging in harsh self-criticism, it’s a good sign that their kindness towards others is genuine.

It indicates that they value kindness on all levels, including towards themselves.

9) They have a positive impact on those around them

The most significant sign of genuine kindness in a person is the positive impact they have on those around them.

Kind people inspire kindness in others, creating a ripple effect that can reach far beyond their immediate circle.

Their actions and behavior can uplift others, fostering a sense of warmth and positivity wherever they go.

This doesn’t mean they’re always cheerful or that they never have a bad day.

It means their overall presence brings positivity and inspires others to be kinder.

If you find that someone consistently leaves people feeling better for having interacted with them, this is a powerful indication of their genuine kindness.

The heart of the matter: Kindness is a choice

While psychology and human behavior are complex fields, one thing about genuine kindness stands out: it’s a conscious choice.

Kindness is not merely a personality trait or an inherent quality in some people.

It’s a decision made every day, in every interaction. It’s choosing to be patient, empathetic, and understanding, even when it’s easier not to be.

As they say, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

This quote captures the essence of genuine kindness – it recognizes the struggles we all face and chooses to respond with compassion and understanding.

People who embody genuine kindness understand this.

They make the conscious decision to extend kindness to others, not because they expect something in return, but because they recognize the profound impact it can have.

Indeed, the world could use a little more kindness.

Picture of Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

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